Post a picture of your ideal keyboard layout!

Wilkie

23 Jan 2016, 15:14

Layout in progress, note 0.5u removed from right vs. standard. Goal is to keep mouse close to right side.
layout-2.png
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webwit
Wild Duck

23 Jan 2016, 15:57

jacobolus wrote:
webwit wrote: found some huge postscript document which I think was the basis for the PFU tech review Vol 3 No 1. It showed a large number of other keyboards and touch typing lines if I recall correctly.
Do you mean this page?
http://www.pfu.fujitsu.com/hhkeyboard/k ... index.html
No not that one.

seaworthy

29 Jan 2016, 22:35

how_I_feel_when.png
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I saw this on imgur with the caption:

"What I feel like when I use my friend's full-sized keyboard after getting used to my HHKB..."

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TuxKey
LLAP

30 Jan 2016, 09:04

My ideal keyboard layout would be a WhiteFox with all standard sizing keycaps.. :)
No more hassle wen getting keycaps..
Almost like the Varmilo VA68M but with a couple of keys added don't really care what keys ..because it would be
fully programmable (dream,dream)...
75_Keyboard_Layout.jpg
from a previous post..Just removed the F row
75_Keyboard_Layout.jpg (261.94 KiB) Viewed 4274 times

seaworthy

01 Feb 2016, 07:12

Really enjoying all the ideas and opinions on this thread.

Time for a confession that showcases flighty tastes. I have recently rehabbed an Apple M0116 keyboard. Its the first board I’ve restored, and I’m hoping to go a step further by adding a Teensy so I can use it without the Griffin iMate.

Maybe it was the under estimated labor involved in resuscitating this filthy, yellowed board into a clean and like-new light gray gem, but I had a three-day stretch where I loved the orange Alps switches so much, I nearly regretted owning an HHKB (which is wonderfully modded with Hypersphere’s silencing rings and just days away from sporting a PBT spacebar from matt3o). The feel and sound of crispy crunchy orange Alps just stole my attention and sidelined the HHKB.

The comparative bargain price of an M0116 and the fact it’s literally 30 years old made me punch drunk on Apple juice. I began to wonder why anyone would ever use any other keyboard. And then yesterday, like an emotional little teenage girl (sorry lady members), I inexplicably thought the orange Alps were just a little too crunchy, and I reached for my trusted HHKB and reunited with the throaty temptress of thock.

And now I guess I’ve matured a bit as a keyboard enthusiast. You must love all your children equally (okay, not equally, but your must love them all). The pursuit isn’t about favorites; it’s about the variety and the novel attributes in the lineup. There’s no end game, just a rotation.

I purchased a Matias wireless keyboard three years ago because I wanted something that felt better, and I couldn’t possibly imagine why anyone would have the prehistoric patience to use a keyboard with a cable. But that was it. I was one and done. Why look further…

Because there are personalities to sample. Because what sounds and feels good this week will feel and sound even better in a few more weeks when you’ve punctuated the intervening time with a board of contrasting characteristics. What a great hobby that you don’t have to choose between a crunch or a thock. And all the better if you can save something from a landfill.

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Chyros

01 Feb 2016, 12:32

Quite true. This is why I enjoy using all these different boards to review, too :) .

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colibius
Fiddling while Rome burns

01 Feb 2016, 19:37

First time posting, but I'm interested in building my own keyboard, and so wanted to post my current design. My main interest is in making better use of my left thumb, which sits idle almost all of the time while I'm typing, forcing my pinkies to do more work than they probably should be doing. So many people complain about the waste of real estate that is the caps lock key, but the undeveloped land directly under my left thumb is what keeps me awake at night. I tried the SpaceFN thing, but couldn't make it work without occasionally causing mistakes with my typing.
Custom_Thumb_Keyboard.png
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I tried to figure out the maximum range of the spacebar that I actually make use of (as I stretch my right hand one way or the other), and I wanted to put another modifier key (the one with the circle) as close to it as possible so that I could routinely use it for whatever I want, probably for the number/punctuation layout. I mirror that on the left side to give myself two more keys that my left thumb can use routinely. I figure maybe the bigger one could be the shift key, but most of the keys are still to be determined. This all frees up the need to have so many extraneous keys, so I can keep my fingers nearer the home row.

I also added keys to the left of the main rows that could be used for something else, maybe the distant punctuation that is missing on the right hand side of this layout, to minimize the amount of stretching my pinkies would have to do. I'm hoping I won't need the normal shift keys, so can use those for something else. The use of layers is not something I've ever tried, but it's possible those keys could be used to change layers. All the keys with symbols on them are not yet determined. It's all an experiment.

I guess there is some similarity to the Planck keyboard, but I'm not interested in an ortholinear keyboard, and I also want the thumb keys to be big enough that I don't routinely hit the wrong ones (which I think is likely for me). I'm not going for extreme minimalism, just keeping my fingers nearer the home row.

Anyway, it's still a work in progress, but I'm enjoying reading other people's ideas about layouts as I think through this!

seaworthy

01 Feb 2016, 21:02

Found this on Flickr--passions run deep for some...
anything.jpg
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Muirium
µ

01 Feb 2016, 21:12

Ha, I remember that. The guy's John Gruber (of Daring Fireball) and the sign was originally blank. People made a game of filling it in for him with pretty absurd results.

He is a noted AEK II devotee. In fact, an episode of his podcast, back in the day, was my first entry into the realm of classic keyboards. He and Dan Benjamin are wrong about the AEK II being better than the AEK I, though. In fact, when I relistened to it after earning my keyboard chops, I was chuckling at how confidently wrong they are about most everything! But it's an amusing listen for the nostalgia factor. Gruber's own AEK II has a hell of a story.

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Corummo

01 Feb 2016, 22:14

Watched the whole thread. A lot of original solutions. Really brilliant ones.
My approach is a little more "classic".
I believe that Matias Mini is simply fantastic for a general purpose utilisation, and I slightly customised it for a more programmers-friendly everyday layout:
mymatias.PNG
mymatias.PNG (40.42 KiB) Viewed 4183 times
And then, I designed this "extreme" layout, to make the bare-minimum portable keyboard for the happy programmer: stripped down the right side shift key, with the latest Granite Set recently purchased through Massdrop.
Red and green keys ordered separately from Pimpmykeyboard.
supercompact.PNG
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I simply cannot live without the function keys. :)

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richfiles

02 Feb 2016, 11:01

Corummo wrote: And then, I designed this "extreme" layout, to make the bare-minimum portable keyboard for the happy programmer: stripped down the right side shift key, with the latest Granite Set recently purchased through Massdrop.
Red and green keys ordered separately from Pimpmykeyboard.

I simply cannot live without the function keys. :)
I am used to ANSI, though ISO Enter doesn't bother me much, for the differentness of it, I guess... One thing that KILLS me, is the sacrifice of the left Shift. The GROOVES I've worn into the plastic on mine tell me it's my MOST used modifier. Oddly enough, my Right Shift still has the factory texture on it. Also, Right Shift is SOOOO FAAAAT tho... :roll:

I find it... odd... that you'd shift the ENTIRE bottom Alpha row a key over, just to mimic the ISO [\] left of [Z]. You've preserved the Left Shift size on that layout, which i think is awesome. You've done this by outright sacrificing the Right Shift altogether. Why not then, since that's the space you're recovering, place [\] to the right of [/], so you have [,][.][/][\][↑][Fn] at the end of the Shift row? The key would be physically near an associated key, it would not break the muscle memory of the bottom Alpha row. Z-M are all shifted a key over... that would... suck to try to get used to. It'd be worse if you had to jump between your own keyboard and a work keyboard every day, for example. :evilgeek:

Everything else on that layout seems fine to me. I like it, otherwise! Just... I gotta say no to shifting an entire row 1u over, when the more obvious solution is to buck the ISO trend and stop placing [\] to the left of [Z]. Just my opinion.

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Corummo

02 Feb 2016, 13:27

richfiles wrote: Everything else on that layout seems fine to me. I like it, otherwise! Just... I gotta say no to shifting an entire row 1u over, when the more obvious solution is to buck the ISO trend and stop placing [\] to the left of [Z]. Just my opinion.
I appreciated your opinion, and agree on the weird position of the Z key.
It forced me to consider a little rework. :)
supercompact.PNG
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There are a couple of non-standard keys: left shift is 2u, OS and Fn/Shift keys are 1u.
The rightmost Fn key, has a double functionality: it acts like a Shift key on keys not affected by Fn modifier.
A bit tricky but agile and smart. :)

EDIT: The spacebar is 6u. Almost non-standard nowadays. :)
Last edited by Corummo on 05 Feb 2016, 00:27, edited 1 time in total.

seaworthy

02 Feb 2016, 19:53

Muirium wrote: Ha, I remember that. The guy's John Gruber (of Daring Fireball) and the sign was originally blank. People made a game of filling it in for him with pretty absurd results.

He is a noted AEK II devotee. In fact, an episode of his podcast, back in the day, was my first entry into the realm of classic keyboards. He and Dan Benjamin are wrong about the AEK II being better than the AEK I, though. In fact, when I relistened to it after earning my keyboard chops, I was chuckling at how confidently wrong they are about most everything! But it's an amusing listen for the nostalgia factor. Gruber's own AEK II has a hell of a story.
Thanks for posting the podcast link. It was interesting.

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richfiles

03 Feb 2016, 01:45

TuxKey wrote: My ideal keyboard layout would be a WhiteFox with all standard sizing keycaps.. :)
No more hassle wen getting keycaps..
Almost like the Varmilo VA68M but with a couple of keys added don't really care what keys ..because it would be
fully programmable (dream,dream)...
Hey, just threw this up for you. It's the non 1.5u Mac variant of this keyboard, in a 66% configuration (would you call it that? I mean, it's a 65% keyboard with an extra column to the right). The pic you used is almost stock standard keys. My keyboard layout has a 1.5u Meta key, as the Danger Zone keycap set I ordered will have one, and that's a popular size on Macs. Normal layouts use three 1.25u keys, which results in the layout having a 0.25u gap between the right mods and the arrow keys. Alternatly, if you use 1u mods for the right mods, there's exactly enough room to fit 4 mods in that gap. That allows for things like a [Fn] or [Alt Gr] key, along with a right [Meta] and [Control].

Here are the two more traditional variants of the layouts, with both a 6 and a 7 mod bottom row.
66%_Keyboard_Layout_6_Mod.jpg
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66%_Keyboard_Layout_7_Mod.jpg
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Corummo wrote:
richfiles wrote: Everything else on that layout seems fine to me. I like it, otherwise! Just... I gotta say no to shifting an entire row 1u over, when the more obvious solution is to buck the ISO trend and stop placing [\] to the left of [Z]. Just my opinion.
I appreciated your opinion, and agree on the weird position of the Z key.
It forced me to consider a little rework. :)

There are a couple of non-standard keys: left shift is 2u, OS key and Fn/Shift keys are 1u.
The rightmost Fn key, has a double functionality: it acts like a Shift key on keys not affected by Fn modifier.
A bit tricky but agile and smart. :)
Very nice! an 0.25u anomaly is well within the margin of tolerance for key finding, I'd think. You get a lot packed into a tiny space with that layout, and your only real major sacrifices is a non standard left shift, and a small Meta key. Not bad at all. A contextual Fn/Shift key is a cool idea.

On another note, Signature Plastics has shipped the Danger Zone keycaps and massdrop will receive them within the week! I'll have REAL picture of my ideal layout in a matter of a couple weeks... However long it takes Massdrop to sort and ship them! VERY excited! :mrgreen:

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Muirium
µ

03 Feb 2016, 09:15

I'd call it a 70%. It's a nice round number, and the arithmetic is almost right. 60% * 17/15 = 68%

But there's no consensus on these names between 60% and TKL. And I doubt my area-based definition is popular anyway.

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Chyros

03 Feb 2016, 09:30

Why not just name it after the amount of keys? E.g. 84-key layout = 84%?

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Muirium
µ

03 Feb 2016, 09:36

That does make sense. But one counterexample is my homemade 60%:

Image

15+14+13+13+8 = 63 keys. Yet it feels just like my definitive 60% here, the HHKB, on which is was largely modelled. To me and many people, "60%" means the bare alpha block, no matter the specific choice of mods, or indeed ANSI vs. ISO. 15 units by 5, essentially. Which even with 63 keys, still looks tiny up against a TKL:

Image

I think we can spare confusion by using another word for the purpose. "63 key" instead of percent!

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Chyros

03 Feb 2016, 10:03

Muirium wrote: I think we can spare confusion by using another word for the purpose. "63 key" instead of percent!
Yeah, exactly! When it's around 60 most people will clue onto that it's pretty much some 60% layout anyway :) .

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Corummo

03 Feb 2016, 12:05

Muirium wrote: That does make sense. But one counterexample is my homemade 60%:

Image
Although I find it simply gorgeous, I wonder how do you 60% enthusiasts can live without cursor and function keys.
I'd be simply lost without them. :)

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vvp

03 Feb 2016, 12:25

Corummo wrote:
Muirium wrote: I wonder how do you 60% enthusiasts can live without cursor and function keys.
I'd be simply lost without them. :)
Because vim style cursor keys in a layer are so much more comfortable.
j-k-l-; == left-down-up-right

Also when will all the 60% board lowers finally realize that big-ass space bar is a waste of precious real estate. Just at the location where thumbs can most easily press modifiers in addition to the space. Split the space bar at least in two separated keys. Use the additional key(s) as layer-shift or some other most used modifiers. I just do not understand the love for a big space bar. It looks completely irrational to me.

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richfiles

03 Feb 2016, 13:46

So, correct me if I'm wrong here... I am fairly new, only been here a few months.

I've understood the following:

40% is a minimal Alpha keyboard, forgoing most or all punctuation keys. There is no number row.
60% is basically the standard Alpha block, with punctuation, and number row added.

Now I've seen 65%, 70% and 75% all used before. I know what a 75% is, cause I use an... almost one, and am building something based on one.

My understanding is:

65% is a 60% with an extra column of keys to the right, similar to a 75%, but with no F-row.
70% is a 60% with an F-row
75% is a 60% with both an F-row and a single column of extra keys not he right.
TKL is basically a full size, minus the number pad.
And we all know what a full-size is.

So i know the 40%, 60%, 75%, TKL, and Full are commonly accepted terms. Are the 65% and 70% generally accepted? My understanding would call Corummo's layout a 70%, and PeanutsAreYum's layout a 65%.

I think referring to exact key counts isn't really entirely perfect. a TKL is 87 keys, while a 75% is 84 keys, and my layout is 88 keys, and that actually can shift up or down by a couple keys depending on if you do things like a split space, ISO, extra mod row keys, fewer mod row keys... There's enough variability from specific layout to specific layout, that you could have one person's 63 key be a completely different class as another person's 63 key.

For that reason, I don't much like the idea of calling exact key counts. I kinda like the general categories that seem to exist with the percentage system. an 84, 87, and 88 key keyboard has only a couple keys difference in count, but are all very unique layouts. My 88 key layout could have 89, or even 90 keys, depending on if it were done in an ISO layout, or if the right modifiers are 1u vs 1.25u. In that very example, you can't rely on key count to define the layout of a keyboard. My layout stock ANSI would have the same key count as an ISO TKL, for example.

I'd say the percents are not to be taken absolutely literally. I think they are more representative of "categories" of layout, loosely based on the amount of keyboard you're using, out of a full-size. Nothing more, nothing less.

TL;DR version. Key count isn't an exact enough measure (ironically enough, because it is an exact measure) to quantify layouts in general. There is too much overlap. The percent system is a general category system. it's flexible in that it isn't exact.

I guess that's my own take on it.

davkol

03 Feb 2016, 14:19

Yup. The percentage is about size, not key count.

For example, a full-size keyboard may commonly have anything between 101 (winkeyless ANSI) and 112 keys (JIS w/ winkeys and four keys above the numpad).

Some modern common 75% keyboards have 84 keys (Noppoo Choc Mini, Keycool 84), but ISO/JIS would have more, and mapping isn't guaranteed either (compare, e.g., Cherry G84-4100 and Keycool 84). Even the 7-row thinkpad keyboard is better called a 75% keyboard, although it has all the keys of a tenkeyless—but without the "standard" gaps.

65% (alphanumeric section + inverted-T arrow cluster; e.g., Leopold FC660) and 70% (alphanumeric section + function row; e.g., Noppoo Nano75, which is funny, considering the name) have been quite accepted for a while, but now there are some 65% keyboards with an extra column (e.g., Magicforce 68)… what do you call that?

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Corummo

03 Feb 2016, 16:32

vvp wrote: Because vim style cursor keys in a layer are so much more comfortable.
j-k-l-; == left-down-up-right
Surely you need to constantly press some modifier, even for basic text navigation. I know it could be a matter of getting used to but, in the long run, isn't it tiresome for the hands?
I just do not understand the love for a big space bar. It looks completely irrational to me.
100% agree with you. It's just a bit complicated to get proper keycaps, while large spacebars are a common standard.

davkol

03 Feb 2016, 16:34

Corummo wrote:
vvp wrote: Because vim style cursor keys in a layer are so much more comfortable.
j-k-l-; == left-down-up-right
Surely you need to constantly press some modifier, even for basic text navigation. I know it could be a matter of getting used to but, in the long run, isn't it tiresome for the hands?
Standard keyboard layouts are terrible with their idiotic modifier placement in corners.

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Chyros

03 Feb 2016, 17:13

vvp wrote:
Corummo wrote:
Muirium wrote: I wonder how do you 60% enthusiasts can live without cursor and function keys.
I'd be simply lost without them. :)
Because vim style cursor keys in a layer are so much more comfortable.
j-k-l-; == left-down-up-right
Try playing something like Doom with it :p .

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colibius
Fiddling while Rome burns

03 Feb 2016, 17:28

Corummo wrote:
vvp wrote: Because vim style cursor keys in a layer are so much more comfortable.
j-k-l-; == left-down-up-right
Surely you need to constantly press some modifier, even for basic text navigation. I know it could be a matter of getting used to but, in the long run, isn't it tiresome for the hands?
I just do not understand the love for a big space bar. It looks completely irrational to me.
100% agree with you. It's just a bit complicated to get proper keycaps, while large spacebars are a common standard.
For me (see my hypothetical "citrus" keyboard above), I agree with vvp about spacebars and I think you can use one of your thumbs (instead of a pinky) to press the modifier. That's the key I called "Nav" above. Or you can use a locked layer that only changes once you press the key again (I'm new enough with this stuff to not know what this community refers to a key like caps lock).

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vvp

03 Feb 2016, 20:36

davkol wrote:
Corummo wrote:
vvp wrote: Because vim style cursor keys in a layer are so much more comfortable.
j-k-l-; == left-down-up-right
Surely you need to constantly press some modifier, even for basic text navigation. I know it could be a matter of getting used to but, in the long run, isn't it tiresome for the hands?
Standard keyboard layouts are terrible with their idiotic modifier placement in corners.
Yep, that is the point. One needs very comfortable access to layer shift key. Keyboards with dedicated thumb cluster can do it but also a split space bar keyboards can do it (if one part of the original space bar is dedicated to layer shift).

I'm one of the few who moved even the standard shift keys to the corresponding thumb clusters ... and it is great :-)

jacobolus

04 Feb 2016, 03:28

Muirium wrote: He and Dan Benjamin are wrong about the AEK II being better than the AEK I, though.
I don’t think they’ve ever tried the AEK I, or if so, I don’t think they remember.

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Muirium
µ

04 Feb 2016, 05:53

Nope. As I recall, one of them types on an AEK I during the podcast. That's the cue for the debate between AEK I versus II. I can't remember their reasoning (knowing those two there wasn't any) but I bet it's a case of familiarity.
Corummo wrote:
Muirium wrote: I wonder how do you 60% enthusiasts can live without cursor and function keys.
I'd be simply lost without them. :)
Like I would ever say that!

Image

We last covered this in Chyros' ranty thread. In short, we value different things, and use our keyboards differently. I prefer editing on an HHKB, the navigation layer is a thing of brilliance, but you'd never catch me playing Doom. Period.

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vvp

04 Feb 2016, 10:59

Chyros wrote:
vvp wrote: Because vim style cursor keys in a layer are so much more comfortable.
j-k-l-; == left-down-up-right
Try playing something like Doom with it :p .
Well most games alow to redefine controls. And for those which do not allow it ... I assume your keyboard supports more configurations which alow to change the layout quickly ... mine does :)

Anyway, one typically does not want to use inverted T arrow cluster to control a game. There is too small amount of additional keys near it. So if you need access to more keys like e.g. for weapon change, interact, etc. then you cannot place them near to the navigation keys ... which sucks. I guess that is the reason gamers typically use WASD or ESDF.

But you are right. To control a game I use IJKL and not jkl;.

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