New Infrastructure Code Fork - Top Ten Requests after GR

Hi All - we’ll soon be publishing details of the new infrastructure firmware - around end of May. It’s a significant advance in capability, and you’ll find the possibilities quite exciting. We expect it’ll spawn many new ideas from our users.

Before we spill the technical details, please feel free to weigh in here. Let your creative thoughts run free, before they’re swayed by details of what we’ve built.

Once we’ve completed feature parity with the firmware release currently in daily use by our users, we’ll be focused on deploying this new firmware platform for general release.

Following general release - we’ll be making a series of software releases to accommodate user requests for the new platform.

You can use this thread to influence our work - help us identify and prioritize the most useful extensions for users, that build on TextBlade’s new technology. Whatever is most important to you.

Here on this thread, please focus your posts on two principal areas -

  • Let us know 3 new features that you’d most like to see us integrate into TextBlade.

  • Help us sort the top ten items from the requests that emerge here as posted by the community.

Thanks to all for your many creative thoughts and suggestions. TextBlade already does a lot more than legacy keyboards because of all the excellent user input.

This new foundation code will let TextBlade’s platform grow and expand far beyond its initial general release capabilities. The road ahead looks wide open and fantastic. We feel very lucky to be driving on it.

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Wishlist for post GR features

  • Type to two devices simultaneously I use a lot of time upgrading servers, which requires sending the same commands to multiple tabs in iTerm. Being able to use two devices so I could monitor those tabs easily would be AWESOME.
  • I THINK this is already in there, but if not, mapping native hot keys so that on those times I’m connected to windows devices ( rarely) I type Ctrl-c or Ctrl-V the same way as Cmd-c or Cmd-v etc on a Mac.
  • A TextBlade Native mouse keys like the Apple iOS keyboard trackpad. Like being able to move the cursor by running my finger over the keys in a special layer. Again might already exist, but I would love to have it.

Thanks for making sure the product is ready for prime time and able to be supported prior to release. I’ve worked in web based software since 1999 and the worst habits are supported by the great flexibility in terms of releasing products that still belong in a lab setting. It refreshes my faith in humanity to have witnessed the efforts that have gone into getting this right up front.

I am still just as expectantly looking forward to a great typing experience as I was when I ordered in Jan 2015. It’s been a great ride watching from the sidelines so far and I look forward to many years of typing.

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Great idea for your first point.

The second is already supported with many operating system agnostic shortcuts.

My main interests are kind of related as they have to do with customization.

I’d like to see every position customizable (unless there is some special reason why it shouldn’t. I know I’ve been looking forward to be able to customize the right shift since I never use it now (thank you for sticky-shift!).

For those who aren’t in treg, almost every position is already customizable so it is already great in that area.

Next, not only being able to put modifier keys like command, etc, anywhere, but with other capabilities:

  1. That they can send the code to the computer without needing another key. This is for some games. Sometimes games will say something like tap or hold one of those modifier keys by itself to do something like fire, drop a bomb, etc. But, of course, you could also use in in combination with other keys as normal when not in the game.

  2. Let you assign more than one modifier to a key. Like Ctrl/alt together. Again, with a regular key or without. I can see special layouts that could really benefit from this.

  3. Make any modifier possible with a sticky option? I don’t necessarily mean built in like with shift, but when customizing, it would be a capability the user could set for any position he puts a modifier in.

One UI issue. Right now if I put “modifier-something” on a key, the app display shows the character but NOT the modifier. To know there is a modifier assigned, you have to tap the key and also be on the left side of all the options where each modifier is listed. There are two elements to deal with on this. One is, when you’ve tapped the key to see the info, the large blue area has LOTS of space to include any modifiers so you don’t have to scroll. The other is when you are just looking at all the keys in a layer, but haven’t selected one. There should be something even there to at least make clear it isn’t just a plain character. Even if it is just a dot in the position. Or, for more clarity on what is there, dots placed in different positions around the character. Maybe above for “command”, to the right of it for “alt”, bottom for “control”, left for “shift”. Of course, all that may be a bit messy visually, but something needs to at least alert the user to the fact it isn’t just a plain character (boldfaced maybe?).

My top three features, shamelessly lifted from the QMK firmware which I use heavily:

  1. Mouse keys, move the mouse and press mouse buttons from the keyboard.
  2. One shot modifiers/layers, tap to make sticky, double tap to lock.
  3. Dual use keys, tap sends the keystroke, hold provides a modifier.

These three I miss from my regular keyboard when I’m using the TextBlade.

5 Likes

Very interesting. I do wonder about the sticky on modifiers when I mentioned it. I wasn’t sure if every modifier was sticky by default if that might cause some issues. That’s why I mentioned giving the option when we customize. But it may be fine.

Item 3 is really interesting. Never thought of something like that. Since you have these on your regular keyboard, they must work out. I wonder, since these things are nothing I’ve ever experienced, if maybe an optional approach to a sticky modifier - especially with the standard positions we have now for them, would be to add the space bar if we want it sticky? Just in case a permanent sticky capability could cause issues in some cases.

Modifier stickiness should definitely be optional. I use it but don’t have it enabled on every key.

Dual use is great, it lets you put your (non-sticky) modifiers anywhere you choose. The caveat here is That you will lose repeating characters on that key.

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Well, we have some limitations on repeating characters anyway. But that brings up another thing. In case someone wants to repeat a character that doesn’t allow it, maybe have another modifier that simply does a repeat on whatever else you hit (like I might put that on the right shift).

I’ve raised the issue of sticky modifiers as well. With a European set up, the left & right Alt keys have different functionality, so due to the chording required to activate a mod, some keys can’t be combined with (left) Alt, and others can’t be combined with (right) AltGr. With my colemak layout, this means that, for example, on the left hand I can’t press Alt+R to reload in Notepad++ when logging onto servers. (No, I’m not going to give that combo it’s own special mapping, it’s not a tool I want to use regularly, just something I bump into from time to time. And yeah, with the spaceblade hot corners I can manage it, but that just doesn’t feel quite right - the great thing about the textblade is the consistency it gives… normally.) Whereas with the right hand I’d not be able to get accents on é, í & ú. (Sitting the blade on top of my lappy keyboard means that I can sneakily reach AltGr from there to add the examples here, but that’s just cheating.)

I would like to unify the concepts of Marcros and Mappings into a single thing.

It’s fine that they are accessed two different ways — the mappings are accessed by pressing a key while the macros are accessed by pressing the macro chord and then pressing the key. Other than that, in both cases they should:

  1. Be allowed to transmit a single character, a modified character (such as option-shift-G), or long string of single and modified characters
  2. Be overloaded so that the same key can transmit a different string depending on which OS you are connected to. Perhaps even allow it to be defined uniquely per jump slot*

There should be a single unified interface for creating and managing these, and a single name for it rather than distinguishing it as two different things.

*allowiing per jumpslot definitions rather than per-os is giving a lot of rope for users to hang themselves, in terms of them getting tangled up managing the complexity of all the variations. I would make the default be per-OS for each key mapping and have the per jump slot capability be enabled in an advanced config option.

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I would like macros to take into account the target OS and keyboard type specified for each Jump slot and provide appropriate character translation. At the moment macros always sends what would be appropriate for Jump Slot 1. This can mean macros contains any non-alphanumeric characters can produce unexpected results - particularly if the target OS is expecting something other than standard QWERTY. For instance a simple example is I get problems with characters like “/@ and £/# which are in different locations on UK keyboards compared to US Ones.

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will post my three independently, hopefully making it easier to vote with likes -

On the fly keystroke macro recording,

  • press a configurable chord/key combination to begin macro recording
  • press a configurable chord/key combination to stop recording
  • press a configurable chord/key combination to repeat the keystrokes made
  • multiple macro slots mappings/supported
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I know you are developing a super mouse of some sort, but I wonder if the textblade itself can’t have some basic mouselike capability. I’d love the ability to slide two fingers up and down the keyblades to cause basic scrolling in the document I’m looking at, and (if possible) even enough control to navigate to and select items from dropdown menus. Further, I’d love this capability to jump to whatever (allowed) device the TB is jumped to so it’s always with me.

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Definitely the dual use keys suggested by @dshields

and another 2nd to @idea2go, all of that!

SMART Macro: I’d like macros to include variables such as date/time according to whatever preferred format I preconfigure. So for instance I might make a macro that outputs MM/DD/YY, or another that outputs a timestamp you might include in a filename such as YYMMDD-hh (hh=hour)

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I know its not firmware and other GR’s don’t kill me but would really like to have a split textblade in the back-backlog. Split the spaceblade so I can two hand the thing comfortably shoulder’s width apart.

It hails back to Perfect Dark on the N64 with innovative use of existing hardware by allowing the user to utilize both first and second player controllers to guide Joanna. Most ergo position ever.
image

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This is an EXCELLENT idea!

You can do that if you create the panes with tmux or screen (I used to do it to run commands against our Kafka cluster, with tmux)

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