Author Topic: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?  (Read 13419 times)

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Offline etca2z

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Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 08:52:22 »
I don't see why a long spacebar is more ergonomic than a shorter one, since when you are at home position using your thumb, even a small 2U spacebar is enough.

Offline nevin

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 11:12:46 »
They used to be even longer. look back at terminal boards & typewriters.
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And who said anything about a standard keyboard being ergonomic..... because they're not.
There is a rapidly growing niche of ergonomic keyboards. Kenesis Advantage, ErgoDox, Dactyl, Manuform, split ortholinear, and many, many more.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 11:57:08 »
In the beginning, on the very first QWERTY typewriters, the Space bar was wider than the key area held by a lever on each side of the keys.

For me, I guess that a 2u space bar would be enough: if it is located in just the right spot for my right thumb. Because people have grown up with larger space bars, people tend to have developed habits to press it in different places. Some people press it with the left thumb and there are even people who alternate.
Keyboards for the Japanese JIS layout tend to have quite small space bars in the centre, but at least for me, that one would be too far away from my right thumb.

And then there are many split ergonomic keyboards, where the space bar is only 1u, or 1u2u (vertical).
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Offline iso

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 11:59:18 »
IMHO

When trying to minimise hand movements left/right,  a long space bar is ideal.
Ergonomics implies that there is little to no hand/palm movement, its all fingers, a good ergonomic keyboard does not require large spacebar or any key to be diferent size, proper key placement is more important than size.
That being said boils down to how big/small your hand is, using same keyboard, someone with smaller hands will "travel" more than someone with large hands, thus a long spacebar is ideal to minimise that, concordantly, someone with extra large hands will have trouble being precise/fast, finger thickness being just one of the factors where distance between the keys is paramount to achieve both.
Back then the only thing you could to on those typerwiters is... write... no playing games, controlling devices, 3d modelling, etc, plus, a decent one wasnt cheap.
I believe  we have much better understanding of keyboard ergonomics than 40+ years ago when only a very small category of people would use one.

Standard keyboards are not ergonomic, they are cheap to produce, companies succeeded on convincing most people that the regular shape of a keyboard is normal, just think about the ammount of money being saved by not having bent/flexibile PCBs/connectors

Offline vvp

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 14:27:05 »
Some people press pace bar with their palm/wrist. If they do not want to change their habit then they need a big space bar.

I think even 1U space bar is enough and there should be modifier keys and layer shifts in the middle of the bottom row where thumbs can easily reach the keys without much moving.

Offline nevin

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 17 June 2019, 14:58:49 »
Quote
Some people press pace bar with their palm/wrist.

I like to use my forehead... great for those... DOH! moments (insert Homer Simpson sound byte)
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Offline tex_live_utility

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 21 June 2019, 12:41:39 »
In the beginning, on the very first QWERTY typewriters, the Space bar was wider than the key area held by a lever on each side of the keys.

For me, I guess that a 2u space bar would be enough: if it is located in just the right spot for my right thumb. Because people have grown up with larger space bars, people tend to have developed habits to press it in different places. Some people press it with the left thumb and there are even people who alternate.
Keyboards for the Japanese JIS layout tend to have quite small space bars in the centre, but at least for me, that one would be too far away from my right thumb.

And then there are many split ergonomic keyboards, where the space bar is only 1u, or 1u2u (vertical).

Imo 2u is too small to be comfortable for a wide range of users. Some people hold their thumbs as wide as F and J on a standard QWERTY layout. 4-5u should be good though.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 21 June 2019, 13:15:09 »
Imo 2u is too small to be comfortable for a wide range of users. Some people hold their thumbs as wide as F and J on a standard QWERTY layout. 4-5u should be good though.
Oh, I mean that 2u could perhaps be enough for me if only on the right side, in just the right spot. I have not actually tested that: I only go by where the bright spots on previous keyboards are. The spots are centred below the J key.

I think some people press it even further to the left and/or right than I do. Others press it in the centre, and some people alternate between left and right thumbs.
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Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 29 June 2019, 12:52:53 »
So my tiny index finger can reach it.  ^-^

Offline stevep

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 18 July 2019, 05:51:47 »
I don't see why a long spacebar is more ergonomic than a shorter one, since when you are at home position using your thumb, even a small 2U spacebar is enough.

It isn't ergonomic. Once again, we are prisoners of the legacy of poor design having become standard. There are some keyboards with more sensible split/shorter spacebars, for example the Matias Ergo Pro and the Ultimate Hacking keyboard. I wouldn't buy a keyboard with a stupidly long spacebar any more.

Offline harlekein

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 30 July 2019, 04:59:13 »
Honestly, nothing about traditional keyboards is ergonomic because they weren't designed to be.

- QWERTY is stupid
- CAPS LOCK position is a waste, and useless
- ISO enter is a waste of space
- traditional staggered layouts make no sense if you aren't pushing hammers onto a paper sheet

And, as you said, the big spacebar makes no sense at all. The majority of people will hit it with either the left or right thumb. (Most right, personally left)

It's kind of shocking to me that people do so much customizing their keyboard are entirely stuck in conventional layouts and even adding a 7 degree incline when that's just an assault on the wrists unless your desk is too high, which is a different ergonomic problem altogether.

Offline iso

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 01 August 2019, 11:37:29 »
Honestly, nothing about traditional keyboards is ergonomic because they weren't designed to be.

- QWERTY is stupid
- CAPS LOCK position is a waste, and useless
- ISO enter is a waste of space
- traditional staggered layouts make no sense if you aren't pushing hammers onto a paper sheet

And, as you said, the big spacebar makes no sense at all. The majority of people will hit it with either the left or right thumb. (Most right, personally left)

It's kind of shocking to me that people do so much customizing their keyboard are entirely stuck in conventional layouts and even adding a 7 degree incline when that's just an assault on the wrists unless your desk is too high, which is a different ergonomic problem altogether.

- QWERTY is most used layout, if you mke a living using a computer and you got used to the layout, is hard to put the time in and learn something else.
- Lots of games make use of CAPS LOCK on that position, if you dont play games, is kind of useless
- Oh wow dude
- Just cheaper to manufacture

On regular layout a long space bar does make sense, try this.

Add some blue tape on your space bar thats the same width as.. let say "A" key. You can position anywhere you like.
Now write your next post and only hit the space bar where the blue tape is, is hard.
The space bar is long because you need to hit it no matter where your hand when moving it left-right to get to the other keys.

If you create 2 space bar buttons, split the keyboard in 2, each half with its own space bar, resize the keys/reduce the ammount of space between them, your hand/palm wont move, only your fingers and a long space bar would be useless.

Offline harlekein

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Re: Why ANSI / ISO standard keeb has such long spacebar?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 01 August 2019, 13:02:23 »
Honestly, nothing about traditional keyboards is ergonomic because they weren't designed to be.

- QWERTY is stupid
- CAPS LOCK position is a waste, and useless
- ISO enter is a waste of space
- traditional staggered layouts make no sense if you aren't pushing hammers onto a paper sheet

And, as you said, the big spacebar makes no sense at all. The majority of people will hit it with either the left or right thumb. (Most right, personally left)

It's kind of shocking to me that people do so much customizing their keyboard are entirely stuck in conventional layouts and even adding a 7 degree incline when that's just an assault on the wrists unless your desk is too high, which is a different ergonomic problem altogether.

- QWERTY is most used layout, if you mke a living using a computer and you got used to the layout, is hard to put the time in and learn something else.
- Lots of games make use of CAPS LOCK on that position, if you dont play games, is kind of useless
- Oh wow dude
- Just cheaper to manufacture

On regular layout a long space bar does make sense, try this.

Add some blue tape on your space bar thats the same width as.. let say "A" key. You can position anywhere you like.
Now write your next post and only hit the space bar where the blue tape is, is hard.
The space bar is long because you need to hit it no matter where your hand when moving it left-right to get to the other keys.

If you create 2 space bar buttons, split the keyboard in 2, each half with its own space bar, resize the keys/reduce the ammount of space between them, your hand/palm wont move, only your fingers and a long space bar would be useless.
You are talking to someone who switched to Colemak and split ortho layout within a period of months.

It requires some dedication, but it makes so much more sense to me.

Btw, I program for a living and game regularly. No issues if you can program your personalized layout.