Post a picture of your ideal keyboard layout!

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vvp

18 Oct 2015, 02:17

Miko wrote: Well, It works great for me, and I do obviously touchtype. Without that neither that layout, nor the ergodox makes much sense. And I'm not slow either. Give it a try, IMHO it's fantastic. It allows more functions on these precocious easy to reach keys. And yes, Space is tap-action, too.
OK, that probably means that emitting of the tap-key press event is postponed even more (that way you can filter out e.g. the spurious mouse move I mentioned) ... or you touch type very precisely and almost never produce a sequence like press-Enter, press-F, release-Enter, release-F by mistake.
Anyway, I play games sometimes and I definitely could not assign some tap-action to a key which is used in games. Contrary to most programs, games react also to the key press event (and not only to key release events). So key-press event timing is critical too. And I use k80cs, so I have enough thumb keys for dedicated layer-shift. No real use for tap keys for me. I was just curious about tap-key workings and space-fn. I considered tap-keys before k80cs was born.

mr_a500

19 Oct 2015, 01:57

This layout really sucks:

Image

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darkspider

19 Oct 2015, 02:10

The layout seems really good when I want to type Happy Birthday Louis.

mr_a500

19 Oct 2015, 15:47

I suppose. Since this is a cake, I think this layout has been optimized for "tongue typing".

It looks a bit yellowed though. Has anybody tried to Retrobright a cake?

KRKS

20 Oct 2015, 12:14

So I've been interested in symmetrically staggered keyboards for a while, and I kinda tested them using new cutting-edge "drawing it on a piece of paper up to scale" technology. The problem is, HyperMicro is too small(lack of the number row hit me the most), and HyperMini's symmetrical stagger layout is too weird. So I present to you, the HyperKarakasa(I hope you don't mind the name 7bit):

Image

The layout is still in the works, for example I'm not sure if I can get into tiling WM's, which the Mod key is for. If I drop them, I'd probably just make a single FN key under the spacebar. Other thing is removing one collumn of keys compared to a normal 60% - I'm not sure yet whether I prefer having access to {}?[]/ without a layer or closer Enter/Backspace. I also may use 2u Shifts and make Esc and Print Screen 1.5u to match, or put separate media keys and a volume slider above or to the left of the keyboard(I'm not that concerned about desk space).

Split spacebars or SpaceFN are out of the question because muh rhythm games(and they're not that great for tying either IMO), and I need right Alt because muh ąę. I'm open to all other suggestions though.

pcaro

20 Oct 2015, 15:43

I like the layout but that staggering is not usable. I have a Tripro keyboard with that 0.5 difference and I never could use to it.

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zslane

07 Nov 2015, 20:28

If I could wave a magic wand and wake up tomorrow in a universe with a different layout standard for the US, there would be no ANSI layout. In its place would be a layout we might call ISO-US, and it would look like this:
iso_us_layout_v01.jpg
Proposed ISO-US layout
iso_us_layout_v01.jpg (348.33 KiB) Viewed 1864 times
With this as a standard, the ISO Return key would be truly ubiquitous. Consequently it wouldn't be so expensive to add to sets (it would be in every base kit, after all). The red keys offer opportunities to expand what we regard as standard keyboard functionality. This layout also has no keys larger than 2.0u (apart from the spacebar), true symmetry on the bottom two rows, and a uniform 0.25u incremental rightways shift of the alphas as you progress down from row 1 to row 4.

I got rid of the 1.25u MENU key on the bottom row for symmetry reasons. However, if it truly is a vital key for most users, then maybe the upper right red key could take over that role, while the four red keys above the numpad could perhaps become media transport controls.

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Muirium
µ

07 Nov 2015, 21:21

I like the smaller right Shift. Reminds me of JIS. A little extra symmetry is nice. But that Escape key… and damn, that double deck Return!

The world would be better off with ANSI. Shorten a Shift, and ANSI is just as capable as ISO. Our dumb Return key adds literally nothing. ISO's single extra key comes entirely at the left Shift's expense. So silly, when the 2.75u right Shift could better afford it.

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zslane

07 Nov 2015, 21:26

I really don't have anything against the ISO Return. I like large Return keys. I didn't want a 1.25u Return key, so I extended it vertically to keep it "big".

As for the Escape key, well, I don't really have a need for the tilde key to be above the Tab key per se, and on 60%ers the Escape key often goes there anyway. Might as well make it a 1.25u mod key and give it pride of place right above Tab, where its mod color preserves that nice color column that everyone likes. No more changing an alpha to a mod color just to maintain that aesthetic.

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Muirium
µ

07 Nov 2015, 21:29

Not everyone likes that colour symmetry. Matteo says he actually likes the opposite! Can't understand it myself. I think he just likes forcing me to buy more kits in his GBs…

Tilde is a vital key for me. Command + Tilde is my window cycling shortcut, right above Command + Tab for app cycling. Brilliant placement. And the main thing I have to remember to do different on my HHKB. My Kishsaver has a macro to work around that! Because programmability.

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Chyros

08 Nov 2015, 00:06

zslane wrote: If I could wave a magic wand and wake up tomorrow in a universe with a different layout standard for the US, there would be no ANSI layout.
Fucking amen to that! Their return key is so obnoxious and the layout STILL gets less keys out of the same space, how can it be so wasteful?! xD

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Muirium
µ

08 Nov 2015, 00:21

Chyros wrote: Fucking amen to that! Their return key is so obnoxious
How so? Care to reason?

Here's mine about why I prefer ANSI:
Muirium wrote:
gogusrl wrote: Also, I never understood that reasoning Murium, you'd rather have an oversized \| which is barely used instead of a bigger enter which is pretty much the most used "modifier" beside space ?
Seeing as I usually remember to capitalise the beginning of sentences, I'm pretty sure Shift is the next used mod! But let's have a look:

Image

Image

Note the way ISO pushes the mods further out towards the edge of the keyboard. You have to stretch further to reach left Shift and Return. That's why I find ANSI a better layout. I don't need to reach as far.

You're right that \ is the ugly duckling on ANSI. Thanks to the staggering both ANSI and ISO share. But I'm cooler with that than that huge, symmetry destroying, double Return stuck all the way out east! Besides, the best layout of all is a little evolution of ANSI called the HHKB:

Image

Bring Backspace on down. Why did we ever shove it all the way up there on the top row anyway? Genius.

Hmm… I need to shoot a better picture of my HHKB. I just wasted several minutes trying to find a good layout overview image online and only EK's watermarked one is half competent.

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stratokaster

08 Nov 2015, 00:35

I think ISO layout is worse than ANSI. Apple's ISO keyboards are especially unusable because their Return is like 0.5cm wide.

Also in some languages (like Russian, for example) there are letters on such keys as ` and \. It's a bit inconvenient when those letters spring up in unexpected places. When I'm using an ANSI keyboard I usually press the left side of the Return key with my pinkie, with ISO I need to stretch my pinkie further and I don't like it. The same is true for the left Shift which, for me at least, is the most important modifier key.

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Chyros

08 Nov 2015, 01:09

Muirium wrote:
Chyros wrote: Fucking amen to that! Their return key is so obnoxious
How so? Care to reason?
The way I see it, there's a reason why some keys are bigger than others. The space bar is huge because it's used often and you need quick and convenient access to it. You don't really want to have to "aim" for it, you just want to hit {anywhere below} and then that's it. I've used 1u space bars before on "naked" keyboards and it's horrible.

Something similar goes for the return key for me. I don't want to have to aim for it, I just want to hit {anywhere to the right} for it. If you stretch your pinky, which is what I use for the return key (probably against all conventions of touch typing), it can pretty much ONLY land on the spaces occupied by the ISO return key. With the ANSI return, I often hit \ instead. The ANSI return appears to me to be more suited to people who can touch type, you know, type properly (unlike me xD).

Proponents of the ANSI return would probably say it's easier to reach, and that's exactly why I don't understand why people don't like the bigass return more. Use the space wasted by the ANSI layout to put in a bigass enter instead without having to sacrifice the backspace. Either that, or use the Focus layout (either the modern or the old one).

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Muirium
µ

08 Nov 2015, 01:28

Hitting Return with your small finger — I prefer the Canadian name for pinkie, my fingers are all the same colour after all! — is totally legit for touch typing. And guess what that wee finger doesn't like to have to do? Stretch out sideways, away from the rest of your hand. ANSI Return gives it an extra unit on the near side of the key to hit. Perfect! Just like ANSI makes left Shift an easier target on the other side.

Stretching your little fingers out is one of the top causes of keyboard related RSI. Understandably. I keep it to a minimum with my floating style anyway, but it's something to watch out for.

As it happens, I always hit ISO Return on the bottom deck. Return is a home row key for me, it's wrong when put anywhere else. So ISO's Return is effectively smaller, as I use it. Speaking of which, IBM thought the same thing with the Kishsaver:

Image

Interesting extra key. No idea what they were up to there, and certainly not my style. I swapped "PD3" for an ANSI Return of course:

Image

ANSI Return and left Shift cost me 2 keys of the Kishsaver's 62. But I added one of my own by splitting Backspace, as you should. Conveniently, IBM's PD2 cap has a good legend for its new use. So much better!

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Chyros

08 Nov 2015, 01:41

Muirium wrote: Hitting Return with your small finger — I prefer the Canadian name for pinkie, my fingers are all the same colour after all! — is totally legit for touch typing. And guess what that wee finger doesn't like to have to do? Stretch out sideways, away from the rest of your hand. ANSI Return gives it an extra unit on the near side of the key to hit. Perfect! Just like ANSI makes left Shift an easier target on the other side.
"Stretching" is a bad choice of words actually. I actually just knock my hand sideways, as if I were swiping on a mobile phone. So while your target is horizontal, mine is vertical.

Still advocating the bigass return though! :P

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stratokaster

08 Nov 2015, 01:42

Muirium, it's an interesting layout you have here. Looks somewhat HHKB-ish.

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Muirium
µ

08 Nov 2015, 01:44

Funny that. Now that you mention it, there is a passing resemblance…
Chyros wrote: So while your target is horizontal, mine is vertical.
Well, if you want to envision it that way, sure. But why not vertical Shift keys too? I use them more often than Return.
Chyros wrote: Still advocating the bigass return though! :P
Whoah now! Big Ass Enter is a blight on some otherwise excellent keyboards. What a waste of space! What a waste of Space Invaders too! Fortunately the IBM AT Model F — the very keyboard NMB and others were aping — is just as good for rejigging as my Kishsaver here. You can split that Big Ass in two — ahem! — either ANSI or ISO style, as you choose. Alas, the same can't be said for most all of its copycats.

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zslane

08 Nov 2015, 02:47

Muirium wrote: Command + Tilde is my window cycling shortcut, right above Command + Tab for app cycling. Brilliant placement.
Command + Escape becomes your window cycling shortcut. What's the big deal? If you already have something else assigned to Command + Escape, well then you've got issues nobody can help you with. ;)

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Muirium
µ

08 Nov 2015, 03:03

When I'm on a 60%, Escape lives next to 1, right above Tab. But when I'm on a TKL (or even the occasional fullsize…) Escape lives up in its own row with the function keys. That doesn't bother me at all, as I essentially karate chop Escape when I need it! Seriously, I turn my left hand on its side and give Escape a little Bruce Lee! That's the whole point of Escape for me: CANCEL!! Not a key to be taken lightly. Escape is the only key of the whole lot I for which have such a gesture.

But when I'm on a 60%, backtick / tilde isn't where it should be. I have a deep habit for left thumb on Command with left middle finger on Tab and tilde for window management. I nip about between apps and windows very frequently, of course, and I loathe to do any of that by mouse when I'm already at my keyboard. So, on a 60%, I do naturally hit Command + Esc, thinking it's Command + tilde. That's no problem on the Kishsaver, because I have a macro that looks for this precise combo and substitutes it for Command + tilde. But the HHKB is not programmable, and as it's USB, I can't run it through Soarer's Converter either. That's the one board where I must remember tilde is far away indeed. Which I generally don't for the first hour or so, much to my bemusement!

If I used Command + Escape instead, I'd have to unlearn a longstanding habit, and very pointlessly reach over other perfectly good keys just to get to Escape on everything but my 60%s. Screw it.

User avatar
Chyros

08 Nov 2015, 03:32

Muirium wrote: Well, if you want to envision it that way, sure. But why not vertical Shift keys too?
My finger rests on the shift key, so I don't have to find it. Shift is just {pinky} to me.
Chyros wrote: Still advocating the bigass return though! :P
Whoah now! Big Ass Enter is a blight on some otherwise excellent keyboards. What a waste of space!
Why a waste of space? The return key is more than useful enough to invest space in, surely. And what else is so critical that it needs all that space anyway? Cut down the right shift, or kill one of the winkeys or that weird menu key, or just have a normal left shift on an ANSI layout, or even make some of the mods 1u instead of 1.25u; all simple options to get a more useful return key.

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zslane

08 Nov 2015, 05:12

Well, in a universe with my ISO-US layout, the backtick/tilde would never have been above Tab in the first place, and so its absence there on an HHKB (or any 60%er) would not be unusual, and would not have led to learning any unique Command + backtick gestures just for it. You'd be using Command + Escape regardless of keyboard and you'd be a happy camper (except for the big arse Return which would rub your arse the wrong way in any universe, I'm sure).

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Linkert

08 Nov 2015, 11:27

Image

Posted this in oracle answers, didn't realise this thread existed.

Here we go.

Few problems with ISO and ANSI boards for me:

No Å, Ä & Ö on a ANSI (duuh..). A workaround on OS X that works goes like this: alt+u-a/o and alt+a will produce äöå. Works OK, but it's still a hassle.

If I switch to ISO I'll get my precious åäö but all the symbols that matter in a linux system will be hidden deep behind the shift and altgr layers making certain shortcuts an impossibility forcing me to invent workarounds. Why on earth would someone decide that the slash should sit on shift+7 and not be accesible through the main layer?
ANSI symbol-layout rules.

Basically the ISO layout features a ANSI symbol-layout adapted for ISO boards and Swedish Dvorak. Included the acute, grave and colon, semicolon on easily accessible altgr positions on the board.

On the issue of Swedish Dvorak. There is no standard Swedish Dvorak layout, but there is a Norwegian one. Followed the position of the three extra characters having period and comma at the standard Dvorak layout.

Just because I can, I translated all the modifiers into Swedish except for Tab as I didn't find any good translation (escape is coming). Also 'scroll lock' gets scraped and replaced by a dedicated KVM switch shortcut. Pause/Break gets replaced by a 'termination' key that will serve as a application killer button.

Got a few more modifications to go, then I'll be ready to send it of to WASDKB. If it comes out clear and crisp I will release the layout SVG, XKB and OS X kblayout-file and host it on my site for the few but passionate Dvorak users in Sweden :)

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stratokaster

08 Nov 2015, 12:28

Linkert, I understand very well what you're talking about. I use English, Russian and Ukrainian languages daily. Russian has 33 letters and Ukrainian has 33 letters + obligatory apostrophe (it's not just a punctuation mark as in other languages, it actually has a phonetical meaning).

I suspect fitting this amount of symbols on an ANSI keyboard was not an easy feat. And in many ways, Russian standard ЙЦУКЕН layout is clearly superior to QWERTY. For example, in Russian the most oft-used letters are pressed with index fingers (unlike in QWERTY, where such letters as A and O are pressed with either a pinkie or a ring finger). Many commonly used letters combinations (like ПР, ПРО, ЕА, СМ, ВА, ВЫ, МИ, НЕ, ПА, ТЬ) form continuous chords which is extremely convenient.

The problem is that with this amount of letters, there is no space left even for the punctuation marks, let alone special Unix characters. In the most common Russian layout (which is used in Windows) the comma is in the upper register, which is almost criminally stupid, if you ask me:
400px-KB_Eng-Rus_QWERTY(ЙЦУКЕН).svg.png
400px-KB_Eng-Rus_QWERTY(ЙЦУКЕН).svg.png (14.96 KiB) Viewed 1707 times
To make matters worse, Apple actually has its own Mac-Cyrillic layout which is based on an old MS-DOS standard:
MC184RS.jpeg
MC184RS.jpeg (213.14 KiB) Viewed 1707 times
For what it's worth, this layout is even worse because now both the period and the comma are in the upper register and are located too far from the home row. It would be much better if the period was next to the left shift and the comma right before the right shift — in that case ISO would make a lot of sense for us Russian-speakers! As it is, the additional buttons of the ISO layout are not used in any meaningful way, but the left shift and the return suffer for no apparent reason.

The old DOS Russian layout, in turn, is based on the standard Russian layout for typewriters:
ru-typewriter.png
ru-typewriter.png (10.06 KiB) Viewed 1707 times

Now this layout is the best of all simply because the digits are in the upper register and the punctuation marks are not. I also like that you don't need to stretch your pinkie too much to press Ё. However, since this layout was meant for typewriters, it has symbols that are not used anymore (like the pipe which was used to make tables back in the day) and is overall not familiar to 99% of PC users.

One day, I will try to combine the strengths of all three Russian layouts and make one of my own.

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Muirium
µ

08 Nov 2015, 15:47

I like the shifted number row. That's one thing French AZERTY does right. If you have a numpad, why the hell wouldn't you want punctuation up there instead!

I suggest doing it on an IBM AT Model F, if possible. You can open them up fairly easily, and then edit the physical layout to give yourself extra keys if you need them. They all show up fine if you have a flipper and spring for each one. Left Shift *and* right Shift can be split in two. So can that foolishly oversized "Big Ass" Return key they came with. You can even split it into 3 parts — like the 4 Kishsavers in my photo a few posts up the page — though I prefer ANSI myself.

You can do all this on a Model M if you prefer. They're easier to find. But you must bust the plastic rivets and do a bolt mod.

Anyway: here's the real win. Buckling spring caps are all the same shape. No difference between rows. You can move them around the keyboard as easily as DSA sphericals on MX, but while still retaining a nice curved typing surface (thanks to IBM's curved backplate). This gives you a lot of freedom to take control of your layout. And Unicomp is still around for making custom legends if you need them. Dyesub on PBT, no less! They're much more flexible, and cheaper, for single keys than even SP.

Mind, I do wonder how competent they'd be at handling Cyrillic. Anyone tried?

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keycap

11 Nov 2015, 00:12

I recently made this layout.
keyboard-layout (4).png
keyboard-layout (4).png (135.82 KiB) Viewed 1637 times
It looks really odd compared to a standard keyboard layout, but it makes sense because the backspace key is located on the home row.

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ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

11 Nov 2015, 16:25

Nice, I love symmetrical layouts. I never understood why the today's standards are such unsymmetrical.

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Chyros

11 Nov 2015, 16:59

ramnes wrote: Nice, I love symmetrical layouts. I never understood why the today's standards are such unsymmetrical.
Haha I'd say quite the opposite, why would you want a symmetrical keyboard? My hands don't do the same things on a keyboard anyway xD .

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Muirium
µ

11 Nov 2015, 19:08

Symmetry is a vital component of beauty. Nature loves symmetry. We're programmed to value it highly in human faces. It's a sign of good genes.

So why the preference for assymetry? Defend yourself!

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Chyros

11 Nov 2015, 19:49

Muirium wrote: Symmetry is a vital component of beauty. Nature loves symmetry. We're programmed to value it highly in human faces. It's a sign of good genes.

So why the preference for assymetry? Defend yourself!
:p

To me, a symmetrical keyboard simply doesn't look like a keyboard. Besides, you really don't want to know what your face would look like if it was completely symmetrical. Try mirroring half of your face, you'd freak out :p .

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