butterstick Tag

2 Articles



tonight

23 Nov 2020

categories: keebs steno
tags: qmk butterstick georgi gergo ergodox

A few things I noticed in practice tonight

  • tapping the OSL key doesn’t let me alt-tab with impunity, but holding it does.

  • my custom nav layer doesn’t support select-all, cut, copy, paste, undo, or redo. I wonder again if I should record the number of times I use a feature in a day, and put those at the front and center.
    oh, also ctrl-backspace (or alt-bsp and cmd-bsp on mac).
    Even if I put my most common commands on the first nav layer, I still need either

    1. (hw, current status) a qwerty keyboard standing by.
      pro: I have it (it’s free)
      con: slow to switch from typing to commanding
      con: BIG desk clutter
      con: need the qwerty keyboard for typing while learning steno
    2. (hw) a macropad (e.g. Butterstick) standing by.
      pro: I have it (it’s free)
      con: slow to switch from typing to commanding
      con: smol desk clutter
      con: need the qwerty keyboard for typing while learning steno
    3. (fw) three or more layers on the georgi.
      pro: I have it (it’s free)
      pro: everything is at my fingertips (it’s quick to switch)
      pro: no clutter!
      con: patience and time to tweak and learn the layers
      con: need the qwerty keyboard for typing while learning steno
    4. (hw) A BIGGER georgi, with more keys to hand (see: Gergo. I think maybe Gergoplex isn’t enough columns).
      pro: it’s a kit I can build myself (another round of custom switches, this time maybe kailh silver?)
      pro: everything is at my fingertips (quick to switch)
      pro: no clutter!
      pro: less need to layer the commands (quicker than switching)
      pro: do not need a qwerty kicking around while I learn steno
      con: hard to program it to be steno sometimes and command sometimes?
      con: I’d need to build my own enclosure for it.
    5. (hw) white tiger option: get an ergodox already (~$350).
      pro: it’s a kit I can configure myself (it does hotswap)
      pro: everything is at my fingertips
      pro: no clutter!
      pro: less need to layer the commands
      pro: do not need a qwerty kicking around while I learn steno
      con: hard to program it to be steno sometimes and command sometimes?
      con: expensive
    6. (sw) learn and develop the Single Stroke commands dictionary in Plover.
      pro: I have it (it’s free)
      pro: VERY easy to reconfigure a broken brief on the fly
      con: need the qwerty keyboard for typing while learning steno
      con: patience and time to tweak and learn the briefs

Options 4 and 5 (Gergo and Ergodox) are similar enough that I can runoff them: With Gergo, I have to design and build the enclosure, and buy keycaps and switches. With Ergodox, I just have to spend ~$280 marginally (and maybe make or buy steno-friendly keycaps). With Gergo, I get to make it look however I want, with Ergodox, no such personalization.

GERGO           ERGODOX
+ personalized  - cost
- kit work      - not personalized

Actually, now that I think about it, the Gergo wouldn’t be a full size qwerty, so I’d be training (1) steno, (2) columnar qwerty, and (3) gergo commands and shortcuts for qwerty. Ergodox loses on customization, but “costs” less in terms of money-work, and wins on me not doing that (3) training.

I’d also point out that the “do not need the qwerty keyboard for typing while learning steno” is not worth nothing.

In the end it’s really down to an ideological choice: do I want to do this retraining of my brain and fingers through software, firmware, or hardware? And even if I do it through software, do I want the greater hardware anyway to speed things along, declutter the process, and/or be more ergonomic for me? (For the record I have yet to experience any RSI…)

I will sleep on it.



milestone

22 Nov 2020

categories: steno
tags: qmk butterstick georgi

Last night / this morning I read a lot about how QMK works with layers. Then I worked up keymaps for both the Butterstick and the Georgi!
The first milestone is complete: I can successfully alt-tab any number of times!

Next milestones:

  • make the nav layer key (and fn layer key) momentary-layers (like OSL, but that didn’t seem to work immediately).

    OSL(layer) - momentarily activates layer until the next key is pressed. See One Shot Keys for details and additional functionality.

    // One-shot layer - 256 layer max
    #define OSL(layer) (QK_ONE_SHOT_LAYER | ((layer)&0xFF))
    

    Defined in quantum/quantum_keycodes.h and used in the action_for_keycode function of quantum/keymap_common.c.

    #ifndef NO_ACTION_ONESHOT
        case QK_ONE_SHOT_LAYER ... QK_ONE_SHOT_LAYER_MAX:;
            // OSL(action_layer) - One-shot action_layer
            action_layer = keycode & 0xFF;
            action.code  = ACTION_LAYER_ONESHOT(action_layer);
            break;
        case QK_ONE_SHOT_MOD ... QK_ONE_SHOT_MOD_MAX:;
            // OSM(mod) - One-shot mod
            mod         = mod_config(keycode & 0xFF);
            action.code = ACTION_MODS_ONESHOT(mod);
            break;
    #endif
    

    which leads to

    #define ACTION_LAYER_ONESHOT(layer) ACTION_LAYER_TAP((layer), OP_ONESHOT)
    ...
    #define ACTION_LAYER_TAP(layer, key) ACTION(ACT_LAYER_TAP, (layer) << 8 | (key))
    ...
    num action_kind_id { ACT_LAYER_TAP = 0b1010 /* Layer 0-15 */ }
    #define ACTION(kind, param) ((kind) << 12 | (param))
    

    Of course all this code is just a bunch of bit shifting!
    Let’s try OSL() one more time, just in case…
    Yeah, it’s probably because I had #define NO_ACTION_ONESHOT in my config.h, huh?
    Nope, OSL still isn’t working on the georgi. Switching to Butterstick to see if it’s a steno mode thing.
    Yes, OSL works on the butterstick. Also, implementing oneshot_layer_changed_user in keymap.c makes it print to the QMK toolbox (I wasn’t seeing those prints from Georgi).
    Switching back to Georgi for one more shot, then I’ll compromise with TG and hope I don’t get in a bad layer state.

    I got it! I had to delete the #define NO_ACTION_ONESHOT, and go into rules.mk (beware there’s one for the keyboard and one for the keymap!) and set NO_TAPPING = no! Now I can use OSL to shift layers.

  • maybe write a custom function like TH(kc1, kc2), where if you tap it sends kc1, and if you hold it sends kc2. For inspiration:

    LT(layer, kc) - momentarily activates layer when held, and sends kc when tapped. Only supports layers 0-15.

    // L-ayer, T-ap - 256 keycode max, 16 layer max
    #define LT(layer, kc) (QK_LAYER_TAP | (((layer)&0xF) << 8) | ((kc)&0xFF))
    ...
    // M-od, T-ap - 256 keycode max
    #define MT(mod, kc) (QK_MOD_TAP | (((mod)&0x1F) << 8) | ((kc)&0xFF))
    

    Since stubbing this out and then playing with my layers quite a bit above, I realized I had an extra blank key next to the media keys, so I no longer need to double up TH(KC_VOLD, KC_MUTE), but maybe it’d be a fun experiment sometime anyway. Another day. Today my nav and media layers work great and I should take some time to practice them (and to practice steno lol).