I've been sketching up a constructed script, and I've been drawing a computer keyboard to accompany it.
Now, I've drawn up keys equivalent to Ctrl and Alt, and a "OS Direct key" (equivalent to the meta or windows key, depending on OS. OS direct sends a key command directly to the OS and admin-privledged programs) but after I looked up the Esc symbol ⎋ and drew it in the corner, I paused for a second.
This world takes place on a separate planet. The culture is mostly the same, they mostly do things roughly the same way, I could best describe it as our world but with the cards shuffled. Why the hell would they do things the same as us?
Having a sorta "back" character on left and a "proceed" (enter/submit) character on right certainly makes sense, but the Esc key was originally designed differently to today. I think a separate "back" and "stop" key could be interesting!
Numbered function keys sound important to me, but many computers have done without before!
To provide some sample context, if you need it: their biodiesel cars use 2-cylinder or 4-cylinder engines these are under the back where we put the spare tyre (this is possible IRL!) their trains still have clerestory windows (for laypersons: the ridge on the wild west train cars) Yet, these trains have aluminium bodies, air-con, and train stopping safety systems based on signal/speed limits
In a world with things shuffled differently, what could I do to make a sensible keyboard yet a very different one?
I would like to lay down some constraints:
This is a general-purpose keyboard for many operating systems, and many computers in many different places. the two most popular ones in this world are 2 separate operating systems which are designed with each other in mind (I mix OS and hardware here, but I mean Windows NT used to be made for x86 and mac for powerPC)
The most intensive system uses a graphical operating system, early 2000s-ish sorta GUI- though with less bling to save on performance, which is a bit more expensive than it is for us as they haven't gotten down to our transistor size (they get around limits somewhat by use of RISC, large Arithmetic Logic Units to help with maths, either fudging rough numbers quickly or doing precise but intensive equations, and a very large multilayered motherboard with a VERY large CPU die!)
The less intensive system is a computer which is cheaper and more accessible, which is owned by many people. they are like a high-end PC compatible. These have a hard drive which is removable, and the drive can be taken to the library and plugged into the other more powerful computer.
So, removing old unused keys isn't something we can do. People are going to be wanting a keyboard compatible with all systems
NOTE FOR MODERATORS: I AM NOT ASKING FOR LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT HELP. This is contextual information, as a keyboard will be heavily influenced by the world it is made for! I don't know how else to provide this information except within the body of the question. I'm new here, so if you know a better formatting technique editing it will be appreciated!
this is a language that is C-V, think Japanese. They do write left to right and then proceed down the page.
They have two separate scripts, one for proper nouns and one for standard text (sorta like capitals, but if you write the entire word in uppercase. Some semblance to katakana in that regard.) and these scripts are activated using a "case" key which is separate from the shift key. this is because they have uppercase and lowercase numbers to suit the twin scripts.
The language may have many similarities to Japanese so far, but here's where that ends. The way the language is written is somewhat like an abugida, but all vowels are indicated rather than many being left out. So, dedicated keys for vowels is important. However, the fact they have 12 is a concern, I imagine there's 6 vowel keys and a thumb-shift key. As for consonants, there are 21 consonants. there are 10 sorta onomatopoea-like symbols for like, grunts and whatever, but clearly you aren't using these in everyday conversation. Instead, I imagine that Front+[consonant] will bring up a marked
So far, I'm at a sorta dvorak-like state, I'll put some punctuation symbols above the vowels and also replacing the `~ key under Esc. Considering having one column of punctuation keys between the consonants and vowels too?
(the vowels aren't all on home row, as the layout of vowels corresponds to where in the mouth sounds are made, like the IPA chart!)
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I am sorry for this being rushed. I am in a hurry, I have things I need to do but I don't want to leave a question half-written. I hope there isn't any significant mistakes in grammar. Thanks for reading!