What option for a spacebar/button would you like?

What option for a spacebar/button would you like?

  • Continuity: Same as Pandora (bottom row, second from right, two wide)

    Votes: 26 48.1%
  • Symmetry: Bottom row, centered, two-wide spacebar

    Votes: 16 29.6%
  • Flexibility: Single-wide spacebutton (it can be mapped wherever!)

    Votes: 12 22.2%

  • Total voters
    54

ible

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This topic seems moot (seems like ED has already decided on Continuity, though it's possible to mod), but I wanted to see what the community would vote for.  I think it should be easy to see the pros and cons of each option, but you can argue here.

Example keyboards:

Continuity:

ible's con

_wb_'s con

Symmetry:
Grench's sym

Flexibility:

_wb_'s flex

comradekingu's flex

ible's flex

Grench's modified to be flex [Grench, if you would have done it differently, I can update.]

I am happy to add other examples here, if they come in a fairly easy to understand layout.  (Sorry Saber, I don't understand your keyboard.)
 
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_wb_

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Here's my "con" layout proposal: http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/bf47cdcc8c106618c05db97065647681

Disadvantages compared to my "flex" proposal:

  • No more dedicated semicolon ( ;) key
  • Location of the , . ; < > : group is non-standard while it used to be standard
  • < and > are now Meta-keys instead of regular (Shifted) keys
  • Not possible anymore to map Meta+K,L, e.g. for L it is no longer possible to for Polish to map Meta+L to ł Ł or for British to map it to ₤ (they can use Meta+P for that though)
  • No longer possible to map DVORAK layout, Russian keyboard layout, etc
Advantages compared to my "flex" proposal:

  • Bigger space key (though I fail to see how this is supposed to be an advantage)
  • Comma followed by space (a pretty common sequence) is slightly easier to do
 

thatgui

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(though I fail to see how this is supposed to be an advantage)
I guess:

  • "familiarity" > if it resembles more the desktop counterpart, it just "feels" right
  • orientation > if every key is similiar shaped its harder to find the right key without looking, altough a little awkwardly positioned for that purpose, a space-bar could provide that
 

_wb_

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(though I fail to see how this is supposed to be an advantage)
I guess:

  • "familiarity" > if it resembles more the desktop counterpart, it just "feels" right
  • orientation > if every key is similiar shaped its harder to find the right key without looking, altough a little awkwardly positioned for that purpose, a space-bar could provide that
Familiarity is hopeless anyway, unless you go the Grench way so you can have a centered space bar below V B N. Anyway, there's a trade-off: by sacrificing a dedicated key, we are also one dedicated key farther away from a desktop keyboard. Major differences with a desktop keyboard are inevitable either way, the question is: what kind of differences do we want to avoid most? Differences in looks and feels or differences in functionality?

Orientation: a bottom-right positioned key does not help much for that. Putting little bumps on F and J would be better for that.
 

thatgui

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what kind of differences do we want to avoid most? Differences in looks and feels or differences in functionality?
As long as the spacebar is positioned too far off center, a similarity in functionality is impossible
Orientation: a bottom-right positioned key does not help much for that. Putting little bumps on F and J would be better for that.
Agree, but may cost a little more as these are additional alterations to the mold - I would like to hear EDs opinion about that
But as said previously I'm just guessing. All I can offer is my personal, biased impression: It just looks more "right" if there is a "space bar" instead of a "space key"*

*Disclaimer: I'm not saying that we "need" a space bar, I'm rather neutral in that regard. I have to adapt to a new key layout anyway regardless of how [space] is shaped, but having one more key looks just more reasonable to me.
 
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ible

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I think by having space-button close to an edge, it will be easy to find by muscle memory (just feel for the bottom right key, then move one over).  So I wouldn't say it is necessary to make it big just to find it.

I like _wb_'s swapped locations for ,. and ;:, so I may also make my continuity proposal that way, too.

Comparing either my con and flex proposal or _wb_'s con and flex proposal, I would argue the keyboard looks less familiar moving to the two-wide spacebar.  Having one extra dedicated key makes a big difference.
 

WizardStan

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A number of games and emulators use space to bring up a menu or something. The size and location of it makes it very easy to hit on the Pandora without needing to reach at all. There is argument to be made for centering it instead of off to the side, but I believe having one large simple button which anything can use as an important but irregular go-to is a good idea. Being a little vague, but it just has a certain "feel" to it, you know?
 

_wb_

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A number of games and emulators use space to bring up a menu or something. The size and location of it makes it very easy to hit on the Pandora without needing to reach at all. There is argument to be made for centering it instead of off to the side, but I believe having one large simple button which anything can use as an important but irregular go-to is a good idea. Being a little vague, but it just has a certain "feel" to it, you know?
Keep in mind that we have 6 action buttons and many games and emulators need only 4 of them, or even less. We also have START, SELECT and PYRA. I think it makes more sense to use one of those buttons to "bring up a menu or something" than to use space. Even ESC or ENTER seem more appropriate to me than space.

As I've said before, it's not so much the size that makes it easy to hit on the Pandora, it is the location. Anything at or close to the edges is easy to find.
 

WizardStan

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Even ESC or ENTER seem more appropriate to me than space.
You're thinking about what they're called. It doesn't matter what makes sense to use based on what it is named, I meant it makes sense because of the size and the location. A double width key in the bottom row is easy to locate and hit without having to hunt for it, and without fear of accidentally hitting it when you don't want nor of hitting buttons beside it when you do. It didn't need to be space bar, "B" could have been double width and it would have accomplished the same thing, but it makes more sense for a double width space bar than any other key on the bottom row.Also remember, when typing, space is the single most used key. Again, it makes sense that if there's to be an easily accessible larger key it'd be the one mose frequently used.

Note that this isn't to argue that the Pyra should follow this, it was simply asked why people wanted it. This is why. There are other solutions with other benefits but you have to address the benefits of one method before you can demonstrate the superiority of another.
 

ible

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Theoretically, you can button-mash both shift and space in both _wb_'s and my flex keyboards and still get space, so you don't have to be super precise.  That's making our flexible spacebutton effectively two wide :) .
 

ible

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Even ESC or ENTER seem more appropriate to me than space.
You're thinking about what they're called. It doesn't matter what makes sense to use based on what it is named, I meant it makes sense because of the size and the location. 
This always confused me as a kid, having buttons which didn't do what they implied, and needing to hunt for something else.  It would be nice for START/SELECT/PYRA buttons to be used, gaming wise, instead of a key which doesn't seem related.
 

WizardStan

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It would be nice for START/SELECT/PYRA buttons to be used, gaming wise, instead of a key which doesn't seem related.
Then put the start/select/pyra button as a double width button on the bottom row. :p
 

_wb_

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The bottom row is not particularly easy to hit anyway while in "game mode" (thumbs on dpad / nub(s) / action buttons). In my experience, on the Pandora, the keys Q and P are easier to reach and better candidates for additional game buttons than the space bar.
 

comradekingu

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I dont think flexibility is what i put into the consideration in making my layout. It is next to the keys that is used in conjunction with space. I am of the opinion that it cant be just anywhere, and that it has to be effective.
 

WizardStan

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In my experience, on the Pandora, the keys Q and P are easier to reach and better candidates for additional game buttons than the space bar
Fine, put a double width key on the top row then. :p
 

mrpalmtop

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This topic seems moot (seems like ED has already decided on Continuity, though it's possible to mod), but I wanted to see what the community would vote for.  I think it should be easy to see the pros and cons of each option, but you can argue here.
Perhaps I misread what ED said but all I could find was him saying that he wanted a bar and not a single-width space key.

IMHO the spacebar in the middle is the optimum location because it matches existing keyboard closer and would thus broaden the appeal of the Pyra, potentially leading to greater sales. 

I don't understand why anyone would prefer to type on a handheld with just two thumbs. You can get much faster typing with the fingers of a single hand and there's more than enough room for them. The spacebar off to the side is strange and I can't think of a single popular device that has a keyboard in that style. 
 
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TrashyMG

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This topic seems moot (seems like ED has already decided on Continuity, though it's possible to mod), but I wanted to see what the community would vote for.  I think it should be easy to see the pros and cons of each option, but you can argue here.
 Perhaps I misread what ED said but all I could find was him saying that he wanted a bar and not a single-width space key.

IMHO the spacebar in the middle is the optimum location because it matches existing keyboard closer and would thus broaden the appeal of the Pyra, potentially leading to greater sales. 

I don't understand why anyone would prefer to type on a handheld with just two thumbs. You can get much faster typing with the fingers of a single hand and there's more than enough room for them. The spacebar off to the side is strange and I can't think of a single popular device that has a keyboard in that style.
First off, no one simply looks at a 500€+ device and outright dismisses all of it's other benefits because the spacebar is on one side or the other.

Secondly, the device being as a small as it is makes touch typing restrictive. Touch typing also requires you to rest the device on a surface, this is a Handheld device. Holding the device in the palm of one hand and typing with the other you may say is one way, but that is cumbersome too..

Thirdly,The Pyra is a gradual progression of the Pandora, It's not trying to be a popular mass produced product. It's a device EvilDragon wants to make for himself and the others that see the benefits of the a Gaming/handheld computer hybrid. If it becomes popular than that's a bonus for profits.I have no doubts EvilDragon can easily sell the first 5000 planned units.
 
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ible

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Hey _wb_...

  • < and > are now Meta-keys instead of regular (Shifted) keys
  • Not possible anymore to map Meta+K,L, e.g. for L it is no longer possible to for Polish to map Meta+L to ł Ł or for British to map it to ₤ (they can use Meta+P for that though)
If we moved <> over to JK instead of KL, would that be better for the polish and the rest of the world?  Are there fewer people who diacriticize J?

That would also give a nice symmetry of <> being just over = for times you want to write <= or >=.

[edit]

I am thinking something along the lines of this:

http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/a2082edbf59b45aeefb4f532bdc7a4d5

I am also considering moving Ins/Del back to where +/- were on my layout.  I think it might be faster to type code and math with the + and - closer to home row, but what do you think?  You lose being able to zoom with ctrl++ or - close to the Home/Page/End keys, but you have the mouse nub to scroll zoom with ctrl.
 
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ZXDunny

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It was good enough for the ZX Spectrum to have a double-width space button, and that was an award-winning design classic. I think the poll speaks for itself - there's no need for this discussion now.

D.
 

ible

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Doesn't mean there can't be room for improvement.

As mentioned in the other thread at Ask EvilDragon, I hope people consider the con/flex/sym layouts and see what proposals they really prefer.  E.g., comparing the con vs. flex layouts given in the OP.
 
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