Ortho-Linear Emacs and VI Keyboard Designs 1-7

Keyboard Layout Editor is powerful. It lets you easily explore layouts. As you type on them in your mind’s eye, you really “try out” the keyboad. Just put your hands on your current keyboard and do your best. At every try you learn something new about what you want. It is like programming with Elisp!

The following are my first 7 revisions of my experimental keyboard layout.

1-2

No record. Whatever I learned I put in my other notes.

3

  • F keys are great I use them daily
  • Esc is important for my VI friends
  • Greek alphabet on front
  • Separate Alt and Gui from Emacs modifiers
  • Use thumb
    • all modifiers
    • Space
  • Use pinky for
    • Stuff on left
  • Move tilda to right side
  • Delete backward and forward
  • Ended up throwing important but infrequently used by me keys anywhere
  • Symmetry still matters

keyboard-layout-3.png

[{x:3},"F1","F2","F3","F4","F5","F6","F7","F8","F9","F10","F11","F12","F13","F14"],
[{x:3},"!\n1","@\n2","#\n3","$\n4","%\n5","^\n6","&\n7","*\n8","(\n9",")\n0","_\n-","+\n=","~\n`",{a:5},"Caps\n\n\n\n\n\nLock"],
[{x:3,a:7},"Q\n\n\n\nθ","W\n\n\n\nω","E\n\n\n\nε","R\n\n\n\nρ","T\n\n\n\nτ","Y\n\n\n\nψ","U\n\n\n\nυ","I\n\n\n\nι","O\n\n\n\nο","P\n\n\n\nπ",{a:5},"{\n[","}\n]","|\n\\",{a:1},"Back\n\n\n\nDelete\n\nSpace"],
[{a:7},"Esc",{w:2},"Tab","A\n\n\n\nα","S\n\n\n\nσ","D\n\n\n\nδ","F\n\n\n\nφ","G\n\n\n\nγ","H\n\n\n\nη","J","K\n\n\n\nκ","L\n\n\n\nλ",{a:5},":\n;","\"\n'",{a:7,w:2},"Enter","Esc"],
["Fn",{w:2},"Shift","Z\n\n\n\nζ","X\n\n\n\nξ","C\n\n\n\nχ","V","B\n\n\n\nβ","N\n\n\n\nν","M\n\n\n\nμ",{a:5},"<\n,",">\n.","?\n/",{a:7,w:3},"Shift","Fn"],
[{x:3,a:4},"alt\noption",{a:7},"Meta","Control",{w:4},"","Control","Meta",{a:4},"\n\nalt\noption",{x:1,a:7},"↑\n\n\n\nPgUp"],
[{x:3,a:4},"\n\n⌘\ncmd",{a:7},"Hyper","Super",{x:4},"Super","Hyper",{a:4},"⌘\ncmd",{a:7},"←\n\n\n\nHome","↓\n\n\n\nPgDn","→\n\n\n\nEnd"]

4

  • Use all F keys
  • Emacs modifiers are more important for working together in Emacs
  • Gui modifiers are important, and they are interrupting
    • Keep them together, but without a major presence
  • Most keys can be 1×1

keyboard-layout-4.png

["F7","F8","F9","F10","F11","F12","F13","F14","F15","F16","F17","F18","F19","F20","F21","F22","F23"],
["F4","F5","F6","~\n`","!\n1","@\n2","#\n3","$\n4","%\n5","^\n6","&\n7","*\n8","(\n9",")\n0","_\n-","+\n=","F24"],
["F1","F2","F3",{a:7},"Q","W","E","R","T","Y","U","I","O","P",{a:5},"{\n[","}\n]","|\n\\",{a:3},"Back space\n\n\n\nDelete"],
[{a:7,w:2},"Tab","Fn","A","S","D","F","G","H","J","K","L",{a:5},":\n;","\"\n'",{a:7,w:2},"Enter","Caps Lock"],
["Esc",{w:2},"Shift","Z","X","C","V","B","N","M",{a:5},"<\n,",">\n.","?\n/",{a:3},"↑\n\n\n\nPgUp",{a:7,w:2},"Shift","Esc"],
["Super","Meta","Control",{w:6},"","Control","Meta","Super",{a:3},"←\n\n\n\nHome","↓\n\n\n\nPgDn","→\n\n\n\nEnd"],
[{a:7},"Hyper",{a:4},"alt\noption","\n\n⌘\ncmd",{x:6},"⌘\ncmd","\n\nalt\noption",{a:7},"Hyper"]

5

  • Make Greek letters easier to see
  • Use multiple layers for each key
  • Use number keys for every F key
  • Include PrSc

6

  • Even though tilda is moved, keep it as far left as possible, more obvious

7

  • You hit Space a lot more than return so put that first

keyboard-layout-7.png

[{x:2.5},"!\n1\nF11\nF1","@\n2\nF12\nF2","#\n3\nF13\nF03","$\n4\nF14\nF04","%\n5\nF15\nF05",{x:0.25,w:2},"Caps Lock\nTab\n\nEsc",{x:0.25},"^\n6\nF16\nF06","&\n7\nF17\nF07","*\n8\nF18\nF08","(\n9\nF19\nF09",")\n0\nF20\nF10"],
[{x:2.5},"Q\nq\n&Alpha;\n&alpha;","W\nw\n&Beta;\n&beta;","E\ne\n&Gamma;\n&gamma;","R\nr\n&Delta;\n&delta;","T\nt\n&Epsilon;\n&epsilon;",{x:0.25,a:7},"⌘","&#8997",{x:0.25,a:4},"Y\ny\n&Zeta;\n&zeta;","U\nu\n&Eta;\n&eta;","I\ni\n&Theta;\n&theta;","O\no\n&Iota;\n&iota;","P\np\n&Kappa;\n&kappa;"],
[{x:2.5},"A\na\n&Lambda;\n&lambda;","S\ns\n&Mu;\n&mu;","D\nd\n&Nu;\n&nu;","F\nf\n&Xi;\n&xi;","G\nv\n&Omicron;\n&omicron;",{x:0.25,a:7},"Fn",{a:4},"BkSp\nDel",{x:0.25},"H\nh\n&Pi;\n&pi;","J\nj\n&Rho;\n&rho;","K\nk\n&Sigma;\n&sigma;","L\nl\n&Tau;\n&tau;",":\n;\n&Upsilon;\n&upsilon;"],
[{x:2.5},"Z\nz\n&Phi;\n&phi;","X\nx\n&Chi;\n&chi;","C\nc\n&Psi;\n&psi;","V\nv\n&Omega;\n&omega;","B\nb",{x:0.25,a:7,w:2},"Shift",{x:0.25,a:4},"N\nn","M\nm","<\n,\n{\n[",">\n.\n}\n]","?\n/\n|\n\\"],
[{y:0.25,x:2.5},"~\n`","PgUp\n↑","PrSc\nIns",{a:7},"Meta","Control",{x:0.25,w:2},"Space",{x:0.25},"Control","Meta",{a:4},"_\n-","PgUp\n↑","+\n="],
[{x:2.5},"Home\n←","PgDn\n↓","End\n→",{a:7},"Hyper","Super",{x:0.25,w:2},"Enter",{x:0.25},"Super","Hyper",{a:4},"Home\n←","PgDn\n↓","End\n→"]