Keyboardio without programming knowledge


I am interested in getting a split ergonomic keyboard but have been back and forth a lot between the Keyboardio Model 01 and Ergodox EZ Glow.

From what I have read the Keyboardio is the winner on ergonomics but with some associated downsides. (Key caps are custom so costlier to replace and have less options, embedded palm wrest makes the keyboard quite big and heavy, fewer keys so more reliance on layers and chording etc)

However, the main concern I have is about GUI only programmability, it seems like most people coming to keyboards such as this have a programming background. I myself don’t know how to program, I mostly use excel, type documents and game.

Ergodox seems to have many tried and tested options out there customising the keyboard without the need to program. Is the current Alpha build of Chrysalis good enough and reliable for someone who can’t code to get very good use out of the Keyboardio compare to say the various options for Ergodox.

The current version of Chrysalis is quite usable, I believe. It has some rough edges, there are things which could be made easier, but you can rearrange keys and change colors. You can’t make macros (yet), only simple chords like Alt+Ctrl+Del or Shift+Tab and similar. There are a fair number of people who have used Chrysalis with great satisfaction, so much so that we’re about to promote it from alpha to beta.

With that said, I must also add that there’s a huge difference between how the ErgoDox EZ configurator and how Chrysalis work. The EZ configurator compiles a firmware for you, which you then need to flash (but there are GUIs to help you with that, mind you). Chrysalis, on the other hand, talks directly with the keyboard, and any changes you make, are live as soon as you save them onto the keyboard - no flashing necessary.

We’re also continously working on making Chrysalis better, so even if it can’t do something today, it very well might be able to do that in the not too distant future.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply.

Its reassuring that the main developer of Chrysalis is so engaged with the community.

Looks like the software should be good for my needs. I don’t use macros nearly as much as I should so while it will be nice when the support getting added for now its no issue.

Chrysalis is brilliant - if you haven’t seen the topic comparing EZ with M01, do have a look: Comparing KeyboardIO M01 and Ergodox EZ

As a regular community dev contributor on Chrysalis, I’ll tell you that right now yes, there are things that EZ configurator can do at the moment that Chrysalis can. However, those differences are going to start fading away pretty quickly. I think once some of us get more time to put to it again, it will surpass the capabilities of EZ configurator in a way that I just don’t think they are even concerned with implementing.

Thanks Nick and Tre, I have indeed looked through the comparing thread, some interesting reading.

I look forward to using Chrysalis when the current issues are resolved.

It certainly looks promissing but there seem to be a major issue at least for some of us, which prevents trying it out in the first place.

Having said that, I am very aware of the amount of work which goes into this and other open source projects and I am not complaining at all. But - on the other hand - I am looking forward to the moment I can set up my new Model 01 with Chrysalis. (I am a bit hesitant starting to use my Arduiono IDE and work my way through the configuration files, so I hoped to be able to use Chrysalis.)

I’m really sad to hear the issues people are having right now. Sadly, Algernon and I are pretty much the only devs working on it and we’ve both been a bit busy lately.

I’ve tried to reproduce the issue and haven’t been able to yet. Though the next thing I was going to work on is better error handling, so maybe that would at least help us get better insights.

1 Like

There are two 0.50 versions. One downloads as Chrysalis-0.5.0+94.dmg (for MacOS), the other downloads as Chrysalis-0.5.0.dmg (no “+94”). The +94 version is problematic and gave me the same issue others reported. The plain 0.5.0 version is great, does not have that issue, works perfectly.

The problematic +94 version downloads from “https://kaleidoscope-builds” etc., the good version downloads from “https://github-production-release” etc.

Chrysalis is a wonderful application, just great for folks like me who don’t know anything about programming to help us get the most out of our terrific Keyboardio keyboards.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for that update!

Brief testing this morning seems to indicate that mensore is correct, the plain 0.5 version seems to be working correctly.

Note the +0.94 version that was not working was taken from here

Windows EXE Latest

The standard 0.5 version I took from here

For the actual download scroll down to the bottom of the page

I will test more thoroughly over the weekend.

Indeed. I did a quick check with this version with my new Model 01 on Linux and succeeded in doing a firmware update. Also the other menu options are available now.

Thanks a lot for that hint!