43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

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Jaymos
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by Jaymos » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:37 pm

Jaymos wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:22 pm
DM42 dimensions:
I used my calliper vernier, but the results are not 100% because it is difficult to measure with the buttons in the way. I do not want to take apart the keyboard now, but that is the obvious thing someone must do to get 100% results.

(edited to add rev1 dimension)

Note revision 1 which includes an important measurement.
http://cocoon-creations.com/download/20 ... sions1.pdf
Image
Previous post of 10 minutes ago corrected.
Jaco Mostert
Elec Eng, South Africa
WP34C, HP42S, DM42 for complex math; 35S, 28C, 32Sii, WP34S, EL-506P, EL-W506, FX750P; owned FX702P & 11C; used 67 & 85. iOS: 42s (Byron), Free42, WP31S/34S, HCalc.
43S operators right. DM42 sn. 03818.

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inautilus
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by inautilus » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:49 pm

WOW ... that's a pretty respectable collection of information. I especially like ... really like ... the photos of some of the more obscure models .... very nice! And here I thought that I was getting a bit ardently focused on the subject. Thank you.

The dimensions forwarded are precisely what I need at this point. Thank you ... again.

Am going to reply on more later today ...
D A MacDonald
Mar Eng, Designer, CANADA
HP35, HP41C, HP28S, HP35s. PC: HP15C, Free42, WP31S, WP34S
(Operators Right in bold)
"It is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change ..." Darwin

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inautilus
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout

Post by inautilus » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:06 pm

<QUOTE author="inautilus" post_id="11448" time="1564757835" user_id="1517"><s>
inautilus wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:57 pm
Possible way to go with Menu Keys ... that is visually direct, easy to identify, clean, and more importantly ... uncluttered.

<QUOTE author="inautilus" post_id="11450" time="1564762868" user_id="1517"><s>
inautilus wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:21 pm

The 43 already is in that sweet spot, functionally speaking. Or as said: "a bit of everything is the magic." What I had intended to communicate was that since some of the 43's keys do function to represent menus .... then it might be worth a closer look to see exactly how they are identified/labelled. One could argue that the underlining method may not be optimal visually speaking ... the keyboard might now be tending to be exceedingly cluttered. If this is the case ... then there is another way to cleanly identify/label. Drop any type of underlining and go with a ... 'shaded' 'context box" for the key label to live within. (See HP-28S) I contend that this method of denotation is visually direct, easy to identify, clean, and more importantly ... uncluttered.
<QUOTE author="inautilus" post_id="11679" time="1566019510" user_id="1517"><s>
inautilus wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:25 am
Both versions shown, the layouts with non-bordered shade boxes (as with the HP-42s) ... and the layouts with bordered boxes actually both have a black box as relief/background to the yellow and blue key label text. The challenge here as I see it is to somehow very discretely differentiate the menu keys (labels) from the non menu ones. It is a balancing act between being clearly seen/read ... while at the same time not being too busy and distracting by actually confusing with clutter and by employing ill-considered colour. Its a fine tuning thing ... that CAN be done ... Really Well. All any of us need do is to consider the HP legacy of all of the superbly well designed ... and crafted ... machines of the past.
inautilus wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:46 pm
@Bob - Back to Borders' :D
rprosperi wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:23 am

It's hard to compare them exactly as this last one is larger, but for my (aging) eyes, I can see the versions with borders much more clearly than the black relief w/o borders, due to the low contrast (black on dark brown).
Well Bob, your 'aging eyes' may actually be an asset. The fact is ... that the intended users of this scientific professional tool (the ones that this device has been designed for ...) do not always perform their work in ideal environments or situations. There are often challenges ... not ideal lighting conditions for one. So, it would in fact be very helpful if someone on this end ... like yourself (aging eyes) ... could feed back with a more realistic and credible performance assessment ... as it relates to colours used, clarity/legibility, visual organization, etc, etc.
And so ... I propose that the Borders around the shaded text boxes be kept. I contend that there is a real benefit to many. And, can affirm that any lingering concerns or reservations re visual clutter (maybe ...) can be mitigated or even neutralized by simply dialing back on the border's visibility (brightness). In effect, the borders are there when you need them ... but then seem to melt into the background when you don't. New users facing a bit of a learning curve to this rather sophisticated, scientific, and professional tool will especially find it helpful to more easily navigate and visually link the menus (key labels) with the soft key screen above.

Please see and feed back on the rendered versions below :
R6 - No Border
R6a - Border in place - Original Colour
R6c - Border in place - Muted Colour
(Note there is an R6b ... which is half way between R6a and R6c in brightness ... but I could only upload 3 images per post)

Image

Image

Image
Attachments
R 6 COMPRESSED.png
R6 - No Border
R 6 COMPRESSED.png (243.57 KiB) Viewed 196 times
R 6a COMPRESSED.png
R6a - Border in place - Original Colour
R 6a COMPRESSED.png (243.5 KiB) Viewed 196 times
R 6c COMPRESSED.png
R6c - Border in place - Muted Colour
R 6c COMPRESSED.png (242.49 KiB) Viewed 196 times
D A MacDonald
Mar Eng, Designer, CANADA
HP35, HP41C, HP28S, HP35s. PC: HP15C, Free42, WP31S, WP34S
(Operators Right in bold)
"It is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change ..." Darwin

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Jaymos
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout

Post by Jaymos » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:59 pm

inautilus wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:06 pm
inautilus wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:57 pm
Possible way to go with Menu Keys ... that is visually direct, easy to identify, clean, and more importantly ... uncluttered.
inautilus wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:21 pm
The 43 already is in that sweet spot, functionally speaking. Or as said: "a bit of everything is the magic."
inautilus wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:25 am
... and the layouts with bordered boxes actually both have a black box as relief/background to the yellow and blue key label text.
inautilus wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:46 pm
@Bob - Back to Borders' :D
rprosperi wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:23 am
It's hard to compare ... due to the low contrast (black on dark brown).
And so ... I propose that the Borders around the shaded text boxes be kept. I contend that there is a real benefit to many. And, can affirm that any lingering concerns or reservations re visual clutter (maybe ...) can be mitigated or even neutralized by simply dialing back on the border's visibility (brightness). In effect, the borders are there when you need them ... but then seem to melt into the background when you don't...

R6c - Border in place - Muted Colour
Brilliant.
I think the "magic" is the compromise here,
R 6c COMPRESSED_x.png
R 6c COMPRESSED_x.png (16.93 KiB) Viewed 169 times
the best of both I think: subdued and rounded boxes, and dark shades. I do think the bezel background should be a bit lighter, so that the black shows a tad more. I think it will have to be a balance to have the contrast between brown and black, and between yellow and brown. Maybe with thicker strokes on the fonts that balance may be possible.

Just for the comparison, I mocked up the gamma on the previous excerpt, just for the effect. I think I may have lifted the tone a bit much. Maybe not.
R 6c COMPRESSED_xx.png
R 6c COMPRESSED_xx.png (17.93 KiB) Viewed 169 times
Jaco Mostert
Elec Eng, South Africa
WP34C, HP42S, DM42 for complex math; 35S, 28C, 32Sii, WP34S, EL-506P, EL-W506, FX750P; owned FX702P & 11C; used 67 & 85. iOS: 42s (Byron), Free42, WP31S/34S, HCalc.
43S operators right. DM42 sn. 03818.

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inautilus
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by inautilus » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:48 pm

Bezel a notch lighter :

Image
Attachments
R 6b 33 bezel COMPRESSED.png
R 6b 33 Bezel
R 6b 33 bezel COMPRESSED.png (249.58 KiB) Viewed 158 times
D A MacDonald
Mar Eng, Designer, CANADA
HP35, HP41C, HP28S, HP35s. PC: HP15C, Free42, WP31S, WP34S
(Operators Right in bold)
"It is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change ..." Darwin

rprosperi
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by rprosperi » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:04 pm

The last few (w/lighter bezel) look quite nice.

I've been following this discussion initially more interested in the process than the product, but I've become interested in the product. ;)

I don't feel that this is 'better than' the 43S baseline per se, I've liked and always felt comfortable with Walter's approach, but this bezel on a standard DM42 keyboard does have appeal as well; different, but not notably better or worse. The only real test is to use both of them. 8-)
--bob p

DM42: β00071 & 00282

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Jaymos
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by Jaymos » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:29 am

rprosperi wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:04 pm
The last few (w/lighter bezel) look quite nice.

I've been following this discussion initially more interested in the process than the product, but I've become interested in the product. ;)

I don't feel that this is 'better than' the 43S baseline per se, I've liked and always felt comfortable with Walter's approach, but this bezel on a standard DM42 keyboard does have appeal as well; different, but not notably better or worse. The only real test is to use both of them. 8-)
Glad you like it more now or you are interested ;) . You are right about trying it on the hardware first, but right there lies one problem in that once one is even slightly used or drawn to either, the other one will remain uncomfortable simply because you forever can’t find the mostly used shifted keys, including MODE & DISP. So, there is a good chance that simply due to the semi-familiar layout of only the arithmetic operators, most will choose and not consider the other.

I have for a while now used both 43S and 43C emulators daily, and also the 43C L2 firmware on the DM42 daily, and from my point of view I still struggle to es find the basic keys on the 43S because I am so used to the unofficial layout.

Fact is that different goals were set to achieve either layout, and those goals are/will be achieved and both can work I would say.

Second fact is that the 43C remains a slap-on on the 43S, and that without the thankless work of the 43S dev team, all our dreams of the 43C are just that and all our efforts are for nothing.

Either way, for ease of reference and comparison, I include both template/layout versions, the 43S and 43C L1.

Image
Jaco Mostert
Elec Eng, South Africa
WP34C, HP42S, DM42 for complex math; 35S, 28C, 32Sii, WP34S, EL-506P, EL-W506, FX750P; owned FX702P & 11C; used 67 & 85. iOS: 42s (Byron), Free42, WP31S/34S, HCalc.
43S operators right. DM42 sn. 03818.

Helix
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by Helix » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:36 am

Since I don't own a DM42, I've displayed to scale the last image of the DM43C, along with the DM42 and the HP50g.
I'm surprised to see how small the DM 42/43 is.
On the DM43C, the labels look really tiny! I'm afraid that the nice renderings posted above will be disappointing on the real calculator.

Here is my image (it appears to scale on my 17" screen) :
https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/08 ... 364871.jpg

I don’t think that borders are a good idea at this small scale.
I would remove the borders, and choose a slightly larger font, somewhere between the wide ALPHA label and other labels. There is enough room for that.

Already said above, but red labels on dark faceplate should be avoided.
Light green labels could be tried. The WP34S uses green labels.

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Jaymos
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by Jaymos » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:45 am

Helix wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:36 am
Since I don't own a DM42, I've displayed to scale the last image of the DM43C, along with the DM42 and the HP50g.
I'm surprised to see how small the DM 42/43 is.
On the DM43C, the labels look really tiny! I'm afraid that the nice renderings posted above will be disappointing on the real calculator.

Here is my image (it appears to scale on my 17" screen) :
https://nsm09.casimages.com/img/2019/08 ... 364871.jpg

I don’t think that borders are a good idea at this small scale.
I would remove the borders, and choose a slightly larger font, somewhere between the wide ALPHA label and other labels. There is enough room for that.

Already said above, but red labels on dark faceplate should be avoided.
Light green labels could be tried. The WP34S uses green labels.
Further to Helix's comparison another pic with direct size and brightness adjusted comparison between the DM42 text and the last proposed rendering.
excerpt1.png
excerpt1.png (111.8 KiB) Viewed 119 times
The font change is not to be a simple larger font, but it needs to be a font with a thicker stroke, which will appear "bolder". This is the biggest problem of the current font - stroke width too thin for impact. A standard "bold" typeface may have wide enough stroke, but the letters need to be manually compressed.

In this quick mockup example below I show a normal font (Neue Haas Grotesk), and bold underneath, then I "squashed" it graphically so the squashed bold font now appears thin with thicker strokes.
Screenshot 2019-08-19 at 08.36.53.png
Screenshot 2019-08-19 at 08.36.53.png (88.28 KiB) Viewed 119 times
I don't think the DM42 used a great font to start with and I think we should improve on both.

I don't think green should be used. I had a lot of trouble getting contrast on the WP34C label set I did.
Jaco Mostert
Elec Eng, South Africa
WP34C, HP42S, DM42 for complex math; 35S, 28C, 32Sii, WP34S, EL-506P, EL-W506, FX750P; owned FX702P & 11C; used 67 & 85. iOS: 42s (Byron), Free42, WP31S/34S, HCalc.
43S operators right. DM42 sn. 03818.

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inautilus
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Re: 43S Alternative key layout --> WP43C

Post by inautilus » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:04 am

@Jaymos ...
I have had to reconsider the yellow and blue labels. The thing is ... that no matter what else is going on, the font HAS to be easily read, by everyone, The facts are ... that this particular font may be currently too small for that (both in height and in stroke), the available real estate is severely limiting to accommodate two labels per key, and the text block borders, well, let's just say that this is a close one, and so, and so on. Bottom line is that the font could be sized up a little bit, maybe 10-15% in height, it might be a good thing to utilize some version of bold, and of course it should likely be a true type condensed font. (I have found that overriding by manually compressing usually tends to produce letters with jagged edges on the curves).
So the the borders ... while visually appealing ...well, its a function first, form second kind of thing. I still want them ... but if they were to go, all would still be OK. The menu key differentiation effect can still be achieved by the use of the max black, full gloss text relief background technique (re the HP-42S).

So besides reworking the menu label text fonts, I have also started in on Layout 1. (AutoCAD, turns out, can do a lot ... if you keep picking away at it.)

As an aside, regarding the keys themselves ... would you happen to know the type or class of coating being used to print ...? Thanks in advance.

Lastly, when you get a chance,could you pull out your 35s and look it over. I'm sizing up the fonts on it as a reference ... and would like to know what you see/think. Thanks again
D A MacDonald
Mar Eng, Designer, CANADA
HP35, HP41C, HP28S, HP35s. PC: HP15C, Free42, WP31S, WP34S
(Operators Right in bold)
"It is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change ..." Darwin

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