Request: Review of Framework Laptop 16 Keyboard Layouts

US English (Linux/V2)

keyboard-US-eng-white-backlight-V2-outlined

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US English

keyboard-US-eng-white-backlight-V5-outlined

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Num Pad US English

numpad-US-eng-white-backlight-V6-outlined

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In my experience, “druck” instead of “PRT SCR” and “bild” instead of “pg” seem more common on german keyboards.
And I’ve once or twice seen “fn-sperre” in place of “fn lock” (usually, they don’t print anything on the key and probably just hope that you learn about that functionality by chance, osmosis or whatever or - if they’re really nice - they add a status LED to the key).
Oh, and 5 of the 6 german keyboards (4 laptops, 2 desktops) near me at the moment (+ one ancient typewriter) use a big down arrow instead of a big up arrow for the caps lock key. The one with the up arrow is the 12th Gen Framework 13…

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Great feedback thus far. I will pass this along so concerns, ideas, etc are provided. Thanks all!

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I’m not sure how I feel about the numbers being above the shift characters. Like, I 60% don’t like it, 40% don’t care? It’s more of a nitpick I suppose.

This one I have much stronger feelings about. Please make the Super key be the Framework gear symbol! I really, really want a keyboard with a Framework-symbol Super key!

Not pictured in either of these images, though, is an Fn Lock light. Granted, they also don’t show the Caps Lock light in these graphics, so this is neither a confirmation nor disconfirmation. But since you’re looking for feedback, please put an Fn Lock light on the Esc key!!
When I’m playing Minecraft on my FW13, I like to turn Fn Lock off so I have access to F1/F2/F3. When I’m not playing Minecraft, I want Fn Lock turned on so I have access to my media keys.
The number of times I have accidentally refreshed a page (F5) because I meant to pause a song… Ugh…

I like the calculator button. Nice addition, and I think it will be very useful!
Now, maybe not everyone will agree with me on this next part, but I’d really like to have a numpad with no Num Lock. I never have a use to have Num Lock turned off. It is very annoying going to use the numpad and realizing that for whatever reason, Num Lock is off. If you want to include it just in case there is someone who will use it, might I recommend relegating it to an Fn key?

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Thanks @Matt_Hartley

Another vote to use the FW logo as the character for the Super key on the Linux/V2 option.

Edit: and then a swap would be in order for “F12” Key icon. A few options: lock, refresh, screenshot, view desktops/open apps.

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Seconding the framework gear symbol in place of the “super” word for the super key. However, as the F12 key also sports the framework gear, maybe replacing that with whatever icon typically goes onto F12 would be a good idea (if the entire “Framework-icon for super key” is accepted.

Also yeah, the unused space of the left and right arrow keys is a tad odd as that seems more nicely solved on the current ones (like the one I’m typing this post on).

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Maybe a music symbol ♫ would be a good replacement? Seems to open the Media Center on Windows. I don’t remember it doing anything in Linux (at least Ubuntu).

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my guess is that since this is the RGB variant, that its setup like this for RGB shine-through? I agree that it’s weird but I also like it?

the problem with this is that the f12 button is also the framework gear, meaning they’d probably want a different symbol for that key, but then do you standardize the f12 keys and have no framework logo on the windows key variants, or have two different symbols for the f12 function depending on windows or linux keyboards plus it would vary between 13 and 16 keyboards.

I will voice my agreement.
I do use the navig keys on my number pad,
but I rarely switch between navig and numbers.
It would be good UX to make accidentally switching difficult.

Bonus: you free up another spot for something useful like , or Tab.

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Hadn’t thought of that. If that’s the case, then I would totally be okay with it.

I’d say change it to a music ♫ symbol. It opens the media center, so that makes a lot more sense than the Framework Gear. Gear symbol (outside of logos) generally implies settings or configurations. It gives an incorrect impression of what the key does. The understanding that the gear is a logo just makes it more confusing and ambiguous.

As far as unifying them across FW 13 and 16, and across language versions, I’d argue to unify all future prints to the ♫ music symbol. The reasons are the “function clarity” stuff I mentioned above.

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I struggle to think what key to put here that I would actually use. But anything would be more useful than Num Lock (in my opinion).

Programmers tend to write function calls like f(0,2,1) often.
Also big numbers are written like 1,000,000,000 and in some regions the comma is used for decimal places.

Spreadsheet users want Tab to move to the next cell.

1 Like

Feedback on US English (Linux/V2).

  • I’m not a current FW13 owner, but it’s not clear/intuitive to me what the F12 key is used for. Can you use a more descriptive symbol for this key?
  • I would really prefer the framework logo as the super key instead of “super”. I think your logo is the perfect design for the super key.

Edit: For context, I’m a Linux user but I’m leaning towards the US English option since I’m not a huge fan of the “super” label. If it was the Framework logo I would definitely choose the Linux option.

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There seems to be a lot of confusion about the F12 / Gear symbol key. Keys like this are extra keys / special keys (aka hotkeys or multimedia keys), and there is no standard or even typical set of keys that are included on keyboards, nor standard placement for them. Many of them, like the gear / settings key, have no standard function either. The user decides what they want it to do. For some keys, Windows (or other OS) might give the hotkey some default action, just to avoid it doing nothing by default. Since a lot of people don’t know that hotkeys can be anything & would think it’s broken if it has no action by default.

I don’t use ubuntu, but it looks like the settings would be found at “System Settings” > “Keyboard” > “Shortcuts” tab. Probably under “Launchers”

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Keybindings

Linux Mint (Cinnamon) uses a different control center, but it’s same steps to reach the hot key settings.

Arch wiki mentions how hot keys are not standardized & worse, it comes down to creating databases of common hardware to figure out what a reasonable default might be, for a given key.
Extra keyboard keys - ArchWiki

Many keyboards include some special keys (also called hotkeys or multimedia keys), which are supposed to execute an application or print special characters (not included in the standard national keymaps). udev contains a large database of mappings specific to individual keyboards, so common keyboards usually work out of the box. If you have very recent or uncommon piece of hardware, you may need to adjust the mapping manually.

On my ThinkPad, I have a Framework-like Gear symbol key. It produces keycode 179. On a lot of keyboards, 179 is the play/pause media hotkey. But since ThinkPads are popular and known, there is an entry in a database somewhere about the key. So distros know that play/pause is not a good default mapping for the key, it doesn’t match the symbol on the key. This is how much of a random mess the handling of hotkeys is.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ♫ music note symbol as a hotkey on a keyboard. Is this something some company has?

ThinkPads use a ☆ star symbol to try to communicate that it’s a user-defined function key. Probably chosen since stars are used to mark something special or a favorite.

☆ star key picture

I’d suggest a similar star. But a ★ solid star, just to avoid the possibility of Lenovo trying to claim that the ☆ star somehow belongs to them.

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Holy moly this would be insanely cool

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The German Keyboard is generally okay, but “pg” on the arrow keys is more commonly translated as “Bild” or “Seite”. And “PRT SCR” is usually “Druck”.

Caps lock on a German keyboard is usually represented by a downward arrow ⇩ but your current icon will be understood.

Also (this is more of a style thing), but in German, nouns are generally capitalized, so on most of my keyboards, the functions modifier/special keys are capitalized, too, like Esc, Strg, Alt, Alt Gr, Einfg, Entf and so on. However you can leave it lowercase, if you want to go for a more “stylish” look.

I’d keep it lowercase - it adds to the charm :slightly_smiling_face:.

For the statistics (excluding the Framework 13 and the typewriter this time): four of the keyboards have capitalized function keys, one uses exclusively lowercase (apart from the “actual” F-keys F1, F2, …). Kind of funny, the lowercase one is designed in Germany, the others probably in Taiwan, South Korea, and PRC.