Unity, Dvorak, and Google Pinyin.... oh my!

Just a quick post today.

A month or two back I decided I should try out Unity instead of just using KDE all the time. I did this for a lot of reasons, but mostly cause I like to try new things. I went into this knowing that the newest Ubuntu has some issues with Chinese input. A few I had dealt with on the KDE side. So, I went ahead and just installed it alongside my Kubuntu packages. It 99% just worked, and that was great. One Issue that I ran into was my Google Chinese input seemed to be locked to the standard Qwerty keyboard.

This made me sad. I am a Dvorak guy, and I like typing my pinyin with Dvorak. So, I first tried to find "that setting", you know that one setting that will make everything right if you can just find it. I failed. Next, I went in search of how to fix my problem on the interwebs. I didn't see an answer that suited me. Man, I need to get better at interweb searching. So lastly I deded I would go at it terminal style.

Terminal style means you grep around for configuration files and modify them and see what happens. It's completely scientific. Did I mention I made up the term "terminal style?" Anywho I hit the jackpot, and fixed my problem. Hopefully this little tweak will fix your problem also. I assume your using ibus like me, if not you may need a similar file but in a different location.

  1. try to locate googlepinyin.xml
  2. sudo vi /usr/share/ibus/component/googlepinyin.xml
  3. modify the line that looks like this "<layout>us</layout>" to look like "<layout>us-dvorak</layout>“
  4. restart your ibus-daemon
Then all was right with the world. Now 6 - 9 months from now when I mess up this computer I'll have a record of what needs to be done. ^_^ Hopefully It will help someone else also.

On a related note while I was searching the interwebs I came across a post about Chinese pinyin frequency mapped to Dvorak. The poster shows some heatmaps and keypress frequencies. It's quite fascinating, and if I ever get fast at typing pinyin, Dvorak isn't a bad keymap to do it on.