The Keyboard


Olexxy

Still Fresh
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
89
Hi guys,

My attempt at defining the perfect layout for me and hopefully others :)




- Main concern for me was to have all the control keys accessible (ctrl, alt, shift, tab), and cater for key combinations like Ctrl+shift etc.
-- I hope to be able to use my pandora for office apps like OOo, and I would love to keep default shortcuts as much as possible. Also, in current proposed layouts I don't see how you can do Ctrl+F4 for instance as F4 is mapped to a shift key, so key combination shortcuts like Ctrl+shift can be useful.
-- Also like most here I guess I want easy access to "," and ".", therefore I mapped them to A and X on the right pad
-- Menu key is the same as the windows key (is it useful on linux ? I guess it is.. on WinXP I use that often to launch the explorer Win+E or show desktop Win+D, etc)

- 2 sticky keys : Fn and Fn2, to allow selection of all usual special characters (on UK keyboard anyway). They are accessible via the Shift key.
-- These can be locked to give access to the corresponding keyboard subset. In case we want to perform special keys combinations as well, that means Ctrl, Shift and Alt need to be available all the time (with/without Fn/Fn2), and that's why I put key combination like Ctrl+Shift on other keys
-- Assumption : if one sticky key is locked, pressing the other sticky key will temporary switch to this sticky only for the next pressed key (or combination of 2 keys), pressing the same sticky once temporary disable it, and pressing twice disable it.

- Mouse wheel on right analog to help scroll easily in firefox for large web pages, or in spreadsheets, etc. I kept a Desktop scroll option (if shift is pushed) as per cosurgi layout, but not sure what this is.. in case the desktop area expand beyond the screen resolution I guess (but personnaly I won't do this I think, hopefully 800x480 should be enough), or maybe emulate the Scroll Lock key action ?

- Mouse cursor on left analog to allow simultaneous use of a mouse button (mapped on A and Y) ; this should allow all mouvements / drag and drop etc, without the need of a stylus (to preserve the touchscreen from daily routine operation in a windowed environment)

What do you guys think of this ?

Question to the pandora team: will it be possible to easily and completely redefine the keyboard keys as we wish (for instance to do what I pictured above) ? Like a nice keyboard layout screen on which we have the possibility to redefine everything, and then save it as a keyboard layout that can replace the default one during boot ? And maybe even a template print of all the keys, filled with the settings as defined in this configuration software, to easily print the right sized keys and symbols that we could then stick on the keys.. ?
 

Etinin

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
242
Age
31
Location
Brazil
Website
Visit site
It's probably going to use a standard X11 keyboard layout file and I believe there are tools that would merely need to be recompiled that would let you easily change the keyboard layout.

And I'd love to be able to use Emacs on the Pandora and having shift, ctrl and meta (alt) on their default locations is almost a pre-requisite to that.
 

Grench

Forum Addict!
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
6,623
polkunus said:
imo that is the worst layout i have seen... how can i make the letter "M" as a capitol? My thumbs are not that big. The shift key should be easily accessable on both thumbs. how is fn lock useful?

edit: wait I just noticed something, it is like this on all the layouts... WTF??? how the hell are we going to capitalize something without the shift key being on both of our thumbs??? The shift key should either be the shoulder buttons or should be on accessable BY BOTH THUMBS! My thumbs can not reach across the whole board! please look at the sidekick III layout. I still do not see how fn lock is useful, it should be replaced by shift. ctrl should be on the left side of the keyboard and alt should be on the right. space is weird... I have to stop, press space and then press a key unlike an actually keyboard. On a keyboard you are ready to press a button right after you hit space because one of your fingers is already hovering above the key. Im just gonna make my own layout

Thanks for the comment. My design would actually be the EASIEST one for you to make a capitol "M" with. The large shift key can be depressed with your right thumb and the "M" key with your left. I have 6 year old twins. I tested them out on a quick mock up I have here. Unless your hands are smaller than theirs, you should have no trouble with reaching your thumb 4" over from the left side to hit that key.

Too many people are looking at these keyboard diagrams and getting the mistaken impression that they're bigger than they are. Printed to scale they fit in approximately 2/3 of the space that a CD jewel case takes up.
 

Grench

Forum Addict!
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
6,623
Olexxy said:
Hi guys,

My attempt at defining the perfect layout for me and hopefully others :)




- Main concern for me was to have all the control keys accessible (ctrl, alt, shift, tab), and cater for key combinations like Ctrl+shift etc.
-- I hope to be able to use my pandora for office apps like OOo, and I would love to keep default shortcuts as much as possible. Also, in current proposed layouts I don't see how you can do Ctrl+F4 for instance as F4 is mapped to a shift key, so key combination shortcuts like Ctrl+shift can be useful.
-- Also like most here I guess I want easy access to "," and ".", therefore I mapped them to A and X on the right pad
-- Menu key is the same as the windows key (is it useful on linux ? I guess it is.. on WinXP I use that often to launch the explorer Win+E or show desktop Win+D, etc)

- 2 sticky keys : Fn and Fn2, to allow selection of all usual special characters (on UK keyboard anyway). They are accessible via the Shift key.
-- These can be locked to give access to the corresponding keyboard subset. In case we want to perform special keys combinations as well, that means Ctrl, Shift and Alt need to be available all the time (with/without Fn/Fn2), and that's why I put key combination like Ctrl+Shift on other keys
-- Assumption : if one sticky key is locked, pressing the other sticky key will temporary switch to this sticky only for the next pressed key (or combination of 2 keys), pressing the same sticky once temporary disable it, and pressing twice disable it.

- Mouse wheel on right analog to help scroll easily in firefox for large web pages, or in spreadsheets, etc. I kept a Desktop scroll option (if shift is pushed) as per cosurgi layout, but not sure what this is.. in case the desktop area expand beyond the screen resolution I guess (but personnaly I won't do this I think, hopefully 800x480 should be enough), or maybe emulate the Scroll Lock key action ?

- Mouse cursor on left analog to allow simultaneous use of a mouse button (mapped on A and Y) ; this should allow all mouvements / drag and drop etc, without the need of a stylus (to preserve the touchscreen from daily routine operation in a windowed environment)

What do you guys think of this ?

Question to the pandora team: will it be possible to easily and completely redefine the keyboard keys as we wish (for instance to do what I pictured above) ? Like a nice keyboard layout screen on which we have the possibility to redefine everything, and then save it as a keyboard layout that can replace the default one during boot ? And maybe even a template print of all the keys, filled with the settings as defined in this configuration software, to easily print the right sized keys and symbols that we could then stick on the keys.. ?


I printed it out and the keys/placement all work for me. The only problem this design is going to encounter is that it impinges on the game pads for mundane purposes.

I like being able to use the F1-F10 keys without Fn locking the whole keyboard. I.e. they're shift keys instead of function keys.

I REALLY like having the keyboard dual Fn shift to include a numeric keypad. Not too busy at all IMHO.

Can we print 3 colors on the keys? White blue and reddish brown?

Is use of the game controls for mundane input even a possibility?

With 2 analog sticks, using 8 way radial menus, that is 64 positions that are 'easy' to distinguish from. In theory a radial input keyboard could work too... But that would be a different topic and a driver for another day.

I -like- this design though. If we are allowed to impinge upon the game controls and can have 3 color printing, then I think it's pretty darn cool.
 

Yigguth

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
222
I'm confused, which keyboard is going to be on the pandoras being shipped?
 

greendots

Its finally here!
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
610
no one knows... these are all user submitted, suggestions to the developers. as the final keyboard layout has not been decided on yet.
 

Edy

Still Fresh
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
66
Location
Oviedo, Spain
Website
www.openpandora.es
not to mention that not a single of all those proposals consideer that the Pandora has a touch screen with a stylus... and that the mouse move+click will be mostly handled with the stylus... and that the stylus is mostly used with the right hand (unless left-handed)... so additional mouse functions like mouse scroll and right-click should be performed with the left hand...

All these layout proposals are trying to convince us that the Pandora's touch screen + stylus aren't really useful, so we should use the keyb and gaming controls only. Just wonder why. It's ok that sometimes one may feel too lazy to use the stylus so all functions should be present, but the common sense says that mouse move+click is far more practical with the stylus.

Anyways I'm very confident that the Pandora designers will do it right. The best proof is that nobody at Pandora's team has ever pronounced anything on these "Keyboard Layout Proposals" topics (I can only remember MWeston saying something about the questionable utility of the Alt/AltGr key) :p
 

Edy

Still Fresh
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
66
Location
Oviedo, Spain
Website
www.openpandora.es
Olexxy said:
without the need of a stylus (to preserve the touchscreen from daily routine operation in a windowed environment)
I won't use my car anymore in order to preserve its wheels from daily routine.
How funny... what about not using the Pandora at all for preserving the CPU? :p
 

Olexxy

Still Fresh
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
89
I personaly don't want a screen with scratches, finger prints etc. On a ds lite, that is the case and I don't like it. Everyone has different views on the pandora functions, I am more interested in it as a umpc-like + multimedia player than just a gaming device.
 

Etinin

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
242
Age
31
Location
Brazil
Website
Visit site
Well, you don't have to scratch your screen to use the touchscreen. Just buy some generic LCD screen protectors for the Archos and your screen shall be fully protected.
 

Olexxy

Still Fresh
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
89
Preserving the screen is important to me. It's not my case because I am rather gentle with my ds, but look on some forums, you'll find people complaining about the sensitivity of the screen becoming bad, cursor recognised @1cm away from where the stylus is pressing (and cannot be adjusted by calibration), etc.
 

Grench

Forum Addict!
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
6,623
So... was there ever a decision made by the Pandora top people as to what the keyboard is going to look like?

I understand production was to start this week... To me that translates to bits and pieces for assembly being molded, racked, painted, stamped and binned for assembly. So... unless someone is going to try to silk screen the keys after assembly, they're likely in process?

So... is all of our well intended alternative keyboard mapping and consideration a moot point at this stage?

If not, I still think that the tri-color design above with numeric mapping into the keypad (for calculator use) rocks.
 

Chip

[Insert Custom Title Here]
Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Messages
3,503
Age
42
Location
NJ, USA
Website
chipandre.com
Grench said:
So... was there ever a decision made by the Pandora top people as to what the keyboard is going to look like?
Not yet. Manufacturing the Pandora is a multi-step process, and lettering the keys is probably one of the last steps before final assembly. We will (I hope) see the final layout soon.
 

kagato

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
303
I wouldn't put any application-specific functions (browser navigation, playback controls) on the Fn-mapping for the keys.
Aside from only being useful to a limited selection of software, when you're running those programs you won't want to have to press a Fn combination to get to them -- they should be 'first class' controls for that app. ABXY should be the first choice for application control.
 

Olexxy

Still Fresh
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
89
But that's why you can lock Fn or Fn2 as explained in the notes, to keep these keys available all the time while you're running the dedicated application.. Anyway because I had already mapped all the keys of my standard UK keyboard the way I wanted, and as there was spare top keys for Fn, I "filled in" with these app specific keys as they become popular on recent keyboards, but it can be replaced by any more useful/international symbols if people have sugestions.. (being french myself I would select things like é à è ç etc, but not sure people would like this ^^)
 

beljam

Still Fresh
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
13
Grench said:
If not, I still think that the tri-color design above with numeric mapping into the keypad (for calculator use) rocks.

Bit of a problem, there... There is no zero in orange on the keyboard, as far as I can see. If you lock Fn2 to use a calculator, you need to unlock to enter '0'? :huh: That should make for lots of inconvenient key presses, or some interesting approximations. :twisted:

beljam
 

Olexxy

Still Fresh
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
89
@beljam
Oups indeed how could I forget the 0, well spotted ^^ (actually your comment is not exact, you could access the zero from the top keys by temporary unlocking Fn2 as explained in my notes thus only one additional key pressed, but that's not satisfactory)
Well, removing the ß for instance, I've added the missing 0, see below


Also to complete my previous post concerning app specific keys, as we should be able to do multitasking on the pandora, I now remember I also had in mind that for instance one could have a media player in the background while working on office files / chatting on irc / playing a game without great background music etc; having these keys accessible could help having a basic control on a background app, avoiding having to swap between the media player and whatever you are doing in parallel.. But maybe that's not really important, I don't know..
 

Bronek

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
117
Kagato said:
I wouldn't put any application-specific functions (browser navigation, playback controls) on the Fn-mapping for the keys.

Neither would I. I actualy dislike such keys and find them more trouble than they are worth ("does this work at all? what do I need to have installed? will this work with suchandsuch player or browser? does not seem to work, is the configuration right?"). They only add clutter and make finding useful functions more difficult.

Machine-specific functions (screen brightness and wireless) are OK with me, though.
 
Top