Unicomp APL Keyboard

Unicomp APL Keyboard

PostPosted by blake » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:20 pm

As far as I know Unicomp ( pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/adcolkey.html ) is one of the few or only makers of APL keyboards. They aren't bad and they're pretty cheap.


NARS2000 works about 80% with this keyboard. It would be nice if NARS2000 mapped this keyboard correctly (and without the Alt+ key combination requirements, i.e. naitively). Perhaps NARS200 could have a setting to use this mapping.


If this keyboard doesn't map correctly (and requires the special Alt+key combinations all over), what keyboard does NARS2000 support?


Thanks.


Blake McBride


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PostPosted by forummaster » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:18 pm

{72.166}blake wrote:
{72.166}blake wrote:
As far as I know Unicomp ( pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/adcolkey.html ) is one of the few or only makers of APL keyboards.  They aren't bad and they're pretty cheap.

NARS2000 works about 80% with this keyboard.  It would be nice if NARS2000 mapped this keyboard correctly (and without the Alt+ key combination requirements, i.e. naitively).  Perhaps NARS200 could have a setting to use this mapping.

If this keyboard doesn't map correctly (and requires the special Alt+key combinations all over), what keyboard does NARS2000 support?

I'd be happy to support this keyboard. To help me map the keys, I found this diagram -- please let me know if it's up-to-date.

1. If the above diagram isn't up-to-date, please provide a list of what keys aren't mapped properly along with details such as keyname, keystate, expected output symbol, actual output symbol.
2. Even if it is up-to-date, I'll need to know where to put the extra glyphs used in NARS2000 which don't appear in the above diagram -- don't forget about diamond, L/R tacks, etc.
3. What do you mean by "without the Alt+ key combination requirements"? It looks as if this keyboard is like all other APL keyboards in that it has APL symbols marked on the keycaps to indicate which key to press in conjunction with an Alt-key (or in some APL interpreters, an Alt-Gr or Ctrl- key). That is, with every keyboard I know of you must use some state-changing key (Alt-, Ctrl-, etc.) to invoke a non-ASCII APL symbol. FYI, the newest version of NARS2000 supports a Language Bar which makes entering any and all of the APL symbols quite easy using the mouse.

For reference, NARS2000 supports a keyboard layout corresponding to the early APL keyboards used by APL+Win. See this diagram.
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PostPosted by blake » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:18 pm

Using your numbers:



1. The picture is correct.


2. I'll get back to you with that.


3. So, the keys (that map correctly) are working as you intended (via the Alt, Ctl, etc.). It would be really nice if you supported a mode that would make the keyboard work like it used to in the old days. The keyboard was only an APL keyboard. Only the APL characters worked. This way it would be natural and easy for significant APL programming time rather than Alt-this, Alt-Shift-that all the time.


I am using the latest NARS2000. The keys on the top of the window is really great and I like it. I just don't think it's a substitute for a native APL keyboard when doing a lot of APL stuff.


Thanks for a great system!


Blake McBride


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PostPosted by forummaster » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:31 am

{72.170}blake wrote:
{72.170}blake wrote:
3.  So, the keys (that map correctly) are working as you intended (via the Alt, Ctl, etc.).  It would be really nice if you supported a mode that would make the keyboard work like it used to in the old days.  The keyboard was only an APL keyboard.  Only the APL characters worked.  This way it would be natural and easy for significant APL programming time rather than Alt-this, Alt-Shift-that all the time.

I am using the latest NARS2000.  The keys on the top of the window is really great and I like it.  I just don't think it's a substitute for a native APL keyboard when doing a lot of APL stuff.

I agree — it's good for beginners who don't remember where all the keys are (and sometimes for experts, who like me, don't always remember where, say, is). If you know where the symbols are on the keyboard, typing them is much quicker.

If you want to design such a keyboard, I'll see what I can do to implement it. Give me a table of triples

Key Name — Key State (Shift-, Alt-, etc.) — APL Symbol Name
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