60% HHKB-like layout, but with dedicated arrows

After reading through the post Origin/practicality of HHKB the bottom row? I got to thinking it would be nice to make a Unix/Sun/HHKB-inspired layout that not only fit in a 15u wide 60% case but also had dedicated arrow keys*. What can I say? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I want it all.

I attempted such a feat of layout legerdemain on KLE with various trade-offs and adjustments here and there, sometimes trying to maximize for aesthetics and symmetry, sometimes for standard keycap sizes, and now and then for pure “what if?” (like with the half-height arrow keys (and yes, I know there aren’t any half-height mechanical switches)). Each variant has the same general principle, though the navigation configuration and sizes of the blockers at the corners may vary. I tried to mark each non-standard sized key. This image is but one variant, with a line nav (there are ten more if you hate this one. Don’t Miss #11, It Will Shock You):

Am I late to the party, and has someone built a version of this? I wanna see! I’m not picky… handwired, one-off PCB, or GB — and if so and there is a GB, pls gib ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

On the other hand, if this is a novel concept, please rip it to shreds for me. Sure, sure, I’m looking for validation that it’s cool, but more so I’m looking for criticism about where I might have chosen badly and things I didn’t think of. If there’s one of the variants of the layout that tickles your fancy more than the others, please elucidate! **

Thank you for coming to my Keebtalk.

* yes, I know about @Zambumon’s sweet-looking Tokyo 66, but it’s a column too wide :-P Also I’m not sure when or where or if it’s coming out.

** though please let’s not get into whether the backslash key should be mod-colored or not. Symmetry demands it. Logic forbids it. There are some wars that cannot be won by mortals. At least we can all agree that a 1.5u backslash key is bananas.

4 Likes

The final implementations (8 and 10) is the same as the pre-2020 Razer Blade laptop’s keyboard layout, and it was hated so much that Razer decides to remove it this year. This way of making space for standard arrow keys has two major issues:

  • People who use the right shift cannot accept having a different key in the spot where the shift key should be. Even left shift users find it annoying.
  • The HHKB layout is designed with aesthetics and symmetry in mind, so the majority of users of this layout would not want a cluster of 1u keys on the right.

Apart from the issues above, having various layout options is always a welcome feature right? I’m not a HHKB kind of guy, but I love to see layouts 2 and 4 to be available for a HHKB pcb.

what about doubling the SLASH key with arrow up? arrow up on default, slash on function?

Hi, this is my take on it:

I know it won’t win any beauty contests but it was my first ever hand wire, so please be kind.

6 Likes

Thanks for giving this topic its own—eh—topic. :slight_smile:

I’m an admitted fan of the Tokyo66, but I understand your quest. Proper 15u 60% offers a huge amount of possible cases. Had this dilemma when looking for a (non-HHKB) 60% PCB with dedicated cursor keys, too.

Regarding your layout suggestion: I’d say that works very well if you’re fine with planck- respective HJKL-style cursor keys in one row. (I can’t. Need an upside down “T”.)

So here’s my attempt on this:

KLE link for this layout (Yay, embedding keyboard map data directly into a Keebtalk posting. Do I get a badge for that? :crazy_face:)

It even has the advantage over the original HHKB layout that it uses a common 6.25u spacebar instead of more seldom 6u spacebar. And the blocker sizes differ less—they still differ, but are less obvious IMHO. (See below for comparison.)

Obvious (and IMHO only) disadvantages are:

  • the relocation of the /? key.
  • loss of the original Fn key. (I’d just use the right Shift key for that as I never use it anyway. Or SpaceFn with tap-or-hold. Or maybe /? on hold while still being /? on tap.)

Having this said—eh—written, this is more or less a direct reply to @0Name:

Definitely disagree on this. But then again, I’m a 40% user, most of my keyboards don’t have a right Shift key and I never missed it. :slight_smile:

And I can’t really follow the argumentation that the 1u keys will scare away HHKB-fans. The symmetry everybody claims to be in the HHKB isn’t really there—as I mentioned in the other thread @kimslawson referred to: Alone the corner blockers of the original HHKB have a size difference of about 1u:

KLE link for this layout

Steve Jobs approves

Im a right shift only person, I don’t put left shift on my 40% boards

1 Like

I use both, so TAKE THAT! Seriously though, I can’t type without using both shifts. It’s just how I learned from the start.

2 Likes

I’m pretty sure that like the right way to do it

1 Like

The only wrong way to type on a keyboard is with Cheetos dust on your fingers!

2 Likes

Isn’t this pretty much the YAS 62? I remember that running a while back and it was strikingly similar to what you all are bringing up

1 Like

Indeed that is a good example of this layout. Only thing I can see it doesn’t really support is a split right shift with spot for a fn key, but now we’re getting down to the level of religious extremism between ever so slightly different factions.

Any of you fine folks here used a YAS62?

2 Likes

For me, the most important thing is to be able to have the right shift next to the question mark (or what ever yet is occupying that space) So I would take XTaran’s layout but switch the positions of the shift and Q mark key. Some may hate this for typing though. One work around could be to reprogram shift+up arrow to “?” in which case you haven’t actually lost anything. Hmm, I may have solved it.

Fascinating. Wasn’t aware that there are people who only use the right Shift key. But then again, I should have guessed. :slight_smile:

What do you put on the left Shift key then instead? (Expecting that such keys don’t stay unused.) As Fn?

1 Like

Never heard of that before, but indeed, the YAS 62 looks very similar to @TheMule’s design.

More pictures of the YAS 62:

We had a poll about it a while ago, it’s less common but not that uncommon. Yeah, I was using for and FN key.

1 Like

added variant 4.5 because I can’t resist fiddling with my layout like George Lucas can’t resist fiddling with his movies :sweat_smile::joy::sob:

This one about typing B with which index finger? Couldn’t find one for using which Shift key.

1 Like

I am also looking for a similar design to YAS 62. I would replace the Del key with Backspace. I find the latter more useful.