Author Topic: My Dream 40% Layout  (Read 2404 times)

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Offline Learis

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My Dream 40% Layout
« on: Wed, 08 April 2020, 22:17:15 »
Intro and Reason for Design
I became interested in the 40% layout when I realized every key is easily within reach with no need for awkward finger extensions. I was very impressed with the JD40 since I would still like to keep a staggered layout. However, there were some things I didn't like about it: namely how the 1.25u right shift is sitting to the left of a 1u key rather than being at the very right.

Typical JD40 Layout as per their website:
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There were some other modifications I made with the arrangement of the bottom row keys to come up with the layout I did. I have not seen this layout anywhere and it remains a dream of mine to one day see it. Obviously any key can be programmed to what I want, but it's the specific sizing and arrangement of keys that I have not been able to find.

Without further ado, voila!

My dream 40% layout
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Just wanted to share. I had fun designing this. Critique as you like.

Offline batfink

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Re: My Dream 40% Layout
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 09 April 2020, 07:14:47 »
It would be my nightmare layout but each to his own :p

Here's my critique (personal opinion of course):
- For me, the fact that it's Qwerty is a fail right off the bat, but hey, I'm one of those crazy Colemak people.
- arrow keys badly placed. I'd strongly recommend having them on IJKL (Colemak UNEI).
- you have Up and Down keys for extra layers, but are severely underutilizing them. Why don't you put the most common  characters and symbols right on your home row?

Offline Learis

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Re: My Dream 40% Layout
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 09 April 2020, 07:44:10 »
It would be my nightmare layout but each to his own :p

Here's my critique (personal opinion of course):
- For me, the fact that it's Qwerty is a fail right off the bat, but hey, I'm one of those crazy Colemak people.
- arrow keys badly placed. I'd strongly recommend having them on IJKL (Colemak UNEI).
- you have Up and Down keys for extra layers, but are severely underutilizing them. Why don't you put the most common  characters and symbols right on your home row?

Thank you for your input. It was foolish of me to include my own personalized legends since everyone most likely has their own specific legend preferences for 40% keyboards. Bear with me and please analyze these final two images. I have taken out all the legends. Please tell me which layout you prefer of the two below, or if you're indifferent. This should make the analysis a little more universally relevant :)

Default JD40 layout
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Customized JD40 layout
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I made a custom one mostly because it bothered me that the 1.25u key was for whatever reason chosen to be to the left of a 1u key in the original JD40 design (in the 2nd row). I preferred it to be the other way around so that I could have access to a typical 1u key where it would normally be on a keyboard for typing, and thus the right 1.25u key would also normally be where it is for a modifier key. The bottom row changes were more just for symmetry and are not quite as important to me.
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 April 2020, 07:52:59 by Learis »

Offline batfink

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Re: My Dream 40% Layout
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 09 April 2020, 08:49:41 »
OIC, I didn't realize you meant hardware only. Well, of the two I think the 2nd one is better due to the extra standard key in the main section. But then, I would want 10 alpha-keys on each row, so to be fair the JD40 just isn't right for me. In fairness, that must be why the JD45 exists!
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 April 2020, 08:52:05 by batfink »

Offline el_murdoque

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Re: My Dream 40% Layout
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 09 April 2020, 12:47:01 »
I've recently acquired a JJ40 (Ortholinear 4x12) that I'm trying to bend my mind (and my fingers) around.

Since I have had a couple of issues straight from the start, I gave it some time and forced myself to type exclusively on that board for a while.
I used my normal full size keyboard for gaming only - mainly because I was too lazy to remap all the game buttons.

When I was ready to give up, I saw a video about someone who explained the concept. He said something nice. He said 'Instead of moving your hands to the keys, you move the keys to your hands' - he meant the multiple layers and the concept of having access to every key with your hands in the home position. That somehow stuck with me. I tweaked my setup some more and right now, I get along more or less splendidly, only occasionally running into the need of typing somthing unusular like ~ or ^ and not remembering where (or if) that key is mapped.
The ortho layout does a couple of things to you. First of all, it annoys you big time when for the 100th time you type an x instead of a z. But all those bottom row keys really come in handy. I mapped space to the two in the middle and have FN1 and FN2 flanking those, but thanks to the power of qmk, those also act as space when tapped. Same goes for enter, which is right shift for press&hold and enter on tap. I just mapped things to where my hands thought they are and suddenly, my speed increased. You can't get rid of the habit of using a 100% layout for three decades in just a few days, but that's not the point I'm (slowly) getting to.

That point is: I kinda fell in love with that tiny layout. So I started looking at other 40% layouts. The JD40 among them. And I realized that they do not have enough keys for my taste. Your standard ortholinear board of that size has 47 or 48 keys (depending on whether or not you have that 2u space bar). The JD40 has only 44. At this level of minimalism, every single key counts. Three more keys mean three more possible layers.
I frequently type in German and occasionally in French, so I need and such. Without those, I might get away with three layer keys, but I simply mapped all those characters to a fourth layer.
The straight layout is a bit weird to get into your muscle memory, but the fact that every single key is 1U and every single key is in a fixed grid makes navigation totally possible and a lot easier than thought. 


I like what you did to that layout. I can't see the benefit of having that right shift key not sitting on the end of it's row, this would be just weird to type on. But having dipped my toes into 40% waters, I'd always choose to sacrifice staggered keys for straight rows of 1U keys.   
 
 

Offline Learis

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Re: My Dream 40% Layout
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 12 April 2020, 00:46:54 »
Just found out that there's the JD40 MkII. This keyboard accomplishes what I want. In the image below, it seems that I can achieve my desired keycap arrangement with this keyboard! Super happy it exists. My hours upon hours of research finally paid off. My wife may have divorced me for my keyboard obsession, but whose laughing now??!!! (jk. no woman would ever marry me)

JD 40 MkII layouts
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: My Dream 40% Layout
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 13 April 2020, 10:16:11 »
It's all good, buh. you really need to cut it in half for Split layout, and TENTING.

Offline soran

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Re: My Dream 40% Layout
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 13 April 2020, 16:51:22 »
It's all good, buh. you really need to cut it in half for Split layout, and TENTING.

Yes. YES. YES