The Final Revision

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    In non English keyboard definitions, the right Alt becomes AltGr and no longer does 'normal' Alt functions. The on-keyboard Alt is up in the middle of the device. The shoulder is apparently (might be) currently mapping to AltGr. So, keyboard Alt + tab switches application windows but shoulder AltGr + tab does not.

    This is probably solvable for the English speakers by just making sure it is mapped to the OS as an English keyboard where both Alt keys are treated equally. I would expect this to be a pretty easy fix.

    But - for those who DO need an AltGr (any language with diacritics), a decision might need to be made as to whether it is better or worse to have Alt or AltGr between the nubs Vs/or on the shoulder. For those people there is a trade off.

    I wonder if there could be a toggle/flip the mappings.
    If you're typing in a language other than English, it could be more beneficial to have AltGr on the shoulder.
    If you're navigating tabs & desktop in any language, it would be more beneficial to have Alt (not AltGr) on the shoulder.
    So, maybe it could be possible within an OS widget to press both Alt and AltGr and they flip positions? That or maybe have a checkbox in the Pyra configuration widget to select your preference in how Alt Shoulder and Alt Keyboard behave and whether one of them is AltGr.

    Keyboard threads are eternal.
     
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  2. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    It should be possible to map Fn-alt to altgr: press two shoulder buttons instead of one to get the desired effect, leave regular alt as regular alt.
     
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  3. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Good idea, but it should probably be presented as a user configurable too since this is an international device.
     
  4. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Perhaps, but does any country's PC layout use alt-gr+tab for anything? None that I'm aware of, although I only really know US and some european ones.

    And in any linux where you've got the root password, everything is configurable, and if as I suspect noone uses alt-gr+tab, don't even bother writing a zenity dialog to do it for people. We just need to document what we've done so that anyone who wants to use that key combo can back it out and regain the use of shoulder alt+tab key for something else.
     
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  5. Askarus

    Askarus Hardcore Member

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    Speaking about Keyboard, who did choose to place "°" on "Q" and "\" on "B"?
    Q + Fn is an easy to reach combination whereas B + Fn is not.
    I don't see any use of ° but \ is used for programming quite frequently.

    I would no worry too much about Alt+Tab.
    It's only software and can be modified any time.
     
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  6. ible

    ible professional vim user

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    @Askarus it was a joint venture, with lots of concessions and compromises, especially to get all the languages in there and all the symbols with their shifts in nice locations. hopefully the shoulder buttons giving a Fn layer should help. do your shoulder buttons work as modifiers?

    [​IMG]

    WOOHOO KEYBOARD DISCUSSIONS AGAIN!
     
  7. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    All threads are keyboard threads. Some threads still have to realise their potential.
     
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  8. Pyramancer

    Pyramancer Fairly Idle Member

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    If the Fn key on the Pyra is like the Fn key on a laptop (I think I knew once whether it is or not, but I've forgotten), then you can't map it at the X-Window or desktop environment levels. In fact I think (?) that you can't map it at the kernel level either, but rather that the mapping has to happen in the keyboard hardware / device firmware.
     
  9. Askarus

    Askarus Hardcore Member

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    I know that it was a looooong process to get it done.
    It is really well done.
    The only thing I don't understand is why ° is at such an easy to reach place.
    What language does utilize it?
    All I know it's degree Celsius that uses it but I don't think people need it that often.
    \ Would have been a better choice in my opinion.

    Yes, the soulder buttons do work as modifiers. I've described it above.
     
  10. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    I'm 99% certain it was decided to just act as another key that can be remapped, not a specific hardware modifier.
     
  11. Pyramancer

    Pyramancer Fairly Idle Member

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    I believe that symbol might be a ˚ which is a RING ABOVE, not a ° which is a DEGREE SIGN. It is used for composing Å.

    As the Ångström symbol, it probably gets used less often than degrees Celsius or degrees Farenheit. But I believe it is an everyday letter in some Scandinavian alphabets so probably it's used quite a bit.

    Right. From the wiki [1] it is not a "hard" function key like the Fn key on a laptop, but rather, it is a left meta key, so it should be easily configurable. :)

    [Although I'm not sure how much one should trust the wiki, as it seems extremely out of date -- the keyboard image there [2] looks nothing like the photo of the unit that EvilDragon assembled last week [3].]

    [1] https://pyra-handheld.com/wiki/index.php?title=Keyboard

    [2] https://pyra-handheld.com/wiki/images/7/7a/PyraKeymatAndButtonsFunctions.png

    [3] https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/attachments/img_20180722_120234-jpg.31909/
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  12. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Do you remember the problem in dosbox on the Pandora that you could not input | by typing Fn + b but had to type Fn+Shift+c because | is shift+\ on US ASCII and \ was on Fn+c.

    The Fn layer on the bottom two rows of the Pyra was designed such that the characters and their shifted values are paired diagonally. So the Fn layer acts like a cheat-sheet for which key to press when this issue crops up. That's why \ could not be on the Q.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
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  13. Hồng Thất Công

    Hồng Thất Công Đả Cẩu Bổng Pháp

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    Yeah! More keyboard discussion! :D
     
  14. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Even if you can use Fn from the shoulder button? I'm excited to finally not have to juggle my pandora to hit half of the function letters because now I'll be able to just move a finger to press Fn with my Pyra.
     
  15. Pyramancer

    Pyramancer Fairly Idle Member

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    For those of us who sadly missed the Pandora days and the keyboard wars ... er... threads I mean, would you explain this a little bit more, please? Taken at face value (out of context, I'm guessing), your conclusion in the last sentence doesn't seem to follow. And I'm curious about the "cheat sheet" idea which I don't see. And I don't understand why the layout of US keyboards matters, as clearly this isn't one and cannot follow the same scheme (it doesn't have 104 or 105 or even 101 keys, for a start.)

    What I do think I understand is that:
    • There are orange symbols on some of the keys, and I am assuming that the keymap will be set up so these produce the indicated symbol when pressed at the same time as the left meta key.
    • The keys in question in the bottom two rows are arranged thus [1]:
    : - + { } | ~ ?
    ; _ = [ ] \ ` /

    which does follow the scheme you mention where they are arranged above one another as they appear on the keys of a traditional US keyboard (except for the glaring exception: the _ should be above the -, not the other way around) and I assumed that this was to make them easier to find. You seem to be saying that it affects their functionality in some way?​

    • The person who designed the keyboard layout muddled up their left from their right. :p
    Can you clarify what your wrote taking into account these limited understandings? Thanks!

    [1] Edit: That layout was from the wiki (which I have therefore decided is too out of date to take seriously). In the photo of the prototype that EvilDragon made last week, I see:

    : ? + _ { } | ~
    ; / = - [ ] \ `

    so the order has changed and the reversal fixed (as @ible points out below). :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  16. ible

    ible professional vim user

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    and you can always remap to have another \ on the degree symbol. part of the reason it's in that direction is that the degree sign is in the upper left area of a german keyboard. putting the umlauts over on the right part was also deliberate.
    [​IMG]

    @Pyramancer, the underscore is above the minus sign on the keyboard.
     
  17. Askarus

    Askarus Hardcore Member

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    It's not as bad as it would be without shoulder button.
    But Fn(Keyboard)+Q is so much better to reach for me than Fn(Shoulder Button)+B.
     
  18. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    So on the Pandora, symbols were mapped to various FN keys. For example, ? was FN-X.
    Dosbox didn't use these keycodes. It used the expected US keyboard mappings: to get a ? you needed to press shift-/ (shift forward slash), but on the Pandora / was FN-Z. So this lead to the confusing situation in Dosbox of needing to press shift-FN-Z in order to get ?, among the various other combo issues, instead of the actual FN mappings.
    I think Caine was getting at the fact that the keyboard was more or less laid out in pairs: on a regular keyboard ? is shift-/, and on the Pandora keyboard they are right beside each other (Z and X) so it's easier to remember.
    None of this had any consideration for Dosbox, however. We didn't even know there was a key mapping problem until after it was released and everyone was like "what's going on with the keymapping?"
     
  19. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    On the Pyra? According to one of the photos on the OP of this thread, underscore appears to be fn+D and minus is fn+B.

    Looks like all of the compose keys you'd need for native french (/, \ and ?) are off the vowels, which is advantageous I think. All apart from ^, which is on FN+I, and I think there are a few words with a circumflexed I and you'd need to type fn+space (compose) then fn+I (^) then I unmodified to get one of those. A bit of a finger dance that I'd say.

    Edit: And for my personal use, it appears that tilde (~) is on the shiften fn+i. That is just two shoulder buttons and the I key, but I'll have to see how well I can learn that. It might be better for me to use one of the usr keys as tilde.
     
  20. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    @Pyramancer It is as @WizardStan explained. I hope that makes a little bit of sense. The threads should still be around if you have a lot of time.

    We made several mistakes with the Pandora, which we did not see coming. Another example was that on the Pandora the delete key was mapped to shift+backspace, this made the not-uncommon shift+delete combination impossible. Many of these obscure corner-cases were considered with the Pyra layout (the dosbox keyboard driver is certainly one of the more esoteric ones).

    Furthermore, regional conventions were also taken into consideration with German being favoured because of EvilDragon being German. E.g. the placement of ö, ä en ü relates to their placement on the German keyboard. It was quite a puzzle.
     
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