8 February 2008

Fixing Text Input Support

I am surprised I didn’t encounter this bug myself since I use a keyboard layout with dead keys (French Canadian): until yesterday, it was possible (but with no good results) to input complex or some case of simple text in a web page with WebKit/Gtk+. For example, if you don’t have a ‘à’ key on your keyboard, you have to use a dead key ‘`’ first, then press ‘a’, well WebKit/Gtk+ would simply flush that ‘`’ you first entered. A 20 line patch completed the work started by Alp Toker and Christian Dywan among others to get Input Method Context supported.

I didn’t know dead keys were processed by the input method. It did require some searches to finally find how this works (I have to say, the GtkIMContext documentation is minimalistic or lacks an overview).

Now, the news is that not only can you enter accentuated characters like ‘à’, but you can now also use the other exotic (to me anyway :) ) Input Methods and they’ll actually work. With the upcoming fix on Asian fonts, we’re going to have a fully working world class web rendering platform.

Update: There seems to be some quirks left with Japanese for example, but I can’t be blamed, unfortunately I don’t understand it. I couldn’t know it wasn’t completely working. :)

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