Switching ";" with "'"?

This may have been addressed here, but I just noticed that “;” with “’” and “:” and “”" are switched compared to a normal QWERTY keyboard? What is the reasoning? Does it flow better? I am using the library map to determine this settings.

Not sure I understand? As far as I can see the ; and : characters are on the green layer. On a normal QWERTY keyboard they are on their own key - with and without shift - on the TB they are green layer corresponding to the , and . keys.

If I understand the question correctly, @MidwestSurfer is asking why : and ; aren’t next to L as they would be on a standard QWERTY keyboard.

It has taken a bit of adjustment for me. I think the biggest problem for me making the adjustment is that I end up reaching too far to hit the single quote character and end up hitting enter instead. I’m getting much better at this though. I suspect this was done because in standard typing, I find it is much more common for me to need an apostrophe than a semicolon. If you don’t like it, you can always remap the keyboard, but I don’t plan to do that, even though I do end up needing semicolons fairly regularly when coding.

This may change with time, but my logic right now is that when I’m typing standard text, I want to avoid the green layer, if possible; however, when I’m coding, I need to access the green layer on a pretty regular basis, so I’m already thinking about the green layer much more.

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@Taylor - Yes, this was my question. I was a little surprised that it was different. I almost thought it was a typo, but it shows up consistently on the different layers as reversed. The coding idea seems to make sense. If you are use to going to the green layer for coding anyway, it may make sense to swap them. I use the “;” a lot in normal righting. I like the use of the super comma. :slight_smile: I guess that I like a lot of compound sentences and lists.

I’ve found this one and the fact that the ’ key is now enter to be a bit of a stumbling block. Time will fix I’m sure.

To “hopefully” ease the pain for the ;: problem I’ve mapped these to the same key but on the Green and Green Shift layers. Keeps them in the same position and just adds space to the combo. Then moved the () to the ,. keys on the Green layer. Since the () keys are already different, it seems easier to learn them on the bottom row with the other types of braces and have ;: on the same key with Space added to the combo.

Will see how this configuration goes.

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I’ll have to play with the feel. It will be interesting unlearning 20 plus years of touch typing. I’m probably going to remap this to be what the keyboard has now and then relearn the stretch keys. Hopefully I will learn the stretch keys a little easier knowing that they are on the second layer, but I don’t even think about it anymore. It will be like relearning to type. It’s like not having a dedicated escape key. I may use the forward-delete key.

I didn’t find it too hard to unlearn, because your pinky is already used to having to hit the quotes.

Semicolon I got used to pretty quickly down there, as lots of the other coding symbols are similarly spaced.

@Central - I assume that you were a touch typist then? I guess that I will wait and see.

This quote got me thinking.

Along with this one:

I was struggling significantly with the new definition of QWERTY that theTextBlade imposes. I just couldn’t find keys easily other than standard Alpha. So I started thinking that we’re actually unlearning what is essentially the QWERTY keyboard (assuming you use QWERTY)… Is this right for me? Is there a different way? Below is what I’ve come up with so far.

Moving the number layer down onto the top row is nice and reduces stretch, however moving the symbols off the numbers is a fundamental change to the QWERTY. Now you are relearning two layers. I’ve played with a different approach. The symbols stay on the number keys, but on the Shift Green layer. Shift 1 was !, before and after move to TB, it is just that the 1 moved to the Q key. Once I know where 1 is in the new world, it is easy to find !. The same goes for the other symbols on the number layer.

Green Layer:

Green Shift Layer:

Combined Layers:

  • Everything on the Alpha layer is automatic as it hasn’t moved
  • The number layer is’t too much of a learning curve, just less stretch
  • The symbol layer is easier to learn as I know where they are relative to the numbers
  • Moved the ’ / " onto green layer (key moves left by one)
  • Move - and = down as they have no key on the top layer. This position is reasonably easy to get used to and not a major shift from standard QWERTY.
  • Move the ` to a key as there’s no room elsewhere and it is not a big shift from before. Once I know where this key is, the ~ is easy to find.
  • Keep the move of \ / | (this is OK)
  • Move the two keys for [ and ] to same relative location as the \ move
  • Curly braces are shifted square braces, so easier to learn these once you learn the move of []
  • I added an alternative curly braces on direct green layer, though I will probably delete this
  • I’m currently not mapping the ’ key to Enter on my standard keyboard until I’ve learnt the new location of the ’ key.

Not everyone will like this, but I’m finding this a much easier transition than the standard QWERTY setup that is defined for the TextBlade. Thought I’d share it with people along with my reasoning for it.

Each to their own, but for me, this is what will happen to my TextBlade when it eventually arrives.

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This is the beauty of the TB - not counting the size, feel, jumps, layouts, etc, etc, etc!

Personally I’m not comfortable in most cases having to use shift except for letters. One reason is that I tend to normally only use the left one which can be a problem for some situations though I’m used to doing the sticky shift for letters. And symbols on regular keyboards always made me have to stop, look at the keys, and then type them. I usually didn’t remember where they were and even when I did, I still had to look because I had to look at numbers too. Stuff like periods or commas were fine.

I suspect that your situation is much different from mine. I’ve found that, with the TB, I can do the symbols much easier even though they’ve moved. Simply because they are so easy to reach and don’t require looking, once I figured them out. Because I really don’t use a lot of them (I bet you do). For me it is basically just the following:

’ , . " < > ; : ( ) + - ? / = $ % # @ *& ^

That’s a fair number, but I’m not doing _ { } [ ] \ ` ~

If I need those, I’d have to look, but I don’t expect them.

Even those I do use have some pretty rare ones for me.

Yep. I’ve programmed for the majorityof my life and I’m a touch typist for most things. With the TB move of numbers down a row I’m hitting them with more accuracy and less looking than before! Putting the symbols on them makes it really easy for me to hit these now too. With the default layout I was having to stop and hunt for them. Very frustrating. Now I may have to glance sometimes, but mostly I can hit them first time.

Yep. There is a lot to like about the concepts behind the TB. Just wish I actually had one! This experience of typing would be an absolute pleasure based on all of the reports.

I’m no expert on keyboard layouts, that’s for sure, I just know what I like and what works for me. As a touch typist, for me, it works better if most of the things are layered according to what I know and remember. This reduces the learning curve. I don’t know if this would be true for every touch typist, let alone everyone else, it just seemed more intuitive this way. I suspect that if you hunt and peck, you probably won’t care so much. For me, these keys aren’t hunt and peck, they are just glance to confirm the correct stretch and not hitting the key beside.

Now that they’ve updated to support more customisation of the layers, it is possible to have it setup however it works for you, which is fantastic.

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I really like the idea of moving things back to where they would “normally” go. Looks like you got most everything back to where it wants to be.

The one thing that I might do differently is to keep the symbols one down from the numbers but just on the green layer. For one, this prevents you from having to remember which side shift to use to get at the ones you type with your pinkies. For another, one of the things that I actually really like about the TextBlade is that it feels like the symbols and everything are actually closer and easier to type than on a normal keyboard.

So, for me, I actually really like having the symbols in the same position (makes it really easy to remember where they are, finger-wise) but just one row down from the numbers so there’s no extra shift required.

Of course, as has been mentioned, the beauty of the TextBlade is that you can go and customize it so that it works best for you. I’m really looking forward to being able to share key maps with the community - I’d love to give yours a try!


I like this and probably what I am going to head toward. I want do less relearning and type.
The other aspect is how I use the keyboard. I never look down. I click by even just the feel of the outside edge of the keyboard, which I loose now. This is how I operate when reviewing and editing. It gives my hands a chance to eat as well. So the benefit for TextBlade is that everything is at home row, but I will loose my rest time. I will just have to see.

I have been using a CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid (Cherry MX Red) keyboard, and I tried to switch back to an Apple wireless, and I really missed the distinct edge and raised keys. I used them as guides. I am wondering if I will miss this in the TextBlade as well.