Efficient Tengwar input method

Continuing the discussion from Runic keycap layout, as suggested by Jesse, I’m forking off the discussion. To recap: I’d be very interested in helping out with developing a way to input Tengwar efficiently on the Model 01. My Tengwar knowledge is virtually non-existent, but I can offer my help with firmware development, if any such thing may be required.

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A couple of years ago a few people on Geekhack tried to make a Tengwar/Sindarin key cap set but sadly there wasn’t enough interest and the project died. It’s a beautiful design though and I’d love to revive the project if there was enough interest.



@antevens, that looks like an interesting approach — though obviously quite skewed to the left hand. Do you know anything about how they decided on this layout? Were you involved?

I’m afraid I’ve been having to live in the “real world” for the past couple of days. I hope tomorrow to post mock-ups of a couple of different approaches I’ve been mulling over, and I’d love to learn more about what went into the Geekhack project.

Though I’m a long time Tolkien fan and have read all of his work I’m not proficient in Sindarin or Quenya and as such can’t comment on how good/bad the layout is. I was not involved in the design or layout but did a bit of work investigating options for manufacturing.

The biggest issue with manufacturing was that every single key mold had to be custom made and the initial cost was so high that I calculated we needed at least 1000 users to reach a reasonable price point for double shot key caps.

Copyright ought not be an issue.

But the Tolkien Estate does seem to claim intellectual property rights over Tengwar and its commercial use, and their lawyers have sent cease & desist letters to people making money from their use of Tengwar.

Their claim has to my knowledge been untested in court. From what I’ve read, such a claim would probably be thrown out — but the last thing we would want is to expose Jesse and Kaia to a possible law suit.

This Google+ thread is a good place to start tracking down more information about this if anyone’s interested. https://plus.google.com/+AnnaCBelkina/posts/J9S26syWgpK

I need to use Tengwar. But I do not actually need Tengwar key caps. And Keyboardio doesn’t need a law suit — or even a C&D letter.

And so I move we table this idea (as we say in the U.S.) or remove it from the table (as they say in Britain).

Even if you do not need Tengwar key caps, would some firmware-side help be of any use to you? To make inputting Tengwar more efficient? That can be done as an open source library, independent of the Keyboardio firmware (you’d just have to link the two with minimal code), so that would perhaps avoid the Tolkien Estate’s hunt for people making money out of Tengwar. It also wouldn’t be under the Keyboardio label…

I would absolutely love us to end up with eventual support for easy input of Unicode characters, no matter whether they’re in the Unicode-policed space or in vendor space.

To that end, I’d hope that Tengwar and   (pIqaD (Klingon)), would be just a matter of some key layouts :wink:

I’m halfway there. The feature will be limited by the OS: OSX and Linux can input five hex bytes of Unicode, Windows - as far as I remember - does not share this limit.