Author Topic: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?  (Read 11486 times)

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Offline Photoelectric

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ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« on: Fri, 28 June 2013, 23:16:57 »
This could be a very stupid question, but I keep seeing a lot of frustration over whether a particular keycap set comes with an ISO option.  ISO addons are expensive.  Very few people are buying them (here at least, since there seem to be a lot more ANSI users on this forum), but it keeps me wondering "why can't keyboard companies just decide on one standard and go with it?"  Be it ISO or ANSI, I'm sure we'd adapt.  Although personally I don't understand the need for a HUGE enter key.  But there are plenty of keyboards sold in the U.S. with ISO layouts--so it's not just European.  I see a few posts here daily from people demonstrating some level of frustration or concern over lack or quality of ISO packs / additions to sets.

It just seems silly...  For example, I don't see why Ducky needs to produce an ISO version for its British, German, and Nordic layouts (for example) and have yet another set for ANSI layouts. 

Anyway, you see where I'm going with this.  It's probably part historical, part ambivalence and inertia.  But I do wish this would be one of those things that would be universalized for coherence with NEW keyboards.

(P.S.: I know that there are all sorts of modifier widths and such, and I appreciate that it may be the case due to shrinking keyboard sizes, but a huge fat Enter key has no comparable parallel).
« Last Edit: Fri, 28 June 2013, 23:19:45 by Photoelectric »
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Offline damorgue

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 28 June 2013, 23:33:22 »
Many of the languages which are in ISO require the extra keys ISO provides for their extra letters.

When you say that many keyboards in the US are sold in ISO, are you sure you are not confusing it with US ISO? If not, I did not know that.

The image above shows one which lacks a key compared to what I consider real ISO layout.


Edit: But yeah, I like unification and standards. Usually makes life a whole lot easier, at least as long as everyone doesn't have to compromise to much in order to reach a common denominator.

Offline dorkvader

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 00:07:54 »
ISO only needs one extra key (near shift), so it would be nice if everyone decided to have the same enter-key area, then GB's and such would only have to worry about getting a (very common) short left shift and an extra key for that.

One big issue with ISO of course, is the huge amount of different layouts for different languages. It's nice to have something for your language, but with dozens of different ones, it's hard to make keycaps for them all. Blank keys aren't always the answer, either, and not all relegendables are nice.

But again, ISO and ANSI are both standards organizations. Having a global standard would be great, but is about as likely as the US switching to metric.

Also, the ANSI enterkey makes a lot more sense to me.

Offline damorgue

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 00:13:00 »
But again, ISO and ANSI are both standards organizations. Having a global standard would be great, but is about as likely as the US switching to metric.

I recon going from imperial to metric would have a larger impact. Lets not trick ourselves into thinking that the ISO vs ANSI keyboard layout is a large problem for most. Hah, most don't even know that there are such differences. It is pretty limited to us and wanting to hit MOQ and lower prices easier. I doubt that the larger manufacturers are bothered much by it.

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Offline gropingmantis

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 01:46:54 »
The main issue is with America always needing to have their own standards. Never ones to conform to International standards (ISO) they always have to be different.

You think keyboards are bad try sailing. Every country has their harbour lights.
The International standard is red lights for port and green for starboard as you approach a harbour...The Americas however are the opposite way round! No goddamn reason for it other than blind stubborness.

Offline damorgue

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 02:01:56 »
Well, A doesn't want to conform to B or the other way around. Usually seen from the perspective that they have to be different from us, when the same could be say of the other way around. Who determines which is the one that does things differently, majority, time of implementation or something else?

Example scenario: A was used first, a majority use B, yet C can be proven to be better than both. This is where things become difficult when it comes to standardization. For instance, there are even newer screws and threads which are superior to the M standard in strength and error prevention. This is an area where it can be proven that one is better but standardization is an issue.

Offline gropingmantis

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 02:08:27 »
Good point. Both ANSI and ISO staggered layouts, along with QWERTY, are obsolete and have been since the death of the mechanical typewriter. The fact that we still use them is a travesty.

Offline wetto

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 02:53:53 »
Meh, people complain over here about typing on ANSI layout just as much as you guys would complain about typing on ISO standards. They complain about the BIGASS left shift key, the lack of the "\" key at its right and the "small Enter key". The thing is, people are used to a certain layout and trying a new layout is as annoying as ****. Try giving a normal person an Ergodox with Dvorak and you'll see a keyboard flying straight to the wall after 2 minutes, no matter how good it is or if Dvorak makes people type faster or whatever.

The thing is, unfortunately all this bull**** about QWERTY and ISO/ANSI comes long before computer keyboards were even made and unfortunately they're here to stay and nothing we can do besides complain.

Keyboard makers can't do **** about it, since their clients will complain about it. If choosing a single layout means that they'll loose market to another brand which sells in native layout, they won't do it.

And well, there's even bigger "abominations" than standard ISO. Take a look at the right shift and the extra key :)



And now, check where most of the special characters are and how similar it is to ANSI.
« Last Edit: Sat, 29 June 2013, 02:59:03 by wetto »
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Offline davkol

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 03:53:13 »
ErgoDox needs to be a standard. ^-^

Offline longweight

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 03:57:04 »
Why don't we just include the ISO kit in the base set for each GB?

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 04:28:33 »
The physical layout difference is only a small problem. The big problem is all the different language layouts, having many of the same characters on different keys for no ****ing reason.

Offline longweight

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 04:31:33 »
Surely people know where symbols are on their keyboard without having to look?

Offline HongKongFui

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 04:40:02 »
Well, A doesn't want to conform to B or the other way around. Usually seen from the perspective that they have to be different from us, when the same could be say of the other way around. Who determines which is the one that does things differently, majority, time of implementation or something else?

Hmmm. When there are INTERNATIONAL standards the whole world uses and only USA is doing it otherwise? I'm sure thinking about that makes you get the point...

Offline gropingmantis

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 04:45:27 »
The physical layout difference is only a small problem. The big problem is all the different language layouts, having many of the same characters on different keys for no ****ing reason.

Well obviously there are reasons. QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak are all designed around the english language. If your main typing language is not english then, from an ergonomic standpoint, it makes more sense to rearrange the layout.

However if everyone was using a matrix layout with DSA caps then that would make international group buys super easy as all the keys would be interchangeable and you would only need a couple of extras for the funky symbols.

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 04:51:06 »
Way more than USA use ANSI, there is most of Asia, Russia, Czech, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia, Georgia, Poland, Netherlands, Arabic, Hebrew. Some of those also have ISO variants. I think the majority of non Latin based languages except Japanese use US ANSI. But still we have the problem with legends.
Flat profile is the easiest answer for reducing different keys with legends, but I think it is much less pleasant to type on.
« Last Edit: Sat, 29 June 2013, 04:56:49 by IvanIvanovich »

Offline davkol

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 05:03:13 »
Way more than USA use ANSI, there is most of Asia, Russia, Czech, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia, Georgia, Poland, Netherlands, Arabic, Hebrew. Some of those also have ISO variants. I think the majority of non Latin based languages except Japanese use US ANSI. But still we have the problem with legends.

Most Chinese (as in Republic of China) and Korean keyboards I've seen used that layout with big-ass Enter.

Slovaks definitely use mostly ISO. The same thing here in the Czech Republic.

Offline gropingmantis

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 05:11:44 »
Surely the only reason they use ANSI is a historical one based on where the first mass produced typewriters and keyboards were made and shipped to. This explains Japanese and Korean use not to mention former soviet states and the middle east. Just because the US made and shipped a load of cheap keyboards to emerging markets doesnt make it the better standard. Nor does it make the ISO standard any less worthy of attention. Also the reason most keyboards dont ship with ISO options is because cheap Chinese manufacturers can't be bothered to spend the extra money a) making an extra keyboard for a smaller market and b) they cant or wont pass CE certification for sale in those markets.

Online Mackem

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 07:33:03 »
The different language layouts are a problem yes, but I along with many others would be happy if we could get some decent thick PBT keycaps in blank ISO layout that aren't from Ducky.

Online Findecanor

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 08:53:01 »
I blame IBM and their standardization of layouts with the IBM Enhanced Keyboard (Model M).
On older typewriters, there was less standardization... but ANSI layout with extra <European language/> keys were quite common.
On European layouts on the Amiga, ANSI symbols were available with the Alt key, and there was also a separate \ key.

There are also some keyboards sold in Europe that have physical ANSI or even JIS layout, just with different legends for each region.
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Offline mauri

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 12:27:09 »
Yeah I agree completely, actually we should kick your thought a notch up and standardize globally our language. Let's all start speaking english just so it'd be convenient for you
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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 12:32:59 »
Thanks everyone--that was a lot of interesting information and opinions.

Yeah I agree completely, actually we should kick your thought a notch up and standardize globally our language. Let's all start speaking english just so it'd be convenient for you

Exaggerate much?..
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Offline mauri

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 12:33:52 »
I'm dead serious
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Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 16:03:56 »
It's settled. From now on only Esperanto for groupbuys...

Offline Jocelyn

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 16:24:08 »
It's settled. From now on only Esperanto for groupbuys...

ROFL!!

Offline rootwyrm

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 16:31:39 »
I'm dead serious

Trolling much?

One, most layouts for non-English non-Latin are adapted to be QWERTY already. Not AZERTY, not QWERTZ, but QWERTY. Of those, it's something like 50/50 ANSI enter/ISO disagreeing enter.
Oh, you forgot that part? The part where ISO doesn't even agree on whether it's reversed L or inversed L? Yes, both are valid for ISO. So hey look, the supposed standard doesn't agree either.

ANSI US English
ISO UK English
Windows (Standardized) Arabic
ISO Tibetan
Windows (Standardized) Russian Cyrillic
ISO Greek

Oh right. And we brought up Hangul. (It's not "Korean" it's Hangul or Hangol depending who you ask. kthxbai.)
Korean Nationalized Hangul (Dubeolsik) - designed around QWERTY layout.
Korean Hangul Sebeolsik 390 - also designed around QWERTY.
Korean Hangul Sebeolsik Noshift - QWERTY again! Designed to not require use of the shift key.

And don't even get me started on JIS...

So yeah. Even if you went blank there is absolutely no "standardized" ISO enter key. Which by the way, can also vary within ISO because it only defines the generalized layout and not the specifics. So you can have a 3-1.25 or you can have a 2.5-1 or you can have some funky double-stabilized monstrosity and they're ALL okay.

And since most of us around here use either ISO UK English or ANSI US English, there's not much reason or demand to further complicate and drive up the cost on GBs. :P
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Offline Lighthouse1

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 16:43:02 »
I prefer having the symbols on keys where they are meant to be, but then the DSA group buy has spoiled me for that!

ISO layout isn't just about a big enter key (which as mentioned comes different ways up anyway) different keyboard layouts are more about different language packs. I like a £ sound on my keyboard because I live somewhere where we use that currency..I don't just want $.

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 16:49:53 »
It's settled. From now on only Esperanto for groupbuys...

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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 16:54:58 »
Thanks everyone--that was a lot of interesting information and opinions.

Yeah I agree completely, actually we should kick your thought a notch up and standardize globally our language. Let's all start speaking english just so it'd be convenient for you

Exaggerate much?..

I agree with switching to just one language...

And if we WERE to do this.. English would be the easiest..

Much of the world already have effective education programs in english.

English is by far much faster to learn than east asian languages.

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 17:08:26 »
I'm down with having a true global standard keyboard layout that encompasses as many languages as possible. I can make the effort to reach extra far to that ISO enter key, and build muscle memory to touch type other keys moved from ANSI if I have to.  But ONLY if it's a true standard that everyone would follow without exception. That would mean all layouts smaller than TKL are out, because they are non standard.

See? That is exactly why it would never happen--too many people have too many different opinions on what the perfect layout is for them,  although that really conflicts with the ideal of being able to touch type on any board you come across.

Thing that make you go "Hmm."

Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 17:53:51 »
Another solution? More legends on every key!

Offline mauri

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #30 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 18:09:44 »
I think ivans idea is too complicated I suggest telekinesis and mindcontrol
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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #31 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 18:12:05 »
A joystick.  Shoot down the proper letters on your screen.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 18:24:21 »
The main issue is with America always needing to have their own standards. Never ones to conform to International standards (ISO) they always have to be different.

Nobody has even mentioned which side of the vehicle should have the steering wheel.


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Offline mauri

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 18:29:00 »
The main issue is with America always needing to have their own standards. Never ones to conform to International standards (ISO) they always have to be different.

Nobody has even mentioned which side of the vehicle should have the steering wheel.

Screw the steering wheel, we need handlebars
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Offline rowdy

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 29 June 2013, 19:18:47 »
Another solution? More legends on every key!
(Attachment Link)

How many modifier keys has this one got?
The main issue is with America always needing to have their own standards. Never ones to conform to International standards (ISO) they always have to be different.

Nobody has even mentioned which side of the vehicle should have the steering wheel.

The right side :p

Wasn't that long ago there were ANSI keyboards with Enter and Backspace about the same size, then there were the ones with a huge ENter and 1x backspace (with 1x \| next to it on the top row).  On an ANSI keyboard! :eek:

And in the long ago we used to have " on shift-2.
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Offline IvanIvanovich

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Re: ISO... ANSI... why propagate the difference?
« Reply #35 on: Sun, 30 June 2013, 10:02:21 »
That picture of keyset, it's from EU parliament keyboard made from BSP. It's just a normal G80-3000. I think the EUP layout is interesting, still hope we can make it in a groupbuy sometime.