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Symbolics Keyboard

    Date: Wed, 12 Aug 87 18:14 EDT
    From: Brad Miller <miller@DOUGHNUT.CS.ROCHESTER.EDU>
	Date: Wed 12 Aug 87 00:03:01-CDT
        what exactly IS the philosophy behind the extremely unique
        design of a Symbolics keyboard?
    control, meta, etc. keys actually treated like a SHIFT key (which they are)
    for touch typists is one big plus: EMACS becomes easy. Most keys are
    accessible without shifting the hands too far from the home row, and to get to
    the real outside keys, e.g. abort, function, etc. the keys are nice and
    oversized, so you don't have to look, you can just thunk down in the general
    spot and hit it.
Congratulations on a good job of reverse engineering the considerations
that went into the keyboard design.  What you said is just about what I
remember hearing when I was advising the keyboard designers.  There was
also some rather careful consideration of where each of the function
keys should go, to put as many keys as possible in what would seem like
a natural location.  There was also a strong element of being willing to
pay substantially more to avoid compromising quality on the keyboard.  I
haven't seen current numbers, but I believe our keyboards cost several
times what typical keyboards, e.g. as seen on PC's, cost, even though
there are fewer keys.  I think it's worth it.

    The only complaint I can imagine is the position of the {} keys, which for TeX
    are pretty inaccessible, vs. the pretty accessible and less useful : and
    <backspace> keys

I think the curly brackets are the keys that lost out in the compromises
necessary to get the keyboard to fit in the plane.  Early Symbolics
customers may remember that at one time these keys were one position to
the left of where they are now, and backspace was where } is now.  Unless
your fingers are a foot long, I don't think that would really make the
curly brackets easier to type.

    ... Maybe there's a way to move them?

This isn't documented, and has a good chance of being different in future
products, but if you m-. SI:KBD-MAKE-NEW-TABLE you can see how the key
encoding is done, and you should easily be able to figure out how to
make the logical keyboard layout be whatever you want.