Request: Review of Framework Laptop 16 Keyboard Layouts

I believe that when NumLock is off, the 7 and 1 number pad keys are generally treated as Home and End respectively. Rather than using the left and right tab arrow symbols on these keys, I believe “home” and “end” text would make more sense and also maintain consistency with the labeling on the arrow keys across the presented English keyboards.

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Portuguese is missing “+” as the default state of the “*” key. “5” is missing “€” as the alt gr state, “3” is missing “£” as alt gr state.

  • The typeface looks… a bit too Microsoft-y (I suspect it’s 맑은 고딕?) May I kindly suggest/recommend Pretendard, a golden standard for Korean sans-serif loved by many Koreans? It’s under the SIL Open Font License.

  • The Korean legends look a little bit too small in comparison to the alphabets due to their more condensed nature. I think Apple strikes a nice balance between the two when it comes to this.

  • In same fashion, 한/영 and 한자 keys (left to the arrows key) are currently matched in size with the rest of the Fn row legends (ctrl, fn, alt), but for the readability’s sake I think it definitely needs a size bump. (Not too much, but just a little for visual compensation)

Apart from that, I think you guys nailed it! I’m so glad you guys didn’t went with serif fonts or god forbid, using 굴림 like Logitech did.

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I’m responding to this thread, because I saw the tweet on the Framework account asking for feedback, especially wrt to the French layout.

As a French user, and computer programmer since a long time ago, I never managed to change my layout from AZERTY to a more efficient one. This has severely hindered my ability to enter some new ecosystems or hobbies, for instance custom mechanical keyboards.

I just learned that there is a new AZERTY layout, and that framework is considering replacing the old one with the new one.

I can’t speak for all french people, but I can say that as of now (IIUC, 5 years later after the release of the new layout), neither me or my friends have ever seen one in the wild, let alone used one. I think not having the option to use the old AZERTY would severely hinder my motivation to get a replacement part if mine was to fail, and it would defeat the entire purpose of having gotten in the framework ecosystem in the first place.
Maybe when I am forced to change by a greater trend in manufacturers, I’ll have to make the switch anyway ; but I desperately need an old AZERTY in order to being able to simply use a computer.

Now I’m not one for being resistant to change, I think supporting the new norm and offering the keyboard is a great idea. Hell, maybe that’s the thing that helps some French people like myself to actually make the switch. It is probably more efficient, and is technically the current norm, but keyboards are a very personal thing. The disconnect from switching in between all the machines I use in my life (work computers, desktop computer, gf’s computers, etc…) would be really awful to have to deal with on a daily basis.
Framework wants to be on the bleeding edge, and I would encourage the team to produce such a keyboard, but only if it means not dropping support for the old AZERTY layout.

TL;DR : please don’t shelve old AZERTY, add the new layout if you must, but most French people I know of have never even heard of a new layout.

PS: big +1 for the gear icon on super. I hate having the windows icon everywhere, even being a windows user myself.

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J’étais même pas au courant qu’il y avait un nouvel AZERTY. Est-ce qu’il y a une raison qui fait qu’il n’est pas implémenté plus souvent ? Que ça soit sur mon téléphone or les ordinateurs récents, j’en avais même pas entendu parler.

I can help with Hebrew and Russian.

Shouldn’t it be just “Finnish / Swedish”?According to another section of the page you linked, Estonian would have two additional letters, Ü and Õ: List of QWERTY keyboard language variants - Wikipedia

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I checked that this matches the “Finnish / Swedish” layout I have on a Thinkpad.

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This layout is the exact same as my current laptop keyboard, which makes me confident I’ll be comfortable and familiar with this one once it ships. However as other users stated on Twitter and in this thread :

Until this was brought to my attention by your tweet, I never came across the new AZERTY layout, and never tried it either.
Even though the official website presenting the standard showcases a CHERRY keyboard with the new layout, I can’t even seem to find that keyboard on the official CHERRY page. It seems like the level of interest in the new layout is pretty low (rather, nobody seems to know it even exists), and I have an easier time finding a BÉPO keyboard on Amazon than one with the new AZERTY layout.

Therefore, keeping the old AZERTY layout seems like the way to go.

Also, as others have pointed out, having a Super key instead of a Windows logo would be nice.

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For the Belgian keyboard, there are 2 small glitches (in red on the pictures) otherwise eveything seems OK.

PS : +1 too for the framework symbol in place of the windows logo.

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Thai layout is missing a left bracket ( key on the Z key and I prefer this type of font for my Thai keyboard. Looks more premium and easier to read the keys. (Photo from Surface laptop studio)

For traditional Chinese keyboards, I suggest you remove the Chinese words from the changjei(倉頡) input method, as no one I know uses it. They’re really useless to the average user, especially young people, as we all use Mandarin phonetic symbols. It would be better if you remove it, thank you.

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Answering the French one :
As other pointed : windows key would be better as a Cog (Framework logo) key.
And now to the tough part : the layout itself.
There are 3 major layouts in French (well 2 + 1 standard no one knows about) :

  • Windows Azerty : it’s the one you proposed, almost everyone knows it, and it’s objectively bad.
  • Apple Azerty : yes, Apple has their own azerty, the main letters layout is the same but everything is different regarding the modified keys as well as the numbers and other keys.
  • The “new” standard that has been created for a few years now, which is better than the windows one but no manufacturer has ever printed it so we are bound to stay in a limbo state of keyboards were “we do things this way because we’ve always done it this way and everybody does it”… And people agree because they prefer using something bad they know instead of trying to learn a better tool. :confused:

So. If you want to appeal to the masses : propably windows azerty. If you want to start a new and better trend : new azerty. (note that the apple azerty is closer to the new standard than the windows one).

Now that the Azerty is out of the way, you can have a look at BÉPO which is an ergonomic French keyboard layout. I personally don’t use it but I know a lot of people who do. It’s objectively better than the two others but now it’s a very different layout and while going from one azerty to another is tedious but very doable; going from Azerty to bépo requires some considerate learning.

That being said, I’m pretty sure the tech-savy target audience of Framework would be more inclined to have a bépo than the average generic laptop user.
https://bepo.fr/

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The thing that stands out is that there are two Euro signs (AltGr-E and AltGr-U); normally it’s just AltGr-U, and AltGr-E is used for Ä. There’s also a number of other AltGr symbols missing, like the backslash on AltGr-Q, or the square brackets on AltGr-F/G.

QWERTZ-kiosztás – Wikipédia would be a correct reference.

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Is the portuguese layout supposed to be pt_PT, or Brazilian ABNT2?

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The international keyboard often has a Euro symbol (€) bottom right on the number 5. It would be nice for that to be added.

image

(Picture is not the best example of the location, it’s often in the bottom right of the key)

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Maybe it’s not the thread to debate keyboard layouts; but I heavily disagree on this one. The layout has some extremely weird choices that, to me, make no sense ? All of the different dashes, the math keys, a lot of it is very impractical for day to day use, and use key real estate that would be way more practical for other keys. It brings ameliorations, sure, but it’s far from something I would happily daily drive.

To say that this layout is best is heavily debatable. Now I don’t think Framework’s mission is to create keyboard layouts, but only providing the new AZERTY due to percieved superiority correlated with “newness” isn’t the best approach. I would be way more enclined to consider BEPO as something superior to type in french.

Forcing all potential customers to only use this layout would be a posture move, supporting a keyboard that hasn’t seen any widespread adoption yet.

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Okay, hear me out… Colemak and it’s variants. (DHk, DHm, Angle mod.)

A creative spoiler

Only being half serious, would be really awesome if Colemak and Dvorak variants would be added, but I fear it’s not very viable, sadly. Just letting you know that there are non-Qwerty users out there. :sweat_smile:

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I can’t see any problems with the Norwegian keyboard😁. Excited for Framework’s next plans😄.

Regarding the French keyboard:

The new French layouts from the 2019 standard NF Z71-300 will soon be included in Windows. Those are the new AZERTY layout as well as a formally standardised version of BÉPO.

These layouts are already in Windows Insider builds, though they are not currently present in retail builds.

With the inclusion of these new layouts, the old French layout will be renamed to “French (Legacy, AZERTY)”. Or in French, « Français (Traditionnel, AZERTY) ».

It’s true that so far, finding keyboard hardware with the new AZERTY layout printed on it is difficult. I hope/expect this will change once retail versions of Windows include the new layout.

The new AZERTY layout changes a lot. Although the letters and numbers remain in the same positions, almost everything else moves. (Even . and , switch keys!) Thus, I think there’s going to have to be a transition period during which keyboards with both old and new layouts are available.

The new AZERTY is already supported by all the Linux distros. So even though Windows doesn’t quite support it yet, you could make a version with a “super” key and call it a Linux option.

For now, making the old French AZERTY layout available is a wise and necessary move. But I do hope Framework will also make the new layout available too. It really is so much better than the old one.

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