Romanian keyboard layout
The “primary” layout is intended for more traditional users that learned long ago how to type with older, Microsoft-style implementations of the Romanian keyboard. The “secondary” layout is mainly used by programmers and it does not contradict the physical arrangement of keys on a US-style keyboard. The “secondary” arrangement is used as the default one by the majority of GNU/Linux distributions.
There are four Romanian-specific characters that are incorrectly implemented in all Microsoft Windows versions before Vista:
- “S with comma below” (U+0218) – incorrectly implemented as “S with cedilla below” (U+015E)
- “s with comma below” (U+0219) – incorrectly implemented as “s with cedilla below” (U+015F)
- “T with comma below” (U+021A) – incorrectly implemented as “T with cedilla below” (U+0162)
- “t with comma below” (U+021B) – incorrectly implemented as “t with cedilla below” (U+0163)
Since Romanian hardware keyboards are not widely available, Cristian Secară has created a driver that allows the Romanian characters to be generated with a US-style keyboard, in all Windows versions previous to Vista. It uses the right AltGr key modifier to generate the characters.
An alternative, more ergonomic (though non-standard) keyboard layout, with a user choice between cedillas and commas, is proposed and implemented for the Microsoft Windows operating system by the Ergo Romanian project. They suggest altering keys on the standard QWERTY layout which are less frequent in Romanian, namely q, w, y, k, x, to produce Romanian characters ă, ș, ț, î, â, respectively.