Poll: Keyboad-Layout Librem 14

@jrial Couldn’t agree more.

+1 for UK. Used both US and UK and I always prefer UK.

1 Like

Added +1 UK

To my knowing there aren’t any language related needs for different keyboard layouts for Finnish and Swedish (Finnish is my native language, and I can speak Swedish too). The letters in use are the same in both languages, and also the official layouts for large PC keyboards seem to be same according to this Swedish Wikipedia article:

For easy comparison, the Swedish and Finnish layouts from the same Wikipedia page. The Finnish (extended) layout (showing also additional characters that can be produced using modifier keys):

Based on the information above, I don’t see a reason for different layouts for Finnish and Swedish. I may have missed something about the matter, though, and would be glad to hear what it is.

1 Like

I’ve seen differences in layouts that have been on the additional characters level (It’s been a while, so details are a bit hazy, and I have no idea why there would be differences but each to its own I guess). And if it’s the “Finnish multilingual” version you linked, I’d be all for it - it’s usable (and active now) and does not lack keys like the Swedish one.

From the manufacturing side, there may not be a difference (depending on details) and a good physical layout (which actually often leave out and do not show all the additional characters - especially when they can change) could be sold as both Finnish and Swedish. Often though, when no attention is paid, assumptions could cause havoc - and I do not want to assume that any language (or region/country) automatically could replace others. For a more potent example, below is my screencapture from the Linux keyboard layout selector that shows very different keyboards beyond the main characters (and different from the wikipedia images). There are possibly a couple of annoying differences for typists, if they are shown on the physical layout.

But, there is also a larger issue. Shown physical layout is always lacking some special and additional characters/variants that the software digital layout bindings has available. It becomes more a matter of taste (and in some cases politics), which characters are shown in the keycaps (think minimum vs. everything, or in between, when region X does not often use some character and does not like when they have to use layouts seemingly of region Y which has that shown). There are obvious differences and then there are less obvious. And I’m not even touching the variants that all or most languages have.

Also, what we can use should not be mixed with what we’d like to have produced, marketed and verified. On a side note, I doubt the feasibility of any of us Nordics (or many other smaller groups) getting a specific keyboard and already floated the idea of stickers as the L14 images seem to have enough buttons for a usable layout. They are one way to do it, but this all would be much easier if the keycaps could be changeable - a design for an international market.

Often though, when no attention is paid, assumptions could cause havoc - and I do not want to assume that any language (or region/country) automatically could replace other’s.

You make good points in your comment, but in the case of standard Swedish and Finnish keyboards I think there’s no danger of replacing anything. Finland has two national and official languages: Finnish and Swedish. The letters in the alphabet are the same in both languages, and users of both languages use the same keyboard layout. If you are a Finn, either Finnish speaking or Swedish speaking, you use exactly the same keyboard. They don’t sell different keyboards for the Swedish speaking people in Finland, neither do Swedish speaking Finns order their keyboards from Sweden. The two languages are very different, but as I said, they use exactly the same alphabet.

Here’s more visual confirmation about the matter (from Keyshorts.com). The Finnish keyboard layout:
The Swedish keyboard layout:

The situation is different between Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Their languages are very close, but because their alphabet differ slightly, they also have a little different keyboard layouts. The differences are minimal, though. You can easily use any of those keyboards if you can use one. Here’s the standard Danish layout for comparison:

And if it’s the “Finnish multilingual” version you linked, I’d be all for it - it’s usable (and active now) and does not lack keys like the Swedish one.

“Finnish multilingual” is not a different keyboard, but a character layout standard. What you saw are not additional keys, but just additional characters printed to some of the same old keycaps to help your memory. Because “Finnish multilingual” is a software thing, you don’t have to buy a new keyboard, but just change a setting in your computer (if your operating system supports it – new Linux distributions do, but I don’t know about Windows (you may have to install a file)). The standard doesn’t alter anything that’s in the older, more concise standard, but adds easier ways (using Alt Gr key) to type some punctuation marks and a few characters in the minority languages of Finland and other European languages. The additional printed characters on the keycaps are of course handy, especially if you often need to write languages other than Finnish, Swedish or English. “Finnish multilingual” is (unsurprisingly) a Finnish standard (SFS 5966), but because Swedish is an official language in Finland, the standard is of course fully compliant with writing Swedish. I don’t know if there’s a similar standard in Sweden, but if there isn’t, I’d think many Swedes might find this Finnish standard useful, especially combined with a keyboard that has the additional markings printed on the keycaps.

I think the idea of changeable keycaps is very good.

I seem to have misused layout in stead of character map which adds to confuse - we’re partly talking about the same. I’m not saying they couldn’t be substitutes, just that there are differences: see the image of the standard character maps. The main characters will match but some additional will not. Hence, manufacturer needs to research, verify and decide which to show - a balancing act for sure (show too many, will help others but make it irritating for others, show too few and users become irritated that they can’t remember where some rarer characters are). This could also apply to other languages (cover multiple character maps with one layout).

I remember there was some company developing miniature displays to use as keycaps on mechanical keyboard. I wonder if there’s an e-ink variant in development somewhere that could some day solve much of this… Oh.

1 Like

hi folks! :smiley:

1st hungarian noob here x’D (probably no chance; i would like it only cuz of making it more wide-spread around here, not cuz my needs)

isnt there a more or less universal solution?

like i think its mostly about the number of keys (and maybe their layout may vary a bit) and the rest is like putting the right caps to the right place, while printing onto them isnt a big issue if once it would be made to be possible…

lcd keys?

using the keyboard of some big vendor that can provide multiple layouts kinda much any time?


bests! :slight_smile:

Anyone interested in a configurable ortholinear keyboard? :slightly_smiling_face: That way everyone gets to do their own layout without favour over which bigger keys go where (please don’t rubbish or dismiss the idea of an ortholinear keyboard if you haven’t tried using one exclusively for at least a week).

Buyers could opt to receive a ready-to-use out-of-the-box version or opt to receive the laptop with a separate set of yet-to-be-attached keycaps (suited to one’s primary language).

1 Like

Lots of ideas have already been put up.

Not very durable. Keyboards take a pounding. On my keyboard quite a few keys no longer have anything on them but I mostly touch type so it doesn’t matter. I consider it a security feature. :slight_smile:

Engraved or injection molded is much better.

You can also buy vinyl printed stickers.

I think that one area that is painful with any remapping solution is early boot i.e. you can remap in your installed Linux but you still have to contend with changing BIOS settings and Live Boots etc. which you have to operate with a keyboard where keys don’t do what the keycap says.

There is a lot to be said for remapping in low level hardware so that the keyboard “just works”, without remapping at a myriad of higher levels.


If that works for you, more power to ya. I can tell you without even trying one, however, that it’s not for me.

See, I’m pretty promiscuous when it comes to my computer use: I work on more than one computer. And not all of them (especially the laptops that I already own) can be easily converted to an ortholinear layout due to lack of ortholinear keyboard replacements.

Furthermore, apart from being promiscuous, I also don’t believe in being faithful. I regularly use other people’s computers as well. Don’t worry, it’s all ethical: everyone involved is aware and gives their consent. They don’t give their consent to converting their keyboards to ortholinear though, for some it’s just a tad too kinky. And I’m in no position to demand they do just to appease my weird appetites.

So unless I want to have to change the way I type every time I switch between computers, ortholinear is not for me. :wink:

1 Like

As a user whose primary keyboard uses a fr_FR layout, this seems like an acceptable compromise. AZERTY has a little bit of a difference between it and the en_US layout with the left and right shift representing different functions so one would hope that can be handled appropriately by the operating system. I can’t speak for other languages and layouts but if one could achieve a close replica to the standard AZERTY layout, I would be content.

even m$ … lol

yeah but if you did, it might be more difficult for others to fingerprint you :crazy_face:

Hi ajlok,

Did you by chance get any info from purism as to how many preorders they would need to be able to offer a specific keyboard layout ?

An alternative question would be whether they would be able to offer the additional purchase of a layout for self replacement ? Due to the rather high price tag and the resulting number of units to be sold I would expect this laptop to also be based on a customized barebone/barebone components whose producer offers multiple language layouts - such as the Clevo-barebone-based laptop I am writing this post on. So maybe this is an option as well ?

I’m not in contact with Purism regarding that topic. Just expecting somebody of Purism is following it. That way it would help the community and Purism. Perhaps somebody like @mladen might have an idea?

Add me for the UK layout. (I was just about to compose my order when I discovered that there was no other layouts than US.)

Done. Added +1 UK

1 Like

If I could wish for something on this subject it would be that Purism would just have the manufacturer design the laptop to allow a Thinkpad replacement keyboard to be installed in it. Everyone could choose their own layout then for cheap off ebay :smiley: (And we would get the Trackpoint)

1 Like

I am very much in doubt about buying with a US keyboard. Will I miss a key when writing Norwegian or Danish? I have spent some moments on looking at layouts and reflecting on this, but I find it hard to become certain. It seems to me that I will be one key short. Can someone help me clarify this?