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hmmm. I just realized that elven is not going to work on a 65% board.
any chance we could get two 1.5u mods for the bottom row? Pretty please?
There is no such thing as a layout that works on any 65 percent board – there are a plethora of layouts out there that are refered to as 65 percent, and they all differ in quite significant ways from eachother.
For something like the TADA68, one would need more 1u R4 mods than are available in the Elven kit:
For a 'vanilla' Whitefox, I think one would be fine with the Elven kit (unless there's something I've missed):
And for a Leopold FC660m, one would probably also be fine with the keys in the Elven kit (again, unless I've missed something):
As for what layout would require two 1.5u mods, I'm really at a loss. The only small keyboard that I can think of that uses those is the Noppoo Choc Mini, which has three 1.5u mods. But I guess you could buy serveral SMALL BLANKS kits, or hope for 1.5u blank keys showing up on places like r/mechmarket.
The M65-a, zephyr, and tx65 All use two 1.5u to the right of the space bar. One more small blank would do it, or a winkeyless set for elven. Not a fan of blanks.
You can fit 2x 1.5u in the same space as 3x 1u but I usually see that on 75%, 96keys and other DIYs. The usual reason people have asked for 2 is winkeyless HHKB layouts like the Tokyo60 and it's been asked half a dozen times.
If they add 2x 1.5u, then why not 3x 1u? then why not better 65-75% support and why not a numpad (besides elven being base-12) etc it's a slippery slope. There is 4x R4 1u from ISO support, 3 would just be the wrong color for mods; with the grey one leftover and the narsil novelty if it's R3, you could make a Tada68 or 75% work.
Slippery slope indeed. Three R4 1u keys would probably make the most sense out of those possible concessions to non-standrad layouts, seeing as the TADA68 is a fairly popular board. But if one goes down that road, the end point is probably a kit that is twice as large and way more expensive.
I'm sure those are all nice boards, but they're also custom small-scale GB boards with rather exotic layouts. Doing a quick search, a Zephyr keyboard costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $600. I highly doubt there are enough of those out in the wild to justify catering to them when putting together a one-size-fits-all kit.
I think it's reasonable to expect a 'vanilla' kit to fit something like my Poker or Novatouch. When it comes to something like my ISO Whitefox, compatibility is nice but I usually assume something like the Elven kit will not cover a board like that. It's the price one pays for going with a non-standard layout, after all. :-)
All 1u Winkey blocker and Cherry G80-3000 style Winkeyless bottom-row layouts require 1.5u bottom row keys. HHKB layouts on MX keyswitches also require 1.5u modifiers.
I personally build all 60%s, no matter how cheap or expensive with the following bottom row:
1.5u / 1u / 1.5u / 7u / 1.5u / 1u / 1.5u
This bottom row is nice and symmetric. It's aesthetically pleasing.
On TKLs with Winkey blockers, it would be the exact same layout but without the 1u keys.
On HHKB layout, it's 2x 1.5u keys and 2x 1u keys on the bottom row, along with a 6u or 7u spacebar.
On 65% and 75% keyboards I often do the following:
1.25 / 1.25 / 1.25 / 6.25 / 1.5 / 1.5 / arrow cluster
I'm well aware that there are layouts which require 1.5u mods. The initial discussion concerned 65 percent boards, of which there are a precious few that use those. At least when looking at non-custom keyboards, which was kind of my point – if one has an exotic layout, a standard kit probably will not fit. :-)
I'm not saying there is no point to 1.5u mods. I'm sure they have their place in some builds. Me personally I couldn't get by without a Windows key since it's quite essential to Gnome Shell, which is my DE of choice. But I digress. If the Elven kit was made to accomodate for Winkeyless boards, HHKB layouts, one-handed keyboards, the Kinesis Advantage, etc, then the kit would be quite large and quite expensive.
I have designed more kits for more sets (my own and others) than I can name, and Winkeyless + HHKB (Tsangan) kits are always the FIRST kits I add. Historically, within the community, these were also some of the very first non-standard kits to be included in custom sets, and have been in the vast majority of sets since.
When designing any set I always start with the traditional 104 coverage and immediately add Winkeyless support (stepped caps, 7u bar, 1.5 + 1u mods). Even HHKB is not as essential as Winkeyless, though it is a close second. These are the two definitive layouts that if not supported, will negatively affect sales a noticeable amount.
Also, the fact that you mentioned Winkeyless and HHKB layouts with one handed keyboards is ridiculous and irreverent.
The discussion about slippery slopes have now itself gone down a slippery slope. ;-)
I'm not saying the number of tsangan users is equal to the number of kinesis users, merely pointing out the problem of arguing for support of non-standard layout X by adding Y amount of extra keys to a kit.
Winkeyless is arguably quite common. It's still non-standard, the users still in a minority. Last I checked the Elven kit had sold something like 150 units. I doubt catering to tsangan users would push those numbers by any significant amount, at least not enough to justify the increase in cost. The same goes for most GB's, where there's a separate Winkeyless kit to avoid increasing prices of popular kits by adding keys most people don't need.
I was going to say maybe it could've used a separate compatibility kit but the spreadsheet's been updated and it's still only sold 173, I think that's 22 in 5 days. I'm not sure 25 extra kits would sell but it seems like a shame not to try as it's dye sub and the same moulds?
Nope, incorrect. Tsangan kits are one of the few I've found actually heavily affect sales. Again, I've done this over and over for years. It is the most universally used "non standard" kit there is.
A "slippery slope" is talking about caps that only work for 1-2 specialty boards. The Mini-Van, for example, has a few caps that only it really uses. Tsangan is a whole different story.
Tokyo60 just sold 400+ units? More? Other HHKB customs are some of the most popular ones out there already, with many sold (X60, Viper, etc).
Any custom TKL is generally WKL as well. OTD, Jane, Mech27, Skog, etc. There are 3-4 IC/GBs for these each quarter at least.
This isn't even mentioning all the other keybaords that utilize the keys. Finally, being able to resale a set without these keys will also be a lot harder and limit your market. I've made a lot of fairly barebones sets, and weight coverage vs cost for everyone with every kit, and there really is no reason not to include these particular caps.
112 winkeyless kits vs. 1242 base kits. I'd say that's a small minority at best.
Things might have played out differently in the GB you've been involved with. But in this case 173 Elven kits have been sold so far. Including tsangan compatibility in the elven kit would most likely at best result in something like 15–20 additional kits being sold. Maybe that's enough to justify the cost. If so, then MD will probably come to the same conclusion. But it sounds like a low number to me.