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Keyboard switcher key on PC-101 keyboard

Alex Chupahin
Super Advisor

Keyboard switcher key on PC-101 keyboard

After hot threading about hyperterminal I wish to ask another dumb question. :)
I've searched but cant find an answer in the web.
I remember the keyboard of VT200 terminal ( DEC Professional-3xx also ) there was a key named "switcher" or like it. It switchs system language from English to ... (Russian in my case).
I have PC-style keyboards only and wish to emulate this key in VMS.
Please if anybody knows how can I do it. May be, remapping existing keys (by a tool xkbmap like in Tru64) or ESC-sequence that I can enter directly.
Honored Contributor

Re: Keyboard switcher key on PC-101 keyboard

AFAIK, no such terminal key exists with baseline OpenVMS.

It would certainly be feasible to redefine the SYS$LANGUAGE logical name locally, using a DEFINE /KEY command, but my use of SYS$LANGUAGE has found it somewhat flaky, and it (also) requires a local language kit be installed.

Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: Keyboard switcher key on PC-101 keyboard


Let 's see if I understand your question correctly.

A VT terminal/keyboard has a key "SET UP".
One of the MANY settings you get into with it is "Keyboard Language", which selects different keyboard mappings.
eg, if you select "French" (or Belgian), the upper leftmost letter key maps to "A", whereas in (ao) "English" mode it transmits "Q". In German mode, many of the chraracters to the right of the standard letters transmit various diacritical ("accented" and "umlauted") signals.

Is this what you mean?

In that case, many of the terminal emulators I have used have a similar setup functionality, usually under the "Keyboard" tab.

If this is not what you means, please clarify, and forget about this.

Good luck.

Na Zdarowje.

Have one on me.

Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Joseph Huber_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Keyboard switcher key on PC-101 keyboard

I also can't see a key key to switch system language, and I don't know of a simple command to have this effect.

What I could imagine:
A VT200 had the ability to load User Defined Keys (UDK) with whatever strings one liked. So it could have been the terminals You remember had an Fnn key loaded with a (VMS-) command to switch the system language ?
If so, then it depends on the terminal emulator :
DECTerm does not have this capabilty I think.
Xterm does have something like that:

xterm -xrm "XTerm*vt100.translations: #override \n Shift F5: string(""SWITCHL"") \n"

Or put the resource string into XTERM.DAT (VMS) or the correponding X11 resources file on if xterm is running on a Unix system.
Then pressing Shift+F5 will send the command SWITCHL to VMS.

With Xterm, You can BTW redefine all other keys to reflect what VMS is expecting from a LKnnn keyboard.

Look for example into
in my setup.
Alex Chupahin
Super Advisor

Re: Keyboard switcher key on PC-101 keyboard

Thank you for answers.

> A VT terminal/keyboard has a key "SET UP".

Hmmm no, it is not that key. I know about SETUP key (third from the left if I remember).

Ok how fonts should be switches from Latin to Cyrillic for example? In Tru64 it is a right control key. So I can type something in English, press control and write in Cyrillic.
In Linux is the same.
I remember there was a special key (instead a right control, control/shift etc) in keyboard named RUS/LAT in Cyrillic keyboards and SW or Switch in original. I dont remember exactly, so I can mistake.
If not, is there a chance to get same functionality in the OpenVMS? Cyrillic fonts are in the system already.