ISO users

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phinix

30 Mar 2019, 01:23

I was wondering how many of you guys from "ISO" countries, actually use ISO keyboards?
It's more expensive/harder to get ISO kits included in new key caps sets, so was wondering do you drop using ISO and go for ANSI to make it easier?

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depletedvespene

30 Mar 2019, 01:54

Yes, we do use ISO keyboards. And yes, the new fad of dropping ISO support in favor of "reduced costs" (which then are negated by dumb novelties and whatnot) is a serious problem.

There's two distinct issues in going from a ISO to an ANSI layout:

1) Replacing the 1U \| key and the ISO Enter with the 1.5U \| key with the ANSI Enter; this isn't that bad, as no key is lost, although some national layouts do suffer some pain for it (for example, in the Spanish (Latin America layout), the {/[ and the }/] characters become unnaturally separated; in the Spanish (Spain) layout, the Ç character is so far away from the rest of the letters that it feels like an insult).

2) Replacing the 1.25U left shift and the <> key with a single 2.25U key; this is a PAIN IN THE ASS, as those characters (and more, depending on the national layout - some put | or \ on the AltGr layer there) become unavailable unless some patching measure is taken. Heck, I even call that "ANSI shielding" and is a staple of my custom national layouts.


Of course, this does not count non-mech enthusiasts, which will use anything available (meaning that in a country like mine, where almost all that is on the market is ISO, ISO rules unquestioned).

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Darkshado

30 Mar 2019, 03:16

The fact that apart from Unicomp *no one* makes stock keysets in my usual layout has put a significant damper on any set collecting ambitions. Also: a preference for PBT because I make ABS shine in no time, and costs because already expensive MX or Alps ISO sets would be imports. Sure, I touch type, but I still like having the legends for other users, aesthetics and practical reasons (i.e. rarely used symbols).

Much like depletedvespene, using my national layout on an ANSI board is a problem, especially for coding in C-like languages because every closing bracket becomes this awkward pinky stretch to the | \ key. The key next to left shift gives me guillemets and the degree symbol, all characters I use regularly.

Mechanical keyboard choices are also much more limited without resorting to imports or specialty brands such as WASD; all the big US brands (e.g. Logitech, Corsair) only sell US ANSI mechanicals up here, dismissing the fact there's 8 million or so Québécois and deigning offering us only rubber domes with a proper layout.

ollir

30 Mar 2019, 08:43

I'm originally an ISO user but I converted to ANSI because I felt it'd open up some keyboard possibilities. Now I just use ANSI layout even on my ISO boards. Life is good.

Findecanor

30 Mar 2019, 09:17

phinix wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 01:23
I was wondering how many of you guys from "ISO" countries, actually use ISO keyboards?
I am offended that you should even ask that, and how you put the question.

I don't use "ISO". I use Swedish layout, thank you very much.
Because I am from Sweden, and I type in the Swedish language.

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

30 Mar 2019, 11:34

always found ISO IT a stupid layout. I switched to ansi mainly because it's more programmer friendly, but I like the big-ass ISO enter. Maybe ansi with iso enter is the best of the two worlds.

Tias

30 Mar 2019, 11:58

I use boards with both ISO and ANSI-layout, but I exclusively type using the Swedish\Finnish-language setting on my computer. If I could choose, and there where enough options available, I would exclusively use boards with ISO and Swe\Fin layout.

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depletedvespene

30 Mar 2019, 13:02

Findecanor wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 09:17
phinix wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 01:23
I was wondering how many of you guys from "ISO" countries, actually use ISO keyboards?
I am offended that you should even ask that, and how you put the question.

I don't use "ISO". I use Swedish layout, thank you very much.
Because I am from Sweden, and I type in the Swedish language.
That reminds me of a point that is not stressed enough: the difference between the physical layouts (ISO, ANSI, BAE, JIS, ANSISO, etc.) and the national/logical layouts that go on top of it/them.

The "common, vanilla" US layout is the quintessential ANSI layout, even though "ISO US" does exist; most layouts for European languages, including English as used in the UK, were designed with the explicit assumption they would be used on top of an ISO keyboard... and that is why forcing them on top of an ANSI keyboard produces bad results, like the examples I pointed out in my previous article... or worse, like the bad joke of a keyboard I ranted about.

Rauha

30 Mar 2019, 19:32

The only non-ISO layout I use is the Whatever-Freaky-Layout my Pingmaster has. Everything else I've in finnish/swedish ISO (I'm a finn).

And yeah, that has meant either extra costs or skipping certain things due to them not having proper layout. But there are so many keyboards, so many options out there, that I don't really care.

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ingmar

01 Apr 2019, 07:36

depletedvespene wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 13:02
That reminds me of a point that is not stressed enough: the difference between the physical layouts (ISO, ANSI, BAE, JIS, ANSISO, etc.) and the national/logical layouts that go on top of it/them.
Absolutely. Anything other than US on an ANSI quickly becomes a PITA. On the other hand, ISO is pretty flexible. Even though my "native" layout would be German, I use an English one because of the much more sensibly placed special chars, parentheses etc. If that means having umlauts on layer 3, so be it. (I actually use my own custom layout. If I had to choose a stock one, I'd prefer UK over US. The eurkey layout is pretty good, too.)

That said, I really like the big ass enter key.

ETA: I meant the L-shaped enter key, of course ...
Last edited by ingmar on 01 Apr 2019, 14:02, edited 2 times in total.

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AJM

01 Apr 2019, 10:55

BTW: The ISO enter is a "properly sized" enter. :D
The classic "Big Ass Enter" is found on keyboards, that are not quite sure, what layout they want to be - like the Model F AT.

Shihatsu

01 Apr 2019, 12:36

I do use ISO-DE, and I will stick to it forever. Allthough I do programming, and allthough I can touch type to a certain degree I cannot touch type in multiple different layouts. I work in quite a large company, we have "desk sharing". Yes I can bring in my own keyboard, but YES it has to be ISO-DE.

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jani80k

01 Apr 2019, 12:43

I am an ISO-DE user. Not because I am stuck with ISO, but because I am stuck with DE. If you want to build a keyboard that is usable in real life, it has to have the ÖÄÜ keys on it, sorry. If there was something like ANSI-DE, I would not have a problem using it.

I am also sometimes a programmer and it is not a problem using ISO because my programming language does not use many brackets (ABAP) and was designed in Germany by guys using ISO-DE keyboards ;) .

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Prelim

01 Apr 2019, 13:06

from my side, I ONLY use ISO boards!

although I prefer ISO-PT (I'm portuguese) I also have some boards with ISO-DE and ISO-IT caps, which have similarities with PT layout.

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Khers

01 Apr 2019, 13:12

While I'm from a country who's official layout is ISO, I've long since left the ISO-layout behind. Getting keycaps for cheapsies has nothing to do with it, however – I just massively prefer the HHKB-layout; some aspects of which are incompatible with the misshapen ISO enter.

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hansichen

01 Apr 2019, 13:51

I personally don't really care whether my board is iso or ansi, I can get used to both. I mainly care that my board/layout is German. Most of my boards are normal iso-de but I also use and love my hhkb (but of course with German layout).

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depletedvespene

01 Apr 2019, 14:06

hansichen wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 13:51
I personally don't really care whether my board is iso or ansi, I can get used to both. I mainly care that my board/layout is German. Most of my boards are normal iso-de but I also use and love my hhkb (but of course with German layout).
I spent about nine years using an ISO full-size Model M keyboard at work and an ANSI Model M SSK at work, so I trained myself to use either Enter key by hitting it on the area that is common to both (that's where I came up with the idea of the TIE Enter key... that I'd later discover was already a thing in the Kishsavers.

I find myself again in a similar situation, as I use an ISO TKL (WASD) keyboard at work and since last week I'm intentionally testing the Iberoamerican layout on the ANSI SSK at home. Took me about two days to retake the practice of hitting the common area of the Enter key and not press the 1.5U /\ key above it.

Gampela

01 Apr 2019, 19:29

I prefer ANSI but with the Nordic layout. ANSI because I like the more easily reachable enter and left-shift keys and the more symmetrical look. Also, I feel like my left little finger isn't really dexterious enough to differentiate the z and the extra key we get with ISO from each other resulting in too many miss clicks when touch typing.

Nordic layout because I'm just used to the placement of the letters and this way I can still use other people's keyboards without hassle. I've tried US international and Swerty layouts but they just seem too cumbersome to use for me. Fortunately international sets don't seem that rare nowdays. Hats off to kbdfans.

davkol

01 Apr 2019, 19:34

something something ErgoDox

Gampela

01 Apr 2019, 19:43

davkol wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 19:34
something something ErgoDox
Ergodox could be cool but feels a bit too big of a commitment for me. For now at least.

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phinix

01 Apr 2019, 21:52

Findecanor wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 09:17
phinix wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 01:23
I was wondering how many of you guys from "ISO" countries, actually use ISO keyboards?
I am offended that you should even ask that, and how you put the question.

I don't use "ISO". I use Swedish layout, thank you very much.
Because I am from Sweden, and I type in the Swedish language.
Chill your balls, man. ISO and language layout are two different things. That is why I used "ISO countries" form to ask, wasn't planning to offend anyone.
If you like, I could ask "non-ANSI" layouts ;)

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depletedvespene

01 Apr 2019, 22:18

phinix wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 21:52
Findecanor wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 09:17
phinix wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 01:23
I was wondering how many of you guys from "ISO" countries, actually use ISO keyboards?
I am offended that you should even ask that, and how you put the question.

I don't use "ISO". I use Swedish layout, thank you very much.
Because I am from Sweden, and I type in the Swedish language.
Chill your balls, man. ISO and language layout are two different things. That is why I used "ISO countries" form to ask, wasn't planning to offend anyone.
If you like, I could ask "non-ANSI" layouts ;)
You DO realize that "ISO" and "non-ANSI" aren't the same, right?

User avatar
phinix

02 Apr 2019, 02:18

depletedvespene wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 22:18
phinix wrote:
01 Apr 2019, 21:52
Findecanor wrote:
30 Mar 2019, 09:17

I am offended that you should even ask that, and how you put the question.

I don't use "ISO". I use Swedish layout, thank you very much.
Because I am from Sweden, and I type in the Swedish language.
Chill your balls, man. ISO and language layout are two different things. That is why I used "ISO countries" form to ask, wasn't planning to offend anyone.
If you like, I could ask "non-ANSI" layouts ;)
You DO realize that "ISO" and "non-ANSI" aren't the same, right?
Yes I do. Using "non-ANSI" would be simply to exclude ANSI as usual standard of key caps you get. Any "non-ANSI" are not always present, plus in many cases (like for example NorDeUK kits) add more costs.

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vometia
irritant

02 Apr 2019, 02:57

I've never been able to get on with ANSI keyboards, particularly the horizontal enter key, in spite of them being quite commonplace and My First Computer having a not dissimilar layout. Dunno why, it's just never been something I ever found a comfortable layout and I immediately gravitated towards... well, maybe not specifically ISO but anything with a vertical enter key, like the LK201.

Occasionally I'm half tempted by ANSI because of the additional choice but I know I'll never get used to that enter key, and even worse if it's a US layout with "/@ etc reversed. Sometimes I seem to adapt fairly slowly. Or not at all!

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vvp

02 Apr 2019, 09:39

I preferred ansi to iso when I used a standard layout. Most keyboards use iso here.

The reason was simple. I used enter more often than backslash.

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Cholo

02 Apr 2019, 10:37

I do, I can't even get used to my 60% Pok3r, I can't even imagine using keyboard with different layout than ISO/IT.


In general, I like the ISO layout compared to the ANSI, but the national differentiations are quite silly sometimes.
Imho the language/national differentiations should have been applied on the second layer or in a different way by software.
In italian we need accented letters (à è é ì ò ù) but I don't see a valid reason for them to have a reserved key, considering we can't even write them capitalized!
Bind them on a different layer, CTRL+e = è, CTRL+SHIFT+e =é or such.
Or just give me a generic accent key to press after the letter: many italians, when they need the accented capitalized Es. (È, É), write E' using the apostrofe, for example. A couple of keys should cover accents for most of the languages in europe, imho.

TheBarista

02 Apr 2019, 12:58

Just got hold of a Model M with norwegian layout, so I do now. Really like the bigass enter and gotta have the Æ Å Ø.
Its a pain in the ass to find native NOR keyboards tho

Findecanor

02 Apr 2019, 13:27

TheBarista wrote:
02 Apr 2019, 12:58
Just got hold of a Model M with norwegian layout, so I do now. Really like the bigass enter and gotta have the Æ Å Ø.
Did you really get a Model M or did you get a Model F AT?
The Model F AT's kind of Enter key is what is more commonly called "Big-Ass Enter" around here. ;)

Hmm... Maybe a "big-ass" Enter key would fit on the Model M. I have not tried. Most Model M and F keys are interchangeable.

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vometia
irritant

02 Apr 2019, 19:53

Cholo wrote:
02 Apr 2019, 10:37
Bind them on a different layer, CTRL+e = è, CTRL+SHIFT+e =é or such.
Or just give me a generic accent key to press after the letter: many italians, when they need the accented capitalized Es. (È, É), write E' using the apostrofe, for example. A couple of keys should cover accents for most of the languages in europe, imho.
The compose key: I'm astonished it never found its way into Windows as it's so useful for doing stuff like this on any keyboard without needing to know arcane and obscure control codes. There are a few fiddly examples (e.g. ñ is particularly irritating to type IME) but they can generally be reprogrammed with little effort; plus you get to write things like Spın̈al Tap properly. :D

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Wintermute1974
Tessier-Ashpool S.A.

02 Apr 2019, 19:55

You can put me down as another ISO-DE user. I'm willing to wait for keycap sets that fit my needs. No matter how nice an ANSI set is, I won't enjoy typing on it, so I ignore it.

There's not a day that goes by when I'm not thankful for 7bit making his awesome SA keycaps in ISO with full international support. They are my favorite keycaps of all time by appearance, feel, and sound.

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