22 votes

Topic deleted by author

28 comments

  1. [14]
    clone1
    (edited )
    Link
    I used dvorak until about 2 months ago, when I switched to colemak because dvorak overuses the right pinky. I like both of these layouts more than qwerty. Heavily used keys are on the home row,...

    I used dvorak until about 2 months ago, when I switched to colemak because dvorak overuses the right pinky.

    I like both of these layouts more than qwerty. Heavily used keys are on the home row, which means less hand movement and fatique.

    I would recommend colemak over dvorak, as it's basically a straight upgrade. Dvorak is leaps and bounds better than qwerty, but it was developed by manual analysis while colemak used computers to find optimal letter positions. One of the biggest issues with dvorak is that l and s are both on the right picky, which is one of the weakest fingers, and they are heavily used keys. This is especially bad when typing commands like "ls -la" on Linux.

    In addition, colemak keeps the qwerty positions of z, x, c, and v, making some keyboard shortcuts more convenient.

    Alternative keyboard layouts will never be as popular as qwerty; it's like the Facebook problem. People are on Facebook because their friends are on Facebook. They won't fully switch to an alternative because what's the point of a social network without your friends?

    Similarly, even though qwerty is objectively worse than dvorak, colemak, and workman, it will continue to be used because everyone uses it. It's a pain to use a layout that isn't on your work/school/friend's computer and isnt considered when choosing default keybinds.

    20 votes
    1. [11]
      geosmin
      Link Parent
      How difficult is it to temporarily have your brain switch back to qwerty when using another keyboard?

      How difficult is it to temporarily have your brain switch back to qwerty when using another keyboard?

      7 votes
      1. [9]
        NessY
        Link Parent
        Yeah see I wonder about this. I type a lot for my job and I'm not sure I could flip between them every day like that. Then you talk about the phone keyboard and I imagine that you would just use...

        Yeah see I wonder about this. I type a lot for my job and I'm not sure I could flip between them every day like that. Then you talk about the phone keyboard and I imagine that you would just use querty so much that anything else would just be a trouble to force yourself to use.

        2 votes
        1. [6]
          Parliament
          Link Parent
          While I don't use Dvorak or other alternative layouts, I have an ergonomic keyboard with some pretty major differences compared to a normal QWERTY keyboard. It took me about 2 weeks before I was...

          While I don't use Dvorak or other alternative layouts, I have an ergonomic keyboard with some pretty major differences compared to a normal QWERTY keyboard. It took me about 2 weeks before I was completely comfortable typing on it. Haven't looked back since, and that was almost 3 years ago.

          As far as I know, you can change your mobile keyboard to Dvorak, so you don't have to worry about switching back and forth depending on the device. The only time I have a problem is the rare occasion when I need to type on a co-worker's machine or my wife's laptop - I imagine that would be a lot worse if the layout were Dvorak instead of an alternate version of QWERTY.

          3 votes
          1. [5]
            NessY
            Link Parent
            Yeah that's an interesting looking keyboard there. I feel like so much of the world is built around qwerty you would constantly be bumping into awkwardly typing back in qwerty.

            Yeah that's an interesting looking keyboard there. I feel like so much of the world is built around qwerty you would constantly be bumping into awkwardly typing back in qwerty.

            1 vote
            1. [4]
              Parliament
              Link Parent
              I've pretty much built my life around avoiding standard keyboards (even though this one is technically QWERTY) because I have carpal tunnel. My employer paid for this keyboard and another kind to...

              I've pretty much built my life around avoiding standard keyboards (even though this one is technically QWERTY) because I have carpal tunnel. My employer paid for this keyboard and another kind to travel with, then I paid for a cheaper, refurbished version of the Advantage for home so I don't have to lug one back and forth from the office.

              My main issue isn't the keyboard layout, it's the necessity of mobile usage and having very few options in terms of ergonomic accommodations outside of speech to text (which isn't always feasible when trying to maintain privacy) and voice commands. I've been able to reduce my workday phone usage by remote accessing my personal laptop (Mac) from my work laptop so I can respond to most people texting me using iMessage.

              I think these keyboards are a good medium without giving up on QWERTY. Makes my typing effortless but doesn't force me to learn something totally different that could cause confusion when typing on a standard keyboard. I still use the built-in keyboards on my personal laptops when not sitting in front of the screen for an extended period of time, and the difference isn't enough to be a big problem. The laptop keyboards are somewhat easier than crappy Dell keyboards my co-workers have at work too.

              1. [3]
                NessY
                Link Parent
                Yeah I don't know that I would go all in with the crazy setup you have personally, but definitely could use something a little more ergonomic. My biggest hang up is I use a lot of the alternative...

                Yeah I don't know that I would go all in with the crazy setup you have personally, but definitely could use something a little more ergonomic.

                My biggest hang up is I use a lot of the alternative keys like screenshots and stuff for my job and I've gotten to used to the layout of all those weird keys on this particular keyboard that I'm years faster than most people just based on muscle memory. Also it must be portable so a lot of the big cushy bent keyboards just wouldn't work. Likewise the work laptop has pretty few usb slots so the logitech unifying receiver for teh mouse and keyboard helps a lot.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  Parliament
                  Link Parent
                  I totally get that. Part of the learning curve for me was reprogramming a bunch of macros/shortcuts, and the Advantage had a pretty good interface for doing that. Re: USB ports, one cool thing...

                  I totally get that. Part of the learning curve for me was reprogramming a bunch of macros/shortcuts, and the Advantage had a pretty good interface for doing that. Re: USB ports, one cool thing about the Advantage is that it has 2 extra ports on the underside plus a modem port for connecting a foot pedal, which I use to toggle things like the number keypad. I have 2 of these ergonomic mice (one for home, one for the office), and I keep the dongle for the home one plugged into my Advantage keyboard at all times. Just my $0.02.

                  Are you looking for solutions to a certain problem or just exploring ways to be more efficient?

                  1. NessY
                    Link Parent
                    Just hopping in the conversation and considering it for myself. No real issue with my current setup just always been interested in them.

                    Just hopping in the conversation and considering it for myself. No real issue with my current setup just always been interested in them.

                    1 vote
        2. [2]
          vegetablesupercargo
          Link Parent
          Wait, would you not be able to switch at work as well as at home?

          Wait, would you not be able to switch at work as well as at home?

          1. NessY
            Link Parent
            Well at first I was wondering if work would allow you to swap things over but I imagine it's supported in windows already no? I just imagine running into qwerty somewhere.

            Well at first I was wondering if work would allow you to swap things over but I imagine it's supported in windows already no? I just imagine running into qwerty somewhere.

            1 vote
      2. vegetablesupercargo
        Link Parent
        I've used Dvorak exclusively on my computers for 20 years now, but obviously have to use QWERTY on other people's (probably once or twice a month, on average). Switching from QWERTY back to Dvorak...

        I've used Dvorak exclusively on my computers for 20 years now, but obviously have to use QWERTY on other people's (probably once or twice a month, on average).

        Switching from QWERTY back to Dvorak takes no brainpower. It's immediate and effortless.

        Switching to QWERTY requires a bit of mental effort. Sometimes it takes a second or two to get into it, but not always. I think never more than 3 seconds. After the initial second or two, it's smooth-sailing. I think my typing speed in QWERTY has probably dropped about 10% or so since the days when I used it all the time, but that's not too too bad.

        However, I do make more mistakes with uncommon keys in QWERTY now. In particular, I commonly make mistakes with the =+, [{ and ]} keys when typing in QWERTY :(

        1 vote
    2. jwr
      Link Parent
      I used colemak for about six months or so, but switched back to qwerty because I couldn't deal with having to switch back whenever I used someone else's computer. Colemak was much, much more...

      I used colemak for about six months or so, but switched back to qwerty because I couldn't deal with having to switch back whenever I used someone else's computer.

      Colemak was much, much more comfortable to type with though. The keys are in much better positions, it seemed as if for most words I could just roll my fingers over they keyboard to type them as opposed to having to pick around the keyboard for the keys. It's surprisingly different. I've thought about switching back but haven't made the jump just yet because it took me a couple weeks last time to get back to normal typing speeds, and I can't really deal with that at work right now.

      3 votes
    3. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. clone1
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I would highly recommend not changing your keys at all while learning. Print out a picture of the layout to look at when you need to find a key. You don't want to make looking at your keyboard a...

        I would highly recommend not changing your keys at all while learning. Print out a picture of the layout to look at when you need to find a key.

        You don't want to make looking at your keyboard a habit, and learning to type colemak on qwerty labeled keys is a great way to make sure you don't.

        Once you are proficient with the layout you can do whatever you want. Hopefully you shouldn't need to label your keys, but if you want to do it for asthetic reasons you can buy stickers online.

        I use a mechanical keyboard with Germanic runes printed on the keys so Its not really layout specific.

        6 votes
  2. [5]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    I think the short story for why Dvorak isn't popular is that QWERTY was already widespread at the time of Dvorak's inception, and there has not been a great reason to change the QWERTY trend in...

    I think the short story for why Dvorak isn't popular is that QWERTY was already widespread at the time of Dvorak's inception, and there has not been a great reason to change the QWERTY trend in favor of Dvorak for a very long time. Now that we are in the age of the keyboard, when things can be easily customized and layouts have different benefits and drawbacks than they did thirty years ago, we may see a greater reason to switch from QWERTY, but for most people, it's still pointless. Either they don't type enough to care, or they're plenty fast enough on QWERTY to feel happy with their efficiency. In my experience the largest driving factor to push people towards Dvorak, Colemak, Workman, or any other layout, is reducing or preventing pain, not for efficiency or speed, although your mileage may vary.

    A lot of people also only use their phones for typing and changing a keyboard layout on the phone is largely pointless.

    However, I use Colemak on my phone, which like I said, is pointless considering the way we type on cell phones (with our thumbs), but it's helped me learn the layout in anticipation for my new keyboard.

    As others have said, Dvorak and Colemak are very good layouts for reducing or preventing repetitive strain injury, or RSI, and my understanding is that it does this by limiting the amount of travel your wrists have to do when typing. They are also more efficient in the sense that your fingers travel less distance between keys to complete any given amount of text. So QWERTY may require you fingers to travel the equivalent of 3 miles between keystrokes to write War and Peace, whereas Dvorak or Colemak are going to be in the .3 mile range. (That's not a factual statistic for War and Peace specifically, but I did read a paper where those were the numerical differences measured between layouts on some book, I just don't remember which one)

    Okay, so Dvorak and Colemak are better than QWERTY because they make you hurt less when you type for a long time. Neat. They're also more efficient, therefore (possibly) faster for you, so that's another plus.

    But wait, there's more...

    I ordered a Planck keyboard awhile ago because I was itching for a new DIY mechanical keyboard and I loved the Planck's ortholinear design and 40% layout. A keyboard this small also has an interesting benefit:

    It reduces or prevents RSI in the same way that Dvorak or Colemak do, but doesn't rely on a keyboard layout to do so.

    You can see in this video what I am talking about. Every key is within reach on a board like this, so the movement needed to complete each keystroke is minimized, regardless of whether or not you are using QWERTY or Dvorak.

    So, if you're thinking about taking up Dvorak for reasons dealing with pain or RSI, you may want to check out a smaller keyboard first, or even some of the split ergonomic keyboards that are popular these days.

    Now why am I bothering to learn Colemak on this tiny keyboard if the size and layout of the keyboard itself already prevents a lot of strain? Well, the answer is efficiency. Dvorak and Colemak were created to be efficient, and I can't say for sure which is more efficient for you, but for me, especially after analyzing a huge sample of text that I have written over the years it became obvious to me that Colemak was going to be my best bet for efficiency, which is why I've bothered to write out this long comment about a layout I don't use and a keyboard I haven't received yet.

    14 votes
    1. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        Thanks! If you're going to get a Planck, you'll also need switches and some keycaps. You'll also probably want to learn how to re-program your keyboards layout using its QMK firmware. This is all...

        Thanks!

        If you're going to get a Planck, you'll also need switches and some keycaps. You'll also probably want to learn how to re-program your keyboards layout using its QMK firmware. This is all totally doable by someone who has never built a keyboard or written code before, but if you have any questions let me know and I will try to help you out.

        1 vote
    2. [3]
      NessY
      Link Parent
      It's interesting you mention so much about the phones. I actually use Swype to type on my phone which predicts the words you mean by the pattern of the trail you make while sliding over the...

      It's interesting you mention so much about the phones. I actually use Swype to type on my phone which predicts the words you mean by the pattern of the trail you make while sliding over the letters. I love it compared to the regular thumb pecking because my thumbs are huge and broad and the biggest issue with it is when you slide a word slightly sloppy and it predicts you meant something else. I wonder if having the more commonly used letters all in the middle would create too many "similar" words and it losing predictive power.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        I could definitely see that being the case, and although I don't use it myself, I could imagine Swype was built with QWERTY in mind, which is totally fair on their part. Is Swype a replacement for...

        I wonder if having the more commonly used letters all in the middle would create too many "similar" words and it losing predictive power.

        I could definitely see that being the case, and although I don't use it myself, I could imagine Swype was built with QWERTY in mind, which is totally fair on their part.

        Is Swype a replacement for your phones stock keyboard? Or can you use it on top of whatever keyboard you choose?

        If it's just a layer above your phone's keyboard, you can almost certainly change your keymap to Dvorak or Colemak and then try it with Swype. It might even be better, who knows?

        1. NessY
          Link Parent
          Yeah it's a typing style that just allows for the single press typing of entire words. You place your finger on the first letter and slide it through the other letters. It traces the pattern you...

          Yeah it's a typing style that just allows for the single press typing of entire words. You place your finger on the first letter and slide it through the other letters. It traces the pattern you slid and identifies the points which you change direction and the letters you cover on the path between. It then looks at the pattern and best tries to identify which word you were trying to type. It combines the learning of which words you normally use but it's faster than pecking with your finger/thumbs because you don't have to land on the exact letter you just slide to the general area. It's very effective for common sayings and words but not great for things you don't use very often because it normally suggests something more common first. Essentially it suffers the same as all predictive but when you're used to swyping it can make you very slow at pecking. Additionally it has other similar options available on the suggestion bar right above the keyboard. For me it's way faster, and I do believe I could use it above a dvorak layout, I just think the way that it suggests words might take a hit that makes it actually slower overall because of the more words that it fails to identify on the first try.

          Might give it a try though just to check. Though it will definitely be slower at first due to my lack of muscle memory on where keys are on that layout.

          1 vote
  3. [2]
    pseudolobster
    Link
    I use it. It's unpopular because of inertia, and qwerty not being bad enough to get people to change their habits. It's better than qwerty in several ways, but it's not as revolutionary as some...

    I use it. It's unpopular because of inertia, and qwerty not being bad enough to get people to change their habits.

    It's better than qwerty in several ways, but it's not as revolutionary as some people make it out to be.

    I use it because in my late teens / early twenties I had been typing long enough with bad form that I started to develop repetitive strain injuries. The biggest thing dvorak ever did for me is force me to use correct touch-typing using the home row rather than doing the six-finger ninja-hunt-and-peck method I learned for qwerty.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. pseudolobster
        Link Parent
        It was easier than I thought. It took a week or two to fully memorize the layout and start building muscle memory. Within a month I was up to my Qwerty speed or faster. Mind you, I had bad habits...

        It was easier than I thought. It took a week or two to fully memorize the layout and start building muscle memory. Within a month I was up to my Qwerty speed or faster. Mind you, I had bad habits in Qwerty. I started learning to type when I was like 6, and they didn't have typing classes in school until a decade later. By then I had developed bad habits and couldn't force myself to use the home row, use the correct finger for the correct key, etc.

        4 votes
  4. vegetablesupercargo
    Link
    I use Dvorak. I like it very much.

    I use Dvorak. I like it very much.

    1 vote
  5. hook
    Link
    Used Dvorak, later moved onto Neo2 because it had special characters I needed. Now am considering creating my own ergo layout to suit my needs.

    Used Dvorak, later moved onto Neo2 because it had special characters I needed. Now am considering creating my own ergo layout to suit my needs.

    1 vote
  6. rain1
    Link
    Yes, and I love it! It is so much more comfortable to type with. I have caps lock bound to switch between dvorak and qwerty to help type in passwords.

    Yes, and I love it! It is so much more comfortable to type with.

    I have caps lock bound to switch between dvorak and qwerty to help type in passwords.

    1 vote
  7. lol
    Link
    I'm trying to get into it but the problem is it screws up all of my keyboard shortcuts and basically makes vim, which I need for my job, practically unusable. Is there a way to use dvorak for...

    I'm trying to get into it but the problem is it screws up all of my keyboard shortcuts and basically makes vim, which I need for my job, practically unusable. Is there a way to use dvorak for typing but keep the same keyboard shortcuts as qwerty without going through and individually remapping everything?

  8. shukanimator
    Link
    I was just watching the documentary California Typewriter and I was really surprised to learn that QWERTY was the layout used on the first mass-produced typewriter. I always wondered why such an...

    I was just watching the documentary California Typewriter and I was really surprised to learn that QWERTY was the layout used on the first mass-produced typewriter.

    I always wondered why such an inefficient layout became the norm, and now I know it's because everyone was just too excited about how much better typing was than handwriting. By the time anyone got around to re-thinking the layout the train had long since left the station.

  9. samhh
    Link
    I'm giving Dvorak a try at the moment using this online trainer. I started 15 mins ago and am currently at a measly 10WPM. I'm using Qwerty to write this comment and won't be permanently switching...

    I'm giving Dvorak a try at the moment using this online trainer. I started 15 mins ago and am currently at a measly 10WPM.

    I'm using Qwerty to write this comment and won't be permanently switching for a while. I learned Qwerty alongside some bad habits, so my plan is to keep pushing at this trainer until I get to around 50WPM with good form and without needing to check the keys, then consider swapping over permanently.

  10. alexandria
    Link
    I started using workman layout a while back, but I had trouble with vim. I wanted to set it so that I could switch between "qwerty in normal mode" and "workman in insert mode" while setting my...

    I started using workman layout a while back, but I had trouble with vim. I wanted to set it so that I could switch between "qwerty in normal mode" and "workman in insert mode" while setting my keyboard to workman for everything else. IIRC it was initially relatively easy, but the switch was kind of painful. So I gave up. It might be worth trying that again though.