Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard
#21
(07-30-2020, 04:40 AM)SwordfishII Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 11:02 AM)bard Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I read a few complaints about fxtec pro 1 and one of those Chinese gaming pocket pcs (gpd win 2?) that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs. So maybe a split keyboard would be in order? So that thumbs need not reach towards the middle?
A split keyboard is an extremely good idea. It would also be nice if the keyboard were programmable, maybe with QMK firmware. 

Not at all. A vast majority of people do not want, use, or like split keyboards. Any split keyboard would be appreciated by 15-20 people and hated by 100s to thousands.
We are not talking about an actual split keyboard such as you would find on your desk in front of pc, but keys split to the left and to the right so they are closer to your thumbs. The part that flips out from under the screen is one piece as it would be on a normal keyboard. The keyboard is presumably to small to type on it with all ten fingers so a thumb friendly layout is in order. The HTC phone I had was smaller than what we currently lug around and there was no problem reaching all of the keys with thumbs. 

As for touch typing, is that really something you are able to do using only your thumbs? I can do it using all 10 fingers but find it hard to believe that I could do that with only two. Also the keyboard and the screen are in field of vision all the time, so is there any need to touch type?
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#22
(07-30-2020, 06:16 AM)Lister Wrote:
(07-30-2020, 04:40 AM)SwordfishII Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 11:02 AM)bard Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I read a few complaints about fxtec pro 1 and one of those Chinese gaming pocket pcs (gpd win 2?) that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs. So maybe a split keyboard would be in order? So that thumbs need not reach towards the middle?
A split keyboard is an extremely good idea. It would also be nice if the keyboard were programmable, maybe with QMK firmware. 

Not at all. A vast majority of people do not want, use, or like split keyboards. Any split keyboard would be appreciated by 15-20 people and hated by 100s to thousands.
The keyboard is presumably to small to type on it with all ten fingers so a thumb friendly layout is in order. 

The direction given was N900 style. 
- N900 was not split
- Had no problems with thumb typing
- Have you even used one?
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#23
Not exactly a keyboard but I think a second screen with physical triggers could be interesting. Something like the LG dual-screen case.

The screen is already there and can be re-used. It would require some controller to pass power, data and touch to USB-C.

Maybe the triggers could be wired separately to the pogo pins? Doesn't matter what type - capacitive, analog or plain old buttons depending on tolerances and available space.

Such an approach can spin in so many different directions. For an initial attempt it could be just the display controller to USB-C and then expand to the case shell itself.

Anyone else thinking this could be fun?

Device: Pinebook Pro 128GB No:246 / MainOS: Manjaro ARM
Godot and Flutter - creating something can be fun with the right tools!
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#24
(07-30-2020, 02:53 PM)SwordfishII Wrote:
(07-30-2020, 06:16 AM)Lister Wrote:
(07-30-2020, 04:40 AM)SwordfishII Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 11:02 AM)bard Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I read a few complaints about fxtec pro 1 and one of those Chinese gaming pocket pcs (gpd win 2?) that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs. So maybe a split keyboard would be in order? So that thumbs need not reach towards the middle?
A split keyboard is an extremely good idea. It would also be nice if the keyboard were programmable, maybe with QMK firmware. 

Not at all. A vast majority of people do not want, use, or like split keyboards. Any split keyboard would be appreciated by 15-20 people and hated by 100s to thousands.
The keyboard is presumably to small to type on it with all ten fingers so a thumb friendly layout is in order. 

The direction given was N900 style. 
- N900 was not split
- Had no problems with thumb typing
- Have you even used one?
Yes I did, as said I had HTC (desire z?) phone. Had no trouble typing. But the phone was small by today's standards. And while I think I will have no trouble using keyboard sized for today's phones some people semm to.
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#25
(07-30-2020, 10:08 PM)Lister Wrote:
(07-30-2020, 02:53 PM)SwordfishII Wrote:
(07-30-2020, 06:16 AM)Lister Wrote:
(07-30-2020, 04:40 AM)SwordfishII Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 11:02 AM)bard Wrote: A split keyboard is an extremely good idea. It would also be nice if the keyboard were programmable, maybe with QMK firmware. 

Not at all. A vast majority of people do not want, use, or like split keyboards. Any split keyboard would be appreciated by 15-20 people and hated by 100s to thousands.
The keyboard is presumably to small to type on it with all ten fingers so a thumb friendly layout is in order. 

The direction given was N900 style. 
- N900 was not split
- Had no problems with thumb typing
- Have you even used one?
Yes I did, as said I had HTC (desire z?) phone. Had no trouble typing. But the phone was small by today's standards. And while I think I will have no trouble using keyboard sized for today's phones some people semm to.

Sure understand.

I guess what kinda bugs me is they have a mocked up paper layout with clear requirements but people are completely ignoring them and throwing out grand ideas (second screen as keyboard etc).  Most of which are not feasible or more expensive than this inexpensive Linux phone.

Cheap, efficient, and meets requirements are the name of the game here folks
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#26
I know it's an expensive option, but I'm definitely one for a capacitive touch keyboard. I've had a few phones with keyboards (Nokia E7, Motorola Droid 2, Blackberry Passport) and, with my fat fingers, I struggled to type at a decent rate without pushing a few buttons at once. You can make the bottoms softer touch to speed up typing but it'll then be even easier to push multiple buttons at once. Blackberry added capacitive touch to their keyboards later which definitely helped.
Capacitive touch should also reduce the thickness of the keypad, and, if it's LCD, it'll mean that multiple layouts will be accounted for.
I understand the discussion has been had, so don't feel like I'm trying to change what's already been discussed. I just likely won't buy something that won't work for my fat fingers, and won't fit nicely in my pocket. I'm excited to see it, and the gaming pad, non-the-less
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#27
Back to the proposed keyboard with the STL model - why are the 3 keys at the left hand end double width? It seems like a waste of 3 keys. I'm not sure about the L-shape enter key either. The larger targets make some sense on a full size keyboard where you're using an extended little finger, but not for thumb typing, other than preserving some of the visual similarity, but that's already been given up by aligning the keys vertically. I'll understand if the answer is 'because the tooling already exists for this layout so it saves a load of cash.'

I can see the keymap being contentious too. Could we have a blank keycaps option with programmable keymap so people can print, laser etch etc. whatever layout suits them best?

I wish I had the skills, and knowledge of production engineering, to contribute to something more than ideas to this.
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#28
So, I started doing one of these the cheap-o way but got distracted by other things.
This is what I thought of, more or less. I really suck at designing and 3D printing, though so don't ask me for a mockup besides what I can do with Photoshop Smile

1. Out the middle frame, and take the battery out of the main chassis.
2. Use an adapter board to route the pogo pins and the battery terminals to the keyboard case, and put the battery in there
3. Since the flashlight is soldered to the main PCB there's no way of moving the back camera to the case, so I would leave that section covered by a new (thinner) middle frame and let the slider keyboard begin from below the camera, instead of covering _all_ of the backside of the phone (imagine the droid Razr Maxx (https://fdn2.gsmarena.com/vv/pics/motoro...maxx-1.jpg), but the moving parts would be just below the camera

By moving the battery you make both halves thinner, so the perception will be that it is less bulky. Furthermore, you will correctly balance the weight, so the screen doesn't fall to one side if it's open laying on a table.

For the keyboard distribution, I think it might be more important to use propper materials than the actual layout. I had an N900 and a Droid 4. Droid 4's layout was perfect and allowed for really fast typing (https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/ZwKkLeOu...re-555.jpg), but the quality of the N900's keys was really superior, and my typing was actually faster in it that with the Droid because of it

In the end, users get used to the layout you decide, but if the keys have too much grip because they're really cheap rubber (like the Rii Mini keyboard and things like that), you will never be able to type as fast because your fingers can't smoothly slide through the keys like you would do with a real keyboard

Just my two cents
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#29
(07-31-2020, 04:43 AM)wibble Wrote: Back to the proposed keyboard with the STL model - why are the 3 keys at the left hand end double width? It seems like a waste of 3 keys. I'm not sure about the L-shape enter key either. The larger targets make some sense on a full size keyboard where you're using an extended little finger, but not for thumb typing, other than preserving some of the visual similarity, but that's already been given up by aligning the keys vertically. I'll understand if the answer is 'because the tooling already exists for this layout so it saves a load of cash.'

I can see the keymap being contentious too. Could we have a blank keycaps option with programmable keymap so people can print, laser etch etc. whatever layout suits them best?

I wish I had the skills, and knowledge of production engineering, to contribute to something more than ideas to this.
I would agree about the enter key. I'm not sure about the keys on the left I quess because they would probably be "special" Tab, Shift, Etc... double size is ok.
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#30
(07-31-2020, 01:11 PM)biktorgj Wrote: 3. Since the flashlight is soldered to the main PCB there's no way of moving the back camera to the case, so I would leave that section covered by a new (thinner) middle frame and let the slider keyboard begin from below the camera, instead of covering _all_ of the backside of the phone (imagine the droid Razr Maxx (https://fdn2.gsmarena.com/vv/pics/motoro...maxx-1.jpg), but the moving parts would be just below the camera

I am in agreement with 1&2. For 3 you would basically not have a flat surface on the back? Or you would have a cover so the back would be flat, with just a pass through for the camera? But then the keyboard would be restricted in width?

I see why you say that and the logic behind it.
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