Author Topic: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?  (Read 3742 times)

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Offline lemur

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Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 20:49:35 »
What are your thoughts on keysets for use on a modern computer with sublegends that may be totally unneeded, or in some cases, literally useless in a modern context/modern machine?

I am thinking of things like the sublegends from the space cadet, apl, the petscii sublegends, or many of the new keysets lately with foreign language sublegends, people trading 'OG' sublegended sets for use on modern keyboards, or even people reviving some of those japanese/chinese market Alps made IBM terminal 'pingmaster' boards..

I have one of the latter Alps boards, it is a great keyboard.. I do not speak or read chinese though.. and sometimes I do think it'd have been much better if I had access to one without all those extra characters.. I do admit that at first the novelty of how it looked was endearing.

This of course has been a thing for a long while, but with a recent wave of sublegend sets, I wonder what people think of the topic. Is it good, bad, neither, helping, hurting.. annoying, great.. what do you think?

« Last Edit: Fri, 20 April 2018, 20:51:15 by lemur »
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Offline Sifo

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 20:53:02 »
all legends suck
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Offline lemur

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 21:08:26 »
there is a case to be made for all legends sucking..... for people who can type without looking, theyre all unneeded.
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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 21:19:07 »
Are you trying to form a support group for people who hate "extra" legends?  I'm sure you'll find supporters of all kinds: blank caps, plain vanilla legends, super pad-print quadruple color legends, etc.  The good part is that you don't have to be limited to sets you don't like--there are many to choose from (although majority of custom sets here have simple one-language legends, so there's a bias toward that, and anything "different" can become desirable).
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Offline lemur

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 21:22:54 »
Are you trying to form a support group for people who hate "extra" legends?

No.

I am asking for people to discuss the topic in a thread of its own, in the keycap subforum, so as to not derail other unrelated threads with this discussion.
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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 21:38:23 »
My opinion on your topic is: it depends on design in question.  For instance, English/Cyrillic has been popular in custom sets because it looks aesthetically pleasing.  Would it be useful for actual typing purposes?  Not so much for most non-Russians who also don't swap region locale in Windows to change input characters.  Many people just get those sets because they look cool.   In some way it's faster to use an on-line on-screen keyboard (like http://russian.typeit.org/) that assigns Cyrillic characters to English ones phonetically, so that A is A, Ф is F, etc. (which is not the proper Cyrillic layout otherwise)--but then you only need to remember where the English letters are and copy-paste the resulting strings.  I have no idea if people do this sort of thing for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, etc.  Really it's like asking people to justify putting novelty caps on keys instead of matching keycaps with appropriate legends.  Sometimes Hiragana looks just right--and I understand none of it--or a splash of colorful side legends (like the Tulip BSP dye sub group buy).

P.S.: this post may or may not have been influenced by some amount of hard cider.
« Last Edit: Fri, 20 April 2018, 21:40:33 by Photoelectric »
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Offline emenelopee

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 22:03:17 »
I write a bunch of equations all the time so Greek subs would definitely interest me. I guess that doesn't fall into the "unneeded/superfluous" bin so maybe I'm doing this wrong.

Answering the question: No, I don't like superfluous, but then again, by definition, they are unnecessary, in the same way preferring too sweet or too salty is a meaningless question.

HOWEVER, in the spirit of the debate, I have not, and likely never will, buy a hiragana set because roll eyes at weeb ****.

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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 23:17:23 »
I haven't bought (and probably would never buy) any keycap sets with "useless" legends or sublegends. I like the IBM APL sublegends, because I'm a programmer and would like to play around with APL one day. I like Cyrillic sublegends because I'd like to learn that alphabet and maybe the language.

7bit's space cadet caps look incredible, but I prefer the extra big alpha-only versions of his keys. I have no interest at all in Elvish, Vulcan, Klingon, etc. legends.

Offline emenelopee

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 23:24:19 »
... but I prefer the extra big alpha-only versions of his keys ...

Do you have an image for these? I'd like to see a precedent for giganto-alphas for the glowSA set.

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 20 April 2018, 23:45:25 »
... but I prefer the extra big alpha-only versions of his keys ...

Do you have an image for these? I'd like to see a precedent for giganto-alphas for the glowSA set.
Lots of nice photos in the Round 6 photo thread.

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 21 April 2018, 00:09:24 »
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Offline mrhead

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 21 April 2018, 15:21:26 »
... but I prefer the extra big alpha-only versions of his keys ...

Do you have an image for these? I'd like to see a precedent for giganto-alphas for the glowSA set.
Lots of nice photos in the Round 6 photo thread.

https://deskthority.net/photos-f62/round-6-the-cappening-t15386.html

Offtopic, but...damn.  That's a damn sexy keyboard!

Offline emenelopee

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 21 April 2018, 17:31:45 »
... but I prefer the extra big alpha-only versions of his keys ...

Do you have an image for these? I'd like to see a precedent for giganto-alphas for the glowSA set.
Lots of nice photos in the Round 6 photo thread.

https://deskthority.net/photos-f62/round-6-the-cappening-t15386.html

That looks like regular SA font size to me - at least compared with the Maxkeys I'm using right now.

Offline Parva Ovis

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 21 April 2018, 19:18:24 »
Sublegends on the numpad when none of the other keys have sublegends is a huge dislike for me; otherwise, it depends on what the sublegend is as to whether I'll like it or not, not its (lack of) functionality.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 21 April 2018, 20:04:07 »
I often use combinations with Alt Gr to type symbols with Swedish layout. The ones I use the most, I know ... but the ones I use less often are not even printed (but available by default under Linux) so I have to go by trial and error to type those.
I most often use Swedish or blank keyboards but I do have several in English and German layout and what gets most annoying is when a legend is different from in the layout I use.

What I mean is, I think it is better to have no sublegend at all than to have the wrong sublegend!

I don't mind sublegends for another layout altogether as long as they are distinct (by layout on keycap and/or colour) and ... the layout depicted is a real one, that you can actually select and use.
PETSCII would be valid because you can use a C64 emulator. It is relevant not just aesthetically but because there is a live C64 community out there: for instance, there have been PETSCII art competitions this year and there have been new releases of some pretty good games every year in the past few years.
Japanese and Hangul would better match the actual layouts they use today in those countries and not be something made up or matching a vintage non-PC/non-Mac keyboard.
Similarly, if you are going to make a set with APL sublegends, you should make it match that of Dyalog APL which is the modern APL that people actually program in (BTW. I once interviewed for such a position, but I quickly learned to hate APL. Not having the legends on the keyboard was just a small annoyance compared to working in a contrived write-once language).

BTW, those who design "Nordic" keycaps where Swedish/Finnish, Norwegian and Danish are jumbled up in the same colour and with no logical layout on each keycap... they should be shot!
« Last Edit: Sat, 21 April 2018, 20:10:55 by Findecanor »
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Offline bizzy11

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 23 April 2018, 19:25:11 »
I'm still learning how to touch type in Korean, so I need sublegends. I average 120 wpm in English though.
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Offline AMongoose

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 24 April 2018, 04:53:31 »
What I mean is, I think it is better to have no sublegend at all than to have the wrong sublegend!

Eh, I like having wrong sublegends, that way when I get stuck and forget a symbol I try to remember what's the symbol on the keyboard that makes the symbol I want.
It's at least better for me than going by trial on a general reason when I have no sublegends.

Offline chyros

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 24 April 2018, 05:47:26 »
They're cool! They give a bit of extra character to a keyboard IMO. But only if they did originally have a genuine use, otherwise it's just fake crap.
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Online Blaise170

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 24 April 2018, 12:24:47 »
I like them, I think it adds something different to a keyboard that most others don't have. My Matias keyboard has the Apple legends which actually helps a lot but I also have a Korean, Japanese, Cyrillic, and Chinese keyset on different boards. I've actually used both the Korean and Japanese before on Windows with layout switching, it's actually really handy, especially when I am searching for things on Yahoo Auctions, etc. Maybe the ones I haven't used aren't necessary, but I think they look nice.
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Offline emenelopee

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 24 April 2018, 14:50:02 »
They're cool! They give a bit of extra character to a keyboard IMO. But only if they did originally have a genuine use, otherwise it's just fake crap.

I like them, I think it adds something different to a keyboard that most others don't have. My Matias keyboard has the Apple legends which actually helps a lot but I also have a Korean, Japanese, Cyrillic, and Chinese keyset on different boards. I've actually used both the Korean and Japanese before on Windows with layout switching, it's actually really handy, especially when I am searching for things on Yahoo Auctions, etc. Maybe the ones I haven't used aren't necessary, but I think they look nice.

These are not examples of "Unneeded/Superfluous". The question is on the "fake crap", unless I'm misunderstanding what OP means by the thread intent?

Online Blaise170

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 24 April 2018, 15:09:33 »
No you are correct, but I did mention that I have a couple of keysets that I can't/don't use. I have a red and black Cyrillic set that fits Alps SKCC switches that I think looks really cool, and gives it a "Red Alert" or USSR look to it, but that I otherwise have no need for.
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Offline UsualSuspectXXX

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 24 April 2018, 17:00:53 »
I have absolutely no use for the Cyrillic legends on my Lustro, but I like the added color


Offline pvd

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 07:12:45 »
If you're typing correctly, you're not looking at your keys.

So the only real purpose of sublegends is aesthetics. If you think hiragana sublegends look lame, that's fine.

Offline Sup

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 08:36:56 »
it's mostly for aesthetics. But i don't really like to have japanese/russian legend on my key sets meh. Also makes you look like a weeb.

Offline MrMen

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 11:39:54 »
Even if I never look at my keys (special layout) I like to have some of this unused legends : it's pretty good looking when not typing.

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 13:12:58 »
It's interesting there's this fear of not appearing to be a "weeb" or whatever, which was not the case with all the Cyrillic/English dye sub or pad printed sets--that was totally okay, because there are very few Russophiles, right? /sarcasm

But to give a different perspective, there are multiple reasons why one might like secondary legends.  I'll give my own opinions:

- I think it's very interesting to use vintage keycaps with secondary legends where I imagine their prior use in some industry or line of work that's very different from mine.  It's a bit like pieces of history (whether original keysets or reproductions, like Retro with PETSCII side print) to ponder.

- As a non-native English speaker, I've learned to love the concept of linguistics, and it's interesting to see other language letters on a keyboard--as long as there are still English legends and layout if I ever need to reference them for whatever reason (I almost always touch type, but sometimes need to look down to re-orient if I take my hands off the keyboard often, or if having to type with one finger).  That means primary Latin alphabet legends with secondary being another language or symbols.  I'd never get a set with only Cyrillic legends, for example, even though I read and speak Russian fine--I touch type only in Latin alphabet with typical US ANSI layout, anything else would be a learning process I find unnecessary, though could be done if needed.  That's why I was disappointed that GMK Yuri went with an addon that used exclusively Cyrillic legends and not English and Cyrillic -- especially because Russian keyboards normally have both, not only Cyrillic.

- Aesthetics.  Why do we choose a red keyboard over a green one?  Why different case shapes, or different keycap colors?  Why do some people use blank keycaps and others load up their keyboards with not-practical-to-type-on artisans?  Why not also additional legends if they balance out the look in some pleasing manner?

With all that said, I don't actually own any keysets currently that have secondary "unnecessary" legends, but it's more because I chose to not buy them or gave them up for either aesthetics reasons or because they were dye sub PBT, which I generally don't prefer to thick ABS.  I still want "just the right set" of English/Cyrillic caps someday, and will probably enter for Serika, because I think it looks solid as a set with a complete aesthetic.  Will also get a set of Retro with PETSCII side print.  I found my WEY keycaps be very interesting:
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Offline emenelopee

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 13:34:30 »
- I think it's very interesting to use vintage keycaps with secondary legends where I imagine their prior use in some industry or line of work that's very different from mine.  It's a bit like pieces of history (whether original keysets or reproductions, like Retro with PETSCII side print) to ponder.

I shall soften my position to include this. If it's a borrowed set from a genuinely useful original tool, I'm down with that. If it's a newly produced set with no historic provenance, it feels like putting those fake airlift handles on the Hummer H3. It's a crappy vehicle which they managed to make worse by all the fakery.

Yes:



No:





TLDR: if it's genuine historic customisation that happens to look cool, fine. If it's deliberate fakery forced to look cool, no thank you.
« Last Edit: Fri, 04 May 2018, 13:37:34 by emenelopee »

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 13:53:15 »
- I think it's very interesting to use vintage keycaps with secondary legends where I imagine their prior use in some industry or line of work that's very different from mine.  It's a bit like pieces of history (whether original keysets or reproductions, like Retro with PETSCII side print) to ponder.

I shall soften my position to include this. If it's a borrowed set from a genuinely useful original tool, I'm down with that. If it's a newly produced set with no historic provenance, it feels like putting those fake airlift handles on the Hummer H3. It's a crappy vehicle which they managed to make worse by all the fakery.

Yes:

Show Image


No:

Show Image


Show Image


TLDR: if it's genuine historic customisation that happens to look cool, fine. If it's deliberate fakery forced to look cool, no thank you.

Ok, so you're saying that taking vintage caps with secondary legends and putting them on a modern keyboard is okay?  That already weakens the argument (and I don't think the car analogy is completely appropriate--for some weird reason cars are the most overused analogy in just about every single hobby, including photography when comparing gear, and clearly not everything is like it is with cars), because now you're putting original on non-original.  What if the original caps are tall sphericals, and the new caps are also tall sphericals that look as much the same as possible but also have a stem and keycap size that's able to work with modern switches?  Many vintage caps from beamspring keyboards (for example) don't work on modern switches.  So if one wants to use those caps, one has to either rewire the original keyboard to work or else mod every keycap stem.   If you want no references from other cultures / other uses, you should probably never wear cargo pants unless you're a carpenter or in construction and need to wear a hammer strapped to your leg, have any artwork on your walls that's not made by you (and it better not be derivative or influenced by others' art)--especially not prints of reproductions of original art put in whichever modern frames and used out of context, etc.
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Online Blaise170

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 14:02:34 »
Speaking of secondary vintage keysets, I'm working on a project which will include these:

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Offline emenelopee

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 04 May 2018, 14:11:19 »
I never said it was a watertight argument, nor am I any kind official arbitrator, nor is there any clear cut distinction :p

It's like porn vs. art: there is no test, but you know it when you see it.

As for car analogies: analogies work best when they are immediately accessible, and cars are pervasive enough to make the analogy work without further explanation.

Offline T14

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 05 June 2018, 16:10:43 »
I find sublegends distracting, and am gravitating towards a maximalist approach where symbols get a key each, and where the entire board has mono legends.

As far as I can tell... this means either SP dsa granite + relegendables, or a pure relegendable keyset in some other form
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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 05 June 2018, 16:31:38 »
The third run of PulSe had a mono legend kit available.

Offline T14

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 05 June 2018, 16:42:40 »
Cheers mate... I'll look into that.
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Online ramblinrose

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #33 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 09:36:47 »
Not something I'm particularly fond of - I prefer clean and simple. I do like icon mods tho!

Offline DirtyMonkey43

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #34 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 22:32:44 »
I really like the weeb stuff because of the aesthetic. Other than that though, I prefer the simple look

Offline godlikekitten

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #35 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 22:50:35 »
I think if the caps are older/vintage sublegends are a nice touch.  If it's a newer board that comes with those or a keyset then miss me with that.

Offline chyros

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 07:53:49 »
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Offline Hongook

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 09:19:51 »
Depends on the design but lately I've started disliking sublegends as well. I've just lost the appeal for them.

Online Kilgarah

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 10:18:15 »
I like it for the novelty of keycaps that have that much stuff on them. It doesn't really bother me since I touch type anyway. I like the space cadet caps in particular because of the history behind the lisp machines.

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Offline nimblejacks

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #39 on: Sun, 10 June 2018, 09:20:54 »
Unless there is a practical use for them, leave 'em off. Way too cluttered looking.

Offline Rob27shred

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Re: Unneeded/Superfluous sublegends, your opinions?
« Reply #40 on: Sun, 10 June 2018, 09:46:55 »
Me personally, I am a sucker for sublegends if we're being honest. A quick search through any pics I posted on here, r/MK, or DT will say as much. I love my ePBT Cyrillic & Hangul sets, also a pretty big fan of the Chinese set that came with my pingmaster. I'm more of the mindset of "you do you & I'll do me" when it comes to sets with sublegends.
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