# Emacs Keyboard Design 35: Mainstream 96 Key Emacs Keyboard Layout

• Going too far from the mainstream pushes the cost up too high
• Let key do things that Emacs knows how to do well to leverage keyboard firmware

• EasyAVR is great, but stick closer to mainstream with tmk
• Six rows is closer to a common row count, lets you use any type of keycap
• First two rows are unoccupied anyway
• Remove first two rows
• Layers can handle common keys
• Easier to source keycaps using a 104 key donor
• Fine that it isn’t double-shot, deal with wear later
• Balance Fn like the other modifiers
• Makes them easily reachable for handling all F keys
• Fn is only used for Function keys right now, that is fine, simple
• Move Esc to its place
• Good for VI users
• Add a layer below Fn
• Keeping it balanced
• Layer 1 (base is 0) most frequently used
• In the empty row in the middle, add layers
• Still an Emacs keyboard
• Use firmware macros to input Unicode for example Greek-a would send
• M-x ucs-insert RET GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA
• Unlikely to be re-bound
• Hex would be easier
• Layer listing
• 0 Base
• 1 Fn
• 2 Balanced below Fn
• 3-9 Middle row (balanced by location)
• Greek
• APL
• Emoticons
• Faces
• Brackets
• Double-Struck
• Upper
• Lower
• 9 layers
• Perhaps 10th layer can be accessed by double tap
• 96 key layout

## 8 thoughts on “Emacs Keyboard Design 35: Mainstream 96 Key Emacs Keyboard Layout”

1. Hi Grant,

what software do you use for generating the images of the keyboard layout? I plan to blog about my personal layouts for the EK-128 i will (hopefully) get tomorrow.

The layout should have an emphasis on emacs (especially org-mode) and coding, starting with an ordinary german tenkey layout.

1. Grant says:

Hi Andy,

Sincerely,

Grant Rettke

1. You can find my first iteration here: http://remline.de/2016/ThePerfectKeyboard/
Unfortunately Amazon cancelled my first order (out of stock), and the second arrived with a dead sixth row, so I’m waiting for my third EK-128 now which has been sent on Saturday. So it should arrive today.

The Software for programming it is a little “raw”, but it does its job.

1. Grant says:

Thank you for this post!

That is delightful.

Can’t wait to hear more about it’s use.

1. Grant says:

Great to hear and thank you for the link.