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Messages - mstacker

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The project manager (me) is useless.... :-)

Nah. It's just that you can only choose between 2 and 3 million goals to focus on at any given time. This is it more or less? <>

Looks awesome. Interested to hear your input about how the overall feel, particularity the thumb keys.


Will finally try and get my own first keyboard up and running by end of July.... things have been a bit hectic ever since last year January.

Cheers, Ian

How is that project coming, by the way? Sounds like you’ve almost got it.


On Kinesis, I reprogram the main right thumb key (was default Space) as Scroll Lock (which is useless to modern Windows users). This is an actual toggle so you can see on the keyboard indicator when the layer is toggled on or off. The entire BEAKL layout replacement is done as AutoHotkey script, so I can put any character any where and utilize Scroll Lock as its new purpose.

On Linux, I can choose Scroll Lock as a layer changer in the system settings under keyboard section. If it's not there, add it into the config files as an option.

Den, out of curiosity,
1) have you ever tried to use the advantage layout configuration stuff to implement a BEAKL layout?
2) did it work?

I made a brief attempt to work with advantage layout editing stuff but could not figure out a way given the time. Instead, I've been using a pair of ergodox keyboards (1 at work, 1 at home), the massdrop infinity variety if memory serves, and QMK firmware. The keyboard works but could use physical improvements to suit my preferences.

On a related subject,
Have lots of parts for smaller viterbi keyboards laying around but got totally sidetracked in jan 2018 and remain so for the most part indefinitely. Last I remember, my thinking was key wells ‘felt’ best to me but... a two piece, split down the middle, ’ortholinear’ style keyboards were suitable so long as they had enough rows and columns (5 rows but enough columns to experiment with flat thumb clusters) . I had to modify thumb cluster on my ergodox. Was planning to try new arrangements. The flat ergodox is not ideal. I ended up having three ‘shift’ keys I out on the right to facilitate 4 layers in total. It works good enough. There is a better way to arrange the F-keys, arrows, non-alpha numeric, etc than the hap-hazard way Ive done it... but it works and Ive been able to do my job.

Since kinesis sells internal parts for advantage, so Im told, and you can purchase pcbs, controllers etc that can be used to replace the advantage’s guts them program using QMK firmware, et el, might try modifying my advantage that has been collecting dust at some point.

My Advantage reservations:
1) it would be nice if it was split in two down the middle, but not a deal breaker, yet.
2) would like a key well keyboard, like the advantage, dactyl manuform looks promising each half can be propped up on its side such that you are typing sideways.
3) the advantage is not ideal for portability. For example, kinda large to use in coffee ships (I have in the past.).

You guys are awesome because you’d likely just make your own if you felt the need, as I should. However, the worst enemy to greatness is something that is ‘good enough’ at least for the moment. My time is extremely limited and Im eating that up upping my game for work stuff. The overhead to grt into 3-D printing, prototype then maybe have a frame professionally printed is lots. It’s in my queue., but Im overwhelmed for the next 2-3 years min. Therefore, I've prioritized other items.

Bit of a mouth full.

Thanks brother.

Glad to see the progress. Ive been using BEAKL 9 now for ... not sure... at least like 18 months. It works in terms of ergonomics.

Many many thanks.


BEAKL 15 officially promoted as the recommended layout. Including the improved punctuation and numpad. Updated on BEAKL page and KLA Den3

Cool looking! Thanks. I look forward to checking it out.


Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Arrow keys
« on: 2018-Jul-08 10:13 »
I'm actually pondering a completely different layout based on the natural positions of the fingers, we put left, up and right similar to traditional, but down is moved to where your thumb would be.
Yes this will look ugly as hell but much kinder to your hands.

Cool. Look forward to seeing it.


To illustrate Unrelated to this topic but I have since migrated to this BEAKL mashup for the better finger rolls and the least same finger usage for anyone scrutinizing the layout in the link.

Nice website and explanation.


Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: not good
« on: 2018-Apr-15 10:49 »
smashed my left wrist. back on ansi keyboard and mouse on right hand and mostly one handed typing for now. At least it has mech switches (gateron red I think)

How is your wrist doing these days brother?


BEAKL 9 is stable candidate recommendation for mass consumption. This leg of the project is on hiatus until new breakthrough.

I'm not good at promotion, but have done some seeding around the 'net. Apparently, there are a few enthusiasts who have heard of BEAKL and have adopted it to their custom keyboards kits (although I know not about their experiences with it.) I do recommend people looking for optimal layouts should give any of the BEAKL layouts a try, or adapt the BEAKL philosophy to achieve a layout to their personal comfort.

I'm overdue for feedback and should have given by now. BEAKL 9 is a fine layout. Ive been using it for months now and plan to stick with it. Had a break from keyboards in general during Jan and Feb due to a sudden health incident. Was wondering if my fingers would remember and they did.

BEAKL 9 is a very low physical effort, high efficiency layout, pro-ergo layout. To date, I have not run into any ergo issues or odd key combos required. Mind you, you must come up with an intelligent way to place all the other keys such as cntr, F1-12, Del, etc. Den and Ian are definitely on to something good here. For reference, I've been a Dvorak on an ansi keyboard guy for probably 10 years. Lost track.

A word of advice; purely my opinion. Don't switch layout if you want to type faster, etc. I switched to Dvorak way back when cause I thought I'd be faster. It did not happen. Any small increase in speed was minor at best. Maybe if I was routinely training for speed I would have better results. I did improve ergonomics a bit so it was worth it. Dvorak will cut down on finger gynastics relative to qwerty but is also a little right hand intensive or it was for my general use.

If you want to switch layouts, do it for fun. It's a big investment in both time and equipment. Keep in mind you must continue to type effectively at work while you transition. Ergonomics are a big motive for me. I did go looking for better options than dvorak when long term keyboard use injuries became a concern. To date, the use of BEAKL 9 seems to have addressed my concerns with my right wrist being over used. If ergo injuries are your primary concern, buy a kinesis advantage (most awesomest keyboard in terms of ergonomics to date although I could offer a list of improvements) and call it good. Learning to adapt to the advantage will be enough of a learning curve.

Me, I'm kinda a keyboard nerd. For months, I've used a couple of ergodox keyboards I adapted via firmware. They work fine. Honestly, an ergolinear will work just as good if you can find one with enough keys. There is at least one guy on this thread who seems happy with BEAKL on a plank. I tried one on an atomic. It seemed to work okay although I felt my hands were too close together. I much prefer to have the keyboard split in half so my next will be a Viterbi <>.

Also, at some point, I'll be modifying my advantage (changing out the brains and firmware) for BEAKL 9. Despite having the keys mounted on a flat plane, and the ridiculous price tag, it is my fav keyboard.


Interesting.. phonetic/digram/trigram shortcuts could certainly be implimented easily enough on a platform that has layers, like a Planck.

@sdothum. It's old news. In case you have not seen, there is an active massdrop for the planck keyboard.


For when the USA recovers from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and whatever else is going on there ...

Implemented some major updates to my letter layout database at
Wicked cool.




Interesting solution to the tenting/feet problem... I've been scratching my head for months about how to solve it, did consider similar approach but without the "stuck on the sides" idea. Was looking at screw-in balancing feet like on some furniture, but hard to find something that looks nice, offers adjustability from zero to some distance, and still fits onto the keyboard without interfering with the keys. Ideally would like be be able to do tenting as well as positive or negative forward-backward slope.
Agreed. I've got a nyquist (5x6) and will have a viterbi (5x7) at some point. I should try this tenting solution. Guess I figured I'd wait and at some point, I'd begin to experiment with different angles far more aggressive and in the forward or rearward like you are thinking.

Incidentally, the viterbi is my current choice for a keyboard who's keys are arranged on a flat pcb. It takes qmk firmware. A bit less expensive than most everything else like an ergodox. Your dream keyboard looks pretty promising.

To date, i'm convinced the key wells on the kinesis advantage are the most comfortable arrangement. To me at least. I think I've found a way to hack it for beakl. You can obtain a pcb that will replace the main factory pcb. If this works, I believe you can program a teensy++ with qmk firmware.... you can have total control.

I'll try this out sooner of later. My advantage has been sitting for a few weeks since I switched to beakl full time. It's getting pricey though. The keyboard itself was originally something like $350 USD, prior modification.

Also keeping an eye on the dactyl;


Studies on Ergonomically Designed Alphanumeric Keyboards M. NAKASEKO, E. GRANDJEAN, W. HUNTING, and R. GIERER, 1985

Screengrab attached. Fig 5 and Fig 6 refer to sketches of actual keyboard in Fig 7. Layout is suspiciously similar to Ergolinear style although it has a numrow which we've done away with.

I note that "this model was the one preferred by subjects in the first laboratory study." ....
which gave me a warm fuzzy feeling... :-)

Interesting photo. The body looks vaguely similar to the tron keyboards from the 80s ( and the keys seem to be arranged similar to an Iris keyboard;

Very cool. Where do you find these articles/studies, prey tell?


I probably could have worded that better. Problem with the net is you never know how much experience the person behind the handle has, and of course written text lacks the subtle nuances of face to face speech...

Cheers, Ian

Dude, you are fine. My bad. Totally agree. Keep posting. Look forward to reading them.


"This guy" is an "internet god". As is Richard Stallman. :-)

I posted it because they're both been typing for decades. :-)
Sorry. A bit short lately. Too much craziness on television and public media. His tone was a bit on the hysterical side so he qualified as "that guy" briefly. Course the article was published years ago. Constructive feedback if you are listening Eric. I've got a couple of Raymond's books on unix system and network stack programming. Really good. Think I saw a photo of him trying out someone's Keyboardio at some point. As I said, I guess I can relate to his sentiment; keyboards are not an accessory. RMS is a little more colorful. I always kinda looked up to Bill Joy. McKusick is kinda cool too, but I digress.

Would love to hear any comments, thoughts, ideas on keyboard layouts, keyboards, etc from all of the above. Thoughts on BEAKL, PR_N, Seelpy or Xn.m would be really cool.


Good to know. I figure another 1.5 months. Must say the BEAKL 9 layout does seem pleasing to the hands after a long day of typing.


What keyboard(s) do you use to type BEAKL 9 on?




Sounds like this guy really values his keyboard. I guess I can relate.


It helped that I had been using BEAKL EZ prior for a while. The 9 most common letters are in the same places between BEAKL EZ and BEAKL 9. So the transition is easier this time around.

After using Dvorak for years, it began to fit like a glove, second nature. So it'll take yet longer than a month or two to regain the same feeling of mastery with a new layout.

Good to know. I figure another 1.5 months. Must say the BEAKL 9 layout does seem pleasing to the hands after a long day of typing.

BEAKL 9 (Personal speed typing progress)

Only been with BEAKL 9 for around 40 days, and already up to 75 WPM (started at around 55-60). I think it's pretty good progress, and shows that this layout is easy and has low learning curve. I don't practice and hone speed typing, but naturally improving by using it for everything. Still make too many errors, though.

I seem to type faster when leaning back, arms stretched out. Elbows too straight can feel too stiff and not as mobile.

Impressive. I'm probably around 30 wpm still. I think it's week 6 on BEAKL 9. Of course, I've only recently switched full-time. Ended up having to switch entirely as my typing on a dvorak kinesis advantage at work has seriously degraded. Due to the 'key confusion,' I'm about 30-ish on both layouts at the moment. Guess, I was unable to maintain both. Incidentally, that is what I wanted to know.

I also find that hard to believe. Maybe they counted actual words back then, and lots were less than 5 letters long....

"So if I had to go and do it"

About the 140 wpm thingy. Hard to imagine. Agree, we would have to better understand the metrics and protocols used.


Found while looking for something else. USD 500.

I am tempted. At least it uses proper mech switches.

The vendor claims its fully programmable in the faq under the question about dvorak layout. Definitely a positive if its true. The MSRP is obtrusive. For less, I like my kinesis advantage I use at work too much and its around $350 USD msrp or less if you watch for deals. I've found it to be superb from an ergo perspective. There are a few items I'd like to experiment with that might improve the ergonomics; split keyboard, thumb clusters arranged at 90-ish degree to the finger keys, etc. The Advantage was supposed to be fully programmable. Well sort of. You can move any key around but not sure there is a practical way to spit shifted and non-shifted characters off of individual keys. Probably have to do this at the OS level.

For $500 USD, I would want to do one or more test flights and check all the features I require are present. Then there is the mouse thing. Again, would have to try it. Will keep an eye on items like this and see if the gaming community adapts any of them.

On second thought, this is really cool. Spare parts, truly programmable, I mean flash the firmware programmable. Not sure what firmware is used. Would love QMK but open to other possibilities.

Cool find.


Anyway, apart from various designs along the ortholinear / ergolinear style, and several from Kinesis, came across this one with (smaller) matrix style grid and angled thumb keys.

This hardware designed for thumbs to be at right angles:

Interesting concept.  Food for thought. Would have to construct one to see if it 'feels' right.

Gotta love Amazon: "This item does not ship to South Africa."
By the way. If you want, I can procure a few sets and ship them to you. Probably take a month. The real downside is, you'd likely have to take a pair of scissors and cut some of the stickers up as Dvorak keys are QWERTY rearranged. You'll discover that 'fun,' if you have not already, when you start to program the tiny for you dream keyboard.


Myself, Ian be INTJ and our motto is "everything can be improved".

Including keyboard layouts. I hate bad design and QWERTY is so bad that it deserves to die. Humans deserve better and we're smart enough to come up with something better. ("we" as in humans).

FWIW I came across Lillian Malt's article today. (Malt being the designer of Maltron layout, and co-incidentally born in South Africa... Despite it's age it still holds up well in assorted tests.)

Attached. She also pleads for something better than QWERTY.
Interesting paper. Explains well a lot of thought concerning keyboard layout improvement. The metrics Malt uses look similar to what you and Den have been using. Cool.

On that note, rethinking the importance, or lack thereof, of the home row and reducing the use of the pinky fingers is a major innovation in my view.

Good find. Keep them coming.


Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: X7
« on: 2017-Oct-14 08:51 »
I wasn't getting anywhere fast with Seelpy/Essie new version, so I switched back to X6.4H layout and saw what I could do on Den KLatest....
Very cool. The X7.1 layout, that is. More and more I'm liking the idea of placing letters on the thumb keys.



The beakl clp 1 layout looks interesting. I like that it requires a minimum number of keys. Have not yet determined if that is a good thing yet. Also, clp 1 seems to have a really low pinky finger usage for almost everything I feed the kldlatest utility. Any idea where the beakl clp train of thought is heading?


Some modelling on how long it takes to learn a new layout.

Good find. Very interesting.  Not sure what level of proficiency this group considers a keyboard layout learned. Speaking from personal experience, it takes longer than 50 hours to be proficient enough to use a layout at work. Maybe 50 hours, one hour a day or something. That may hold true. I'll let you know in a few months. My past experience switching cold turkey, 8-10 hours typing per business day, it's more like three months. Mileage may vary for others. Would love to hear others experiences.

In any case, great find. Thanks for the post,


If I could do that it would save me a fortune on having keycaps printed... (have them done by laser).
Not sure I'm that talented... :-)
You know. When I first started learning dvorak simplified, I procured some small letter stickers that I used to label my keycaps.  Something of this ilk would likely serve the purpose well. I believe the ones I chose where dvorak keycap labels. There is no reason you cannot place them in any order you like.

Incidentally, I've been typing with my modified beakl layout keyboard for about five days now. This message took way too long to type.

Still, kinda cool,


Frankly right now, what I really want to try is the 3-letters-on-thumbs layouts (e.g. P_RN). But that would require a unique keyboard for best results. I saw a Japanese keyboard that might work, but I do really want to go that far? Just want some answers to questions. like, Would it feel smooth or awkward? Does it really help?

Would be very interested to see where these 3-letters-on-thumbs layout are going. I've rearranging my thumb clusters to fit my modified version of beakl 9 on 2 5x6 keyboard halves. I'm committed to this arrangement for a while but would be interesting what ideas pop up. Putting some of the more utilized letters on the thumb keys or splitting the cases if advantageous is appealing.


Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Unwanted keys
« on: 2017-Oct-03 07:32 »

So long story short, is there a strong case for dumping Insert/Delete?  (I use both for copy-paste, as well as their normal use)
PageUp/PageDown? (how do people navigate?)

Was thinking the same. I also use Print Screen often along with backspace, delete, pgup, pgdn, escape, etc but not pause/break, scroll lock, num lock, etc. Others miles may vary. Most of these, I put on a 4th layer. The ones I use get prime real estate while the ones I dont use get other space. But they are all there. Never know when you will need them or at least that is my current view. If you have a keyboard, like sdothum's planck, with 3x10^7 possible layers, why not. ;P


while I had an Atari 800, and yes, we had the religious debates... :-)
Atari's were awesome weren't they. Never had an 8-bit. My pop bought us an ST. I think we quit using it in like 91. All the 386 BSD or I guess it was really NetBSD on i386/i486 was just too awesome back when your PC did not work half the time because of the tinkering.

If I could do that it would save me a fortune on having keycaps printed... (have them done by laser).
Not sure I'm that talented... :-)
If I can, trust me, anyone can. I never learned to touch type qwerty. Years ago, I came into some time and decided to learn Dvorak simplified. Printed out the keyboard layout, taped a copy to my monitor and committed to never looking down at my fingers but instead, referencing the printout. I typed nothing but Dvorak at work and home. It was quite the learning curve. Three months later, I could touch type at least the same speed I could quasi touch type in qwerty. It's funny, today, I ran a meeting and was doing the same quasi touch typing on my work laptop. Still can do it with decent speed in a pinch.

It would be interesting to hear others experiences. To date, I don't believe I've met even a single person, in person, who uses something other than qwerty. Maybe sdothum has some interesting experiences (spell check wanted to change sdothum to sodium).

Den. I imagine you've used quite a few keyboard layouts. How long does it typically take you?


Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: keycaps
« on: 2017-Oct-02 07:19 »
Just wondering... for those of you that are continuously testing new layouts: how do you relabel your keycaps?
In the past, qwerty. Lately, mostly blank. Going forward, it doesn't really matter what the keys are labeled when you learn to touch type. A mini-screen capture of the keyboard layout taped to a monitor can be useful. After a while, it will no longer be required.

Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: QWERTY home keys
« on: 2017-Sep-30 21:01 »
Something's been bothering me about QWERTY.

So have we been doing it wrong? Are the home keys actually HJKL?

That would be humorous. Would not be surprised.

Are you guys on Windows?
Linux mostly, but something unix-like almost all the time. Belay that, my work workstation is Windows.

Does everything work as expected on Windows? (including ctrl-c etc)

Mostly. Similar issues as you. I've done testing on different windows based x-servers and found occasional strange issues with truly custom keyboard layouts. Sometimes the text that comes out does not match any keyboard layout. Never found the root issue. As long as the OS has the keyboard layout natively installed, such as dvorak simplified, I've had no issues outside the ctrl-c, etc like you mention for gnome and kde xterms, etc. Have not used KDE in a while. I find it's simpler to set my keyboard to US-qwerty and program my keyboard. I can sort of type qwerty in a pinch.


You got me thinking about the BEAKL AltGr mappings so I mocked up a Shift and AltGr layer here
Still digesting your keyboard layout. You use far more advanced features on your plank than I use. I'll have to ponder it for a while.

On another note, I thought I was completely ready to program my keyboard but still floundering on the precise layout. Actually, it is programmed seelpy 1.8. Just have not started serious training yet while I tweak things like layer shifting keys. The Seelpy seems to be a bit simpler to fit on a 4x12 key keyboard. While the seelpy layouts do utilize the pinkies a bit more than say beakl, pinky usage is still perfectly acceptable.

Do plancks use QMK firmware?

Sort of neat consolidating the number and symbol layers -- though, one would be hard pressed to run out of layers at 32. The inverted "T" split numbers and bracket pairs have a nice symmetry.

Up to 32 total lays. Very nice.


I am currently using the BEAKL 8 layout on my Plancks. If you scroll down to the BEAKL  layout, you will see that I currently use the central 6 thumb keys (bottom row) for Esc, SP, Tab, BackSP, Enter and Left (cursor). Held down, each of those thumb keys raises a layer -- the layers can be found elsewhere on that url. In this current configuration, there are left and right thumb shift keys.
Oh, I see it. My bad.

But there are enough easily accessible thumb keys to implement the full BEAKL layout with alternate character set. (Might try it to see how it "feels".)
I might just do that. The keyboard I'm working with is like yours but cut in half.



I apply a "wide mod" whereby I type on the outer 5x3 blocks, reserving the inner 2 colums for modifier chords, as can be seen here

The increased hand separation is a significant improvement imo.

Question. If you have or are using any of the BEAKL or Seelpy matrix keyboard layouts on your planck or similar, do you have enough keys for the 'thumb clusters' for say BEAKL 8 and the like? If not, how did you arrange these thumb keys?

Thanks in advance,


Regret am still on QWERTY (MS Natural original).
Then I want to try one of the Seelpy layouts, based on how well the Ortholinear/Matrix form factor feels in the real world. Have actually bought a piece of brass to use for the keyboard plate. The whole build-my-own keyboard exercise it taking way longer than I thought it would, other things in life and work get in the way... :-)

Wow. You really are making a DIY keyboard from scratch, it sounds. However it turns out, it will be cool. My first took a while too. Procrastination, mostly. Of course I've only assembled parts. You sound like you are making the dream machine.

In any case, good hunting,


Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Improving Seelpy
« on: 2017-Sep-25 22:41 »
The result compared to older Seelpy layouts are significantly reduced finger usage and same-hand rates, with comparably low distance and same-finger rates. Consequently does well in both prose and code. Which brings it closer to BEAKL 8/5, and in some cases surpasses them.

Interesting layout. I like where you are going. About the thumb clusters for each hand. Did I read correctly you use a kenesis advantage? If so, how do you map the thumb keys?



FWIW here's the four Seelpy layouts. Forget the v2 one, it requires Space to be on Shift-AltGr which keyboard drivers don't like.
See if any of these make sense for the real world to you.

Cheers, Ian

I'll check them out; do appreciate,


I saw designs along those lines online a few years back. It may have been
but I remember it looking more like

Re other-aligned thumb keys, there's also this:

I've seen a few of these. Very cool.

My working theory as of now is the key well on the kenesis advantage is the best design that I know of to arrange a full set of keys and make them accessible without moving your hands too much. This minimal movement, seems to me, the key to wet noodle, no tention movement of the wrist for hours and hours. As well, the thumb clusters seem elevated from the keys in the well and actuate with very little effort. The kenesis is not perfect. The top and bottom corners can be challenging to reach. It's bulky and not really portable. It's pricey. You still must establish good typing form so your muscles don't tense up, for me at least.

I'm thinking the next best thing if you cannot have key wells and your keyboard must be flat (cost and practicality to manufacture), have fewer rows and columns. I'm thinking 6 wide and maybe 4 deep, 3 really. Part of this experiment is to test this idea out. Once I'm able to type decently on these 5x6 key blocks (1 for each hand), I'll likely get helpful feedback from my arms. It will 'feel comfortable' or it wont. As long as it's not totally obviously wrong, I should be able to tweak it. So far in the few hours total time playing with seelpy 1.5, it seems comfy.

The freestyle in the link above essentially a standard ansi broken in half and placed on their ends. In this configuration, you must move your hands up and down to reach a the modifiers, caps, enter, backspace, etc. Of course, if you can totally re-arrange your keys, this may not hold true.

There are a few DIY keyboards with keywells. The Dactyl seems like its moving in the right direction but still not on it's side. I'm not set up to prototype a suitable case. That will likely come at same point. You'd have to be able to print the cases or representative bits of it because you'd go through 1000 iterations before you get the fit right. Hopefully, not that bad, but you get the idea.

My 2c at this juncture.



FWIW two screenshots comparing the 4 versions with Beakl EZ, Alice on Den1 scoring.

Very nice. If I'm reading these charts correctly, it shows mostly a little left bias in terms of number of keystrokes and actual distance, in cm, 'traveled.' A little left bias would be welcome to me.

Regret am still on QWERTY (MS Natural original).
I am building my own keyboard which has the X6.5 layout, but may redo some of the keys to X6.3 since that is best for English and Programming, as measured by Den's first version of KLA. (the 6.5 is almost like 6.4, think just semicolon is swapped with colon.)

Then I want to try one of the Seelpy layouts, based on how well the Ortholinear/Matrix form factor feels in the real world. Have actually bought a piece of brass to use for the keyboard plate. The whole build-my-own keyboard exercise it taking way longer than I thought it would, other things in life and work get in the way... :-)

I honestly don't know how well the AltGr style layouts will work in the real world. The originator of Arensito (that we copied from) has been using it on Kinesis for over 15 years so it works for him. But my fingers are getting sore (eg  side of thumb, first joint of middle finger on right hand, which overworks the Insert key (for copy-paste operations) and I don't know if making the right thumb work harder by hitting keys down (even if new mechanical browns rather then 20-year-old-and-getting-stiff MS Natural keys) is wise long-term.

These issues are complicated by the fact that Den's layouts are scoring higher than mine on his current scoring model, which makes me pause to ponder a bit.

Long story short, am not yet able to recommend a layout based on actually using it ... I only have the numbers from the tests. Den at least uses his layouts.

Re the thumbs, am contemplating setting up the thumb keys so that they are actually at 90 degrees to rest of board, so that the thumb action is towards the palm (ie a natural "gripping" direction for the human opposable thumb) rather than down in the same direction as the other fingers, which is not natural at all, but cheaper and easier for keyboard makers to do. Eg on the front edge of the board. But that introduces other problems like wrist support, keyboard thickness, etc.

I would love for someone who can actually touch-type (unlike me) to master a Seelpy layout and see what WPM they can achieve. :-)

I might be your first guinea pig. Still formulating an approach. It will take a while. Last time it took me about 3 months to get to where I was, speed-wise. I'd like to maintain my normal modus operandi at work and learn a separate keyboard layout at home. Not sure if that is possible yet but I have a few ideas based on past experience.

About the thumb cluster operating at a right angle. I've had similar thoughts. Not ready to create anything, yet but I'm convinced this is a good idea. Sorta like this, but the keys are 90 degrees like you say. I'm also thinking, turning the whole keyboard, or both halves, on their ends so the fingers actuate sideways and the thumb clusters actuate down and up. These ideas are for a later date, however.

Seelpy does have excessive thumb usage, but that kind of comes with the territory. Not sure how that can be toned down.

The more pressing issue is the high same hand rate. Due to modifiers giving more chances to alternate hands, I don't think it needs to put all the vowels on the same hand.

I think a special Opt config might help find the optimal permutation of unshifted and shifted letters.

Right-hand usage is a concern of mine, not necessarily a deal-breaker though. Dvorak simplified, or my adapted version for kinesis/ergodox, in my view is massive improvement over qwerty in terms of comfort of my wrists. It does, however favor more use of the right hand although not by much. The 'tension issues' for me are mostly on my right wrist. Bottom line, my wrists get less tense as opposed to qwerty. On a standard ANSI keyboard, comfort is improved but still get tension in my right wrist fairly quickly after a few hours of typing. The kinesis really eliminated that.

Playing around with seelpy version 1.5, it seems promising. much less movement overall. More use of the thumbs for shift/altgr. This condition might be somewhat mitigated because both are thumb operated keys.

Time will tell.


sdothum. Very cool. I might tinker with that idea at some point. I've got the bits of an olkb Atomic laying around somewhere. I believe the Atomic is similar to the planck except it's 15 switches wide as opposed to 12 and has an additional row at the top.


Question sdothum. Concerning the use of the planck keyboard. Do you have wrist alignment issues with it? I've tried the TypeMatrix some years ago and found to get my wrist aligned on the keys, I must first glue my elbows together. Experimenting now with a Nyquist split. My 'production' keyboard at work is a Kinesis Advantage. Have three different ErgoDox that I use at home and for my portable rig.

Den and Ian, I meant to comment about splitting the upper and lowercase letters under the seelpy layouts not the BEAKL. Even so, both BEAKL and seelpy layouts seem full of cool possibilities.


Hi Ian and Den.

Great thread. Been following for it seems like over a year. Great breakthroughs in thought on keyboard layouts. The BEAKL ideal is really cool to me. Splitting the upper and lowercase letters was genius. Funny it's been staring us in the face for so long.

In any case, question for you Ian. Which of your layouts would you use for your daily use? It's been in the back of my mind to switch to a more ergo layout (from Dvorak) for some years. Your seelpy idea really appeals to me. Not worried about speed or non-us character layouts. Does not have to be the latest and greatest.



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