Author Topic: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤  (Read 18927 times)

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Online LightningXI

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns 🔴🟤
« Reply #150 on: Tue, 13 October 2020, 08:24:21 »
Seconding Lightning's point to include two (2) R5 Cherry keys in place of both Supers.

Also, Out and Read kind of a waste and ruin it for 65% users.

Now that Pluto mentions it, I agree. A 65%/75% right-side column would normally be:

R1 Home
R2 Pg Up
R3 Pg Dn
R4 End
(R5 right arrow key)

and I believe the Pg Up and Pg Dn keys are not being included at the moment with the current base kit. Is this a mistake? In any case, this is not how it should be if the R4 End is to be offered. Forcing a "novelty" such as Data and Out is a no-no, IMO. It's not cool. Put those in the Extension kit, or rid of them; that would be my move.
« Last Edit: Tue, 13 October 2020, 09:03:04 by LightningXI »

Offline konstantin

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns
« Reply #151 on: Tue, 13 October 2020, 09:17:08 »
Seconding Lightning's point to include two (2) R5 Cherry keys in place of both Supers.

Also, Out and Read kind of a waste and ruin it for 65% users.

Now that Pluto mentions it, I agree. A 65%/75% right-side column would normally be:

R1 Home
R2 Pg Up
R3 Pg Dn
R4 End
(R5 right arrow key)

and I believe the Pg Up and Pg Dn keys are not being included at the moment with the current base kit. Is this a mistake? In any case, this is not how it should be if the R4 End is to be offered. Forcing a "novelty" such as Data and Out is a no-no, IMO. It's not cool. Put those in the Extension kit, or rid of them; that would be my move.

It's not a mistake, it's by design. This post outlines the reasoning behind this particular legend choice.

Changing those keys back to R2 PgUp, R3 PgDn and adding two extra keys for ortho boards to the extension kit would be the “default” move, and it's totally fine if that's what people prefer. The only thing is that a balance needs to be struck between satisfying 65%/75% users (they are among the most popular layouts in the community, after all) on the one hand, and not making the extension kit too large on the other.

Also, the right column setup you posted has lost favor over the years (especially in recent times), and is no longer the de facto standard setup, and maybe not even statistically the most popular setup in the community anymore.
« Last Edit: Tue, 13 October 2020, 09:20:25 by konstantin »

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns 🔴🟤
« Reply #152 on: Tue, 13 October 2020, 11:48:48 »
Thanks for the discussion, folks. Going to take a few days to think about this and get back to you all. My first impression is that 40s and ortho users will require the extension kit anyway, so I might just move all support there. Have to think about it a bit more.

Offline Orca Builds

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns 🔴🟤
« Reply #153 on: Thu, 15 October 2020, 08:15:12 »
nice im in

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #154 on: Thu, 15 October 2020, 08:22:26 »
I don't have a full response to the prior feedback yet, but I'm happy to announce that GMK Red Alert will be running during March 2021, with Mechs & Co managing the group buy in the US. The full list of vendors is

US - Mechs & Co
SEA - Monokei
CA - DeskHero
EU - MyKeyboard.eu
AU - Daily Clack

I'm very excited to work with the Mechs & Co team to bring this set to you all - they are a stand-up group of people committed to serving their customers and supporting designers.

You all can expect more news soon on deskmats, aluminum artisans, and finally kit pricing.

Offline Wilba

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns
« Reply #155 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 06:19:54 »
Changing those keys back to R2 PgUp, R3 PgDn and adding two extra keys for ortho boards to the extension kit would be the “default” move, and it's totally fine if that's what people prefer. The only thing is that a balance needs to be struck between satisfying 65%/75% users (they are among the most popular layouts in the community, after all) on the one hand, and not making the extension kit too large on the other.

It's taken years for Home/PgUp/PgDn/End to be a somewhat standard of minimal 65% support in base kits. It may not be what every 65% user prefers, or uses on those keys, but at least it's what 65% users expect in a base kit, and won't complain about if that's all there is.

Seriously, what does "Out" and "Data" mean anyway? Why are they any more meaninful for an ortholinear user than "PgUp" and "PgDn"? Do they really need something meaningless to remember those keys aren't acutally PgUp or PgDn?

If this was a set I didn't care about, I wouldn't bother posting at all, but this is Red Alert, something I've wanted for a while, and the first image in the first post being used to promote the set is the keyboard I worked on, showing Home/PgUp/PgDn/End as per the de facto standard.




« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 06:43:57 by Wilba »

Offline ttom

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #156 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 06:33:41 »
Not a 65% user (as of now) but just posting because I am very much looking forward to this and share the sentiment about 'Out' and 'Data' looking a bit silly.

Also regarding the extension kit, I'd recommend adding another R5 Cherry and changing the 1.75 bar to a single 1.00u one (for Alice layouts). 3.00u is welcome too but not essential in my opinion.

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #157 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 08:15:51 »
Changing those keys back to R2 PgUp, R3 PgDn and adding two extra keys for ortho boards to the extension kit would be the “default” move, and it's totally fine if that's what people prefer. The only thing is that a balance needs to be struck between satisfying 65%/75% users (they are among the most popular layouts in the community, after all) on the one hand, and not making the extension kit too large on the other.

It's taken years for Home/PgUp/PgDn/End to be a somewhat standard of minimal 65% support in base kits. It may not be what every 65% user prefers, or uses on those keys, but at least it's what 65% users expect in a base kit, and won't complain about if that's all there is.

Seriously, what does "Out" and "Data" mean anyway? Why are they any more meaninful for an ortholinear user than "PgUp" and "PgDn"? Do they really need something meaningless to remember those keys aren't acutally PgUp or PgDn?

If this was a set I didn't care about, I wouldn't bother posting at all, but this is Red Alert, something I've wanted for a while, and the first image in the first post being used to promote the set is the keyboard I worked on, showing Home/PgUp/PgDn/End as per the de facto standard.

Show Image





Not a 65% user (as of now) but just posting because I am very much looking forward to this and share the sentiment about 'Out' and 'Data' looking a bit silly.

Also regarding the extension kit, I'd recommend adding another R5 Cherry and changing the 1.75 bar to a single 1.00u one (for Alice layouts). 3.00u is welcome too but not essential in my opinion.

I apologize for being quiet on this issue, as I wanted to collect a bit more info on 40s users needs. That said, I plan to move Out and Data to the Extension kit (which 40s users require anyway), and restore the Page Up / Page Down legends for 65% users.

I added "Out" and "Data" months ago with the intention of offering an omnibus base kit - with nice 40s and split space support - in lieu of an Extension kit. Now that we have an Extension kit, though, I'll use it.

The other changes I'm currently considering:

Replace 1.75u space with 2x 1u space.

People need these for Alice boards and ortho boards. People do not typically use 1.75u space. Easy.

Drop R5 Cherry.

Don't love the placement of this, and now I want to minimize the cost of the extension kit.

"Scroll" remaining as-is.

I went this route because I really like the fully-spelled "Page Up" and "Page Down" of GMK ASCII and GMK Nuclear Data. To offer OG-style legends, I would have to change Print to PrtSc, which I do not love. So Print, Scroll and Pause will remain as-is in row 1 for visual consistency.

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #158 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 08:45:44 »
 Good news on the changes.

Too bad about the 2x 1u R5 Cherry caps. Those would have been the first time we see bottom-row Cherry caps in beige again since BSP/Hammer did it.

And the first time in doubleshot form for GMK.
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 09:07:58 by LightningXI »

Offline konstantin

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns
« Reply #159 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 08:49:15 »
It's taken years for Home/PgUp/PgDn/End to be a somewhat standard of minimal 65% support in base kits. It may not be what every 65% user prefers, or uses on those keys, but at least it's what 65% users expect in a base kit, and won't complain about if that's all there is.

Just going off of what we've been seeing in various ICs and sets over the past year, the last part is not correct. Hence:
Also, the right column setup you posted has lost favor over the years (especially in recent times), and is no longer the de facto standard setup, and maybe not even statistically the most popular setup in the community anymore.

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not saying that R2 Out, R3 Data shouldn't be changed to R2 PgUp, R3 PgDn; that change is totally fine and I support it. What I'm saying is that, relatively speaking, Home/PgUp/PgDn/End isn't as popular as it used to be, and calling it a de facto standard setup nowadays is questionable.
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 09:26:28 by konstantin »

Offline wholypantalones

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #160 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 08:52:13 »
The two line scroll lock led cap doesn't maintain your visual consistency I'm afraid.

Offline konstantin

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co
« Reply #161 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 08:54:55 »
The two line scroll lock led cap doesn't maintain your visual consistency I'm afraid.

Additionally, single-line Scroll also conflicts with two-line Num↲Lock and stepped Caps↲Lock (or vice-versa).

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #162 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 09:12:44 »
The two line scroll lock led cap doesn't maintain your visual consistency I'm afraid.

I'm embarrassed - I gave too much thought to Base and not enough to Extension. Thanks for catching this - I'll update the Extension kit.

The two line scroll lock led cap doesn't maintain your visual consistency I'm afraid.

Additionally, single-line Scroll also conflicts with two-line Num↲Lock and stepped Caps↲Lock (or vice-versa).

Apologies for not being precise here - I was thinking of top-row consistency. Num Lock and Caps Lock sit on different rows than Scroll Lock.

Offline Wilba

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns
« Reply #163 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 09:57:31 »
It's taken years for Home/PgUp/PgDn/End to be a somewhat standard of minimal 65% support in base kits. It may not be what every 65% user prefers, or uses on those keys, but at least it's what 65% users expect in a base kit, and won't complain about if that's all there is.

Just going off of what we've been seeing in various ICs and sets over the past year, the last part is not correct. Hence:
Also, the right column setup you posted has lost favor over the years (especially in recent times), and is no longer the de facto standard setup, and maybe not even statistically the most popular setup in the community anymore.

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not saying that R2 Out, R3 Data shouldn't be changed to R2 PgUp, R3 PgDn; that change is totally fine and I support it. What I'm saying is that, relatively speaking, Home/PgUp/PgDn/End isn't as popular as it used to be, and calling it a de facto standard setup nowadays is questionable.


Just going off the GMK sets running right now, 8 out of 9 have Home/PgUp/PgDn/End in the base kit. 15/15 of the last GMK sets to run have Home/PgUp/PgDn/End.

Offline konstantin

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - the classic returns
« Reply #164 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 10:38:06 »
It's taken years for Home/PgUp/PgDn/End to be a somewhat standard of minimal 65% support in base kits. It may not be what every 65% user prefers, or uses on those keys, but at least it's what 65% users expect in a base kit, and won't complain about if that's all there is.

Just going off of what we've been seeing in various ICs and sets over the past year, the last part is not correct. Hence:
Also, the right column setup you posted has lost favor over the years (especially in recent times), and is no longer the de facto standard setup, and maybe not even statistically the most popular setup in the community anymore.

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not saying that R2 Out, R3 Data shouldn't be changed to R2 PgUp, R3 PgDn; that change is totally fine and I support it. What I'm saying is that, relatively speaking, Home/PgUp/PgDn/End isn't as popular as it used to be, and calling it a de facto standard setup nowadays is questionable.


Just going off the GMK sets running right now, 8 out of 9 have Home/PgUp/PgDn/End in the base kit. 15/15 of the last GMK sets to run have Home/PgUp/PgDn/End.

Of course they do, that's besides the point. Out of those sets, 7/9 and 12/15, respectively, also have */*/PgUp/PgDn, which is the other popular configuration. People complain if this configuration isn't also supported, which was part of the point of my previous post.
The other part was that Home/PgUp/PgDn/End has lost its foothold over time and can no longer definitively be called the de facto standard or the setup that's preferred by the majority of users. This is for a number of reasons, among others the popularity of the Drop ALT introducing people into the hobby, and the popularity of 65% boards with badges or blockers in the top right corner.
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 10:41:53 by konstantin »

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co [emoji837]🟤
« Reply #165 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 10:42:34 »
How many of these sets do you even buy, anyhow?

It seems absurd to me that you are arguing semantics over here when it's apparent that the majority of sets have gotten to support the right column support that most have gotten used to. I have dozens of sets to prove it. There's renders of each set on the github website that matrixzj and others compiled.

Do you use a 65%? Do you purchase each one of these sets that you so fervently provide commentary of?

There are far fewer 65% boards with corner blockers, too, than there are standard ones.
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 10:44:27 by LightningXI »

Offline Wilba

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #166 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 11:00:37 »
How many of these sets do you even buy, anyhow?

It seems absurd to me that you are arguing semantics over here when it's apparent that the majority of sets have gotten to support the right column support that most have gotten used to. I have dozens of sets to prove it. There's renders of each set on the github website that matrixzj and others compiled.

Do you use a 65%? Do you purchase each one of these sets that you so fervently provide commentary of?

There are far fewer 65% boards with corner blockers, too, than there are standard ones.


Yes.

« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 11:02:57 by Wilba »

Offline konstantin

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co [emoji837]
« Reply #167 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 11:02:20 »
How many of these sets do you even buy, anyhow?

It seems absurd to me that you are arguing semantics over here when it's apparent that the majority of sets have gotten to support the right column support that most have gotten used to. I have dozens of sets to prove it. There's renders of each set on the github website that matrixzj and others compiled.

Do you use a 65%? Do you purchase these sets that you so fervently provide commentary of?

There are far fewer 65% boards with corner blockers, too, than there are standard ones.

It is indisputable that the majority of sets in the past have gotten to support that right column (and new sets still continue to do so), but one also has to keep in mind that the needs and preferences of the community as a whole change and evolve over time. Keysets are playing the catch up game here, and it takes time for the status quo to shift. Case in point: F13, Alice keys, small spacekeys, Mac bottom row keys, different 65% right column setups, and so on. The rise in popularity of these things is also something that's indisputable, and can be inferred by taking a look at kit renders on the site you mentioned.

To answer your questions, yes and yes.

What are we even arguing about here?
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 11:13:24 by konstantin »

Offline Zambumon

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co [emoji837]
« Reply #168 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 14:02:59 »


- R1 Home, R2 Page Up, R3 Page Down, R4 End are OK, commonly used and have become a standard de facto that we can trace back to the very firsts 65% and 75% keyboards.

- If we are going with generics: fully commit and do the whole 65% strip generic. Having two navigation keys and two generics is jarring.

- If you are including an Alt Gr key on the base kit, include the tertiary legends for the UK ISO layout.

- If we are trying to be faithful to the original GMK set, it used broken pipe keys (¦), which I personally like more. There are other subtle differences with that one but I don't mind them.

« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 14:05:07 by Zambumon »

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #169 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 14:35:29 »
Show Image


- R1 Home, R2 Page Up, R3 Page Down, R4 End are OK, commonly used and have become a standard de facto that we can trace back to the very firsts 65% and 75% keyboards.

- If we are going with generics: fully commit and do the whole 65% strip generic. Having two navigation keys and two generics is jarring.

- If you are including an Alt Gr key on the base kit, include the tertiary legends for the UK ISO layout.

- If we are trying to be faithful to the original GMK set, it used broken pipe keys (¦), which I personally like more. There are other subtle differences with that one but I don't mind them.

Show Image


Great point, Zambumon - I forgot my original intention to reference Photekq's legends from the 2012 GMK release (the reason I kept the numpad sub-legends). The Olivetti base kit is below; the RA kitting is the same, but I can't find a higher-quality image (the RA kit pic is dead on Photekq's thread).


I'm considering two things

- matching these legends 1:1, and
- whether different pipes (broken in base, solid in Cyrillic) bother me enough to go for set consistency over historical accuracy

So I'm doing my day job thing, but promise you all an update on this over the weekend.

Offline ttom

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #170 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 17:23:41 »
I'm considering two things

- matching these legends 1:1, and
- whether different pipes (broken in base, solid in Cyrillic) bother me enough to go for set consistency over historical accuracy

There's been a lot of discussion about the rest of the set so I won't comment any more on that, but regarding that last point there's nothing stopping you making a broken bar mould for Cyrillic. The one I'm making will be full, but having more options for a language won't hurt by any means, and over an MOQ of 100 orders that cost for 1 mould is so minimal it won't make too much of a difference.

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #171 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 18:32:08 »
I'm considering two things

- matching these legends 1:1, and
- whether different pipes (broken in base, solid in Cyrillic) bother me enough to go for set consistency over historical accuracy

There's been a lot of discussion about the rest of the set so I won't comment any more on that, but regarding that last point there's nothing stopping you making a broken bar mould for Cyrillic. The one I'm making will be full, but having more options for a language won't hurt by any means, and over an MOQ of 100 orders that cost for 1 mould is so minimal it won't make too much of a difference.

Great call Tom.

Offline konstantin

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co [emoji837]
« Reply #172 on: Fri, 16 October 2020, 20:02:55 »
- If you are including an Alt Gr key on the base kit, include the tertiary legends for the UK ISO layout.

- If we are trying to be faithful to the original GMK set, it used broken pipe keys (¦), which I personally like more. There are other subtle differences with that one but I don't mind them.

Unfortunately, these two things do not go together. The `¬¦ key has a ¦ tertiary legend, which would conflict with the ¦ on the keys since these positions produce different characters.
You could do `¬|, but:
  • I'm not sure if that mold exists (it might); and
  • you would be misrepresenting how both of those keys work on modern systems.
“Modern” in this case means “anything since the early '90s”, i.e. anything since VGA started being phased out in favor of different standalone GPUs in PCs (because ¦ was hardcoded in VGA's default character set, and that's the last time it saw any significant use in place of |).

I agree with adding sublegends to the UK keys, but at that point it's 5 extra keys (because of the additional 4$€) in base that honestly benefit only a very small number of people. According to some community stats from earlier this year, people who use ISO-UK keys only make up around 2.6% of all users (about 40% of UK users use ANSI). I think you'd get more mileage out of putting any of the following keys: 2.25u Shift, 1.5u Super keys, F13, spacekeys; in base instead of those keys.
I'd like to reiterate that ISO-UK keys should be moved to the extension kit — in which case, sure, the tertiary legends should be added.

I would recommend going with \| (and optionally `¬¦) instead of , for purely practical reasons and for consistency. However, it has to be said that both the original DCS Red Alert set and the first GMK Red Alert run used , so if you're looking to pay homage to those sets (which it seems you are), then you may want to go with that.
Then again, this is a new set with new colors and new kitting, so I think that new, more modern/accurate legends wouldn't be bad, either :)

Edit: Here's a fun video from Nostalgia Nerd that covers the topic of | vs ¦ in detail.
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 October 2020, 20:12:18 by konstantin »

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #173 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 17:24:03 »
Apologies for not responding sooner, it has been a hectic time at work. I expect to slow down in activity through the end of 2020 as work continues picking up, but do not anticipate delaying either of my group buys.

Here’s what I propose, after spending time thinking about the above discussion:

Use broken bar on UK-ISO `, but not 1.5u |\.

This seems like the most historically consistent approach, given the presence of UK-ISO in the base kit. The broken vertical legend on R2 is an interesting historical artifact, but will take this opportunity to offer a solid bar in that position instead.

Add 4$€ to base kit.

This preserves consistency with Alt Gr and other recent kits (Nuke Data, Dolch) offering UK-ISO support in base.

Replace 1.75u Space with 2x 1u space in Extension.

This adds some more support for split and 40s layouts.

Add second R5 Cherry to Extension.

These are generally useful, and provide nice alternatives to 1u Super/Ctrl/Alt in R5. You can also add them to OG sets for a pop of color. Ortho users can also rely on these for layers.

Scroll legend remains as-is, and will be fixed in Extension.

I prefer single line consistency in this section of my TKL, so that’s what I’ll offer.

Curious for thoughts around the 2nd 1u spacebar and 2nd R5 Cherry, but I feel as though folks interested in this set will appreciate these changes, since it runs so infrequently.

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #174 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 17:31:36 »
Apologies for not responding sooner, it has been a hectic time at work. I expect to slow down in activity through the end of 2020 as work continues picking up, but do not anticipate delaying either of my group buys.

Here’s what I propose, after spending time thinking about the above discussion:

Use broken bar on UK-ISO `, but not 1.5u |\.

This seems like the most historically consistent approach, given the presence of UK-ISO in the base kit. The broken vertical legend on R2 is an interesting historical artifact, but will take this opportunity to offer a solid bar in that position instead.

Add 4$€ to base kit.

This preserves consistency with Alt Gr and other recent kits (Nuke Data, Dolch) offering UK-ISO support in base.

Replace 1.75u Space with 2x 1u space in Extension.

This adds some more support for split and 40s layouts.

Add second R5 Cherry to Extension.

These are generally useful, and provide nice alternatives to 1u Super/Ctrl/Alt in R5. You can also add them to OG sets for a pop of color. Ortho users can also rely on these for layers.

Scroll legend remains as-is, and will be fixed in Extension.

I prefer single line consistency in this section of my TKL, so that’s what I’ll offer.

Curious for thoughts around the 2nd 1u spacebar and 2nd R5 Cherry, but I feel as though folks interested in this set will appreciate these changes, since it runs so infrequently.

I like all of these changes, personally!!!

The second R5 Cherry is a godsend.

Offline break

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Re: [IC] GMK Red Alert - March 2021 on Mechs & Co 🔴🟤
« Reply #175 on: Sun, 25 October 2020, 18:33:12 »

I like all of these changes, personally!!!

The second R5 Cherry is a godsend.

Thanks man! The changes will bump the price a little bit, but I feel as though people will be happy on net with what their extra couple of $/€/£/¥ provides them. Especially the 2x🍒.