Current Keyboard Layout

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by EvilDragon, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Okay, so it's finally time to work on the keyboard layout.

    I should get it finished until mid next week.

    So please - don't turn this thread into another "let's see how many posts can be made!"-thread - only post, when you REALLY go something important to post!

    This is not finalized, it's a first proposal I created. It's basically a mixture of Sabers and 8Bits ideas, but I tried to fix some things.

    Sabers layout had combinations where you need to press Fn and Shift at the same time - I tried to prevent this.

    8bit had some important keys like backspace in areas you can't reach easily - so I tried to fix that to.

    The current design idea is this:

    The most-used keys should be possible to reach without Fn, whereas second-most-used keys should be Fn and easily reachable.

    I put Keys not used so often to the remaining keys.

    What do you think of that current layout?

    Usable? Not usable?

    Please don't simply post stuff like "Put X key to Y".

    ONLY post if you can explain WHY a key should or shouldn't be at a certain area.

    But don't explain it in long texts.

    One or two sentences should be enough to explain why a key should be somewhere else!

    DO NOT do lengthy posts please - they are hard to read and I don't have too much time. Keep it simple and readable, okay?

    I'm off to bed now and hope I can still read that thread... I hope it doesn't have 30 pages again within 20 minutes.
    cinaeco, moxie, FaeMinx and 1 other person like this.
  2. DaMummy

    DaMummy Soldier Paste

    Nov 5, 2009
    Aren't oau-umlauts said in aou in the german alphabet, or right after it, but still in that order? What's the logic behind Enter being in 2nd row and not 3rd?
  3. FaeMinx

    FaeMinx Rainbow Liberation Instigation

    Dec 11, 2010
    outside looking in side looking out
    I just wonder why - and + appear twice on the fn layer on both the X and C keys, and what I assume are the brightness controls?

    Why not have fn and brightness adjust keyboard backlight instead?
  4. slaeshjag

    slaeshjag ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Apr 8, 2010
    ~Stockholm, Sweden
    +- on X, C makes those characters, + - on brightness keys are keypad brightness :p
    FaeMinx likes this.
  5. thatgui

    thatgui Advanced Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    Did ED change the layout after your post ? Because it actually is as you describe in your last sentence: the mathematical characters are on [x] and [c] and the two buttons on the left in the top key row are for screen/keyboard brightness.

    To the layout:

    - I don't like the position of ESC/Super: on the Pandora I quickly started to reassign keys in emulators to not use the keys between the nubs (for "start" and "select") as they aren't easily reachable

    - save one button by controlling the brightness for screen/keyboard with one button only (endless loop)

    - Do we really need "PrintScreen" ?

    - "SysReq" is gone ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2015
  6. bzar

    bzar A Commando

    Sep 22, 2008
    I can live with this :) . A couple of clarifying questions:

    • What is Fn actually implemented as? A driver level modifier like in pandora? Some software modifier key like meta or hyper?
    • Select probably is "L-Ctrl", not "Ctrl-L"?
    • Is AltGr there mapped as just R-Alt?
  7. txus

    txus Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    I would completely reverse the order of the top system buttons mainly for the following 2 reasons:

    - Most people are right handed, and also most people usually adjust the brightness more often than toggling bt or wifi

    - Completely reversing would also mean brightness+ is RIGHT of brightness-, which is consistent with most usability guidelines and existing UIs

    Just a small change that I think would increase intuitive handling quite a bit.

    That's it, everything else is good!
    Tenka and ible like this.
  8. ashcloud

    ashcloud Lactose Intolerant Volcano

    Oct 5, 2010
    Is L2 a hareware modifier FN Key? This would result in L2 being unusable for anything else. This is nothing I would want on a shoulder button.
  9. Askarus

    Askarus Hardcore Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    I dislike the shoulder buttons (what else)

    For me Shift and Ctrl should be on the big one.

    Shift is more likely to be used than Fn.

    At least for simple Text typing.

    (And having F7 on Y is bad for me because it's not nice to swap the Z and Y button now ...)
    ible likes this.
  10. lennaick

    lennaick Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    This layout is really bad IMO

    é è à ù ç œ are not reachable at all…

    It look like those key < > / \ - " ' ~ : did not act as dead key…

    So it's really easy to type english and german but no more.

    Scrol lock, Break, Pause, Print screen should be elsewhere those key might be usefull but should not trow away usefull key.
    myNewUsername likes this.
  11. ible

    ible professional vim user

    Mar 24, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    ah, interesting!  a totally different direction than expected.  thanks for providing more input :) .

    i'm not a fan of backspace being on the gamepad buttons, in case we want to have a game that allows text input and gamepad input.  (someone else had this concern earlier, so i'm not the originator of it.)

    I also would prefer keyboard/screen brightness +/- to be on the right side.

    i agree with lennaick in that some of the keys (break, pause, and scr-lock) are very seldom used and don't warrant the real estate.


    Here would be the ible touch on things:

    I try to cluster things that look (and behave) similar, so it's easy to scan and find what you're looking for.  I think this makes it a bit "cleaner" to look at compared to the original, and allows quicker accents on the E (since the diacritics are just above it, if turned to "US international" layout).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2015
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  12. ekianjo

    ekianjo Hardcore Member

    May 7, 2012
    神戸市、日本 (Japan)
    Totally agree, this is a big flaw in this current version. I hope this can be fixed. 
  13. myNewUsername

    myNewUsername Member

    Jun 14, 2014
    pros: Good for coding, Linux shell an writing English.

    con: Does not work for Norwegian writing and prbly other latin based languages also. I think international support was solved very nicely (by _wb_ ?) in the long thread.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2015
  14. Alec

    Alec Member

    Mar 5, 2009
    I really don't like the Esc key - it's very hard to reach there and requires moving the entire hand to get to there (And I have large hands). I use it very often when editing in Vi  on the Pandora.

    Considering Fn is on the left trigger, I think Fn+/ would be a nice spot for it. Or even some place like Fn-M.

    I do like the Tab and the / as top-level keys though :)
  15. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Thanks for the feedback, that's really useful :)

     Ah, right, haven't checked the order, thats still from 8bits layout. Fixed.

    About your second question:

    If we swap that: What's the logic behind Shift being in 2nd row and not 3rd.

    Both buttons can be reached easily, there's no real reason why they are as they currently are, I could swap them as well, but why?

    What improvement would you see if we swapped them?

    Well, the idea is: Super (or whatever we'll call it) should be used as on the Pandora for a Pop-Up Menu.

    Both Super and ESC should be accessible, but not accidentally - imagine playing a game and accidentally hitting ESC and it quits right away.

    Same for the pop-up-menus: I often disable it on Laptops which have a non-standard key layout, as it's annoying when menus pop up while you're writing a text while accidentally hitting SUPER (= Win key, for those who didn't know).

    So I'd rather have them a bit away from the other keys.

    What extra button do you need?

    No idea - I just added it as I didn't know what else I should put there.

    We had all the buttons we need. Same for Scroll Lock, Break and Pause (are they needed anymore?)

    Hm, I never used that key before, just read about it... sounds to be useful for Linux, even though I never used it before.

    Can we put it under some modifier key? 

    A software modifier like Meta or Hyper. We do not have fixed hardware modifier keys anymore in the system.

    True. Well, don't give too much about the labels yet. I didn't think about the label names, I just made the layout so that everyone can understand what I mean here :)

    Ah, right. R-Alt is called AltGr on a german keyboard, that's why I named it like that. Fixed :)

    Good idea, done! :)  

    They are - for me, L1 and R1 are the big (lower) ones.

    If you think of the keyboard layout in a 3D style and fold parts of the shoulder button down, it would also be like that.

    So maybe I didn't understand the shoulder buttons picture properly, but fixed it in the layout now to make it better understandable. 

    Hmm, didn't think of that.

    Question is: Where should we put it without breaking anything else?
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  16. Eight Bit

    Eight Bit Hardcore Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
  17. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Ah, Vi. That's an argument.

    I don't usually use the shoulder buttons that much for typing, so having ESC reachable with the shoulder button Fn only (well, mostly only) is not that nice for me.

    What about putting ESC on the 2?

    § could move to Menu and Menu could move to Super as well.

    Then we'd have Super and Menu on one button, which would make sense.

    Good idea?
  18. Xcl4m4t10n

    Xcl4m4t10n Advanced Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    I can go with this one but it miss the ñ.
  19. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Well, I don't really plan to favor any special language except german (for apparent reasons ;) ), as in that case more people would cry for other languages at well.

    I also don't think é or è is needed, as it's totally easy pressing ´ and then e afterwards (which is how we do this on German keyboards at least).

    Well, the MAIN layout should be based on English, with keys moved around to make them more comfortable to press and then some special keys (like German Umlauts).

    You kept the US layout for all the number keys, but on the ? there's / on US keyboards :)

    Looks a bit better, missing some toggle keys though and I'm not sure backspace on Fn and Space is a good idea... though maybe not too bad either.

    I never had issues with Tab on the Pandora.
  20. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

    May 24, 2008
    Anything that's tied to a hardware interrupt. I'm assuming "Super" is on a hardware interrupt, same as the Pandora button was. We can trap that interrupt and combine it with some modifiers (shift+ctrl, for example) to activate SysRq mode and apply the standard functionality. If pressed without holding the modifiers then the interrupt returns immediately and it does whatever it normally does. Super becomes very super.
    Are you 100% certain that's what you want? That means that that pressing FN-E will NOT produce F4, it will produce FN and E. If you make it an absolute software modifier then anything that expects the Fn keys will need to be rewritten to use this new modifier instead. That'll be simple for some stuff and complex for others.

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