the darnedest thing is written and designed by Steven Hum with the following..

production environment


the darnedest thing

comments processing

  • Ruby Mail library
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Other tools used to construct this site can be found here. The current dotfiles containing the configuration files and scripts described in the various articles can be found here.

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monday, 14 march 2016

it’s a slow and methodical process. Step by step, extending an already feature rich window manager, molding it to one’s will. Fixing corner cases that invariably pop up over extended usage. Then adding visual flair with ricing scripts to enhance the user experience and keep it fresh.

Distraction free plugins for vim complete my particular setup which is now complemented by an artful desktop. Time to return to the other threads on this site which were always the original intent of this hardware (keyboard and layouts) and software detour to create a publishing environment..

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beakl si

wednesday, 5 december 2018

the keyboard layouts for the Splitography and the Planck on this site, applied certain personal thumb conventions – noticeably, the Shift modifier, the Space Enter Backspace Delete Tab Escape keys, and raising the various Symbol Number Fn Cursor layers.

The thumb’s strength invited such responsibilities whose benefits aligned nicely with the pinkie adverse fingering goals of the BEAKL layout variants. The most radical change along the way was moving the I to the thumb to further optimize fingering metrics. The Splitography with its four thumb keys – which I actually quite like and prefer – has undergone numerous thumb key mappings to accommodate this constraint, culminating in the BEAKL Ti.

Immediately after the last set of BEAKL Ti changes which saw several symbols Shift mapped to the base layer, a radical thought occurred, or more rather, an embarrassingly obvious one that has been available for quite some time since the implementation of the Home Row Modifiers, which is particularly applicable to the Splitography. Why not actually relegate Shift to its home row modifier?

This frees up two key mappings for the thumbs, moves the Shift to the more nimble index fingers, and allows the thumbs keys to be organized in such a fashion that there is now only one lateral thumb movement required during typing, and that, for the infrequently raised Number Layer.

The fluidity of this new layout, even with the new finger memory stumbles for the Shift key, is shockingly bettered across the board – and the firmware code is reduced too! Perhaps instead of naming this layout BEAKL Si for “simplified”, it should be named BEAKL Ni for “nirvana”..

base layer

Splitography BEAKL 

Tap key actions for..

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

thumb symbols and cursor

the fluidity of having all the symbols characters available from the former Shift thumb position cannot be overstated. Punctuation and coding are typed effortlessly..

Splitography BEAKL Si 

Tap key actions for..

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

**The down modifier state for the key necessitates a double tap (down) to distinguish a repeating character.

home row shift

the greatly simplified home row Shift obsoletes the previous rolling thumb firmware logic for floating the Enter key under the thumb. The thumbs now never need to move, promoting effortless touch typing..

Splitography BEAKL Si home row 

Tap key actions for..

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

dot chords

for smart capitalization and reduced keystrokes remains – oddly, feeling even more natural because of the static position of the thumbs..

Splitography BEAKL Si 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 numbers and function keys

the double key thumb activation for Function keys remains unchanged..

Splitography BEAKL Si 

thumb mouse

Splitography BEAKL Si thumb 

thumb shortcuts

the Steno layer key is moved from the upper to the lower corner to reduce finger memory errors with the ingrained BEAKL Ti PgUp key. Double tap Paste actions to terminate with an Enter further workflow tuning..

Splitography BEAKL Si thumb 

Tap key actions for..

keycode single tap double tap triple tap
Paste string string Enter  
XPaste string string Enter  
Priv   string  
Pub   string  

toggle layers

the CapsLock Layer incorporates the new Shift Home Row emphasis as above..

Splitography BEAKL Si CapsLock 

The remaining Number Fn Symbol Mouse toggle layers are identical to the thumb raised layouts above, using the Escape key to return to the normal keyboard mode.




add a CapsLock toggle to the right thumb Space Backspace keys (double key tap) for convenient finger reach – and an unintended thumb row symmetry to the center column Fn Capslock keys.

Add a dual key Soft Reset to the center column Fn Capslock keys. With both keys held down, reinitialize the keyboard to its base layer – useful during the development of complex keyboard macros. Sort of ironic to add this feature now, at possibly my keyboard endgame!

Only a few days in but this layout is by far the most fluid modifier/thumb key model designed so far. The fixed thumb position (save for raising the Number Layer) makes all the difference in the world to the feel of this keyboard, differentiating this layout from most other split ergo layouts that I am aware of.

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