Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - Printable Version

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RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - CharlieGordon - 01-18-2021


I like your version better than the original design.

It also inspired me to think about internationalization and I had two ideas:

- Swap the keys left and right of the space bar. Users that need an AltGr key for their languages could (ab-)use the pine key as AltGr and have it in the usual place.
- Add combining diacritics to keys that don't have an FN mapping yet. This would enable users to type many local characters without having to tinker with keyboard mappings. The OLPC XO-1 US international layout might work as a guideline:

These ideas are not necessarily restricted to CrowdOfOne's design.

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - coniferous - 01-18-2021

Folks, I've spent a weekend prototyping and redesigning proposed keyboard layout for PinePhone.

Physical keyboard could be a killer feature for PinePhone however seeing draft layout in latest blog post - I find it disappointing considering how sensitive we as a power users are to non-standard layouts and while former layout could work enough for chat purposes, it completely fails for any devops/programming task (constant pain to enter semicolon, brackets or even any math operator, etc). We should really strive for something better!

I'd really appreciate your "votes" - just by making regular keys ~1.2mm narrower we could have almost perfectly workable standard ANSI layout with a very few compromises:
[Image: AZz2itb.png]

IMHO this would definitely make a better product and.. since it'd have more keys - it's ok even if it'd cost a bit more Smile

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - kuro - 01-18-2021

@CrowdOfOne That layout is MUCH better than the original. But I have a few small suggestions:

- swap the pine key and alt (or is there a reason for then to be different from the norm?)
- symbols accessible through fn should be as much to the right as possible as we only have fn on the left (thumb typing _\ or | looks really uncomfortable at the moment)
- fill the rest of the empty fn spaces with the weird symbols used by the European languages.

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - eFqLLnGo - 01-19-2021

Very promissing suggestions from you two. Congratulations and thanks a lot!

I had a random terrible and non standard idea : adding index "triggers" just like in game controllers could be use a shift key + something else, not sure what.

I am aware that non standard is a terrible choice but I just can't not share this with you. I mean if you had a left trigger that sends shift, you can remove the two useless shift keys and add useful ones instead. This would also make typing much faster. Maybe the right one could be used to trigger other special keys in the layout, just like Alt-gr.

Anybody finds this interesting and worth pursuing?

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - nas - 01-19-2021

(01-18-2021, 04:08 PM)coniferous Wrote: IMHO this would definitely make a better product and.. since it'd have more keys - it's ok even if it'd cost a bit more Smile

Prefer your layout to the one which has been selected below - the arrow keys have been relegated for the same characters you have suggested as half size. I suppose a uniform key cap size makes it simpler and cheaper to produce but think most people would pay more for a better compromise.

[Image: EsCgGAoWMAMGpQ8?format=jpg&name=large]

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - fsflover - 01-19-2021

Why can't we have all those
[ ] \ | etc
buttons to be on
i o p k l etc
working with Fn?

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - CharlieGordon - 01-19-2021

[Image: GOC82WW.png]
I also played around with the keyboard mapping a bit. I apologize for the quick and dirty look of the graphic.

3 missing ASCII characters added (backtick, pipe and double quote)

Other Fn-activated ASCII characters moved to the right half, as low as possible, for easier thumb typing.

Moved Caps Lock to Fn+Shift, moved symbols and pine key around, added Alt key.

Added combining accents in the left half and top row. Hard to reach when thumb typing, but better than not having them at all.

Added a compose key at Fn + . for more internationalization.

No keys were resized, added or removed. I assume the keyboards are already in production. Maybe the printing can still be changed. If not this might still make a useful sticker set.

Improvements welcome.

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - CrowdOfOne - 01-22-2021

@CharlieGordon Internationalization isn't something I know much about (lazy english speaker!), but moving the pine key seem clever if it sorts out those issues. I'm all for it... unless someone can come up with a decent argument against doing so?

As for @coniferous. What you have mocked up is incredible! The attention to detail and explanation is outstanding.

Every adjustment just seems right and 10x better than the compacted shift compromise I briefly wrestled with.

I'm curious why the delete key isn't longer; or the shifts; or the spacebar / bottom line generally - although I wouldn't be surprised if you have a good explanation as you appear to have put a lot of thought into it.

Keyboards are as much about ergonomics as design and the Psion 5 has a lot of fans, but I also struggle to see why this could not be its equal.

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - DrYak - 01-28-2021

I know most of this discussion concentrates on keyboards, but as the initial "invitation to play along" blog also mentioned game pads:

(07-29-2020, 08:09 AM)DrYak Wrote: For the GamePad:
- Razer Kishi (basically "Switch Joycon" clones for either USB-C android or Lightning port iOS) is definitely a good inspiration.

A few month later, generic noname Asian clones have started appearing at the usual places (Aliexpress, eBay, Amazon). Some with little tweaks like a flexible USB-C connector (for easier coupling with the phone), others with separate USB-C charging passthrough and 3.5mm audio jack or even weird thing whose purpose I can't really understand (it's for the actual Nintendo Switch. But instead of using the Joycon conencter, it's connecting over USB-C? Why?!) These device tend to be expensive for now (specially the first one), but it shows that wired gamepads start to be a thing (Though these are USB-C gamepads, whereas the blog referred to using PinePhone's pogo pins (thus I2C + interrupt). So it remains to be seen how much this could help).

Means that Pine64 could approach such a manufacturer for producing a PinePhone edition of such a gamepad.

And to move back to the keyboard discussion: I really like the direction the design is getting (Psion-like).
As someone who uses keyboards a lot to SSH into machine (command line) where I code (even more squigly signs) I really appreciate the attempts at craming most of the punctuations (the various type of parenthesis) directly on keys.
Also, as someone communicating in several different languages I like the proposal of having the compose key directly on the keyboard. (Though small suggestion, the ^ accented modifier would make a bit more sense directly under the "6 ^" key)
And in general I appreciate that Pine64 is thinking about making the firware flashable thus enabling alternative designs (as long as the number of keys fits, so saddly maybe not the squeeze extra punctuation keys Undecided).

RE: Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard - CharlieGordon - 01-28-2021

(01-28-2021, 04:42 PM)DrYak Wrote: (Though small suggestion, the ^ accented modifier would make a bit more sense directly under the "6 ^" key)
That sounds reasonable, but of course when I made this post I had somehow missed @nas ' post and the fact that pine64 and some users already had decided on an improved layout. So I guess FN+6 is now F6 and that seems also quite reasonable. I guess combining circumflex on Y could be a decent compromise.