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Pro1 X Qwerty Layout (Not Shifted)


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Having Backspace and Delete on the same key would work for me but, like you, I am really not sure this can be achieved for all firmwares/OSes. For instance, Delete and Backspace are not functions that we can assign in a xkb configuration file, so it's not straightforward to map it to Super + Backspace as far as I know. Perhaps a porter/developer with a good knowledge of all OSes and of the kernel like NotKit or Tdm could tell.

Edited by matf
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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

I wonder if we could get retrofit kits for the original Pro1, it would be great.

That keyboard editor you linked is pretty cool... for fun I put US Intl (without shift) on so people would know what AltGr is for with that layout.  But of course different layouts will result in diff

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17 minutes ago, matf said:

Having Backspace and Delete on the same key would work for me but, like you, I am really not sure this can be achieved for all firmwares/OSes. For instance, Delete and Backspace are not functions that we can assign in a xkb configuration file, so it's not straightforward to map it to Super + Backspace as far as I know. Perhaps a porter/developer with a good knowledge of all OSes and of the kernel like NotKit or Tdm could tell.

On Android I'm pretty sure that can be achieved from the layout configuration. In any case it should not be hardcoded in the driver even though @tdm might disagree with that. From the layout you should be able to to map Shift+Backspace into Del.

Edited by Slion
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1 hour ago, Craig said:

it sacrifices dedicated Del key, and suggests it as a super function for backspace which I dont know if this could really work in firmware either, so probably not the best idea.

I very much like this idea!

In the Danish for shifted QwertY FinQwerty layout I suggested something similar. But @Anssi Hannula explained that it was not technically possible and Del ended up being moved to another key(!).
But it might be possible to do the  move if done somewhat deeper. LineageOS uses some tricks here for the mappings that might be adapted for stock too?

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14 hours ago, matf said:

Could this double engraving work for everyone?

27789830_f(x)tec-prox-qwerty-us-c.png.b221450eb300c299e47772a84c96c66d.png

Let me explain. Considering the bottom label is always the main one on keyboards, these swapped double labels make it look like default is Fn on left key, and AltGr is default on right key. But with some flexibility thanks to the top double label. Those keys can produce distinct keycodes since they are not wired, therefore it is doable. Changing this in firmware or software is possible, while keeping the same labels that work in all situations.

Depending on OS or user needs, firmware or software (respectively) can be adjusted by porters or users (respectively again) to make them be the same modifier, either Fn or AltGr depending on needs. I don't think any user would be shocked that their unconventional replicated Fn or unconventional left AltGr is written in a smaller font on the extra label.

Also, blue Super for consistency with the Pro1x casing.

[Edit] Possible ambiguity: people thinking Shift + Left Fn key = AltGr, or that Shift + right AltGr key = Fn. But would that really be a significant issue? Distinctive color for top labels of each of those two keys could sort this out, but not sure there's a need for that.

So-so.

I'd be missing áàâã,éèê,iíî,óòôõ,úù,ºª... Oh! Would that be composed with the Key next to "Shift"? Maybe just missing the "´" character, then.

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33 minutes ago, brunoais said:

So-so.

I'd be missing áàâã,éèê,iíî,óòôõ,úù,ºª... Oh! Would that be composed with the Key next to "Shift"? Maybe just missing the "´" character, then.

Those are all taken care of with the us-intl layout, either with or without dead keys, thanks to the AltGr keys. But that's software as far as I know, the important thing is to make sure the keyboard can do it with replicated left and right AltGr. This is not useful on full keyboards, but inevitable with thumb typing. You can have a look at Craig's detailed layout to see where are all those internatinal symbols. One could argue that it is useful to print those extra characters, but in general us-intl is not printed, since it mostly takes advantage of third-level symbols on keys, which are almost never labelled. Different users speaking different languages may want to customize their us-intl too, so being too specific would ultimately mean some keys would be wrong in some cases.

I can compose ´ with us-intl-deadkeys by just pressing ' twice in a row, there should be another solution for us-intl-no-deadkeys (probably AltGr + '). I cannot comment on how well dead keys work in Android or LineageOS, though. I know support is mostly lacking in SFOS, but this isn't an issue in other Linux distributions (here's a ´ typed from Pro¹ using a Debian container).

Not sure about ª, but I assume it is doable with a compose key. I can compose ° with the key I chose as compose key for instance (in my case, Caps lock to start composing, followed by "oo"), however there is a more direct way with "Shift + Alt_R + ;" already set in the vanilla us-intl.

In worst cases, there's always unicode (Ctrl+Shift+u followed by the code of the character you want). It's not convenient for regular use and you have to know which code you need, but it can output all symbols. There are also graphic helpers to find any unicode character on Linux (here's my fork: https://git.teknik.io/matf/rofiemoji-rofiunicode). That is beyond the topic of the Pro¹ keyboard, but just wanted to show that unicode can actually be practical for corner cases where the symbol you want is not mapped.

 

Edited by matf
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Pretty much what Onboard offers for virtual keyboard on Linux, but not sure if you can toggle repeat vs extra symbols on long press. This couldn't be done with base UNIX tools like xkb and therefore it is something different than us-intl, but perhaps it can be developed specifically for Android/LineageOS (or already exists?).

Such solutions do not require much optimization of the keyboard relative to the conventions though, and they're not generic enough to come by default on all systems. It's also significantly slower than typing modifer+alpha to get a special alpha symbol.

Edited by matf
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8 hours ago, Slion said:

That one is rather useless it does not even feature anymore in modern keyboards, say for the past 5 years or so.

re: del

Although I've stressed not needing custom layout to use any keys, not having del without a custom layout isnt such a big deal.  I could much easier live without Del than slash, because can always right-arrow then backspace to accomplish the same thing. So I think it retrospect if I del were to be moved, don't print it as another fucntion on backspace key.  (If people can do that themselves in custom layout. )

re:menu key

It has OS defined functions already doesn't it?  In Android it brings up your menu, on my linux distro that I use it also brings up menu but I realize every distro/window manager does it themselves.  And on actual microsoft windows I thought it acted like right click.  But yeah I dunno if its useful.  It was just a random thought for another bottom row key and perhaps useful with android and linux.   But probably not worth sacrificing delete for a rarely used key, cuz people probably actually do use delete since it's available...

So how bout putting del down there instead of pipe?  Thoughts on if this is better that first proposal?


image.png.d9d50fb7cef9f4bd89f773cd8f2d9fc0.png

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40 minutes ago, Hook said:

I think it's dangerous to have delete next to the space bar. 😉

Have you ever accidentally hit Sym while attempting spacebar now?  (With aosp keyboard that'd pull up symbol menu....).  Also when typing new text and preparing to hit spacebar, del wouldnt matter.  (Of course it would matter if you were inserting/editing).  I'm not sure if that is a significant concern, spacebar is pretty big and hard to miss.  Other keys are a lot closer, how often do you miss those and hit an adjacent key?   [Rhetorical questions mainly, just thoughts....]

What if it and the Alt key were swapped, would this make it better?  I was kinda thinking having it next to spacebar might actually make it easier to use tho... or could move it farther left and move Fx right...  but I'm kinda leaning toward Del next to spacebar myself... I think....

image.png.e899bbb5c5133e89639bce88849eeee6.png

Edited by Craig
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Yeah, I was thinking of the editing scenario. But your point is well taken that I have never had the  symbol selection panel pop up when going to the space bar.  It's just the writer's wariness of destructive keys 😄  So, go ahead and leave it.

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20 hours ago, Craig said:

re: del

Although I've stressed not needing custom layout to use any keys, not having del without a custom layout isnt such a big deal.  I could much easier live without Del than slash, because can always right-arrow then backspace to accomplish the same thing. So I think it retrospect if I del were to be moved, don't print it as another fucntion on backspace key.  (If people can do that themselves in custom layout. )

re:menu key

It has OS defined functions already doesn't it?  In Android it brings up your menu, on my linux distro that I use it also brings up menu but I realize every distro/window manager does it themselves.  And on actual microsoft windows I thought it acted like right click.  But yeah I dunno if its useful.  It was just a random thought for another bottom row key and perhaps useful with android and linux.   But probably not worth sacrificing delete for a rarely used key, cuz people probably actually do use delete since it's available...

So how bout putting del down there instead of pipe?  Thoughts on if this is better that first proposal?


image.png.d9d50fb7cef9f4bd89f773cd8f2d9fc0.png

As said on Discord, I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what I think about it. Moving Del is a bold move, but the result with all alphanumeric keys located where they should (except `~ but it's close enough) is sexy.

My concerns are:

- What will new people think when they see the device for the first time? It's a silly thing, but we don't want people to think it's a flawed design just by looking at it when it actually isn't bad at all to move Del.

- What are the risks of having Del next to modifiers, alpha keys and space bar? Discussed above, it's true that the risk is not necessarily huge, but still needs to be considered.

- Will I get used to Del being on the left and far from Backspace and Enter? Yes, probably. More importantly, will I like to use it? Hard to predict.

- Will this be considered too exotic by Fxtec to accept the suggestion?

Benefits:

- Almost standard alphanumeric layout.

- On the one hand, easy to combine arrows under right thumb and Del under left thumb when editing. On the other hand, having Del and Backspace next to each other usually makes it easier to either delete characters to the right or to the left of the cursor when editing a paragraph and moving the cursor up and down or moving it by words (Ctrl+arrows), but really I don't think this should weigh much in the decision.

All in all, I think I like this design. Delete is never in a fixed position on full size keyboards anyway, its position varies among laptops and even USB keyboards, and sometimes it's in a separate block. I think people will get used to it, although here it's on the other side of the keyboard, which is very unusual.

Some comments:

Since you asked, I do not like the layout with Del between Super and Alt. I think it's best to keep modifiers clustered together. It's less confusing, easier to combine them, and overall I think it's tidier. My vote would be for the layout quoted in this message.

About labels, I fully understand that you said it doesn't matter at this point, you're right that F(x)tec will decide anyway. I just want to bring grist to the mill just for the discussion, and to make sure we show something to F(x)tec that would be as close as possible to a final design so that they can picture it better in their mind. I would not print the us-intl labels, there are too many people who would never use them, and us-intl can't really be the default xkb configuration when shipping the phone anyway. Those third-level characters are usually not printed anyway, users of us-intl are used to that, and deciding to print them would be an issue for those who don't use us-intl, for those who customize their xkb layout, and would raise the question as to why we didn't print the fourth-level symbols too (they're not always upper case version of the third-level ones). Therefore I would show the detailed layout to F(x)tec just to illustrate why the new placement of keys we propose is superior and a lot more flexible than the current, but not in a way that would suggest we want it printed (but that is just my opinion).

Even more minor label comments: I don't like this emoji on Alt, but I have a problem with emojis and I know it. I'd prefer plain old and nerdy or "=)". I know that's probably not an option tho. AltGr is misaligned on your layout, it should be bottom left like other keys, not center. The turquoise blue is not the same hue as the Pro1x. Of course we can still discuss whether AltGr should be AltGr, Fn, AltGr/Fn, a neutral symbol, or Fn/AltGr on one side and AltGr/Fn on the other. At this point anything would do for me, as long as we have the keys where we want them.

 

Edited by matf
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An issue to remember with alternatives to the layout. The keys are small. Except some rare cases with small symbols like for diacritics, generally more than two symbols on the key would just require the print to be so small that it could be more or less illegible, perhaps except for those with eagle eyes.

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1 hour ago, Craig said:

Yeah I agree.  I just spent a minute looking at the number row imagining a 3rd character printed there, even in another color, and it would just be too crowded. 

The number row are also the smallest keys. 

 

image.png.081d408273b25882dbd3fd4d0e855937.png

https://community.fxtec.com/uploads/monthly_2020_10/image.png.95105351a532192b11aa5285b5adb470.png

I don't thin it can get better than that.

Edited by Craig
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image.png.cfe1af53fed0d2cd608f9fd789f4348c.png

 

Well if we're gunna get  that detailed...what color code for blue?  this is 40E0D0 (turquoise).   When I tried a  color code for saphire it was hard to see on the dark background... 

Edited by Craig
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1 hour ago, Craig said:

Well if we're gunna get  that detailed...what color code for blue?  this is 40E0D0 (turquoise).   When I tried a  color code for saphire it was hard to see on the dark background... 

I think you got an important point there, the exact colour in thin print close to a dark surrounding will be hard to see. The globe in your print shows the problem, even in the brighter colour,

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image.png.0264ca265311b907c78a2cba3a42d975.png

image.png.6ddcc0fbe47c708baf4e470928502baa.png

 

So another idea.  After justifying moving del and removing slant arrow etc, more than one person told me they'd rather have Del has an additional function of backspace than a dedicated key to the left of spacebar.  Of course, this would have to be handled by customized layouts for each OS, but not having a delete key is perfectly fine (can use right arrow then backspace for same thing) but not having a slash key is very very very annoying.    

So with that in mind, and Slion's earlier suggestion that a menu key isn't all that useful and I know he liked Fn keys... and I like the way lineage uses it for F1-F12 on top row, Home/Pageup/Pgdn/End so why not make it do Del too,   So....

Is this now the best possible?  Hopefully got @Slion back on board with return of Fn key. 

This accomplishes primary goal of dedicated slash key and being useful with all OS, and secondary goal of right_alt on both sides for international layout use, as well as keeping an Fn key for use for special characters that OS/apps can deal with (But *not* have to deal with for standard characters like slash!).   At the expense of dedicated del key.  I'm okay with this and will probably update my first proposal to this unless someone convinces me otherwise!  Please try!

 

 

Edited by Craig
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We're getting close. Merged the one you posted earlier and the one I submitted a few days ago:

1805867211_f(x)tec-prox-qwerty-us-d.png.b41a9fc948d7b527cf7aa485366c288a.png

- Fn next to the right of all modifers because Fn almost never combines with other modifiers on full keyboards
- On Pro1, however, Fn could allow F1-12, and therefore would actually combine with Alt for Alt+F4 for instance. Alt and Fn are next to each other, so that works with one thumb. Ctrl+Alt+Del even doable with some acrobatics (Ctrl+Alt+Fn+Backspace) maybe? Fn+Space also doable with one thumb to bring up the language popup on Android.
- Sym next to left Ctrl because I paired Sym and AltGr. They are slant arrows right now. I know they are not wired but still I think it's best to keep them in the same relative positions. Not the same label on each because not the same keycode, except for those who need Alt_R on both sides for us-intl: they will configure it to use Sym and AltGr, I think both labels are relevant for the purpose of bringing extra intl symbols because that's basically what they mean (Fn wouldn't be relevant, however). One could argue they could be labelled identically, but I think that would be confusing. All keys labelled identically are wired together, those that can report different keycodes should be identifiable from labels.
- Fixed a few mis-aligned labels. Also I noticed on the Pro1, keys of the bottom row have centered labels except the leftmost and rightmost. I tried here but it doesn't work because of second labels. I think this is the best balance here.

Also, colors: from IGG pictures, I'm getting #3c93be for the casing. I used #0173ae here, it's close but a bit paler and contrast is good, also light enough for backlight. In any case, we just need it to look close enough to the casing here, F(x)tech would use the exact color they need.

I think it is important to ping NotKit, Tdm and others before submitting a layout with Del as Fn layer, to make sure it's doable on all OSes. And that there are not other issues we would have overlooked.

Edited by matf
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2 hours ago, Craig said:

So another idea.  After justifying moving del and removing slant arrow etc, more than one person told me they'd rather have Del has an additional function of backspace than a dedicated key to the left of spacebar.  Of course, this would have to be handled by customized layouts for each OS, but not having a delete key is perfectly fine (can use right arrow then backspace for same thing) but not having a slash key is very very very annoying.  

If possible on all OS I would prefer it secondary on BS too. But remember Del have other delete functions than deleting a character in a text-editor. It is generally used to delete a selected object in many situations. E.g. deleting a file in a file manager. So would be missed in some contexts if omitted,

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I can't make up my mind about not having a dedicated key for Del. It's very tempting. However, won't some OS miss having it for Ctrl + Alt + Del? I guess that should still work but with four fingers instead of three.

Edited by Slion
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I agree with EskeRahn and discussed that on Discord too. Del key is used not only for text, but also software keybindings, which won't be rare in Mobian/Arm/Manjaro/LXC containers. I took the example of Gimp but file managers is a much better example. thanks. If Fn+Backspace can work in all OSes, then it should be acceptable.

Ctrl + Alt + Del is not so commonly used, it's more something you use when there's an issue so maybe it's acceptable even if hard to type with Ctrl + Alt + Fn + Backspace? Actually on my proposal where Alt and Fn are next to each other, it's not much harder than with a dedicated Del key, it is still a 3-finger combination.

A variation of the above with same label on both AltGr keys despite their independence, because not everyone agrees that independent keys could be labelled distinctively (it admittedly clutters the keyboard):

413153695_f(x)tec-prox-qwerty-us-e.png.4657b52b2832d71e361b5293eaa78527.png

 

Edited by matf
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