Final keyboard layout proposals - Discussion thread


Natsu

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Roman is fine. +-  is fine too. Also, the action buttons show only have action symbols/labels. Too much clutter otherwise.
 
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Grench

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Shifted space bar one key to the right for easier reaching
I am confused.  Wouldn't it be easier to reach with both hands if it was centered?  I don't think you will find much support for it in that location.
For this layout, I was thinking to my own usage of handheld keyboards that have a space in the middle. What I realized was that even in two-handed typing mode, I prefer to press the spacebar with my right index finger as it is less movement.

I won't speak for others, but my two-hand approach for typing on palmtops, I use only my first three fingers. My pinkie and thumb are not used. The other benefit to moving space bar to the right one is that it makes it just a tad easier for thumb typing. It is also why I moved the dedicated slash key over to the right as well.

 Not so here.


I just checked using my 200LX and analyzed how I was typing on it. I use both index fingers approximately with the same frequency. Which one I use, depends mainly on what the previous  characters were. E.g. if the space is preceded by a comma (which is located directly to the right of the spacebar on the 200LX), I always use the left index finger for space, because my right index finger is on the comma key. 

In general, if a word ends on characters that are located in the right half of the keyboard, I tend to use the left index finger for space and vice versa.

As you, I am tying with 6 fingers mainly. 
In both of your usage cases, though, it sounds like you're sitting at a desk or table with the 'palmtop' resting on the surface.  It's not 'wrong' per say, but it is a bit of a niche case for a handheld portable device.  Yes, you should be able to do it, nobody would stop you from doing it, but I question whether it should be considered a primary use case for the Pyra.  It really sounds more like a 'laptop' style usage case.

The Pyra is designed to be held in the hands - no surface needed (unlike a laptop/notebook).  As such, the keyboard design should be centered around two thumb use.  If possible it shouldn't hinder 6 finger touch typing, but I don't feel like that needs to be a primary design consideration.
 

Saber

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Roman is fine. +-  is fine too. Also, the action buttons show only have action symbols/labels. Too much clutter otherwise.
Natsu, if you're speaking about my layout(s) please understand that Fn + action buttons to produce System Request, Print Screen, and such are only in suggestive status. I agree with you that the A, B, X, Y, and two smaller buttons don't necessarily have to have Fn values if they don't need to. The Dpad though I would like to use with Fn for brightness levels for keyboard and display. It's too good and simple a combo to waste(press Fn and push UP on the directional to increase screen brightness).

:)
 
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Grench

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Roman is fine. +-  is fine too. Also, the action buttons show only have action symbols/labels. Too much clutter otherwise.
Natsu, if you're speaking about my layout(s) please understand that Fn + action buttons to produce System Request, Print Screen, and such are only in suggestive status. I agree with you that the A, B, X, Y, and two smaller buttons don't necessarily have to have Fn values if they don't need to. The Dpad though I would like to use with Fn for brightness levels for keyboard and display. It's too good and simple a combo to waste(press Fn and push UP on the directional to increase screen brightness).

Reminder to everyone, this thread is for layouts only. If you have a working layout then post an image or a link to it.

Mods, feel free to move this post and Natsu's to the discussion thread. 
A concern with mapping system controls to game controls...  What if the Fn needs to be locked (for access to F1-F12) during game play?  Wouldn't that eliminate the game pad function in that scenario?

As an alternative, one button with shift & Fn could theoretically control all 4 functions.  LCD Up, shifted as LCD Down, Fn as Backlight Up, Fn+Shift as Backlight down.
 

Saber

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Roman is fine. +-  is fine too. Also, the action buttons show only have action symbols/labels. Too much clutter otherwise.
Natsu, if you're speaking about my layout(s) please understand that Fn + action buttons to produce System Request, Print Screen, and such are only in suggestive status. I agree with you that the A, B, X, Y, and two smaller buttons don't necessarily have to have Fn values if they don't need to. The Dpad though I would like to use with Fn for brightness levels for keyboard and display. It's too good and simple a combo to waste(press Fn and push UP on the directional to increase screen brightness).

Reminder to everyone, this thread is for layouts only. If you have a working layout then post an image or a link to it.

Mods, feel free to move this post and Natsu's to the discussion thread. 
A concern with mapping system controls to game controls...  What if the Fn needs to be locked (for access to F1-F12) during game play?  Wouldn't that eliminate the game pad function in that scenario?
Does that ever actually happen with any regularity though where you need F1-F12 locked in-game all the time? With all the other buttons under default and shift, when has it ever come to it for most persuasions, and what about while playing you want to press a keyboard key in default and shift modes while suspended in Fn? In your layout how does someone decrease or increase brightness there? Is it much easier than Dpad Up or Down + Fn? 
 
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ible

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Here are some cross-over layouts. I keep only three prints per key, so I think they look a little less cluttered. Which do you like most, and what features do you think should make it into the final keyboard? I'm working within the constraints of a non-centered Pandora spacebar, so that's not negotiable.

1. Inspired by Grench (and _wb_'s parody), but flattened (F keys and number keys are in a single row only):

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/4dfa8d28bf124aefc0b78d683f1fef73

No dedicated number keys, no mouse buttons on the shoulder buttons. Symbols are about where you'd expect them, once you see the pattern.

2. Inspired by Grench more directly:

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/858b28be56f03351a4bd3f9e2bfe2bb5

Some mouse buttons on the shoulder buttons. It's harder to see the pattern in where the symbols are, however, so it'd be a bit harder to learn. There is some degeneracy in the keyboard buttons between meta and non-meta, which I was hoping to make it easier for math/code using the "NumPad". Is it sufficiently easy for you to use Alt-F keys and F-keys and numerical keys, Grench?

3. My current official proposal, mostly inspired by _wb_:

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/d302f8510677d85bcf7d4e41f2e03125

Dedicated numbers, possible to use diacritics much easier.

I may use feedback to update my official proposal. Also, if you think you have a better way to arrange the Ctrl, Alt, Meta, Shift's of any layout, let's hear it.
 

hmc

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In both of your usage cases, though, it sounds like you're sitting at a desk or table with the 'palmtop' resting on the surface.  It's not 'wrong' per say, but it is a bit of a niche case for a handheld portable device.  Yes, you should be able to do it, nobody would stop you from doing it, but I question whether it should be considered a primary use case for the Pyra.  It really sounds more like a 'laptop' style usage case.

The Pyra is designed to be held in the hands - no surface needed (unlike a laptop/notebook).  As such, the keyboard design should be centered around two thumb use.  If possible it shouldn't hinder 6 finger touch typing, but I don't feel like that needs to be a primary design consideration.
This "target group issue" has been discussed already in the space bar thread: http://boards.openpandora.org/topic/17628-what-option-for-a-spacebarbutton-would-you-like/page-2...

We concluded that also people who don't belong to the primary target group should chime in and point out their opinion. This may enlarge the target group of the Pyra. Of course, the primary target group, the gamers, should not have any disadvantage...
 
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Grench

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Roman is fine. +-  is fine too. Also, the action buttons show only have action symbols/labels. Too much clutter otherwise.
Natsu, if you're speaking about my layout(s) please understand that Fn + action buttons to produce System Request, Print Screen, and such are only in suggestive status. I agree with you that the A, B, X, Y, and two smaller buttons don't necessarily have to have Fn values if they don't need to. The Dpad though I would like to use with Fn for brightness levels for keyboard and display. It's too good and simple a combo to waste(press Fn and push UP on the directional to increase screen brightness).

Reminder to everyone, this thread is for layouts only. If you have a working layout then post an image or a link to it.

Mods, feel free to move this post and Natsu's to the discussion thread. 
A concern with mapping system controls to game controls...  What if the Fn needs to be locked (for access to F1-F12) during game play?  Wouldn't that eliminate the game pad function in that scenario?
Does that ever actually happen with any regularity though where you need F1-F12 locked in-game all the time? With all the other buttons under default and shift, when has it ever come to it for most persuasions, and what about while playing you want to press a keyboard key in default and shift modes while suspended in Fn? In your layout how does someone decrease or increase brightness there? Is it much easier than Dpad Up or Down + Fn? 
Yes - it happens.  Neverwinter Nights is a prime example.  And yes, it has a native X86 Linux version that I hope to try to play on the Pyra using the Exagear driver.  I don't care if it's a slide show.

In my layout with the chording and locking capabilities, if the keyboard is Fn-locked you can press either Fn key to 'UnFn' just like you can press a shift key to un-shift a caps locked standard keyboard.  So, if you had the keyboard in Fn locked shift unlocked mode and needed to type the capital letter D, chord the right Fn and Shift keys with the right thumb and press D with the left.

In my layout, regardless of the keyboard 'locked' mode, nearly every key or Fn, Alt, Shift Ctrl + nearly any key is a chord-press away.

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/6c9d72c0045002506e532daaa5f2f7b4

Using my layout...

Keyboard brightness up is controlled using the Fn+Esc key.  Keyboard brightness down is Fn+shift+Esc key.

LCD brightness up is controlled using the LCD key.  LCD brightness down is shift+LCD key.  (one left of power button).

You'll notice that the 5 buttons at the top and the 3 down the center are all 'system functions' and calls.  I have provisions for individually turning on/off the major power consuming ports and all 3 radios as well as back lighting, power, sleep, pause, break, SysRQ (rare to use but on a std keyboard), print screen and the Pandora gaming legacy Start and Select.

When evaluating usage of my layout - remember that it was designed from the ground up for use with two thumbs at the same time.
 

Saber

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Roman is fine. +-  is fine too. Also, the action buttons show only have action symbols/labels. Too much clutter otherwise.
Natsu, if you're speaking about my layout(s) please understand that Fn + action buttons to produce System Request, Print Screen, and such are only in suggestive status. I agree with you that the A, B, X, Y, and two smaller buttons don't necessarily have to have Fn values if they don't need to. The Dpad though I would like to use with Fn for brightness levels for keyboard and display. It's too good and simple a combo to waste(press Fn and push UP on the directional to increase screen brightness).

Reminder to everyone, this thread is for layouts only. If you have a working layout then post an image or a link to it.

Mods, feel free to move this post and Natsu's to the discussion thread. 
A concern with mapping system controls to game controls...  What if the Fn needs to be locked (for access to F1-F12) during game play?  Wouldn't that eliminate the game pad function in that scenario?
Does that ever actually happen with any regularity though where you need F1-F12 locked in-game all the time? With all the other buttons under default and shift, when has it ever come to it for most persuasions, and what about while playing you want to press a keyboard key in default and shift modes while suspended in Fn? In your layout how does someone decrease or increase brightness there? Is it much easier than Dpad Up or Down + Fn? 
Yes - it happens.  Neverwinter Nights is a prime example.  And yes, it has a native X86 Linux version that I hope to try to play on the Pyra using the Exagear driver.  I don't care if it's a slide show.

In my layout with the chording and locking capabilities, if the keyboard is Fn-locked you can press either Fn key to 'UnFn' just like you can press a shift key to un-shift a caps locked standard keyboard.  So, if you had the keyboard in Fn locked shift unlocked mode and needed to type the capital letter D, chord the right Fn and Shift keys with the right thumb and press D with the left.

In my layout, regardless of the keyboard 'locked' mode, nearly every key or Fn, Alt, Shift Ctrl + nearly any key is a chord-press away.

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/6c9d72c0045002506e532daaa5f2f7b4

Using my layout...

Keyboard brightness up is controlled using the Fn+Esc key.  Keyboard brightness down is Fn+shift+Esc key.

LCD brightness up is controlled using the LCD key.  LCD brightness down is shift+LCD key.  (one left of power button).

You'll notice that the 5 buttons at the top and the 3 down the center are all 'system functions' and calls.  I have provisions for individually turning on/off the major power consuming ports and all 3 radios as well as back lighting, power, sleep, pause, break, SysRQ (rare to use but on a std keyboard), print screen and the Pandora gaming legacy Start and Select.

When evaluating usage of my layout - remember that it was designed from the ground up for use with two thumbs at the same time.
Please don't think I'm berating you here. All I could find on Neverwinter Nights control scheme is this pdf:

Neverwinter Nights Introductory Instructions

I don't see where it's required you need to have sequential F1-F12 keys during active button mash gameplay. I'm not saying you don't have it mapped this way in NN, only that I don't see it in the documentation that the user will have exhausted the entire supply of default and shifted key assignments, and all buttons/triggers, before they've fully mapped the game's controls. Even Elite isn't this needy.

I'd rather keep Fn + Dpad for brightness controls but I think if I absolutely have to, I'd replace Bluetooth and USB keys in my fantasy layouts with an LCD up and LCD down, and key backlighting to Fn + LCD up for brighter keypad and Fn + LCD down for darker or off keypad backlighting. As I said previously, Dpad and Fn to me seem such a good pairing for a frequent activity to sacrifice for a paltry few games.  :mellow:
 

Tenka

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Saber's Dpad brightness control idea sounds great to me too, brightness controls are something I'm usually managing in the dark so that would feel very intuitive to me. 

ible's current keyboard layout inspired by _wb_'s is my favorite one so far, definitely.  It bugs me in a couple places anyways though, I'd like to be corrected if it isn't possible to move - and + to the fn of the new insert and delete keys.  It's been a while, but I think - and + were a common reason for people liking the new game buttons, because they could feasibly be placed there. (Or is there a reason those game buttons have to be left alone? Might be)  And that way, F11 and F12 could be moved to the fn of Backspace and Return.  I'm bothered that F11 and F12's current placement has no common convenience with all of the other F#s. 

I wonder what the ideas behind the placements of | \ and = are.  I would rather the line theme of { } [ ] continue with < > myself.  Otherwise looking nice though.
 

ible

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Hi Tenka, thanks for the feedback. I didn't really want to put any alternate function keys on the +/- little buttons, because I don't want their behavior to change in game based on whether Fn was locked or not. (This is also a reason why we shouldn't put brightness on the D-pad.)

Originally I had +/- on the little buttons, but I thought it would be nicer to have those closer to where you'd be doing math/code (near symbols and numbers). I had replaced Ins/Del from _wb_'s original layout, and have since brought them back. (I think Grench wanted them beside home/end/pgup/pgdn, and I didn't see why not.) It's funny because now _wb_ has +/- on the little keys.

I like putting F11 near escape, because I use F11 to maximize windows, and Escape is the natural "anti-F11".

In my third layout, the reasons behind |\ not being <> is because <> are used a bit more IMO, so they're closer to the right side, and <> are centered over = for easy <= or >= type chording.

I would like to put forward a hybrid Grench-ible layout, which I think is much quicker to grasp, while retaining Grench's abilities to do combos like alt-F4 very easily:

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/414d76f3f378742f493bbe8d9cba3cdb

Just put the keyboard in Fn-lock mode and you're golden for playing games that don't need alphabet characters.
 
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hmc

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Btw - do we have any visual indicator for any keyboard locks on the keyboard itself? (caps lock, Fn lock)..., i.e. LEDs for those locks?

On the Pandora I found myself with a "messed up" keyboard sometimes, until I finally realized that Fn Lock was active. ;-)

There are two ways to indicate such lock, IMO. Dedicated LEDs, either separate or located under the corresponding Lock keys (the latter making it impossible to remap those keys together with their LEDs - to distinguish between notmal keyboard backlight and Lock LED, the Lock LED could be brighter or flicker / blink in some way). Or - if keyboard illumination is done by RGB LEDs, change color of backlight of the keyboard.

I don't know the current status of LEDs on the Pyra, so excuse my ignorance here.
 

Klumpen

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Drop the clamshell design, make the device wide enough to fit the gaming controls right and left from the screen, make the keyboard slide from under the screen and you got enough space for all the keys of a regular keyboard

+ more comfortable for gaming, way more efficient for touchscreen use, not looking as dorky as now and not so fragile.
 
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Saber

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May you all die a slow and pointless death..... I'll make my keyboard layout tonight ;)
Your layout will kill us slowly? Is layout your codename for your cooking?

Mods, umm, again could you move this and Shlee's post to the discussion thread? 
 

Saber

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Drop the clamshell design, make the device wide enough to fit the gaming controls right and left from the screen, make the keyboard slide from under the screen and you got enough space for all the keys of a regular keyboard

+ more comfortable for gaming, way more efficient for touchscreen use, not looking as dorky as now and not so fragile.
If only.  :wub:

Coat it in orangutan or zebra glass and we have a winner.
 

hmc

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Drop the clamshell design, make the device wide enough to fit the gaming controls right and left from the screen, make the keyboard slide from under the screen and you got enough space for all the keys of a regular keyboard

+ more comfortable for gaming, way more efficient for touchscreen use, not looking as dorky as now and not so fragile.
No way! Clamshell rules! For my part of the "target group" clamshell design is inevitable. Try to use a device like you describe in "Laptop mode". It's so frustrating. Tried with Sony XPeria Pro and a few other devices like that.  I am so happy that we have here one of the last remaining pocketable clamshell devices. If that will be changed, I'm gone. (okay, this may be desired by some people here anyway ;-D)
 

bzar

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Clamshell for me. It's more space-efficient as its the dimensions are pretty much dictated by the screen area times screen height + keyboard height + PCB stuff + battery, while the suggested tablety option couldn't get away with less height, but would need more width. Additionally it's more damage-resistant and can be nicely put on a table with the display at a usable angle.
 
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