Craig 1,433 Posted October 27, 2020 Share Posted October 27, 2020 (edited) F(x)tec is using the Pro¹X as a way to introduce new keyboard layouts, but I noticed the latest proposal on IGG doesn't address the biggest issue with the original Pro¹ shifted qwerty layout (missing slash/question-mark key and the problems that causes and workarounds it necessitates), so I hope Fxtec uses this opportunity to not only un-shift but to also improve functionality, especially as alternate OS's like Linux are targeted. I would like to propose two minor changes that will make it much better and more functional: Function is key, right? Put /? and \| in standard US QWERTY positions Swap Slant_Arrow/Function keys with Symbol/Right_Alt key I prefer International style [AltGr] key over [Sym], and just [Fn] over [➚], but think of that as a marketing decision. This provides the following fixes and improvements: Adds Dedicated Slash/Question Mark Key Allows use of default Android & Linux keyboard layouts. Adds standard modifier key to right side for use with those layouts. This solves all issues with existing qwerty by putting slash and question mark exactly where they should be - and most importantly off P&L - so that all layouts (including UK-English and US-International) will work exactly as intended and no longer require every OS to find a workaround. The current Sym key is still not correctly assigned in stock Android but is Right_Alt/AltGr in Lineage, which allows it to function as the modifier key for standard AOSP layouts, and is a useful key to have in general. This proposal suggests using the existing slant arrow keys as Right_Alt (like SailfishOS already does) and freeing up the existing Sym key for Function use. This permits normal shift and slash key functionality on all standard keys without needing nonstandard layouts or weird hacks like pro¹ qwerty uses now. The second example is the same layout with standard US-international keymap shown in blue. Perhaps it could be sold as an "International Qwerty Version" with the default US International printed on it, but don't know if there is really room for three symbols on the small number row keys. It's also shown for those who are not at all familiar with US-international to understand why users of other layouts want the modifier key on both sides of keyboard. Alternatively if US International print seems a good idea but cannot comfortably print three symbols, they could just be printed on the letters but not symbol keys as below, which doesn't change the functionality when US International layout is selected. Although "Fn" is not one of the standard PC keys used by default layouts, it is provided as an additional modifier that applications or OS can chose to use however they want to get keys that are missing; my assumption is Lineage would continue to use it for F1-F12 along the number row and PgUp/PgDn/Home/End on arrows keys, and if keyboard was labeled that way wouldn't hurt either. Additionally Fn+Backspace could be added for delete, Fn+Shift could behave as Right_Shift and Fn+Ctrl as Right_Control for corner cases, and the same for Fn+\ (or Fn+Enter) as Ins But even without a Function key, this keyboard is more functional than existing qwerty. And this leaves Fx (Fxtec logo) for use as what Android calls Meta, what Linux calls Super, and what Microsoft calls the Windows key (all the same keycode). As a bonus, this also avoids new users frustration when accidentally hitting Del instead of backspace. On shifted qwerty, Del is under backspace, opposite of laptop keyboards and different than full-sized keyboards so often a bit of learning curve. Considering backspace is most often used to correct errors while typing, while delete is used with arrows for editing or as a delete action-key in some applications, having it as an OS provided additional function would work well, however if a dedicated delete key is must-have, most of these goals are still achieved by replacing Fn with Del, and using Fx key for function if desired. The label for the Right_Alt key doesn't matter, whether it be AltGr like an international keyboard or Sym like a legacy phone, or just Alt like a US keyboard (perhaps in sapphire blue). Only Left_Alt keeps the smiley which is there because gboard and AOSP keyboard present an emoji menu for Left_Alt. (AOSP keyboard presents symbol menu for Right_Alt). Historically, most Android keyboard phones labeled Right_Alt as Sym, and Nokia phones additionally had a slant arrow. AltGr and Fn labels are more linuxy/techy/international/standard in my opinion, but not the main point of this proposal, which is getting dedicated slash key and making standard keyboard layouts work. Alternate print versions of the same layout, in this case [Fn]and [➚] for Function, blue Alt for Right_Alt, and blue US international on just the letter keys. Edited November 3, 2020 by Craig 8 Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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