Using the APL385 Unicode Font with Gvim

The long and the short of it is I want to write APL with vim because my fingers have so integrated vim into them, that I simply type gibberish into any other editor and get frustrated. So, I sat down and figured out a vim keymap for the unified keyboard layout for APL that uses the APL385 Unicode Font and gvim with its encoding set to utf-8. Unfortunately, I don't know if any interpreter will load these utf-8 files, but at least it allows you to write out APL for other purposes and maybe I'll write a tool later to convert the code into the APL transfer file format or I'll find out which vendors could load the files.

Here are the steps to make this work on a recent linux distribution:

  1. If you don't already have it installed, download the APL385 Unicode Font

  2. If you need to install the font, then put the font into your

    directory, and run this little shell script to enable the font:
    #! /bin/sh
    mkfontdir $FD
    mkfontscale $FD
    xset fp+ $FD
    xset fp rehash
    fc-cache $FD

  3. Edit your

    and add these lines:
    " Turn off the menubar so we don't get key accelerators with Meta.
    " Don't include the toolbar
    set guioptions=aegirLt
    set encoding=utf-8

  4. Store this Vim Keymap File as

    in your home directory.

  5. Run gvim like this:

    gvim -font "APL385 Unicode 14"

  6. When it finishes loading, enter this:

    :set keymap=uniapl385

  7. If everything worked out, you will now have a unified APL keyboard when in insert mode, and a normal keyboard otherwise.