This blog reports on significant Keyman product and keyboard development updates over the two weeks ending on 4 August 2023.

Keyman 17 upcoming highlights

Today, we’re highlighting a significant upcoming feature in the Keyman 17 release, due early next year. We’ll continue to highlight new features over the coming weeks.

All-new keyboard compiler

The compilers in Keyman Developer 17 have been rewritten in TypeScript and WASM to run on Windows, macOS, or Linux. It would even be possible to host the compiler in a website, which is on our roadmap for Keyman Developer.

The command-line version of this compiler, kmc, will replace the older Windows-only kmcomp.exe in Keyman Developer 17.0. Today, kmc has seven different modules:

  • kmc-analyze: analyzes a keyboard file, for example to produce a &displayMap file (discussed in our last blog)
  • kmc-keyboard-info: generates a .keyboard_info file, used to provide metadata when searching for keyboards on keyman.com
  • kmc-kmn: compiles a Keyman .kmn source file into a .kmx file
  • kmc-ldml: compiles a CLDR/LDML .xml keyboard source file into a .kmx file
  • kmc-model: compiles a .model.ts predictive text source file into a predictive text lexical model
  • kmc-model-info: generates a .model_info file, used to provide metadata when installing lexical models (dictionaries) from keyman.com
  • kmc-package: bundles keyboards, fonts, metadata, and documentation into a single file for distribution

Each of these modules has a consistent interface and intuitive options, making kmc much easier to use than kmcomp. What’s more, kmc is blazingly fast — around 10 times faster than kmcomp — meaning you can build all 720+ source keyboard projects in the Keyman keyboards repository in just 3 minutes, instead of the previous 30+ minutes!

Keyman 17 release date extended

We originally intended to release Keyman 17 before the end of this year. In a review last week, we adjusted the release date, as we recognised that key work on the new LDML keyboard compiler and core implementation were just not going to be completed in time. Our new target release date is late January 2024.

Keyboard and Dictionary Updates

  • A predictive text dictionary for Temiar is now available (#201), with thanks to @lublinkhof
  • The FirstVoices Nsilxcən keyboard has had some keys added and a few letters modified to match the orthography (#2309), with thanks to FPCC, @HopsAndHops, and @caforbes
  • Three Enabling Languages keyboards have been updated and re-released, with thanks to @andjc:
    • Osmanya, a Unicode-based keyboard layout for Somali in Osmanya script, using the Somali Latin orthography as the input mechanism (#2318)
    • Pan-Sahelian, a keyboard designed for use with various languages of Western and Central Africa (#2316)
    • Dari (CLRA), a keyboard designed for use with the Dari language of Afghanistan and other regions in South Asia (#2317)

Categories: Developing Keyman

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