Author Topic: Alternate Keyboard Layouts  (Read 15154 times)

Fenrir

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Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« on: May 25, 2011, 01:27:02 AM »
Is anyone here using something other than QWERTY as their keyboard layout? I am considering switching to Dvorak or Colemak, but I would really like to know if it is worth the month of training and all of the customizing that my programs' keybindings will need.

EDIT: I rather failed to specifiy why I want to do it. I am wanting to see someone confirm what I read about the increases in speed that they yield, and I would also like to know if one can go back to using a QWERTY keyboard from time to time without much stumbling, as I will still need to use computers other than my own occasionally.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 03:29:50 AM by Fenrir »

Krice

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 07:20:49 AM »
I think you can type pretty fast with QWERTY so I'm wondering where you need that extra speed anyway. I learned QWERTY without official rules (my fingers learned to know where keys are), so I guess it could be really hard for me to switch to another type of keyboard layout.

siob

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 02:21:41 PM »
I have friends who use dvorak and are very happy with it. they both say typing is less strenuous with dvorak and they make lesser mistakes. where did you hear about dvorak being faster? those two certainly don't type faster then me hehe

i myself switched from qwertz (german) to the 'US alt international' layout.

if i'm not on my PC and have to type with the german layout it's very hard. but at least you can look at the keys if all else fails :)

Fenrir

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 12:54:47 AM »
I think you can type pretty fast with QWERTY so I'm wondering where you need that extra speed anyway.
I type very much like this in all cases, and that includes real-time chatting applications. Being the ruthless pedant as I often tend to be (as you may or may not have noticed), I really could never bring myself to use chatspeak or any chat abbreviations. Of course, chat bred that kind of communication for a reason; it can be frustrating to type out full and complete sentences, especially in gaming environments, so I would be able to use any gain in speed.

I have friends who use dvorak and are very happy with it. they both say typing is less strenuous with dvorak and they make lesser mistakes. where did you hear about dvorak being faster? those two certainly don't type faster then me hehe
From only the most reliable sources of course: random people on the Internet. Searching Google for “qwerty vs dvorak” yields a few articles on it, and there are also a few web applications that accept text input and compare the efficiency at which each layout would compose the text.

i myself switched from qwertz (german) to the 'US alt international' layout.
The Clonk series actually brought to my attention the fact that Y and Z are swapped on the German keyboards (or they are swapped on the American keyboards, depending on how you look at it). Any idea why that is?

if i'm not on my PC and have to type with the german layout it's very hard. but at least you can look at the keys if all else fails :)
Well, if all else fails, I will just switch back. No point in doing it if there is no gain in... well, something.

Krice

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 09:48:15 AM »
Well it looks like you have to sacrifice yourself for us. Now go and try dvorak, o valiant knight!

Ari Rahikkala

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2011, 10:49:12 AM »
I use dvorak. It took a few false starts at first, but I've been dvoraking for several years now. I don't know if it's more efficient... well, it almost certainly is more efficient for coding than the Finnish qwerty, but that's just because of easier access to more kinds of brackets. But it's certainly fun to be able to type words like stewardesses' sweaterdress aftercataracts without feeling one-handed, and while I didn't actually originally switch for any reason other than geek points, when I have to type more than a few sentences at a time in qwerty these days my pinkies wear out really quickly.

I mostly didn't recustomise my keybindings for dvorak, except for a couple of the most often used ones related to window management. Then again I'm luckily an emacs user, and emacs keybindings are generally based more on the key symbol than the key position. It was a little bit of work to learn the new key positions, but they're not any worse in dvorak than they're in qwerty (unlike something like programs that bind ZXC - all of those keys are right-handed and far from each other on dvorak).

Psiweapon

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 08:23:37 PM »
ITT ROFL


[...]

 Being the ruthless pedant as I often tend to be (as you may or may not have noticed), I really could never bring myself to use chatspeak or any chat abbreviations. Of course, chat bred that kind of communication for a reason; it can be frustrating to type out full and complete sentences, especially in gaming environments, so I would be able to use any gain in speed.

[...]


 ;D

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SesquipedalianLoquaciousness

inb4

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitle0t9r68ih

&

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShapedLikeItself
The invisible hand is a lie, the fiendish dogma of the market cultists. Lest the apostasy grows strong, their blood god will devour each and everyone, pious and infidel alike.

Fenrir

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2011, 09:31:09 PM »
Psiweapon right. I type fancy, but I using Dvorak now. Typing slow. Need short sentences.

Be careful with links. TV Tropes ate life.

Can't reply to pirate thread. Can't play MUD. Take forever.

Fenrir

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 04:27:17 PM »
I am starting to wonder if this is worth it.

I think that this might be true: http://www.maenad.net/geek/dvorak/node9.html I may simply be a bad typist.

I never did look at the keys while typing, but I do not recall if I was using the correct fingers.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 04:31:22 PM by Fenrir »

purestrain

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 04:46:51 PM »
Hi,

i'm using the neo-layout (http://neo-layout.org/, http://neo-layout.org/grafik/druckvorlage/neo-druckvorlage.png) ; its optimized for german text but handles english equally or even better then qwertz/qwerty imho. The best thing about it:

There is a total of 6 different layers and the forth layer provides numpad and cursor-keys on the main keys.

Greetings
Michael

Fenrir

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2011, 05:29:43 PM »
That layout looks awesome.

Ari Rahikkala

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 04:04:28 AM »
EDIT: I rather failed to specifiy why I want to do it. I am wanting to see someone confirm what I read about the increases in speed that they yield, and I would also like to know if one can go back to using a QWERTY keyboard from time to time without much stumbling, as I will still need to use computers other than my own occasionally.

Didn't notice this one. Yes, in my experience, you can be a layout polyglot (I'm typing this on qwerty just to see if I've maintained proficiency in fact), but it's difficult to be a perfect one. As in, I'm touchtyping all the way, but it's still a bit slow and clumsy, and I'm making a lot of mistakes. Mostly letter transpositions for some reason - I'm hitting the right keys but I'm used to dvorak's finger drumming pattern, I guess. And it feels weird and pointless to type with my fingers flying all over the keyboard. But it's doable, and if you learned to touchtype properly in the first place, you probably should be able to maintain reasonable proficiency in both. Probably. Not like I have more than one data point here.
* Ari Rahikkala switches to the more familiar and comfortable dvorak, doesn't actually notice his typing speed go back up significantly, but does notice it being easier to type and think at the same time

loom_weaver

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 07:31:26 AM »
Back in the day I taught myself to type in dvorak and got pretty comfortable with it e.g. 60+ wpm.

Eventually I switched back to qwerty for several reasons:
1. I did a lot of programming and some keys e.g. the braces { } were even harder to reach than before
2. I use vim a lot and I had to navigate all the new key combinations.  Typing prose is one thing, retraining your muscle memory for all the keyboard shortcuts in vim is another...
3. I got tired of having to switch back and forth... I often ended up typing on another computer for various reasons and remapping to dvorak wasn't always an option.

If all I had to do was type essays day after day then I would switch to dvorak.  I found that I could type just as fast with less mistakes and muscle fatigue with that layout.  However with coding, I found the slight advantages of dvorak didn't outweigh the disadvantages.

Z

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 09:17:43 AM »
1. I did a lot of programming and some keys e.g. the braces { } were even harder to reach than before

I have noticed that there is a Dvorak variant called Programmer Dvorak. Have you been using it? I think it is supposed to not have this problem.

Quote
2. I use vim a lot and I had to navigate all the new key combinations.  Typing prose is one thing, retraining your muscle memory for all the keyboard shortcuts in vim is another...

I suppose there is some way to configure Vim to use Dvorak for typing and QWERTY for shortcuts, if you care...

Also note that Dvorak is optimized for English, if you write a lot in a language which contains e.g. lots of Z then I think Dvorak is not for you. Myself, I have done some practice on Programmer Dvorak and Colemak, but never got far in it (I have no problems with QWERTY, so no reason to do that either). For a next try I would try Colemak rather than Dvorak (its multilingual capability seems a great idea, and it has easier transition from QWERTY).

Fenrir

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Re: Alternate Keyboard Layouts
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2011, 07:35:03 PM »
I shall be trying Colemak and Programmer Dvorak, and I shall also be practicing with QWERTY, as this experience has made me realize that I was never a very good touch typist with QWERTY. It seems the Germans get one more key than we Pennsylvanians do, so I shall probably try to get my hands on a keyboard with 105 keys eventually in order to try the Neo layout that Micheal uses.