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Old 01-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #1
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Question How to modify keyboard layout [help requested]

Hi there,
I' trying to use an external keyboard with non english layout on the big edge, but Android does not recognize its special keys (Ó,Ŕ,Ú,ý,˛,¨...).
Seems like this is a common trouble with Android for non native english people.

The edges are the only Android devices i ever used, and I didn't ever try to root them, as I didnt feel having the market was important enough for risking to damage the device. Use edge for its own main features.

I found an user who compiled these KL and BIN files for using an external italian keyboard with his own android-based Archos 101.

http://hotfile.com/dl/117643723/912a..._keyb.zip.html

I wonder if they can be used with the edge too. According to his instructions

the KL file should be copied in keylayouts
the KCM.bin in keychars
(both inside /system/usr)

I tried to copy them there but edge does not allow me to do it. I suppose I need root access to do it. How can I proceed?

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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I'm not sure how to get an external keyboard to work but the with an internal keyboard like the Hacker's Keyboard if you long press the characters (a,e, i, o, u) you will get the special keys you want and Android does recognize them. Which is why it seems strange that an external keyboard wouldn't produce the same results. This was even brought up in the Edge Forum two years ago: http://somestupidwebsite.com/downloa...t&goto=newpost

Last edited by obsessed2; 01-14-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
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Thanks!
the italian on screen keyboard which comes with Android has already this feature active by default. I even activated the ICS keyboard which I find better than the Froyo one. The trouble comes out with external keyboard.

In the meanwhile I tried to use Z4Root without success. First time I launched its apk from the connected USB, it requested me to enable USB debugging, I did it, then the system restarted (or crashed?). At this point I tried to copy those two files in the System folders, but still I wasn't allowed to do it. Root access seemed not to be active.

Tried again the whole process, reboot (crash?), still no root gained. Just uninstalled Z4Root

Ermine 0.9 installed

Last edited by lorenzoens; 01-14-2012 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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If you have already upgraded to Ermine, I believe the easiest way to gain root access is downloading and installing the "z4root" app. It is available in the Amazon appstore.

Once rooted, I have also found the "Root Explorer" app to be a helpful alternative file browser, with a nice button for changing permissions in a directory from read-only to read-write.

Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by solarbanjo View Post
"z4root"
As reported above, Z4Root didnt work for me, seems not to be able to gain Root access or its installation does not complete for some reason
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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Whoops - I guess I must have spent a little too long making my tea and did not see your updated post.

If you are having issues installing z4root, you may want to surf for the apk with your Edge, then download and install right on the Edge. xdadevelopers has a direct link.

It is possible that you have root access, but, in addition, you must also change the permissions on the files/directory to allow you write access. By default, the keylayout and keychars are set to read-only.

This is where something like the root explorer app comes in handy. It has a nice button at the top that toggles between "Mount R/W" and "Mount R/O"

Only once you set files to R/W will you actually be able to save changes. Root access will allow you to change permissions, but does not automatically change default permissions - this you have to do after you have root access.

I hope this helps!

Last edited by solarbanjo; 01-14-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solarbanjo View Post
Whoops - I guess I must have spent a little too long making my tea and did not see your updated post.

If you are having issues installing z4root, you may want to surf for the apk with your Edge, then download and install right on the Edge. xdadevelopers has a direct link.

It is possible that you have root access, but, in addition, you must also change the permissions on the files/directory to allow you write access. By default, the keylayout and keychars are set to read-only.

This is where something like the root explorer app comes in handy. It has a nice button at the top that toggles between "Mount R/W" and "Mount R/O"

Only once you set files to R/W will you actually be able to save changes. Root access will allow you to change permissions, but does not automatically change default permissions - this you have to do after you have root access.

I hope this helps!
Thank you Solarbanjo,
you remind me that in the second try, I did forgot to use "Mount RW". Will reinstall Z4Root an try again. Just downloaded it from the link you sent me, Avira 2012 tells me it found in a Chrome folder "EXP/Android.AD", access to the file is denied.
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:00 AM   #8
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Just reinstalled Z4Root, everything went smoothly with Permanent Root.

Now I should find the way to make the system use them instead of the standard ones.

KEYLAYOUT: should I rename the IT.KL file as "qwerty.kl" and cut away the original qwerty.kl?
KEYCHARS folder: should I rename the just-pasted it.kcm.bin as qwerty.kcm.bin?

Strange: there is also a qwerty2.kcm.bin

Edit. tried to rename the original qwerty.kl as qwertyNO (or whatever) to be able to name it.kl as qwerty.kl: Root Explorer crashes. I guess the system is using it while I try to rename it. What do you suggest? Will try a copy-paste to overwrite the original

Edit: did a copy-paste over those two original .kl and .bin files, after replacing their content with the italian ones. Result: on screen keyboard seems to function like ever but "backspace" makes "Documents to go" crash, external keyboard makes "Documents to go" crash as I type everything in.
Brought back the originals but Documents to go refuses to start up. Reboot, everything seems back to normal (noted that in "Device Storage" the command "Unmount" replaced the italian one.

At this point I do not have any idea on how to proceed further.

Last edited by lorenzoens; 01-15-2012 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:49 AM   #9
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You did make a backup of the files you replaced, just in case, good

I don't know how this might apply to Android OS but other OSs have 'code pages' that define the keyboard layout and character set for fonts - English international is 850, Italy is also 850 but has 437 as the secondary page. The other thing that might be causing you problems is the KB id - 141 or 142 - and how that matches with the KB tables.

Looking at my PC operating system, I have a directory called 'language' and in that are two directories 'codepage' and 'keyboard' which contain the code page information in a number of files and likewise the keyboard definitions.
Using this as a guide you could try just adding the Italian definition files beside the standard qwerty ones, you then might be able to select the Italian KB from the menu.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:08 AM   #10
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you then might be able to select the Italian KB from the menu.
Hi Ivan, thanks for your contribution.
Which menu are you referring to, exactly?

Unfortunately my knowledge of Android is very entry-level, I wouldnt try more trial-and-error than this to avoid risking to mess my system up, as the edge is for me a working tool.

After rooting I've experienced some small weird behaviors from time to time, even if I just replaced and then brought back these two files. Enough fear for me

Wish someone else has made a similar remapping for other non english languages, on the edge, and share its experience.
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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here just to add this:

http://source.android.com/tech/input...map-files.html
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #12
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Looking at that it would appear that you need specific map files for your keyboard - vendor, product with either version or device name.

Until you get - or make - such a map file I don't think you will be getting any further with using accented characters on your external KB.

One thing that just occurred to me, does your KB have a dedicated number pad and if so what do you get displayed if you hold down alt and type 154 or alt and 130? If these produce ▄ and Ú then you are ready to go.
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