1. the arrow keys - can we please have a set of "real" arrow keys that can be operated by one hand?
2. optionally, an onboard modifier key to switch the keypad on momentarily so that it can be used as arrow keys
1 - with the reprogrammability of the board i moved the bracket keys over to the left, and have all 4 cursors clustered on the right, i was even able to swap caps to support this. I set it up in the vim style < v ^ > but that doesn't feel as natural without the index finger on down, so i may swap it to ^ v < > in the future.
2 - yup, and the ability to remap the location of the keypad button - having it all the way up where it is means that i _never_ use mine, so all those extra characters i could type or whatnot are sadly lost to me
note - i've got an old classic model that I scored on ebay a few weeks back so I don't know if things have changed with the programming capabilities on newer versions.
i was interested in the integrated dvorak switching when i got mine. i'm learning colemak, but i thought i could remap the dvorak layer, then be able to switch back and forth with qwerty at will, so other people could use my machine without too many problems, but switching between the modes just does a fixed set of remappings, so wiped out changes that i'd made
yeah, the F-key row is evil and must be killed. i'm not bothered by having a few of them cheap and nasty buttons for very occasional things like remapping, but good F-keys which are in decently touch-typish positions are a must. As a windows programmer i need to reach for F5 or F12 all the time and they're in very odd places.
a few more normal keys would also be a good thing, check out the ergodox with an extra key for the little finger, and 3 additional keys for the index finger to reach for past the normal letter keys. Some of the rubbish that's cluttering up the default positions on the thumb clusters could move to them - home/end & page up/down are wasting valuable prime space there, thumbs are great for space, enter and backspace, maybe delete, but then it's all about modifiers. i have my shift keys pulled in there along with the ctrls & alts, i'd like to get the windows keys in there too, and the aforementioned, improved layer stuff.
Following on from the shift thing, when i first looked at exactly which keys go where, my thoughts went something like:
*why the hell aren't there shifts on the thumbs
*why the frack have they got the backspace & delete buttons, and the space & enter buttons the wrong way round. all those thumb buttons you want the home position to be in the middle for quick access. And they've even created proper home locators for your thumbs with the slanty buttons, so why oh why are they labelled back to front?
i think that having the entire set of home keys being a different profile for easy locatoring (including the thumbs, even if you have em labelled wrong) is a master stroke. way better than a little blip on f/j, but i do like the idea of everything being the same standard to aid with moving things around. I'm sure that the number of people in the world who want to set up their keyboard in a non-standard manner is tiny, but when you are creating such an outlandish monster, with such a high price tag, and such good programability I'm sure that it flips things on their head, so most of your customers are going to want to be able to fiddle a lot. As you control the plate, it'd be better if switch heights could be determined by that so they're more moveable. it's a definite nuisance having a key marked ctrl very close to the key that actually is ctrl, but due to the caps having different heights I'm not able to swap them.
I love my kinesis, but i have ordered a full ergodox kit and the bulk of the bits to create a second one, so i'm not sure that i'll be likely to pick up a new board from you guys, but i'd hope that my input has some value. I've started designing my ideal layout on the massdrop configurator page, so if you have an account with em you might be able to see my thoughts here: https://www.massdrop.com/ext/ergodox/?referer=5MP8XY&hash=2ff2682584ec1df5f6cd3e6a89568800