Author Topic: fixing the ergodox thumb section  (Read 35923 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
fixing the ergodox thumb section
« on: Tue, 16 September 2014, 23:09:53 »
A bunch of folks (myself included) have criticized the layout of the ergodox “thumb cluster” for making most of its keys hard to reach for people of small or average sized hands.

As a community project, the Ergodox has been a smashing success, and many people are excited to build their own keyboard kit and try an unusual layout. But I wonder how many people end up deciding to stick with the Ergodox for the long term, or are perfectly happy with its layout. For example, one long-time proponent, Daerid, somewhat recently posted his thoughts here – http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=58673 – describing how he ultimately abandoned the Ergodox for a standard-layout keyboard. I suspect that there are many like him (for instance, me) who initially thought the Ergodox seemed like a neat design, but ended up disliking it in practice.

From my perspective, the Ergodox is basically a prototype design, developed to scratch a few people’s personal itch, that then took off, without anyone pausing to examine the design’s flaws or make adjustments based on popular feedback.

The Ergodox as a concept, as I see it, is build on a handful of fundamental ideas: (1) include all the keys on a standard 60% keyboard plus a few extras, (2) make a split keyboard where each half is one single flat PCB + plate, for ease of manufacturing/assembly, (3) Put the main finger section into a column-stagger layout instead of the standard-keyboard row stagger.

While the Ergodox layout, proper, is fundamentally similar to the Kinesis Advantage (and takes its design for the thumb section from there), I don’t think copying the Kinesis thumb section design is essential to the concept, or the reason for the Ergodox’s success. Therefore, I think we can make a new design for the thumb section (and possibly tweak some other design choices) without ruining the things that make the Ergodox concept compelling. Even some fairly minor tweaks could I believe make a big improvement in usability.

Here are some sketches. What do you folks think?



Please feel free to critique these, suggest other ideas, or even advocate for the original Ergodox design. :-)

Btw, here were some other ideas that showed up in that thread of daerid’s:

Findecanor:


plainbriny:



me:


Matias:
« Last Edit: Tue, 16 September 2014, 23:25:45 by jacobolus »

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Colorado, USA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 16 September 2014, 23:39:01 »
It isn't out yet, but I like the thumb keys on the Keyboardio. In your first picture, the middle bottom layout is similar. I haven't tried a keyboardio obviously so that's just a guess based off staring at my hands for too long.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:05:48 »
Yeah, I don’t want to straight-up copy the keyboard.io layout (they have some substantially different design elements to anything shown here), but both the design evolution of Jesse’s prototypes and the keyboards they were inspired by (e.g. various Japanese keyboards from the 80s and early 90s) as well as some other keyboards inspired by the same design ideas (like the Esrille keyboard) are useful ideas to learn from.

Esrille keyboard:

http://www.esrille.com/keyboard/


NEC keyboards:

http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/20010313/ipsj.htm


http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45456.msg1464260#msg1464260
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:13:50 by jacobolus »

Offline Melvang

  • Exquisite Lord of Bumfluff
  • * Maker
  • Posts: 4746
  • Location: Waterloo, IA
  • I support our troops even if the gov doesn't
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:12:46 »
I feel that your bottom middle layout would be about the best.  The only other thing I could think of would vr to have it on a separate PCB and be able to adjust the angle of it independent of the rest of the board.  I do realize that would add a lot of complexity to the build though.
Hacked up and modded IBM F AT, Razer Orbweaver clears and reds with blue LEDs, and Razer Naga Epic.   "Great minds crawl in the same sewer"  Uncle Rich
New Thread Soon for Hickory Smoked Three Cheese Italian Blend, NOT KEYBOARD related Opening Tonight
IBM F Revival Services Now with VIDEO

Offline nomaded

  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Andover, MA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:29:58 »
I've been using an ErgoDox as my primary keyboard for almost a year now. I have two of them now -- one for the office, and one for home. I have no plans to ever switch back to a normal staggered keyboard. I will still use one, but only the builtin one that's on my laptop.

I think the image you have labelled as "me:" is closest to how I use the ErgoDox. The bottom row, left-most key that you have slightly turned -- I like that. I'm already hitting that key with my thumbs, so pushing it a bit more away from the rest of the fingers would work well for me.

I'm not sure about the large "1u" key, mostly because I think finding a keycap like that would be not so easy. And if I didn't have a keycap of that size, I would probably put normal sized 1u keycap, and then it would be hard to hit. I don't think the existing 2u keycap in that position is optimal either. I wonder if pushing the switch a bit closer to the fingers and using a 1.25u/1.5u keycap, turned 90deg would work better.

Along that same idea, maybe also change the other 2u to a 1.25u/1.5u keycap turned 90deg, and drop the last 1u completely. I think I like the idea of using a 1.25u keycap for these 2 keys because 1.25u with a Row4 profile are pretty easy to find (existing alt or ctrl caps). I would probably invert the cap, so that it slopes down. This is just off-the-cuff thinking -- I have no idea if this would be comfortable to hit with the thumb.

Personally, I find that I don't use most of the 1u in the thumb cluster very often. I have them mapped to some less used keys. And when I do use them, I end up using my index finger to hit them.

That's my thoughts for now.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || ErgoDox classic (clears) w/SA Retro || TECK 209 (browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:38:37 »
I think the image you have labelled as "me:" is closest to how I use the ErgoDox. The bottom row, left-most key that you have slightly turned -- I like that. I'm already hitting that key with my thumbs, so pushing it a bit more away from the rest of the fingers would work well for me. [...]

Along that same idea, maybe also change the other 2u to a 1.25u/1.5u keycap turned 90deg, and drop the last 1u completely. I think I like the idea of using a 1.25u keycap for these 2 keys because 1.25u with a Row4 profile are pretty easy to find (existing alt or ctrl caps). I would probably invert the cap, so that it slopes down. This is just off-the-cuff thinking -- I have no idea if this would be comfortable to hit with the thumb.

Personally, I find that I don't use most of the 1u in the thumb cluster very often. I have them mapped to some less used keys. And when I do use them, I end up using my index finger to hit them.
How do you feel about the 4 suggested ideas at the top of the thread?

(I should probably break these into separate images and name them so folks can annotate them separately.)

Offline nomaded

  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Andover, MA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:45:44 »
How do you feel about the 4 suggested ideas at the top of the thread?

(I should probably break these into separate images and name them so folks can annotate them separately.)

If the current ErgoDox layout is "A", and the bottom middle one is "E", I would pick "E", but with some changes.

For my layout, the outermost 4 keys of the bottom row, on the right hand, are mapped to the arrow keys, vi-style. It's only the innermost key that I use with my thumb. So I would probably change the 1.5u closest to the three 1u keys back to a 1u. *shrug* I know my layout is weird compared to what most people use.
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:51:32 by nomaded »
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || ErgoDox classic (clears) w/SA Retro || TECK 209 (browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:55:11 »
For my layout, the outermost 4 keys of the bottom row, on the right hand, are mapped to the arrow keys, vi-style. It's only the innermost key that I use with my thumb. So I would probably change the 1.5u closest to the three 1u keys back to a 1u. *shrug* I know my layout is weird compared to what most people use.
Personally, I think if we want arrows, we should just add arrows:

(But I guess that is a bit suggestive compared to the standard ergodox design. Some folks may prefer to use those keys for modifiers or whatever. Personally, I think those last four bottom row keys are basically useless, and during the time I used an Ergodox I just set them to do nothing. But I’m not the guy to ask, since I generally think the Ergodox has way too many keys, and would for myself prefer something much more minimal.)
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:58:24 by jacobolus »

Offline nomaded

  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Andover, MA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 00:59:12 »
I would not be against this new "F" layout.

I went with the vi-style arrow keys on the bottom row mostly to fit the keys I had available to me.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || ErgoDox classic (clears) w/SA Retro || TECK 209 (browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Colorado, USA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 01:14:48 »
I think the new layout you posted is fantastic. The fan of thumb keys plus arrow keys would work great for me.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 01:33:56 »
Also, I’m curious to hear from current Ergodox users how you feel about the amount of stagger between each column. Speaking only for myself, I find the stagger between the two main columns of index finger keys a bit odd. Also, I find that the middle finger is not staggered far away enough, and the pinky is not staggered close enough, to match my hands’ relaxed resting position.

Would it be better to leave the ergodox stagger exactly as is, or to tweak it a bit? (Personally, I’d even bring the pinky columns down by another half key or so.)

Anyway, here’s that last layout again with some minor tweak (in particular I got rid of the extra angle on the last thumb column; but including it might be better):


Or using “shifted DCS” keycap profile (see http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=62444).
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 04:07:03 by jacobolus »

Online vvp

  • Posts: 635
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 05:34:14 »
Looks quite good.
I would do these changes:
  • Use 1x1 keys for outer pinkie column.
    • They are still very near to the pinkie home location. There will not be a problem to hit them accurately.
    • It will make the whole keyboard a bit smaller which is good for reaching e.g. a mouse.
    • 1x1 keycaps are easier to source.
  • Move the two top 1x1 thumb buttons nearer to the main keywell. Care about making keys easier to reach instead of visual appeal of the alignment to the thumb buttons below.
  • Make the keycap height difference between the left-most top 1x1 thumb button and the 1x1.5 thumb button below it bigger. Use row2 or row3 keycap for the bottom 1x1.5 key.

The next text is just may personal preference and probably not valid for most folks.

It does not have enough thumb buttons and I do not like the separate arrow cluster. One needs to move hand to reach it. So it is almost useless to me. On the other hand, if the bottom row is not tilted it is useless too. An almost useless arrow cluster is a bit better to an almost useless bottom row.

Maybe the thumb cluster can work with 6 keys only. I believe all modifiers should be on thumbs. We have 4 standard modifiers (Shift,Ctrl,Alt,Win) and we need a layer shift too. That is 5 plus space/backspace. It probably could do. Just barely. It just does not allow extension for more like e.g. Meta (which could be useful as a separate modifier on linux).

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 12:34:57 »
I would do these changes:
Then it starts getting pretty far from the original Ergodox. I just want to tweak it, not make a completely unrelated design. (These seem like okay ideas though. Wanna try your hand at a mockup?)

Personally I’d skip the arrow keys too, but many folks seem to like them.
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 12:39:16 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 14:30:03 »
It’s getting a bit further away from the Ergodox, but since the original Ergodox has a bunch of extra space along the top used by the Teensy etc. it also seems like there might be room for an extra row of F keys. I’ve seen several people criticize the Ergodox for not having those. (Personally, I don’t need F keys, but people seem to like them..)


Offline nomaded

  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Andover, MA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 18:02:43 »
I think the closest thumb key to the bottom row should be angled slightly, again.

I actually prefer my keycaps to be all the same height/plane, like SA Row 3.

I also don't need dedicated F keys, so I probably wouldn't use them too much.

I'm not sure about the increased column stagger. I think I'd have to try it before I could say one way or another. That said, I like the feel of the existing stagger on the ErgoDox, and I also like the stagger on the TECK. But even a more matrix layout would be better than the standard stagger.

With the modified bottom row/arrow cluster, that gap between the left key and the bottom key of the middle finger row, visually, I want to see another key there. I'm not sure if it makes sense, though.

I think I would be OK with 1u keycaps for the outermost column, but I would still put the shift keys in their normal locations. That's one old habit I can't break -- I couldn't get used to hitting shift with my thumbs, even after a month.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || ErgoDox classic (clears) w/SA Retro || TECK 209 (browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 18:23:49 »
I think the closest thumb key to the bottom row should be angled slightly, again.
Just for the visual appearance, or to get it slightly closer to the hand, or..? Would you leave a gap in the top 2 thumb keys? (Or just take those out entirely?) Care to sketch how you’d do it?

Quote
I actually prefer my keycaps to be all the same height/plane, like SA Row 3.
Is this for aesthetic reasons, or because you want to use a non-QWERTY layout, or because you like spherical tops, or...? Is it mainly the different angles at the top that bother you, or the different heights?

Have you ever tried using a column-stagger board with a greater-than-usual height step for the top rows? (Note, my proposed profile here is DCS but with row 3 basically skipped, so that the QWER and 1234 rows are noticeably taller than usual for OEM/cherry/Alps/DCS profiles compared to the height of the ASDF and ZXCV rows.) Speaking only for myself, I’ve been trying this out on both standard layout and column-stagger keyboards for the last week, and I really like it.

[Obviously it would be quite possible to use this layout with whatever keycaps you wanted; but I think the sculpturing is helpful.]

Quote
I'm not sure about the increased column stagger. I think I'd have to try it before I could say one way or another. That said, I like the feel of the existing stagger on the ErgoDox, and I also like the stagger on the TECK. But even a more matrix layout would be better than the standard stagger.
On the TECK, are there any keys you find it difficult to reach? For instance, how comfortable is it for you to type the N and B keys (in QWERTY layout; or substitute whatever key your layout puts there)? What about the Alt and AltGr keys? What about - + ` ´ keys? [I’m not trying to critique their layout, I’m just curious how you find it in practice.]

Quote
With the modified bottom row/arrow cluster, that gap between the left key and the bottom key of the middle finger row, visually, I want to see another key there. I'm not sure if it makes sense, though.
Does the similar gap on the TECK bother you? Would you find a use for an extra key stuck in there?

Quote
I think I would be OK with 1u keycaps for the outermost column, but I would still put the shift keys in their normal locations. That's one old habit I can't break -- I couldn't get used to hitting shift with my thumbs, even after a month.
How do you feel about using the keys directly to the right/left of the pinky fingers for shift, the way the TECK does it? (Various other keyboards also do this; personally I think it’s quite a bit better than the standard shift location, but I think a thumb key is also nice for shift.)
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 18:33:41 by jacobolus »

Online vvp

  • Posts: 635
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 18:40:21 »
I think I would be OK with 1u keycaps for the outermost column, but I would still put the shift keys in their normal locations. That's one old habit I can't break -- I couldn't get used to hitting shift with my thumbs, even after a month.
It took me about two weeks to feel more comfortable with Shift on thumbs (instead of on pinkies). I did not do any special training for that. Only the first few days were hard (I made a lot of mistakes).

Online vvp

  • Posts: 635
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 18:53:07 »
Wanna try your hand at a mockup?
Katy has a priority now (at least till the first releasable version). Then I may try this kind of thumb cluster too. May be on a contoured version. My feeling is that it will not be better than the Maltron like thumb cluster, but it looks nicer and usable too.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 18:58:06 »
My feeling is that it will not be better than the Maltron like thumb cluster, but it looks nicer and usable too.
By “Maltron-like thumb cluster” you mean the one the Ergodox currently has? Or you mean something on a fully sculptured keyboard like a Maltron?

These designs I’m sketching in this thread are definitely not what I would use on a fully sculptured keyboard. (But those are much more expensive to mass produce.)

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 22:09:50 »
The thumb part here might be somewhat more like what a couple of you are thinking:


This feels a little less “ergodoxy” than the earlier one though.

Offline Findecanor

  • Posts: 4089
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 22:22:44 »
I suppose that the idea is to make a revised ErgoDox design that is backwards-compatible with the old ErgoDox'es components and firmwares ...

Use 1x1 keys for outer pinkie column ... make the whole keyboard a bit smaller
I did some measurements on my modified ErgoDox and tests in QCad... and I think that your suggestions would work and still with support for 1.5u wide keys.

If you would want support for Alps or backlighting of Cherry MX, then keys with those features would be restricted to one size only: either the same or opposite sizes.

Apropos 1×1 outer columns:
The Maltron keyboards has 1u wide outer columns. The Shift keys are actually vertical: 2×1 extending down to the row below. I would be interested in what long-time Maltron users think of them - if they tend to hit them differently than on the ErgoDox and Kinesis.
The TypeMatrix keyboards also have 2×1 Shift keys, but one row up, I.e. the left Shift is next to the A and Z keys.
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 22:37:02 by Findecanor »
Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 17 September 2014, 22:37:38 »
I suppose we could also do this sort of thing for the pinkies:


Again, it starts feeling less ergodoxy as we make this sort of change though.

Personally I think shift keys immediately next to the pinky “home row” position work pretty well, even if they’re just 1x1 keys.

For instance, I think this would be quite an effective “standard-ish” keyboard:
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 September 2014, 22:39:26 by jacobolus »

Online vvp

  • Posts: 635
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 03:45:18 »
By “Maltron-like thumb cluster” you mean the one the Ergodox currently has? Or you mean something on a fully sculptured keyboard like a Maltron?
8 key thumb cluster like on contoured Maltron. The thumb cluster itself does not need sculpturing (a planer PCB is ok) but it needs height difference and some tilt. That means it cannot be on the same planar PCB as the main keywell. If all the switches are in the same plane then one can compensate with different keycaps a bit but I do not know whether it would be enough.
I think that even the original ergodox thmub cluster is not bad in its general shape. But has two big problems:
  • it is too far away from the main keywell
  • it misses height difference (this can be at least partially compensated for with good keycap selection)
If all the switches must be in a plane then yours arch-thumb cluster looks like a safer bet. If I would be called to to final decision I would need mock-ups of both to compare. Without mock-ups I would leave the arch version. I would only make sure the 1x1 keycaps in the arch are significantly taller.

Online vvp

  • Posts: 635
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 03:58:13 »
My reasoning for 1x1 keys for pinkies is that the more far away from home location is the bigger it should be. All the pinkie keys are not far away to justify bigger size. Moreover notice that the top outer pinkie key is 1x1 and the rest are 1x1.5. That does not make sense. If you can hit well enough the outer top 1x1 key then you definitely can hit the nearer ones.
So using 1x1.5 keys for pinkies looks more like visual appeal which is not practical (because it makes the keyboard bigger (even when it is a tiny bit only) and more expensive (more material, more rare keycaps)).

1.5x1 keys on thumb arches can make sense since not everybody has the same length of thumbs. It also means that for some of the top arch 1x1 keys will be harder to hit but one cannot make one size fits all keyboard anyway. If I would design it for myself I would use 1x1 keycaps for thumb arches too. But in such a case it is an easy decision because I can position them exactly for my hand. That also means I can make the top arch in the ideal position for me.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 04:26:41 »
My reasoning for 1x1 keys for pinkies is that the more far away from home location is the bigger it should be. All the pinkie keys are not far away to justify bigger size. Moreover notice that the top outer pinkie key is 1x1 and the rest are 1x1.5. That does not make sense. If you can hit well enough the outer top 1x1 key then you definitely can hit the nearer ones.
The reason to leave 1.5u keys on there is that that’s how the original Ergodox does it. The reason to make the top outer key a 1u key is so that it can use a 5th row DCS keycap (which are not available in 1.5u size).

Otherwise I agree with you that 1u keys are sufficient. The “expense” is pretty much negligible, so I wouldn’t worry about that.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 04:29:36 »
As I think about this though, I think changes to the pinky section might be okay.

On the thumbs, I still think that the design where the last 2 rows are next to each other feels more “ergodoxy” to me, and isn’t really any worse, functionally, than a version with a more uniform amount of rotation for each key.

Here’s a mockup showing the rough positioning of the standard ergodox case. If we can reduce the excess space on the top, we can get away with adding F row keys without making the keyboard any larger overall:


Or perhaps:
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 September 2014, 04:49:04 by jacobolus »

Online vvp

  • Posts: 635
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 04:48:13 »
Here is what I though for a keyboard which would require all switches to be in one plane:
77492-0
Though if I would design it for myself I would go with only 1x1 keys for both thumb arches. It would allow to pack them a bit more. Yeah, and without the F-keys.
If one has a reprap 3dPrinter at home then contoured always wins, even from the price point of view. Therefore I stick with Katy for now.

Offline Canut

  • Posts: 20
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 16:19:11 »
TL;DR:
1. Use the programmability and layers to your advantage; don't repeat old problems by overloading certain digits (the thumbs) with too many keys and lots of stretching;
2. Do-able: Reconfigure the hardware so the inner column has three 1u keys vertically, thereby moving the home position inboard and closer to the existing thumb clusters;
3. Not do-able: There will always be certain limitations of a two dimensional layout that doesn't allow movement in three dimensions like Maltron / Kinesis / Acidfire's Nexus. But changing that would result in a totally new keyboard.

Long version:
IME, the Ergodox is a great improvement on a standard layout ergonomically; and also in terms of programmability -- which also helps with ergonomics, since it allows various functions to be accessed by staying near the  home row and shifting through the layers rather than over-stretching the fingers (or in this case, the thumbs). I could never touch-type the top row (numbers / symbols / fn keys) on a standard layout, but the non-staggered ergodox layout is much more intuitive (your brain may vary) and now I'm pretty good.

I have small hands, but I have no problems with accessing the thumb clusters on the ergodox. As mentioned above, I have assigned the smaller thumb keys to lesser used functions, and to various Auto Hotkey macros such as automated file backups or google search on highlighted words, which naturally involve a pause in my typing / workflow. So I sometimes pause and look for those keys by sight; move off the home row; and take a moment to relax. But I can still hit them by touch when needed.

The various mods to the thumb clusters shown above seem to exacerbate the need to stretch the thumbs. Thumbs and associated tendons are not immune to stress from repeated stretching, and the layouts above place disproportionate emphasis on the thumbs and the need to stretch in a wide arc rather than a quick shift-and-tap with the present layout.

Instead of radical changes along two dimensions, the ergonomics of the dox would benefit more from incorporating curvature like a Kinesis or Acidfire's amazing work. But that would require so many physical changes that it would become an entirely new beast rather than an incremental change.

One way to make the general thumb cluster area more accessible is to move closer to it. By which, I mean moving the hands inward: replacing the existing 1.5u vertical keys with 1u keys that become the "new" homing keys [F and J, or whatever are the "bump" keys in your preferred layout] and then tweaking the "vertical stagger for finger length" of the plate mounts accordingly. For me, I rarely use those inboard vertical keys (to the extent that I can't remember what I have assigned to mine). Moving the home keys inboard not only gains one key per side (3 1u keys arranged vertically rather than two 1.5u), but it also gives one more vertical column on the outer edge, under the pinkies, for things that the current layout forces one to relocate elsewhere. On a Mac: [()'"/{}] etc. OnEuropean layouts, many of the umlaut characters, etc.

All IMO, of course (and under the influence of a couple of beers, so don't flame me  :thumb:).

[edit]

As mentioned  in a previous post, the v1 ergodox is a revelation for me, and keyboards of this style (and from this open-source origin) are surely the future: I have no intention of returning to a standard layout. Huge thanks to everyone whose talent and perseverance made it a reality.

I earn my living using a keyboard. I can type for extremely long periods on the ergodox without discomfort, whereas a long day on a standard keyboard now leaves me in pain (hence I jumped on the first dox buy). The sort of incremental damage that was noticeably harming my harm my health and career prospects. I DO have some "normal" keyboards on my "do want" list, But more because of the "n+1" theory, and not because I have any intention of reverting to a standard board as my daily driver.

Despite not being entirely convinced of the thumb layouts suggested here, I welcome any improvements to ergodox v2, as it has literally saved my ability to keep on working. Unless the rumoured new Kinesis is a radical improvement on the previous version; or unless Acidfire knocks everything else into oblivion, then constructive community  discussion on the future iterations of  this great project should be strongly encouraged.

(thanks for reading :D)
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 September 2014, 16:45:34 by Canut »

Offline davkol

  • Posts: 4669
  • Location: CZ
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 16:33:41 »
I'm currently using an 80key layout—with my rather small hands. I've used a normal 76key ErgoDox before.

1x keys under V and M are easy to access (assigned to AltGr), the outer ones next to them (under C and ,) are okay as well (assigned to an extra layer in firmware). It's a pity there's a gap under the B and N keys, it's truly the biggest problem for me.

Thumb clusters are tricky like this. Using 1x keys avoids daerid's problem, with thumb knuckles IIRC, I think. It requires quite a lot of dealing with various keycap profiles to get it right though.

I like the outer part of the bottom row as it is, because I can press the modifiers with my palms.

Offline Canut

  • Posts: 20
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 17:00:58 »
I'm currently using an 80key layout—with my rather small hands. I've used a normal 76key ErgoDox before.

1x keys under V and M are easy to access (assigned to AltGr), the outer ones next to them (under C and ,) are okay as well (assigned to an extra layer in firmware). It's a pity there's a gap under the B and N keys, it's truly the biggest problem for me.

Those triangle gaps between the keys are where I rest my thumbs. There was some discussion about the need for the Kinesis to place the thumb clusters lower (like the Maltron). Those gaps on the ergodox are my solution to that. On the left and right, I have the keys below CV and M< assigned to text navigation, text scrolling, and mouse wheel functions (via auto hot key) in order to navigate and edit technical documents. Also for AltGr as a further modifier. I tap them with the edge of my thumb and otherwise leave the thumbs resting lower in those gaps  (you can even make a deeper gap / or "thumb well" between the keys by removing the top layer of the case). We all have personal ergonomic preferences and needs. It's nice that the dox can be hacked to accommodate those preferences.

Offline nomaded

  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Andover, MA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 17:38:56 »
I'm going to reply a bit out of order...

I'm not sure about the increased column stagger. I think I'd have to try it before I could say one way or another. That said, I like the feel of the existing stagger on the ErgoDox, and I also like the stagger on the TECK. But even a more matrix layout would be better than the standard stagger.
On the TECK, are there any keys you find it difficult to reach? For instance, how comfortable is it for you to type the N and B keys (in QWERTY layout; or substitute whatever key your layout puts there)? What about the Alt and AltGr keys? What about - + ` ´ keys? [I'm not trying to critique their layout, I'm just curious how you find it in practice.]

When I was typing on the TECK on a regular basis (for about a year), I didn't find any of the keys hard to reach at all. After using my ErgoDox layout for a while, I find it "annoying" to reach for the Escape and Delete keys, because of distance away from home row. It's the same with the function keys, but I don't use those keys nearly as much as Escape and Delete.

Quote
Quote
With the modified bottom row/arrow cluster, that gap between the left key and the bottom key of the middle finger row, visually, I want to see another key there. I'm not sure if it makes sense, though.
Does the similar gap on the TECK bother you? Would you find a use for an extra key stuck in there?

The gap on the TECK does not bother me, but that's because the gap is smaller than what you have, due to the different column stagger amounts. Again, I don't feel like I need a lot of stagger. I would be fine with a full matrix, even, as long as I can keep each half separate (unlike the Typematrix).

Quote
Quote
I think I would be OK with 1u keycaps for the outermost column, but I would still put the shift keys in their normal locations. That's one old habit I can't break -- I couldn't get used to hitting shift with my thumbs, even after a month.
How do you feel about using the keys directly to the right/left of the pinky fingers for shift, the way the TECK does it? (Various other keyboards also do this; personally I think it's quite a bit better than the standard shift location, but I think a thumb key is also nice for shift.)

...

Personally I think shift keys immediately next to the pinky "home row" position work pretty well, even if they're just 1x1 keys.

On the TECK, I promptly moved the shift keys away from home row. I've had left control mapped to where capslock is normally for years, and on the right side, the shift key is remapped to [single quote / double quote] because that's where [hyphen / underscore] is on Dvorak. Years of Emacs usage has trained my hands to hit control on the left side (and only on the left side). I was able to successfully move left control to my left thumb, but I had no luck with moving the shift keys to my thumbs. Instead I have a layer change to access most symbols on the closer 2u in the thumb cluster.

I find these to be reasonable compromises for the times that I need to type on a laptop (relatively often) and when I need to type on someone else's computer (not so often) Between Dvorak and the ErgoDox, I also have a regular Dell keyboard connected to my computer at work, in case anyone wants to "drive".

Quote
Quote
I think the closest thumb key to the bottom row should be angled slightly, again.
Just for the visual appearance, or to get it slightly closer to the hand, or..? Would you leave a gap in the top 2 thumb keys? (Or just take those out entirely?) Care to sketch how you'd do it?

Your image http://i.imgur.com/qyWXNcq.png with the arching thumb cluster matches what I had in mind with this statement.

Quote
Quote
I actually prefer my keycaps to be all the same height/plane, like SA Row 3.
Is this for aesthetic reasons, or because you want to use a non-QWERTY layout, or because you like spherical tops, or...? Is it mainly the different angles at the top that bother you, or the different heights?

Have you ever tried using a column-stagger board with a greater-than-usual height step for the top rows? (Note, my proposed profile here is DCS but with row 3 basically skipped, so that the QWER and 1234 rows are noticeably taller than usual for OEM/cherry/Alps/DCS profiles compared to the height of the ASDF and ZXCV rows.) Speaking only for myself, I've been trying this out on both standard layout and column-stagger keyboards for the last week, and I really like it.

[Obviously it would be quite possible to use this layout with whatever keycaps you wanted; but I think the sculpturing is helpful.]

I don't type Qwerty, if I can help it. That said, I usually keep the keycaps as Qwerty. I touch type Dvorak, so I normally look at the keys. But it's nice to have a "reminder" for the times I need to switch to typing Qwerty on my keyboard.

Honestly, I don't have much experience with keycaps that aren't OEM/Cherry profile. I think the closest to what you describe with large variation of keycap heights and the column stagger would be the TECK, and even then there's only a small amount of variation -- I would say less than the Cherry profile. But with my small amount of experience, I know I like the feel of the same profile on the ErgoDox.

This opinion could very well change if I ever get a chance to type on a highly sculpted layout like what you have proposed. I'm certainly open to new ideas.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || ErgoDox classic (clears) w/SA Retro || TECK 209 (browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline nomaded

  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Andover, MA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 17:46:30 »
1x keys under V and M are easy to access (assigned to AltGr), the outer ones next to them (under C and ,) are okay as well (assigned to an extra layer in firmware). It's a pity there's a gap under the B and N keys, it's truly the biggest problem for me.

Those triangle gaps between the keys are where I rest my thumbs. There was some discussion about the need for the Kinesis to place the thumb clusters lower (like the Maltron). Those gaps on the ergodox are my solution to that. On the left and right, I have the keys below CV and M< assigned to text navigation, text scrolling, and mouse wheel functions (via auto hot key) in order to navigate and edit technical documents. Also for AltGr as a further modifier. I tap them with the edge of my thumb and otherwise leave the thumbs resting lower in those gaps  (you can even make a deeper gap / or "thumb well" between the keys by removing the top layer of the case). We all have personal ergonomic preferences and needs. It's nice that the dox can be hacked to accommodate those preferences.

Currently, I also rest my thumbs in those gaps. But I would prefer to move the key under V and M more into the gap, and the adjacent 2u in the thumb cluster towards the gap from the other direction.

Personally, I have the key under C mapped as [forward delete] and the key under V as [backspace]. On the right hand, under [comma / less than] I have [left arrow] and under M, I have [space]. The two adjacent 2u from the thumb cluster are mapped as layer toggles (same layer) for easy access to navigation (left side) or symbols (right side). A link to my layout (via Massdrop) is in my sig.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || ErgoDox classic (clears) w/SA Retro || TECK 209 (browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 18:10:55 »
1. Use the programmability and layers to your advantage; don't repeat old problems by overloading certain digits (the thumbs) with too many keys and lots of stretching;
2. Do-able: Reconfigure the hardware so the inner column has three 1u keys vertically, thereby moving the home position inboard and closer to the existing thumb clusters;
Well (1) the thumbs are the strongest and most agile digits we have, and currently keyboards give them 1-3 keys for both thumbs (depending on how you count); with the Ergodox there are instead 2-4 reachable keys for each thumb, plus several unreachable keys; by contrast the right pinky alone gets 10+ keys on a standard keyboard. I’m just proposing giving each thumb 4 reachable keys (and leaving the two harder-to-reach keys mainly as an homage to the original Ergodox design)

(2) Moving the hand position on a standard Ergodox and just putting 1u keys on the inner columns makes the stagger not line up with the fingers, though it probably does slightly help for the thumbs. Might work for some people but seems suboptimal to me.

Quote
IME, the Ergodox is a great improvement on a standard layout ergonomically; and also in terms of programmability -- which also helps with ergonomics, since it allows various functions to be accessed by staying near the  home row and shifting through the layers rather than over-stretching the fingers (or in this case, the thumbs). I could never touch-type the top row (numbers / symbols / fn keys) on a standard layout, but the non-staggered ergodox layout is much more intuitive (your brain may vary) and now I'm pretty good.
Absolutely! A column-staggered keyboard with sufficient tilt/turn/separation between hands is a nice improvement over a standard keyboard.

Quote
The various mods to the thumb clusters shown above seem to exacerbate the need to stretch the thumbs. Thumbs and associated tendons are not immune to stress from repeated stretching, and the layouts above place disproportionate emphasis on the thumbs and the need to stretch in a wide arc rather than a quick shift-and-tap with the present layout.
Hmm, I’m skeptical of that: I put the original Ergodox layout in blue lines underneath the proposed alternative layouts to show how the revised designs make all of the thumb keys closer and easier to reach than on the original. There should be *less* need for thumb stretching. (There’s nothing that precludes you from moving your hand to press the thumb keys in the alternate design.)

Those triangle gaps between the keys are where I rest my thumbs.
You can always just disable the key in that position and/or replace the switch with something super heavy so that resting your thumb on it doesn’t actuate anything. Or just rip that key out entirely. ;)
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 September 2014, 18:12:59 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 18:18:22 »
For the folks worried about thumb stretching, how did you feel about this version?

« Last Edit: Thu, 18 September 2014, 18:22:00 by jacobolus »

Offline nomaded

  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Andover, MA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 18:34:20 »
I like it.

I would add two 1u keys to the top of the thumb cluster, to keep the same number of keys as we have now. Those are currently "pick up hand and stab with index finger" keys for me, like the [windows / command] key.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || ErgoDox classic (clears) w/SA Retro || TECK 209 (browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 10496
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 19:35:53 »
I feel the thumb cluster is perfect AS IS..

because even if you made those other 1x thumb cluster keys slightly easier to reach.. They would partition out to the same functions..  and those functions are not vital in terms of smooth use-transitions..

If important quick transitions are required,  it's still better to map to a separate layer to prevent wrist lift..


So if anything  having the 1x thumb cluster keys HARD-to reach is a GOOD THING.. because that way, they can be reserved for keys you don't want activated by accident.

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Colorado, USA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 00:07:16 »
I think the prior designs were a little better. I don't get how any of the proposed layouts would cause thumb issues. If anything the Ergodox as-is has the thumb cluster too far out.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 00:15:34 »
I think the prior designs were a little better.
As in you like this type – – better than this type – ??

Me too. I’m just trying to figure out which designs various people prefer. :-)

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 00:19:55 »
I feel the thumb cluster is perfect AS IS..
Cool. That’s helpful feedback. So if you could make any arbitrary change to the Ergodox thumb section, you’d leave it precisely the way it is? What about other parts of the design?

I suspect the original design will be popular for a long time in the future, even if we can convince someone to produce kits of an alternative design.

Online vvp

  • Posts: 635
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 03:56:12 »
Show Image

Looks worse to me. Making thumb keys wider only stretches the thumb cluster which makes the side keys more far away or removes them completely. It is not a problem to position thumb precisely in horizontal direction. It can be different in vertical direction because of different thumb lengths.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 04:17:40 »
It is not a problem to position thumb precisely in horizontal direction. It can be different in vertical direction because of different thumb lengths.
I’ve definitely heard folks around here disputing that, explaining that they move their hands around as they type, and happily press the spacebar wherever their thumbs happen to be at the moment. (Something relatively easy when the spacebar is 7+ units long.)

In general I agree with you though.

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 10496
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 04:17:49 »
I feel the thumb cluster is perfect AS IS..
Cool. That’s helpful feedback. So if you could make any arbitrary change to the Ergodox thumb section, you’d leave it precisely the way it is? What about other parts of the design?

I suspect the original design will be popular for a long time in the future, even if we can convince someone to produce kits of an alternative design.

i think the layout is fine..

but of course, I'm still for the separate PCB to ANGLE the thumb cluster inwards..   and making the first thumb button just a bit closer..

But that's not so useful if the cluster isn't angled.

Offline davkol

  • Posts: 4669
  • Location: CZ
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #42 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 04:29:45 »
I don't see the point of making minor changes to the ErgoDox layout, because it breaks compatibility with ErgoDox keycap sets and cases.

I'd rather focus on Axios; it's modular after all.

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #43 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 05:16:04 »
I don't see the point of making minor changes to the ErgoDox layout, because it breaks compatibility with ErgoDox keycap sets and cases.
Well, the Ergodox has existed for ~2.5 years, and its popularity grown substantially in popularity in the last year. If no other similar keyboards come out / no changes are made to it, it’ll presumably continue to be quite popular. However, in my opinion the Ergodox design is, to some extent, a half-baked prototype, with some obvious flaws.

If we are optimistic, and assume that more Ergodox-like programmable split ergonomic keyboards are sold in the next few years than in the previous few years, then the small handful of existing Ergodox keycap sets shouldn’t be considered a design constraint because they’re relatively few and unimportant in the grand scheme of things. If a new design becomes popular, there will be future keycap sets targeting it, and since it’s an open design I’m sure the existing Ergodox design will continue to be available for quite some time regardless.

If we can make a few design changes and end up with something better (more comfortable, more capable, ..), it’s worth doing relatively soon.

Quote
I'd rather focus on Axios; it's modular after all.
Personally I think the Axios is on totally the wrong track, and also is going to have considerable difficulty with manufacturing and probably take at least another 8–12 months to have a shipping product considering how much they’re trying to bite off for v1 (but maybe they’ve made more progress than shown so far on geekhack and can go faster, we’ll see). Fortunately for everyone, there’s a lot of choice now, and hopefully even more in the future, with the Matias ErgoPro, the keyboard.io, etc.
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 September 2014, 05:18:53 by jacobolus »

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 10496
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #44 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 05:16:17 »
I don't see the point of making minor changes to the ErgoDox layout, because it breaks compatibility with ErgoDox keycap sets and cases.

I'd rather focus on Axios; it's modular after all.


Ghers are obsessed with Keycap sets compatibility ... They need to grow up, Stop dressing up keyboards like Dollies...   and Focus on typing faster, more often, and more ergonomically..

/the important computer stuffs.


Offline davkol

  • Posts: 4669
  • Location: CZ
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #45 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 05:44:25 »
Let's be specific, WHO will manufacture and distribute it? Because it took about two years to get ErgoDox from an overpriced DIY kit to at least a readily-available DIY kit with optional assembly, and that's mostly thanks to what some people in the community do in their free time. It's a problem similar to preinstalls on desktops.

I have nothing against technical masturbation, but it's better to be clear whether it is the case, or not.

Speaking of keycaps, I'm quite excited about GH36, because about a half of it can be harvested from a G80-11900—no dealing with cheap-ass DCS/DSA and absolutely no Matias/keyboard.io vendor lock-in.

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 10496
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #46 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 05:59:48 »
Let's be specific, WHO will manufacture and distribute it? Because it took about two years to get ErgoDox from an overpriced DIY kit to at least a readily-available DIY kit with optional assembly, and that's mostly thanks to what some people in the community do in their free time. It's a problem similar to preinstalls on desktops.

I have nothing against technical masturbation, but it's better to be clear whether it is the case, or not.

Speaking of keycaps, I'm quite excited about GH36, because about a half of it can be harvested from a G80-11900—no dealing with cheap-ass DCS/DSA and absolutely no Matias/keyboard.io vendor lock-in.

I don't think we need to do any of that..   

Keep it exactly the same..   CUT the current dox, drill 2 holes for brackets and put up a wiring guide.


Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #47 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 06:12:54 »
Mini version:
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 September 2014, 06:16:07 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4306
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #48 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 06:17:59 »
Let's be specific, WHO will manufacture and distribute it? Because it took about two years to get ErgoDox from an overpriced DIY kit to at least a readily-available DIY kit with optional assembly, and that's mostly thanks to what some people in the community do in their free time. It's a problem similar to preinstalls on desktops.
Well, for example, I think if the design seems better (especially if it seems like people would prefer it given the option), then it should be possible to convince MassDrop to distribute it. I’ve talked to them about other ergonomic keyboard ideas in the past, and they seem pretty receptive to trying new things.

Offline davkol

  • Posts: 4669
  • Location: CZ
Re: fixing the ergodox thumb section
« Reply #49 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 06:18:48 »
Why don't you keep the corner key?

Also, these angles and bigger thumb keys look like made for typing with resting wrists.