I'd like to announce my new FD-KEYB 2.0 (pre1), a complete rewrite of a keyboard driver for FreeDOS
(I have been little by little incorporating some code into existing stubs, but now I have managed to produce a version being all the code new and coherent with each other (after 200b of optimisations), and that seems to work stably and reliably).
Available as:
(a) Executable form: http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/dos/keyb/kb2pre1x.zip
(b) Source form (assembler, with a small stub in Pascal): http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/dos/keyb/kb2pre1s.zip
The key features are:

(1) Programmable. You define the behaviour of your keyboard. You need binary data files, so you either download some precompiled ones (from http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/dos/keyb/kblayout/ Henrique Peron has produced a full series of behaviours for lots of countries, such as GR, SP, IT, FR, UK, RU, JP, etc, thanks!), or you produce your own using the compiler tool KC (you create a descriptor file and then compile it to binary data, more details in the pack).
KC is available as executable http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/dos/keyb/kc100x.zip
or source (C): http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stuff/freedos/files/dos/keyb/kc100s.zip
with lots of documentation in each pack.

(2) Small size: typical resident size of around 2KB

(3) Compatibility: full compatibility with MS-KEYB in commandline, API and exitcodes. However, do not expect to use MS's KEYBOARD.SYS data file, or both drivers to coexist pacifically.

(4) Codepage support. FD-KEYB is the first open source DOS driver to fully support codepages, up to 255, that can be configured at boottime or dynamically change (KEYB responds to DISPLAY when it requests codepage change).

(5) Open source. This particular version is contributed under the GNU-GPL 2.0.

(6) Extensive number of macro/string assignment: KEYB commands range from string and diacritic support, interrupt calling, system power, etc.

(7) Detects automatically keyboard type, configuring most suitable code to handle it and disposing unneeded code (overriden with /E and /9 directives)

(8) Many more features (enable/disable with Ctrl+Alt+F1/F2, remap of lock keys, etc etc).

You can find much more information in the FD-KEYB page below and in the extensive documentation in the packs:

Many thanks to all of those that contributed, Matthias Paul and Axel Frinke for their help and suggestions (also for the code to flush the disk caches), Henrique Peron for his extensive testing and support, for making an extensive set of data files, T. Kabe for his testings and very valuable information regarding Japanese keyboards, and Dietmar HŲhmann for his xkeyb, that introduced me into the world of keyboard drivers (the syntax of the keyboard descriptor files that you compile with KC is somewhat similar to that of xkeyb data files).

As maintainer of FD-KEYB, where I've put much of my effort, I thereby no longer support/patch the xkeyb driver (for some time now xkeyb hasn't been used in the most modern FD distributions anyway). All xkeyb users are now strongly encouraged to switch to FD-KEYB instead, where they'll benefit of many more features, such as 4KB more of free RAM and codepage support.

Bug reports and comments are always welcome. Please direct bugs in keyboard descriptors to Henrique Peron, not me (unless you are not sure).

What comes now is one more version where I plan to tune a couple of other missing features, and patch possible bugs:
- Ability to use libraries of data files (a la KEYBOARD.SYS) instead of single data files
- Full Japanese keyboard driver compatibility
- A note on safety to prevent against KEYB bombs from non-trusted data files
- Several other minor changes

Best wishes,

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