Author Topic: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?  (Read 17058 times)

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Offline vector88

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Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 11:42:11 »
Hi,
I found my passion for mechanical keyboards about 6 months ago. Since  I am programmer, the F-row is important to me when using basic text editor commands, file managers etc. But I managed to understand that with right settings and use of layers a 60/65% keyboard is good enough and you can easily circumvent the absence of function keys row.

But what I do not understand a bit is why is there SO MUCH beautiful keyboards, IC boards, GB threads etc. without WIN key. I don't use mac, so I have no clue how win key functions there, but as a Windows user, there is so many shortcuts involving windows key that I can't imagine use keyboard without it. Moreover, some of the more "geek" commands starts with combination of WIN+CTRL+SHIFT+letter.

But mainly whole windows charm and ease of use is based on significance and simplicity of use of winkey (I mean, press WIN and start writing first few letters of app you want to run; the win+e, win+prntscr, win+number combinations are just quick, fast and elegant). I imagine that on 60% WKL keyboard, if I want to press Win and Printscreen, I need to hold additional 2 more FN keys just to get the result (presuming prntsrc is fn+f and win is fn2+ctrl or something like that).

Also, the bottom row of keyboards just looks "unfinished" to me in WKL keyboards.

But back to the keyboards as a beautiful peace of hardware - why designers hate Win key so much? And how do you cope without Winkey on your layout?
Are keyboards geeks mostly linux users, or are you comfortable with pressing fn/meta key more often?
Or do you just don't use win+? shortcuts?

(the questions are obviously aimed at WKL users)

I apologize if there was some similar debate and I am being duplicate, I tried to google my questions, but got nothing.

Thanks for your comments!

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 11:46:42 »
Shift-Win-S is the bomb for partial screen shotting in Windows 10. It even captures drop-down lists in their dropped state.

Sorry, I know I'm not who you're questioning, because I also feel the Win key is indispensable these days.

Offline zslane

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 11:48:42 »
My guess is that WKL love is a by-product of the bizarre affection people have for IBM Model F/M keyboards.

Offline iamtootallforthis

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 11:49:17 »
You can always just remap a key. It's about the aesthetics.

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 11:52:01 »


bizarre affection people have for IBM Model F/M keyboards.
Nothing bizarre about loving those keyboards, especially the Fs. But I ANSI mod mine with a Win key anyway. :D

Offline equalunique

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 13:45:33 »
I think people who gravitate towards WKL just don't realize Win Key shortcuts are a thing.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 13:48:50 »
Windows key is indispensable, I agree. The only time I'm somewhat ok with not having it is on my HTPC, since I never have to fix my own computers, and do nothing serious with it in terms of demonstrating hotkeys/menus for others. At work, I have usb foot pedals mapped to the windows key so that I can use my "bizarre" ancient keyboards with no ill effects. I find dedicated arrow keys even more important than the windows key, at least for using hotkeys in spreadsheets, so I refuse to buy anything that doesn't at least have that.

My guess is that WKL love is a by-product of the bizarre affection people have for IBM Model F/M keyboards.

The capacitive buckling spring mechanism is one of the finest mechanical switch designs to have ever graced this earth. Nothing modern can compare, and only blue alps may top it in terms of feel and/or sound. Alps switches are ... delicate though, capacitive buckling spring is bomb proof.

If you haven't typed on a Model F yet, you have yet to have lived.

Offline wholypantalones

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 14:22:42 »
I think people who gravitate towards WKL just don't realize Win Key shortcuts are a thing.

Not using Windows and adding one more key to the shortcut on your fn layer instead is just so daunting tho.

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 14:43:31 »
I would say that it is really just a by-product of the fact that there is so much love for vintage gear, which came around before there was a significant market in Windows.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 15:53:28 »
People started doing custom keyboards before high-quality keycap sets from PMK, GMK and EnjoyPBT etc. were as widely available as today. Back then, if you wanted good keycaps then the quickest and easiest way to get them was to scavenge them from vintage Cherry keyboards — and most of what you could get hold of were winkeyless.

I'd say that was part of what started the trend, anyway. At the present, I think it is mostly about preference for look and feel ...  and about it being exclusive-feeling, different than the norm that the "gamer-keeb plebs" use.
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Offline Photekq

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 16:24:06 »
People started doing custom keyboards before high-quality keycap sets from PMK, GMK and EnjoyPBT etc. were as widely available as today. Back then, if you wanted good keycaps then the quickest and easiest way to get them was to scavenge them from vintage Cherry keyboards — and most of what you could get hold of were winkeyless.
This is the reason for WKL being a thing in the custom realm. You have to bear in mind that the first custom (DK Saver) was made all the way back in 2007 on the Korean forum kbdmania.net, and the OTD '356 series' started shortly afterwards in 2008 on otd.kr. The members of those forums recognised the fact that the best MX keycaps available to them were those from original Cherry keyboards (thick ABS doubleshots, thick PBT dyesubs and thick POM). You can find standard 104 winkey layout Cherry keyboards, but 101 winkeyless layout versions are FAR more common. And so, when they created the customs, winkeyless was a very common layout in order to facilitate usage of vintage keycaps.

I think the trend has continued partly for that same reason and partly for aesthetics. I still use original Cherry keycaps on all the customs I own, and if I were buying a winkey layout custom I'd use original Cherry on that too. Even though GMK has the same doubleshot moulds, I find the texture of the original doubleshots (and the original dyesubs even more so) to be much nicer than GMKs current offerings in terms of texture. Also, I think winkeyless looks nicer and if I need to use a windows key I can always bind it to right alt.
« Last Edit: Thu, 20 February 2020, 17:17:31 by Photekq »
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Offline equalunique

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 16:34:44 »
I think people who gravitate towards WKL just don't realize Win Key shortcuts are a thing.

Not using Windows and adding one more key to the shortcut on your fn layer instead is just so daunting tho.

The Win Key is not just for Windows. It's useful on macOS, Linux, Unix, and more.

I'm all for layers. My preferred keymap needs only 34 keys & makes extensive use of layers - and that's only practical because I have *more* thumb keys accessible on my layouts, not *less* thumbkeys as one would with WKL.

WKL is objectively less efficient. :)

Offline wholypantalones

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 17:07:15 »
I think people who gravitate towards WKL just don't realize Win Key shortcuts are a thing.

Not using Windows and adding one more key to the shortcut on your fn layer instead is just so daunting tho.

The Win Key is not just for Windows. It's useful on macOS, Linux, Unix, and more.

I'm all for layers. My preferred keymap needs only 34 keys & makes extensive use of layers - and that's only practical because I have *more* thumb keys accessible on my layouts, not *less* thumbkeys as one would with WKL.

WKL is objectively less efficient. :)

Right on.

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 17:33:15 »

Aesthetics.


I like WKL because it looks better. I don't use the Winkey. If you do, then I don't understand why you would want WKL.
A tenkeyless WKL layout is my favorite at the moment. It is not too small, and it looks better with the spaces between ALT and CTRL.
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Offline nmur

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 18:45:09 »
I agree that the functionality of the winkey is essential, but going without the actual winkey keys themselves is totally fine. I (as well as many others) have been rebinding Right Alt to winkey for so long that it's very natural to me. I would have zero use for a keyboard without winkey functionality, but I love WKL layouts.

As for why people choose it, there's the definitely the aesthetics factor like others have mentioned, but there's also some small practical reason - old Cherry keysets were only WKL, so it's reasonable to have a keyboard with a WKL layout to utilise those sets, without having to pull in extra keys from other sets.

These are just my opinions though. I'm a dude who was dumb enough to take a 86U Realforce, physically remove the winkey keys/domes/springs, just to use a Norbaforce housing with winkey blockers.

Offline el_murdoque

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 19:14:58 »
I don't know how many of you have been around when the win keys showed up for the first time.
The relatively young community of PC gamers hated those with a passion. They would open the Win menu when pressed by accident, which usually led to crashing the game, often windows, too. You had to reboot because you pressed one of these new buttons. Playing DOOM II where you did not use a mouse, but the arrow keys and strafing left and right was mapped to ALT+Arrows and shooting was mapped to CTRL could easily become a nightmare. Quite a lot of early games made use of CTRL and ALT as keys for your left hand and arrow keys for your right. It was a good setup. And then that darned windows key came along and ruined it.
 
I've trained myself and my muscle memory not to press those keys back in those days and that training stuck. I hardly ever use the win keys. By hardly ever, I mean about a dozen times per decade.
 

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 21:04:09 »
I don't know how many of you have been around when the win keys showed up for the first time.
The relatively young community of PC gamers hated those with a passion. They would open the Win menu when pressed by accident, which usually led to crashing the game, often windows, too. You had to reboot because you pressed one of these new buttons. Playing DOOM II where you did not use a mouse, but the arrow keys and strafing left and right was mapped to ALT+Arrows and shooting was mapped to CTRL could easily become a nightmare. Quite a lot of early games made use of CTRL and ALT as keys for your left hand and arrow keys for your right. It was a good setup. And then that darned windows key came along and ruined it.
 
I've trained myself and my muscle memory not to press those keys back in those days and that training stuck. I hardly ever use the win keys. By hardly ever, I mean about a dozen times per decade.

Yes, I never use the windows keys. Hence the get-rid-of-them.
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Offline eriatilox

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 21:20:29 »
People just like how they look.
I personally think WKL boards look great but I can understand that some may think they look weird or incomplete. Aesthetic is entirely subjective.

And it's not like not having a winkey at that position means not having a winkey at all when you can remap them to wherever you want.
Many people just remap them to r-alt or r-ctrl because they don't really need 2 alts and ctrls.

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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 20 February 2020, 23:22:33 »
BTW. I never use the Windows keys. I am 95% a Linux user anyway. I have the keys but don't have them mapped to anything. My window manager is configured to use left Alt for shortcuts and no Linux app I use needs left Alt for anything.

What I do use however is the right Alt key, in a winkeyful's keyboards position underneath period. And I use the Compose key.
« Last Edit: Fri, 21 February 2020, 07:55:54 by Findecanor »
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 07:48:49 »
Function > Form

I don't really care what the layout looks like, with or without a windows key. I do like the aesthetics of a keyboard's case, but they become irrelevant if I'm missing dedicated arrow keys, and certain other strange/pointless compromises. On a modern keyboard, a lack of a dedicated Windows key would definitely immediately put me on the fence.

I use a lot of weird old boards interchangeably, most of which have no right alt key, intermingled with modern boards, with many different computers and operating systems. As such, I would prefer that my keys just do what they say on them, so that I don't have to try to remember half a dozen different mapping schemes, and layers were always a no-go from the start combined with 2-3+ key hotkeys.

Offline zslane

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #20 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 11:49:47 »
The capacitive buckling spring mechanism is one of the finest mechanical switch designs to have ever graced this earth.

Yeah, if only IBM had not wasted them on such a terrible keyboard. And as good as capacitive bucklers were, they were still inferior to beamsprings, and they still ended up victims to the same cost-cutting regime that led to their design in the first place. Basically, once IBM abandoned beamsprings and the beautiful, thick, spherical keycaps that went with them, it was all downhill from there.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 12:06:34 »
The capacitive buckling spring mechanism is one of the finest mechanical switch designs to have ever graced this earth.

Yeah, if only IBM had not wasted them on such a terrible keyboard. And as good as capacitive bucklers were, they were still inferior to beamsprings, and they still ended up victims to the same cost-cutting regime that led to their design in the first place. Basically, once IBM abandoned beamsprings and the beautiful, thick, spherical keycaps that went with them, it was all downhill from there.

I have no doubt. I have yet to have the pleasure of trying a beam spring keyboard. By terrible, which do you mean? XT, AT? F122, the Zinc tanks? All of them? I don't mind the AT layout so much, other than the lack of the Windows key. I actually quite like the left side F keys. I certainly like the AT layout infinitely more than the average modern board below 75%.

Offline typo

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 13:27:48 »
I love 65% but constantly using "FN" kills my WPM. I get paid by lines of code. I know that is unusual today but I was given a choice. I get a good base salary and I work about 16 hours a day. On a full size Realforce my WPM is about 30% more. I won't say what it is because no one will believe me anyways. If I can figure out really minimizing the modifier 65% would be my grail. One in particular. I prefer the size of it, not the layout. however I do have some Koreans that do have a Win key but not other keys I need. some have no "F" keys at all! Good luck getting into the bios. This is OT but you folks talking about M and f you all must prefer Din converted to PS/2? I vastly prefer USB. Not that nostalgic. I have plenty of vintage IBM's but I do not actually use them.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 14:14:30 »
I love 65% but constantly using "FN" kills my WPM. I get paid by lines of code. I know that is unusual today but I was given a choice. I get a good base salary and I work about 16 hours a day. On a full size Realforce my WPM is about 30% more. I won't say what it is because no one will believe me anyways. If I can figure out really minimizing the modifier 65% would be my grail. One in particular. I prefer the size of it, not the layout. however I do have some Koreans that do have a Win key but not other keys I need. some have no "F" keys at all! Good luck getting into the bios. This is OT but you folks talking about M and f you all must prefer Din converted to PS/2? I vastly prefer USB. Not that nostalgic. I have plenty of vintage IBM's but I do not actually use them.

I see two minor benefits to 5-pin din/ps2 over usb:

1) I can connect a keyboard with one extra free usb port and less load on the usb controller. (I'm a computer technican, usb ports vanish quickly)

2) I can mod 5-pin din jacks onto existing keyboards and use any old MIDI cable (Hosa brand MIDI cables are very, very high quality, and cheap), of any length I like, from Amazon, in conjunction with a 5-pin din adapter, instead of having to either use garbage quality modern usb cables, or build my own invincible cables from scratch.

Otherwise, most of these boards can be connected through usb as well with a cheap generic adapter or Soarer/Hasu converter.

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The Model M I have no particular love for, at all. Membrane buckling spring doesn't feel particularly great, even at its best. At its worst it feels worse than a good rubber dome. The plastic rivet design was, objectively, stupid. Model M vs any Cherry-compatible board with box jades or navies in it, ends in a victory for the box switches in my book. The Model F, however, is wonderful. It is between that and complicated blue alps for me so far. At the high school I currently have a Leading Edge DC-2014 with blue alps, at the middle school I have an F AT with capacitive buckling springs, and most days are split between them. It is a thing of beauty.

Offline Kavik

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 21 February 2020, 14:32:08 »
The main two reasons I prefer WKL is that it looks way better and that it also feels better. The Ctrl and Alt keys are easier to find and they are bigger (usually) in a WKL layout.

I say this as someone who actually does like the Windows key. It's possible to map Win to one of the Alt keys since two Alts aren't really necessary, or to use autohotkey to make Ctrl + Alt = Win; the only downside to that is you have to map every single Win shortcut string you want to use in autohotkey.

That said, I have been too lazy to remap the keys in firmware, and the autohotkey approach is a pain since it has to be set up on each computer you use.
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Offline treeleaf64

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 22 February 2020, 09:11:44 »
The main two reasons I prefer WKL is that it looks way better and that it also feels better. The Ctrl and Alt keys are easier to find and they are bigger (usually) in a WKL layout.

I say this as someone who actually does like the Windows key. It's possible to map Win to one of the Alt keys since two Alts aren't really necessary, or to use autohotkey to make Ctrl + Alt = Win; the only downside to that is you have to map every single Win shortcut string you want to use in autohotkey.

That said, I have been too lazy to remap the keys in firmware, and the autohotkey approach is a pain since it has to be set up on each computer you use.

Yes, I like the missing windows keys, because I don't have to look down to see what key I am pressing. It is the same reason why people like the space in between their arrow keys and the rest of the keyboard on a 65%.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 03:46:09 »
I love the claim of aesthetics, since so much of the key layout is geared at making the main cluster a rectangle, only to knock two chunks out of it.

I am pretty sure the big reason is gaming, too many people tapping their way out of a game mid combat. Best thing I ever did when Windows gaming was setup Autohotkey to disable it any time I was playing a game. Made it totally seamless.
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Offline mode

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 11:44:56 »
I wish AEK bottom row was popular, it's much nicer, symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing and gives you all the keys. The menu key is truly useless.

Offline frydaja

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 14:20:47 »
Shift-Win-S is the bomb for partial screen shotting in Windows 10. It even captures drop-down lists in their dropped state.

Sorry, I know I'm not who you're questioning, because I also feel the Win key is indispensable these days.

Win-P is also essential if you're using a dual-screen setup.
And Win-; if you use PowerToys' split windows feature.
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Offline DALExSNAIL

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 15:12:42 »
Imagine not knowing how to use layers

Or how to remap a key

Offline mode

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 15:23:11 »
Imagine not knowing how to use layers

Or how to remap a key

Imagine preferring not to have to

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 18:24:25 »
I wish AEK bottom row was popular, it's much nicer, symmetrical, aesthetically pleasing and gives you all the keys. The menu key is truly useless.

I think I've used it twice, both when a mouse key went bad.
The same goes for right Windows key, and the only time I have ever used the right CTRL & ALT was when doing the Windows Salute.

You can pretty much remove the whole right bottom row as far as I'm concerned.
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Offline Delirious

  • Posts: 322
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 23 February 2020, 18:51:29 »
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Offline nmur

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Offline chyros

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 01:17:25 »
Honestly, I just never ever use it. If anything, it's in the way; there is a reason why a "gaming lock" exists. Besides, it makes the good buttons, Ctrl and Alt, more difficult to find (and smaller to boot).

I'm sure I'm missing out on all manner of amazing shortcuts, but I myself don't know any that would be worth the trouble.
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Online yui

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 02:24:41 »
yeah win shortcut can maybe be amazing, but only on windows, and function layers/macropads do exist so you can remap it somewhere else anyway, true if you use it every 5 minutes it will become old quick but i use this key at a maximum twice a day even when using windows, i do use alt and ctrl much more so the benefit of having them bigger and easier to find makes a ton of sense.
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Offline Harke

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 05:43:50 »
I have never used windows shortcuts and have never felt the need to, so the win key for me and many people is an unnecessary annoyance. A lot of people in le lower-middle end of this hobby are also pretty big gamers, and its frustrating having your game minimised when you press the win key by accident when you want ctrl. In my (and many other's) opinions, WKL just looks nicer.
maybe try this layout
https://imgur.com/a/VCX5nKS
It will be easier finding the keys you want if you have the gap there and having ctrl next to a is an amazing change.
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness" - Oscar Wilde

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 07:47:33 »
I can't believe I forgot to mention the Windows key in games in my previous post. I don't understand how people accidentally press it so easily. I think I may have done it inadvertently ... once, in my entire life. I laugh whenever I see keyboards with the winkey locks and ignore them. The same goes for it somehow cluttering up easy access to ctrl and alt. I know where ctrl and alt are without looking, but I'm also a touch typist if that makes any difference.

Ironically, I actually often end up using the Windows key to quickly hop on another application, like a browser, from a game since the alt + tab interface can be a little clunky. I rarely had to do this anymore, until everyone decided to arbitrarily be obsessed with Discord ... which has no built-in web browser, and has an overlay that has a 50/50 chance (on a good day) of reliably functioning in a game to begin with.

Offline Anikiandy

  • Posts: 20
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 24 February 2020, 22:24:36 »
I think it’s aesthetics? I also prefer winkey, but I also never use right ctrl or alt so I can manage a wikeyless by just moving my windows key to one of those.  What I personally can’t deal with is no arrows


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Offline vegs

  • Posts: 631
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 01:27:09 »
I map capslock to control, and control (bottom left key) to windows key.

For me it's an aesthetic thing :D
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Offline DALExSNAIL

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 07:38:50 »
I mean, do the winkey crowd here actually have a legitimate current day reason to have 2 instances of control or alt? Maybe it's a comfort thing? Claiming that winkeyless somehow limits those who use it just seems like a troll when there are so many duplicates of keys that most people don't use that often, and we're in a hobby where remapping/macros/layers is the norm.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 07:57:04 »
I mean, do the winkey crowd here actually have a legitimate current day reason to have 2 instances of control or alt? Maybe it's a comfort thing? Claiming that winkeyless somehow limits those who use it just seems like a troll when there are so many duplicates of keys that most people don't use that often, and we're in a hobby where remapping/macros/layers is the norm.

I would say that most people would probably be fine with the removal of at least 4-5+ keys, depending on usage. Caps lock is literally useless outside of the rare game that maps it to something. Personally, I never use the left shift key (except in games), and only use the right ctrl and alt keys when going for a single-handed ctrl+alt+delete. I (almost) never use any f keys, except when people accidentally put their browser into full screen mode and I have to fix it, or the number pad.

At least half of my keyboards predate, or at least ignore, the ANSI layout though, and I would much rather the function of a switch match its standard location/legend either way. Juggling AT, ANSI, and random 75%s is already enough for me, and there's still really no reasonable argument for not having a Windows key.

Offline DALExSNAIL

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 08:08:08 »
I mean, do the winkey crowd here actually have a legitimate current day reason to have 2 instances of control or alt? Maybe it's a comfort thing? Claiming that winkeyless somehow limits those who use it just seems like a troll when there are so many duplicates of keys that most people don't use that often, and we're in a hobby where remapping/macros/layers is the norm.

I would say that most people would probably be fine with the removal of at least 4-5+ keys, depending on usage. Caps lock is literally useless outside of the rare game that maps it to something. Personally, I never use the left shift key (except in games), and only use the right ctrl and alt keys when going for a single-handed ctrl+alt+delete. I (almost) never use any f keys, except when people accidentally put their browser into full screen mode and I have to fix it, or the number pad.

At least half of my keyboards predate, or at least ignore, the ANSI layout though, and I would much rather the function of a switch match its standard location/legend either way. Juggling AT, ANSI, and random 75%s is already enough for me, and there's still really no reasonable argument for not having a Windows key.

I use my winkey decently often being in IT, so I map a key to it on every board, even if just for the convenience of win+L at the end of the day.

I find the lack of a key where one might find a winkey, breaks up the bottom row in a way that helps with finding what key I need without looking. My winkey usually sits where my left control would sit, and I move control to replace caps lock.

In the end, as far as I'm concerned, both winkey and winkeyless are aesthetic choices.

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 08:23:12 »
I mean, do the winkey crowd here actually have a legitimate current day reason to have 2 instances of control or alt? Maybe it's a comfort thing? Claiming that winkeyless somehow limits those who use it just seems like a troll when there are so many duplicates of keys that most people don't use that often, and we're in a hobby where remapping/macros/layers is the norm.

I would say that most people would probably be fine with the removal of at least 4-5+ keys, depending on usage. Caps lock is literally useless outside of the rare game that maps it to something. Personally, I never use the left shift key (except in games), and only use the right ctrl and alt keys when going for a single-handed ctrl+alt+delete. I (almost) never use any f keys, except when people accidentally put their browser into full screen mode and I have to fix it, or the number pad.

At least half of my keyboards predate, or at least ignore, the ANSI layout though, and I would much rather the function of a switch match its standard location/legend either way. Juggling AT, ANSI, and random 75%s is already enough for me, and there's still really no reasonable argument for not having a Windows key.

I use my winkey decently often being in IT, so I map a key to it on every board, even if just for the convenience of win+L at the end of the day.

I find the lack of a key where one might find a winkey, breaks up the bottom row in a way that helps with finding what key I need without looking. My winkey usually sits where my left control would sit, and I move control to replace caps lock.

In the end, as far as I'm concerned, both winkey and winkeyless are aesthetic choices.

I'm still not understanding this emphasis on breaking up the bottom row, but maybe that's because I did heavy amounts of data entry/copy and pasting as a day job for a year straight, so ctrl is ALWAYS where I assume it will be (on ANSI boards). I actually agree with others saying that not having the Windows key may add an aesthetic flourish, whereas having it makes the keyboard look more like a plain old rectangle. I just don't care what the layout looks like if it is as practical as possible.

I have been using usb foot pedals mapped to the Windows key for my boards that don't have it, since they're mostly unmodified AT layout anyway. Then I don't have to worry about ruining my existing muscle memory any more than I have to, and especially associating keys with non-standard mappings in my head.

Offline depletedvespene

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 12:06:20 »
I think people who gravitate towards WKL just don't realize Win Key shortcuts are a thing.

I've been aware of them ever since they came out. And yet...

The only Whortcut I actually use is Win-Shift-S, although I don't use it like that: instead, I remap it on my programmable keyboards to Shift-PrintScreen, which is where I think the functionality it contains should have been located in the first place.


Offline depletedvespene

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 12:12:10 »
I don't know how many of you have been around when the win keys showed up for the first time.
The relatively young community of PC gamers hated those with a passion. They would open the Win menu when pressed by accident, which usually led to crashing the game, often windows, too.


I remember the cheers of joy when the first keyboard with a "disable Windows keys" DIP switch showed up.

Yeah, the hatred gamers from that time had for the Windows keys was so strong, it actually eclipsed the other reason for hating the Windows keys in the first place back then (Microsoft, a software company, pushing their own hardware agenda down the throats of users; remember this was during the same time "winmodems", "winprinters" and other "winhardware" was pushed upon, too... only those other abominations died quickly).

Offline Maledicted

  • Posts: 1906
  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 13:23:36 »
I think people who gravitate towards WKL just don't realize Win Key shortcuts are a thing.

I've been aware of them ever since they came out. And yet...

The only Whortcut I actually use is Win-Shift-S, although I don't use it like that: instead, I remap it on my programmable keyboards to Shift-PrintScreen, which is where I think the functionality it contains should have been located in the first place.

Have you seen any of the more modern hotkeys? Windows + X (Windows 8 and later) is wonderful for instant access to helpful menus and utilities, since M$ has hid them all in nonsensical places since the fall of XP. I use Windows + P constantly, both for demonstration at work, and to quickly modify my display configuration between 3 screens at home.

Offline depletedvespene

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Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 25 February 2020, 13:43:20 »
I think people who gravitate towards WKL just don't realize Win Key shortcuts are a thing.

I've been aware of them ever since they came out. And yet...

The only Whortcut I actually use is Win-Shift-S, although I don't use it like that: instead, I remap it on my programmable keyboards to Shift-PrintScreen, which is where I think the functionality it contains should have been located in the first place.

Have you seen any of the more modern hotkeys? Windows + X (Windows 8 and later) is wonderful for instant access to helpful menus and utilities, since M$ has hid them all in nonsensical places since the fall of XP. I use Windows + P constantly, both for demonstration at work, and to quickly modify my display configuration between 3 screens at home.

Once my monitors are set up to my liking, I rarely change them around (that said, I wish the higher-ups at work would understand the benefits of a second monitor, and then I'd have a good use case for Win-P). As per utilities, the Take Command + File Explorer combo is hard to beat, even by Windows itself. :-D

Offline typo

  • Posts: 1675
Re: Why is there so many WKL keyboards and so much love for them?
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 03 March 2020, 20:44:02 »
I do not understand this. Just hating on the poor windows key? Or for Mac, then it makes sense. That is a somewhat different layout altogether though not just missing win key. So you have the ugly blanks instead. It is like your cheap car reminding you that you could not afford a feature package. I hardly use the Win key but I do not like the aesthetics of this at all. For one thing I do not even understand the point of it. Is it just to be l33t? Why not just put some cool key caps there. Plus I always see these as 60%. Who says it cannot be 104+? Are there friggin rules about it too? Gee Whiz. I cannot believe manufacturers even cater to these whims. I mean this is a niche on a niche on a niche. How many of these can they possibly even sell? Oh well. Count me out.