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newRPL: How about dual soft menus?
09-09-2014, 01:33 PM
Post: #6
RE: newRPL: How about dual soft menus?
(09-09-2014 10:58 AM)David Hayden Wrote:  Some things that I think would make the 50g much more useful:
  • Pressing either shift key would change the soft menu to show the shifted menu function. Now each menu has 18 easily accessible functions. You can then ditch the NXT key.

Showing the change visually is a great idea. I'm not so sure about ditching NXT, since you might want to have more than 18. But that can be the user's choice, if you define less than 6*3 functions then you don't need it, if you want more, NXT will be there, and you can think of it as multiple sets of 15 functions with a quick-swap key.

(09-09-2014 10:58 AM)David Hayden Wrote:  For VARS menu, NXT becomes a soft key

You are very likely to be actually using more than 6 vars (I don't have a single directory with less than that currently), so this is almost the same as permanently assigning NXT to F6, and losing 1 slot in the vars menu. I don't know if this is good.

(09-09-2014 10:58 AM)David Hayden Wrote:  
  • Useful USER mode: pressing USER displays a keyboard map showing the mapped key names. This might be possible only for the top several rows. I've actually worked on this. I call it virtual keyboard overlays.

I don't follow. USR is a shifted key, so you'd have to press the shifted key to get the map? or how?
Then, if we do your first proposition, just by being in user mode the soft menus will already show the function they will do, no?

Now you got me thinking. If we want to get visual hints, then perhaps we can do something like this:
As you said, hitting shift immediately shows the soft menus shifted function. But we can add that pressing and holding shift (long keypress) can temporarily show (in the soft menu area) a hint for the other 3 rows of special functions in the keyboard. Or perhaps we can scroll up and show 3 more rows with hints, which disappear when you press a second key or release the shift.
It would work like this: You know you want to use a shifted function but can't remember the key, so press the shift and start thinking "where was it?" and if you can't remember in 500 ms, the hint will pop up (right before you leave the room to find the manual).
The only problem is: there's no hint for unshifted functions.

New idea: The rise of Alpha
The alpha key is underutilized. It should be as useful as third shift.
For a single keypress, you can use press-and-hold alpha+key. This would allow you to quickly type short text while in other modes, just by keeping Alpha pressed while typing. Then when you release alpha, you remain in the previous mode.
To enter Alpha mode you should press and release alpha. It should lock on single click (not double as the default in the 50g), since the single keypress is provided by press-and-hold.
Once in Alpha mode, press-and-release alpha would switch upper/lower case, but remain in alpha mode. Double click alpha would cancel alpha mode.
When in uppercase mode, press-and-hold alpha + key would do the lowercase, and when in lowercase, it would do upper (this is currently done with the white shift, but why not alpha itself?).
This will make it much easier to type text with mixed case.
So Alpha becomes a third shift, and this releases the white shift in alpha mode for new functions (to be determined!).

If you want a taste of how much better this is, the GUI demo in hpgcc3 already uses this concept of alpha (you can't get out of alpha mode in that case, since it's just for text input).

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RE: newRPL: How about dual soft menus? - Claudio L. - 09-09-2014 01:33 PM

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