QuadGMoto's Programmer Layout

Discussion in 'Firmware' started by QuadGMoto, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    It seems to me that this awesome keyboard design needs an excellent ergonomic layout. After spending way too much time reading and researching, it seems like the Programmer Dvorak layout would be best for me, as long as I made a few modifications to make it better fit the language I use, as well as this very non-standard layout.

    So here's my first crack at a layout. There are a few keys I haven't figured out what to with yet. And I'm very unsure about the thumb layout and modifier key placement.

    Can you give me any suggestions, warnings, feedback, etc.?

    QuadGMoto's Layout.png
  2. AcidFire

    AcidFire I Make Stuff Staff Member

    I like it! I definitely think the thumbs will end up being tweaked as you find how best to use them, but the rest of it is looking pretty damn good :D
  3. jeep

    jeep New Member

    What tool did you use to make the diagram? I'll post what my plan is. ;)
  4. jackmills

    jackmills New Member

    ^this

    I have an idea for a Colemak layout, but I read somewhere that this will be one of the 3 standard layouts...
  5. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    I used an application that exists only on the Mac called OmniGraffle. It's basically a MacDraw type program oriented towards drawing diagrams, flowcharts, and the like.

    I can share the file if you want it.
  6. jeep

    jeep New Member

    Sure. I'll use the trial for now. I doubt I will spend $99 on it. So I may just try doing mine on Visio.
  7. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    Am I correct in thinking the side keys are 1x1.5? That's what I used for the thumb keys, but that doesn't look right.
  8. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    I can export to several bitmap formats as well as SVG, PDF, and EPS in addition to the native OG format. What would you like?
  9. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    Aw heck. While I'm thinking of it, why don't just upload all the vector versions.

    Oops. Turns out I can't upload them as attached files. Hmmmm… thinking…
  10. AcidFire

    AcidFire I Make Stuff Staff Member

    Yup, the side and thumb keys are both 1.5u. And let me see what I can do about those attachments.
  11. AcidFire

    AcidFire I Make Stuff Staff Member

    Ok, I've added AI & EPS files as ok to upload.
  12. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

  13. jeep

    jeep New Member

    Mine isn't as pretty as yours, but here is my Colemak layout. It will be interesting to play with the shortcuts. I'm not sure I can stop doing Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V ;)

    Layer1.png Layer2.png
  14. EvillePanda

    EvillePanda New Member

    I'm really happy the first format posted was Dvorak. Can't wait for the crowd source.
  15. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    Yeah, the shortcuts will definitely get annoying.

    Mine is "pretty" because it's not only the layout I'm figuring out, I'm hoping to get keycaps made from that layout.

    Your layout has some nice ideas that I have to give some thought to. How do you switch layers?
  16. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    Which key in the thumb cluster is the natural resting position?

    One of my big worries is how to handle the modifiers. They make sense under the thumbs as individual modifiers, but when doing multiple modifiers (Control-Alt-Shift-something, Command-Control-something) the other fingers need to get involved, which seems like it would be more of an issue with a thumb specific tilt making things awkward. Would it be left hand on right thumb cluster and visa-versa? Or something else? Any thoughts?

    Maybe I could do something crazy like this:

    QuadGMoto's Layout End Modifiers.png
  17. jeep

    jeep New Member

    The "NumLock" key takes you to L1. Then the L0 key takes you back. I thought about having a "temporary" key that takes you to L1 on press and then back on release, but I think I'll be in one mode or the other all the time.

    From the pics, I suspect the button you have as return will be most natural unless you have unusually small or large hands.

    I use emacs a lot and want to get modifiers off my pinkies. I'm pretty good at alt-ctrl with just one pinkie and shift-ctrl the same. For alt-shift, I move my whole hand and use my thumb and middle finger. and alt-ctrl-shift (rarely used) with my thumb/fore/middle fingers on the right and pinky/ring/thumb on the left.

    I also worry about the layout of the arrow keys. It seems like it will be natural for left/right/up but be harder for down. If L/D/R are in a row, then you extend the middle finger for up, which seems more natural than pulling it back for down... but it may just be habit. Also, with my current keyboard, I use my left thumb to use a modifier when I use home/end/pgup/pgdn (which form a square on the upper left corner of my keyboard. It may be hard to adjust to using my right hand for modifiers when using those keys.
  18. QuadGMoto

    QuadGMoto New Member

    I'm currently using the Truly Ergonomic keyboard which has the arrow keys in that configuration. I expected to have trouble with the diamond shape, especially for the home/end/pgup/pgdn keys. It turns out that the formation is as easy to use as the inverted-T. For the h/e/u/d set it turns out to just be different more than wrong.

    The real problem I have with them is that I mistake them for other keys since they're tucked in where the modifiers are on standard keyboards. But it also means I can use those keys without having to really move my hands, which is a plus. If it was possible to get more separation from the other keys, or a different texture or something, I think that would be better. Since mechanical restrictions prevent moving them further away, doing something with the keycaps is probably the best solution.
  19. jackmills

    jackmills New Member

    You have got some nice ideas here, I like the idea of introducing the mouse button actions. I really like your layout.
    The only doubt I have is about putting both the shift and ctrl in the thumbclusters or if you put them in the thumbclusters, then I would put them in the same row, as I tend to use both together quite often and this way I could hit them with one thumb.
  20. jeep

    jeep New Member

    Yeah, I had Alt and Ctrl swapped on paper. I'm not sure why I decided to swap them when I put it in the spreadsheet. I use shift the most by far, so I wanted it to be the least travel. I think I'll swap the ctrl and alt. I really want to get a board to play with the shortcuts on the outside. If I hate them, then there are a lot more options. I feel like Mail/Media/App1/App2 will probably be more desirable in those spots. I worry a little because my pinkies are wearing out a little.

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