beakl ti revisited

wednesday, 14 november 2018

it didn’t take long.

BEAKL Vi’s placement of the Enter key and its improvement to chords and sequences involving Enter was immediately discernible over BEAKL Ti’s use of the Shift Space for the Enter key, especially for common chord sequences .

However, the loss of the Backspace on the base layer for BEAKL Vi felt somewhat of a compromise whose (ingrained) usage not uncommonly requires multiple taps when needed (for the imperfect typist). What to do?

By relaxing the original BEAKL Ti layout’s fixed Shift Space assignment for Enter, save for the base layer—which is still preferred for the added security it provides from accidental “prompt” confirmations (*nix administrators know of what I speak)—and floating the Enter key position so that it conveniently falls under the right thumb for a given layer, key chord or sequence (a mouthful, I know, but more clearly presented below), the benefits of BEAKL Vi can be achieved and more. Brilliant!

The following layer illustrations denote the new Enter key placements and other firmware optimizations (with some lesser used features removed in the process). Refer to the original BEAKL Ti for comparison and the remaining mouse, toggle and steno layer descriptions..

base layer

Splitography BEAKL 

Tap key actions for..

keycode double tap double tap (down) triple tap
Colon Colon Minus    
Backspace   repeating Backspace  

thumb shifts

Splitography BEAKL Ti</span> shift 

Tap key actions for..

keycode double tap double tap (down) triple tap
Tilde Tilde Slash    

Where necessary, tap dance keys use double tap (down) to provide repeating characters. Alpha modifiers on the home row and thumb do not—not generally being used for line decorations.

rolling thumbs

Enter after a Tab or Shift-Tab sequence can now be keyed by holding the Tab key down on the last tab and tapping the same right thumb key..

Splitography BEAKL Ti rolling 

home row shift

repeating (Shift) Delete is available immediately following a cursor movement— otherwise, is a Backspace. This is a macro limitation to distinguish down position Symbol Layer access..

Splitography BEAKL Ti home row 

dot chords

Splitography BEAKL Ti</span> dot 

Tap key actions with Dot* key down for..

keycode single tap double tap triple tap
Space Dot* Space Shift    
Enter Dot* Enter Shift Dot* Enter Enter Shift  

*Where “Dot” is Period (base layer), Question (thumb shift) or Exclamation Mark (home row shift). The chord acts as a one shot modifier, capitalizing the next keystroke.

thumb symbols and cursor

immediately following any cursor movement, raising the left thumb Shift LayerI down—treats the Delete key as an Enter which is cleared upon the first non-Delete key, allowing successive Enter’s to be typed. This is purely a pick list convenience saving a lateral movement of the right thumb. Hint: for Delete, see Home Row Shift, or key NOP (grey) to clear the Enter action beforehand..

Splitography BEAKL Ti 

Tap key actions for..

keycode double tap double tap (down)** triple tap
Colon     ” :: “
Less Than   repeating LessThan ” <- “
Percent   repeating Percent  
Greater Than   repeating GreaterThan ” -> “
Equal     ” /= “
Asterisk Dot Asterisk    

**The down modifier state for the key necessitates a double tap (down) to distinguish a repeating character. Note: the bracketing symbols are reversed for finger rolls and constructing symbol expressions.

thumb numbers and function keys

Splitography BEAKL Ti</span> 

thumb shortcuts

while both the left and right Thumb Shift keys are required to raise the Shortcuts Layer, the right thumb may be tapped to add Enter to paste actions..

Splitography BEAKL Ti thumb 

toggle layers

the CapsLock Layer incorporates the rolling Tab Enter as above..

Splitography BEAKL Ti CapsLock 



Refer to layout BEAKL Ti for the remaining mouse and steno layers, and additional layer explanations.


the inevitable minor tweaks..

  • the right/left thumb Cursor and Symbol Layers of the original BEAKL Ti layout are now raised with the right thumb, and the Number and Function Key Layers with the left thumb using Backspace, Space+Backspace and Escape, I+Escape respectively (on the Splitography only)
  • for coding accessibility, the symbol clusters have been swapped to place the bracketing symbols on the Cursor Layer. Having the symbol layers on one hand feels more convenient for constructing complex regular expressions with symbols from both layers (versus split with alternating hands—purely a personal disposition)
  • the Home Row Shift special character mappings have been expanded so that all non-alpha characters are now available from a shift or thumb key layer for touch typing access. The double key thumb Regex Layer remains for the construction of more complex symbol expressions


the Function Key and Symbol Layers have their own designated keys on the Planck with the Insert and Left Arrow keys..

Planck BEAKL Ti

»»  beakl vi

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