Keyboard layout icon set

Bug #628015 reported by David Barth on 2010-09-01
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
Ayatana Ubuntu
Karl Lattimer

Bug Description

To have a more space efficient version of the keyboard layout indicator, we need an icon set for all the layout variants.

Each icon should be made of a frame surrounding a letter code for the keyboard layout. The different letter codes are listed in an attachment to this bug.

For reference Matthew is maintaining the specification for the indicator at: and for the letter codes in particular at:

David Barth (dbarth) wrote :

This bug is connected with which tracks the port to the app-indicator framework.

David Barth (dbarth) wrote :
Changed in ayatana-ubuntu:
assignee: nobody → Karl Lattimer (karl-qdh)
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
milestone: none → ubuntu-10.10
Karl Lattimer (karl-qdh) wrote :

These icon filenames are for ibus, not the gnome-settings-daemon keyboard layout indicator.

I'll produce a set of the real filenames for g-s-d

I think faking this as an AppIndicator is fine for Maverick, but in a
future release it should become a special Indicator that can render its
own icon/label.


Karl Lattimer (karl-qdh) wrote :

To be honest, I think the best way to solve this long-term, is to create a new indicator-applet for keyboard, just as there is for the me menu and session menu.

The indicator would be comprised of *both* the ibus indicator, and the layout indicator. There's a massive overlap between their functionality, so it would be appropriate to do the work to integrate and remove the overlap. This would also require a single dialog for dealing with input from a keyboard in a single place, we'd need to work out better organisation of the keyboard, keyboard shortcuts and ibus preferences all together.

imho, this is a long standing upstream issue, so there's a chance to promote some good ubuntu code in the upstream arena also.

As far as I'm aware doing this has been discussed in various places over the years and is yet to be acted upon.

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Sounds reasonable, perhaps something to take on in Natty, we'd likely
contract the work if you know anyone interested!

Karl Lattimer (karl-qdh) wrote :

Well, I'll be available if there's nothing else you want me working on?

I've become pretty familiar with both of the packages in question from working on the indicators already, so I suppose I have a little head start in the work.

Karl Lattimer (karl-qdh) wrote :

Included in the tarball are the 246 iso country coded "flag" icons for the keyboard indicator in 22px size for a dark panel background. Each of these flags consists of a box with the two letters of the iso code inside.

By untarring this archive into ~/.icons/ should create a folder called flags containing all of the files.

Next run in the terminal;

gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /desktop/gnome/peripherals/keyboard/indicator/showFlags "True"

Which will enable keyboard indicator flags

Karl's solution works well for me as a workaround. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.

Pietro (pietro) wrote :

Hi Karl, I have done as you instructed in post #9, or something close. Per Monotasker's instructions I installed the little 11x16 icons in /usr/share/flags/countries/16x11:
$ sudo apt-get install famfamfam-flag-png
I created a softlink at ~/.icons/flags:
$ ln -s /usr/share/flags/countries/16x11 ~/.icons/flags
I enabled flags:
$ gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /desktop/gnome/peripherals/keyboard/indicator/showFlags "True"

Now I get an unchanging gray rectangle. I thought it might be the them I was using, so I cycle through Mist, Sand, Human, Human-Clearlooks, etc. They all showed that gray rectangle, or occasionally a gray rectangle with a red circle with a slash through it. I tried adjusting the gnome_settings_daemon by setting active=false, but that just made the indicator applet disappear. I tried removing all but my default keyboard, letting the indicator disappear, and then adding back another keyboard to induce its reappearance. The indicator is back, as a gray box, which does not change regardless of which keyboard is active.

I have Compiz running at is 'normal effects' setting; this is a pretty vanilla Meerkat setup.
Any ideas?

Pietro (pietro) wrote :

Ha. Just got keyboard indicators to display. Rich's comment at:
gave the the clue to "add the indicator applet to the panel." In my legacy setup (started with 8.04 on this machine) I was using older indicators in a Notification Area, not the new "Indicator Applet".

**Please warn other longer-term users whose Gnome configs have become idiosyncratic. I had dumped the Indicator Applet months ago because I didn't want to waste space with the email icon; and I COULD drop it because there was still an old Volume applet, and the older Power Manager applet would show up regardless.**

Now the Indicator Applet displays SVG icons stored in ~/.icons/flags. I am using Ian Scott's "Faenza Flags" which are, themselves, rectangles that contain the two-letter codes--or whatever abbreviation you want to put into an SVG (he includes a template).

IMHO this may be the lasting fix to this issue. I agree w/ the shift towards showing keyboard letter indicators rather than flags. I sometimes type in Dari, an Afghan dialect of Farsi. An Iranian flag (default for Persian layout) does not make sense, while a rectangular "flag" showing the letters AF does make sense.

What I would also love to find is a table that correlates Matthew's keyboard-abbreviation list with the keyboard-fullname list. Then I could figure out what to name a "flag" that would be pulled up by the "USA Alternative international (former us_intl)" layout. Is it ua.svg?

Karl Lattimer (karl-qdh) wrote :

@Pietro did you see my flags file, there are a bunch more codes in there, but either way I don't know what the USA alts would be, but I think it's just the iso code us.svg for all US keyboards, I think the assumption with flags in the code is that you'll only have 1 layout per country in any particular setup.

I wanted to be able to add a small circle with the number onto the bottom right corner but we hit stumbling blocks on the future designs at UDS. Seems people didn't like merging ibus and keyboard prefs.

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