This post depends on whether the key caps can be (re)moved like you’d expect on desktop keyboard (and laptop keyboards for that sake).
My question to Framework is whether a combined Scandinavian/Nordic layout is feasable?
About these layouts: Basically the ISO Nordic layouts have 4 keys that are unique. 6 if you count the Ö/Ø and Ä/Æ keys.
My idea is that these keyboards could be manufactured as a combined layout without the 4 unique keys. You’d have an inventory of these country-specific cap sets. The customer would select the applicable “completion set” and on arrival click them on the keyboard manually. A common base-layout that is completed with a 4-cap kit.
This would reduce cost and time to market. It would simplify production and reduce the supplier cost. Why order tooling for 3 layouts when all but 4 keys are identical?
If the supplier is inventive they could ship it in a way that reduce both cost and packaging waste.
Regarding the two extra unique keys (Æ/Ä and Ø/Ö). These keys could be combined like so [ÆÄ] [ØÖ]. These keys switch places in the Danish layout (non-issue), so they would have to either switch places or just click them on according to their layout (if they aren’t pre-installed).
Combined layouts are common here (proposed solution would be way cleaner than we’re used to). My Corsair K70 have the 2 last unique keys like this [ÖØÆ] and [ÄÆØ]. Terrible solution considering a cap remover was included… So it’s not uncommon that combined layouts have contradicting keys. Duplicate characters make no sense (identical letter in Norwegian and Danish).
Second-best proposal: Straight up a combined layout (please avoid the contradicting Ö/Ø and Ä/Æ keys!). The 4 unique keys have six different characters on them. Honestly not an issue (although non-combined is way cleaner).
If viable, the completion kit would solve that.
Could there be cost-savings associated with DIY installation of key caps? I see no problem clicking them on myself. Only concern would be how you’d ship… 75? 85? keys.
BTW, if you use Linux… this is a pretty awful solution if you have to type those often, but…
Æ Ä Ø Ö
Those were all typed on my US keyboard. No hard-to-remember “alt codes”, no copy-paste from character selectors or the earlier content. The down side is each one required four keystrokes (one of which was Shift; lower case versions would only need three).
For example, Compose+A+E → æ. (Add Shift → Æ.)
On a related note, though, there’s another thread about replacing the Microsoft key with something else. I am in general in favor of being able to swap key caps! (And to having a market with replacement caps for this sort of usage!)
I’m Norwegian and writing Norwegian with alt-codes is a non-solution. Just would not work. I’d rather just write Å as A or AA. You’d be surprised how much æ, ø and å is actually used when writing the native scandinavian languages.
I’m not sure if my post was interpreted as I intended. It’s not about replacing the keys but an idea of how the keyboards can be rolled out by Framework and simplify manufacturing.
This is a complete pipe-dream, but I remembered that there have been a few keyboards over the years with mini displays in the keys, giving you the best of both worlds. The usability of a physical keyboard with the flexibility of a software keyboard.
They aren’t cheap though. The optimus primal (or whatever it was called) was a thousand bucks or something like that. There’s the nemeio keyboard on indigogo right now, and while I don’t like the general design I love the e-ink keycaps. It’s 200 euros, though.
Something like that, with e-ink displays, would be a great addition to the framework laptop. Even if it bumped the price up a lot.