X11 caps-lock delay and Belgian keyboard layout

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X11 caps-lock delay and Belgian keyboard layout

Postby digaly » 2018-02-05 18:56

A few days ago I moved to Debian 9 with Xfce from Windows 10, after fixing most graphics card/wifi issues I felt like I was almost ready for software development on it. But there were still two problems.

Caps-lock is delayed

When using caps-lock instead of shift during typing, there is a 'delay' that makes letters appear like THis when typing fast.

If I'm not mistaken, this is since turning off caps-lock is implemented as a key release rather than a key press, thus allowing for a small moment in which caps lock is still on even after tapping it while typing.

Now, I have been in the deep end of bug reports where this problem is mentioned. There was some sort of a fix in code, but then it somehow never reached upstream. I'm confused about what happened and the last reply was from someone in 2017 who didn't know what was going to happen to it.

There are also bug reports like this one which just seemingly hit a dead-end with no other replies.

Now one thing I've heard repeated a few times while googling this problem is: "Learn to use shift"

There are a number of reasons why this is not an acceptable answer. For example, it doesn't solve the underlying problem. Windows for instance does NOT implement caps-lock as a key release. I don't know about other wm's outside of X11 but clearly they have their own idea.

Another thing I've read is "But it's made after how typewriters worked". Keyboards are not typewriters and it clearly disadvantages fast typers that use capslock. As far as I'm aware there's no downside to it for anyone else if it were changed to a key press.

There is a delay-fixer script going around, but it really doesn't fix anything. The issue still persists (admittedly in a much less-frequent form) and it does not work for the symbol keys, so if I type I'm it comes out as I4m still.

There is no Belgian (period) keyboard layout

When I check out the available keyboard layouts, I can see six (they're the Belgian layouts that you normally have, including the Alternative, Sun Dead Keys etc..). I see these on every distribution and literally none of them suit my keyboard.

I have googled for a keyboard layout for Linux/X11 to match mine which on Windows is called Belgian period (or point), but have found literally nothing.

Alt+gr and 4 on my keyboard is supposed to produce a {. However, it gives me 'one quarter' symbol instead. Mind you I use this key combination for programming literally all the time, so again, a full transition to Linux was suddenly not possible.

I fixed it using Xmodmap but soon realized there were other, issues. Too many in fact. Caps lock and the '-' key next to backspace is supposed to produce '_', but it just gives me a '-'. Caps lock on and the ',' key is supposed to produce a '?', but it just gives me ','. And many more issues like this.

And yes, all of the aforementioned things work fine in Windows with the Belgian (period) keyboard layout.

At that point I just felt tired. I had gathered a lot of motivation to make this transition and almost managed, but if my keyboard cannot work as expected, there is no point.

Please help me if there's a solution to this problem, thank you.
Sorry if I come off as angry or frustrated, I've just had people be less than helpful about this to me and I'm just tired because I really want to love and use Debian/X11/Linux in general.
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Re: X11 caps-lock delay and Belgian keyboard layout

Postby bw123 » 2018-02-05 20:06


Caps-lock is delayed

When using caps-lock instead of shift during typing, there is a 'delay' that makes letters appear like THis when typing fast.

If I'm not mistaken, this is since turning off caps-lock is implemented as a key release rather than a key press, thus allowing for a small moment in which caps lock is still on even after tapping it while typing.

That's not what I find here, under X the caps lock isn't turned off until key is released, but I can't seem to make it delay. It turns off the instant it is released. Maybe there is a small moment you have both keys pressed?
https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=27903


I just felt tired. I had gathered a lot of motivation to make this transition and almost managed, but if my keyboard cannot work as expected, there is no point.


Well, you said it's been a few days, so I think it is a little soon to say it "cannot work as expected." Using a linux setup often requires research, so if you're not into that, then you might have unrealistic expectations. A 'transition' from windows to linux is often very frustrating, so don't feel like you are the only one to go through that.
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Re: X11 caps-lock delay and Belgian keyboard layout

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-05 23:43

digaly wrote:...because I really want to love and use Debian/X11/Linux in general.

From the way in which you wrote your questions, I'm not sure I believe that.

However, one should use what they are able to use in order to be the most productive. If Windows works for the way you want to develop software then, by all means, use Windows.

Why did you delete your StackExchange post?
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Re: X11 caps-lock delay and Belgian keyboard layout

Postby digaly » 2018-02-06 12:58

Thorny wrote:
digaly wrote:...because I really want to love and use Debian/X11/Linux in general.

From the way in which you wrote your questions, I'm not sure I believe that.

However, one should use what they are able to use in order to be the most productive. If Windows works for the way you want to develop software then, by all means, use Windows.

Why did you delete your StackExchange post?


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come off like that. I didn't cuss anyone out in my post, there's some frustration from searching countless hours in my post at most.
So I don't really understand your reaction.

There's really no need to pick out an irrelevant part of my post and making snarky remarks about it either, you're not representing the Linux community very well if you do.
I've presented two problems and I just expect some help, even if you just have more questions, ask them.

I genuinely want help and I don't mean to be harsh, I was just frustrated at the time of writing it because of the long search I've done in trying to fix it.

I deleted my StackExchange post because the format it was in was inappropriate for StackExchange and I admit that, that's why I turned to the Debian forums instead.
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Re: X11 caps-lock delay and Belgian keyboard layout

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-06 13:50

I'm sorry you feel the way you do about my post but I gave what I thought was appropriate advice. Many of the members here dual boot Windows and Debian because they want to take advantage of the strengths of each operating system for the way they use their system. That's something you could do too. It probably makes sense in your use case because, as you have already found out, the keyboard standards are different in GNU/Linux and bug reports haven't changed anything. I've seen some things about the differences between azerty vs qwerty but I don't know if that would help your situation and I know nothing about Belgian.

Stick around, there may yet be someone with more ideas.
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Re: X11 caps-lock delay and Belgian keyboard layout

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-07 00:38

digaly wrote: I genuinely want help and I don't mean to be harsh, I was just frustrated at the time of writing it because of the long search I've done in trying to fix it.

And
digaly wrote:...you're not representing the Linux community very well if you do.

I usually speak (write in this case) plainly, so I will again.

Trying to solve a problem or even asking for help when one is frustrated is often counterproductive. Of course, snapping back at someone because you didn't like their answer can also be counter productive when asking for help.

By the way, I represent neither Debian nor GNU/Linux, I'm just a user like you.

I've waited to reply to those quotes in case no one else makes a reply and your thread gets too low in the list to be easily noticed. This post puts it back to the top where someone who wasn't here previously but knows an answer might see it. Some posters only view the "new posts" at the top of the pile.


I had some spare time last evening so I did a search with the keywords, Debian Belgian keyboard layout, and got lots of hits, I don't know why you weren't able to find anything.

Finding things on the first page that led me to /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/xorg.lst and it seems there is a Belgian keyboard layout, "be". Info on keyboard models too.

Maybe you can do something with the file at /etc/default/keyboard.

But that isn't going to help with the Caps Lock.

Good luck.
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