Colemak: Dvorak is so last century

Comments specifically about typing on TS keyboards, and about key layouts.

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Colemak: Dvorak is so last century

Postby fubar » 23 Apr 2011, 18:37

Anybody tried this layout? It's an incremental improvement over Dvorak, but a worthwhile one I think.

http://colemak.com/

I've been just getting started with it -- I've only just got past the home row, but I like it so far. Some of the more significant differences are removal of one or two Dvorak key placement warts, rearrangement so that the left hand does a bit more work, and as a bonus, fewer changes over the QWERTY layout so that it's easier to learn. The latter seems to have been achieved at no significant cost in finger efficiency -- most of the keys that don't move were either already in good positions or were on the bottom row. The Dvorak-Colemak improvement is certainly far smaller than the QWERTY-Dvorak improvement, and there are design trade-offs to be selected, but I like most of the decisions Mr. Coleman has made.

I've always been reluctant to switch to Dvorak because it seemed to me that it wasn't based on a very thorough rational optimisation. If I'm going to go to all that effort of learning a new keyboard layout, I want it to be pretty close to optimal for me.

As a fairly quick QWERTY typist (94wpm is my record on typeracer.com on a normal keyboard -- great fun, BTW), I like the learning advantage over Dvorak, and the combination of people's reports of reduced finger pain and the removal of my doubt over the rationality of the Dvorak design has tipped the balance for me.

Why not give it a go? If we learn at the same time we could get a fingerfans Colemark typeracer.com competition going :-)
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Re: Colemak: Dvorak is so last century

Postby TorbenGB » 06 May 2011, 14:14

Hey I didn't know about Typeracer, that was a fun exercise! :-) I got just under 60 wpm in English and 300 cpm in Danish (my native language). That was on a normal keyboard; I'm sure my speed is abysmal on TSLP but for me it's about comfort rather than speed, so the comparison doesn't really make much sense.
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Re: Colemak: Dvorak is so last century

Postby TorbenGB » 01 Apr 2014, 11:03

Colemak is nice and all, but there's an even better layout, proven by statistical evaluation. It's called the Workman layout and it looks interesting.

My biggest concerns are a lack of international characters, and lack of OS support. Of course Linux has it covered, but Windows and Android ... not so much.
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Re: Colemak: Dvorak is so last century

Postby nomaded » 10 Apr 2014, 06:25

The lack of OS support is one of the reasons why, years ago, I decided to learn Dvorak instead of Colemak. Sure, it's not as big of a concern these days with the larger OS support, but I've been typing Dvorak for over 10 years now, and I'm quite happy with the layout.
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Re: Colemak: Dvorak is so last century

Postby TorbenGB » 10 Apr 2014, 08:54

Yep, platform availability is a huge factor, and also hands-down the most important reason why I've now also chosen to learn Dvorak and none of the other (more enticing!) alternatives. If I were only using Linux machines, it would probably be easy, but my Windows workstation at work is locked down pretty hard...

I've been using Dvorak exclusively now for ten days (at home, not at work yet) and while in an IT chat session yesterday I noticed my right pinky getting very tired from all those s l ' - characters. It strikes me that these are used a lot in the English language and yet they've been placed under a short and weak finger.

What is your experience about this?
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Re: Colemak: Dvorak is so last century

Postby jmadison » 14 Apr 2014, 22:01

Interesting about the l key. I also taught myself Dvorak more than 10 years ago, and have been using it exclusively on my TS since then. The l key is my most difficult key to hit reliably. Once upon a time I modified the TS firmware to move the key down a little bit so that it would be easier to hit. But, yes, I agree the l, or capital L, is my toughest letter.
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