Author Topic: Balanced Keyboard Layout  (Read 54268 times)

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2016, 04:38:18 AM »
I played some more with your thumbkey layout.

This works for Alice, because it has a lot of single-quoted text.

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/n7Mf64N6

However I see it is also top (for the layouts used) for Words and SAT words ... so it must be doing something right.

You can see what the Germans think :-)
Personally I am not happy with some of the other metrics (total distance is too high.)
Although left-right hand balance under Finger Usage can hardly be improved... see the SAT words comparison.

Here's a comparison against the other top layouts (that I know of) on Patrick:
http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/3RZl7Bqf

Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2016, 06:56:40 AM »
We have a new champion on the SAT word list :

#1 Den BEAKL Thumb 1 Mod-Ian 73.99

Even beats my previous "WordWinner" layout ...
There's a problem on the server and I can't save the results to share.
Currently it's also second on the Common Words list. (by 0.30 points)

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2016, 07:22:47 AM »
ignore previous, just beaten it...
Scores on the three tests on Patrick are:

74.30 (3rd)  |  76.02 (1st) |  75.08 (1st)

It beats Beakl1 and MTGap Thumbshift. Haven't loaded BEAKL3 yet.

iandoug

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Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2016, 11:25:45 AM »
Just so I'm clear, we want these numbers to be as low as possible?

Opted4           307.727 total effort   120.514 positional effort   

Will try and start playing with the German evaluator later today. I know neither German nor C++... German I can sometimes figure out because of the similarities to English and Afrikaans. Need to read up on C/C++ variable syntax.

Thanks, Ian

Opt will select the best layout with the lowest total effort. However that might affect other metrics, like same finger and seesaw, which might be better or worse than other layouts with higher total effort.

Obviously I have heavily modified the configuration such that my fitness evaluation is wildly different than the standard configuration that came with the download. The score also depends on the corpus, its length, and its contents.

You don't have to touch the C files to alter the configuration. Pretty much everything is done with text files and command line options. It comes with a PDF, the English instructions are in the bottom half of that document.

There are two reasons to recompile, though. First is whether you want to support multithreading. Second is when you change the number of keys in the keyboard. Default supports 35 keys (minus 2 shifts = 33 usable). To increase the thumb well for the 4 thumb keys, I had to recompile to 36 keys (30 basic + 6 thumbs - 2 shifts = 34 usable). (The keys on the side of the right pinky I then commented out in the config files, and added some into the thumb row.) So now I have two commnands for different keyboard types.
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iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2016, 12:22:13 PM »
One layout to rule them all....

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/0pbGQ89P

You can actually get 75.44 on Alice with a small change... but it messes up the others. I did also hit 76.05 on Common Words while refining the above. But above result is what gets to the top of all three....

On the downside, the Effort metric sucks. On the other plus side, the finger-use hand balance is 47/53, best in the panel.

On an aesthetic note I'm not wild about the layout ... but the numbers speak for themselves. Wonder what the Colemak fanboys would say.... :-)
Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2016, 12:33:22 PM »
above layout sucks on Perl test program. Also PHP/HTML/Javascript. Presumably because brackets are not optimised.
Does not do so well when fed opt.cc either.... even Colemak Thumbshift beats it. I'll see why later.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2016, 01:07:12 PM »
One layout to rule them all....

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/0pbGQ89P

You can actually get 75.44 on Alice with a small change... but it messes up the others. I did also hit 76.05 on Common Words while refining the above. But above result is what gets to the top of all three....

On the downside, the Effort metric sucks. On the other plus side, the finger-use hand balance is 47/53, best in the panel.

On an aesthetic note I'm not wild about the layout ... but the numbers speak for themselves. Wonder what the Colemak fanboys would say.... :-)
Cheers, Ian

to beat Pats Analyzer we need an optimizer program for it, like we have for AdNW and MTGAP, to run through 1000s layouts fast. it would also be nice to see how their program score certain areas. like what are effort scores for all thumb keys.



Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #58 on: July 17, 2016, 05:50:55 PM »
I might order the Ergodox (if it's still available) in order to customize and test the keyboard with new layouts.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #59 on: July 17, 2016, 11:39:41 PM »
I might order the Ergodox (if it's still available) in order to customize and test the keyboard with new layouts.

Oh my, great minds think alike. I investigated that myself, but they go for around $300... not too cheap if it turns out to be a bad design. :-)

Been playing Patrick with standard ANSI layouts ..... managed to get top scores on Alice and  Common Words but still can't beat your Balance 12 on the SAT words ....
My effort scores are not good.. really need a thumb key on the left hand :-)

Cheers, Ian
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 12:12:24 AM by iandoug »

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #60 on: July 19, 2016, 07:05:25 AM »
I might order the Ergodox (if it's still available) in order to customize and test the keyboard with new layouts.

The one I saw on Massdrop was around 300 $ I think
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/infinity-ergodox
you need to register before they let you see.

Apparently the place to buy is here
http://falbatech.pl/prestashop/index.php?id_category=12&controller=category&id_lang=2
Fully assembled for 200 €
Oh wait, that one's sold out.

Wood one is 330 € ....
Not sure I want MX Clear switches. The keycaps appear blank, unless it's just the angle of the photo.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #61 on: July 19, 2016, 05:32:37 PM »
The one I saw on Massdrop was around 300 $ I think
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/infinity-ergodox
you need to register before they let you see.

Apparently the place to buy is here
http://falbatech.pl/prestashop/index.php?id_category=12&controller=category&id_lang=2
Fully assembled for 200 €
Oh wait, that one's sold out.

Wood one is 330 € ....
Not sure I want MX Clear switches. The keycaps appear blank, unless it's just the angle of the photo.

I'm not sure I want them at those prices. I'd rather wait for the new Kinesis (Advantage) coming out later this year. I already use old Kinesis Classic, but don't want to reprogram it for every test layout. If I have another Kinesis then I can play around with it.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #62 on: August 04, 2016, 10:17:45 PM »
I'm not sure I want them at those prices. I'd rather wait for the new Kinesis (Advantage) coming out later this year. I already use old Kinesis Classic, but don't want to reprogram it for every test layout. If I have another Kinesis then I can play around with it.

I pre-ordered the new Kinesis Advantage2 since I trust in their quality. Supposedly they have a program that allows you to customize the layouts of the keys. We'll see how well it works for our purposes.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2016, 12:04:45 AM »
That's not exactly cheap either :-)

I actually went to a gaming show over the weekend to look at the keyboards, but they didn't have much ... Asus, Corsair and Logitech. I also looked at some online, they're in the same price range as above.

I've been playing with layouts on ANSI104 boards on Patrick's site... so far have top scores in the three input tests, but with three different boards ... two my own and one a modified version of HIEAMTSRN, which was a actually a good layout to start with ... it beat all others (in ANSI104) on Common Words and SAT, just didn't do so well on Alice. So I made a few tweaks that improved it and it got to the top of all the layouts in the menu. ... :-). Your Balance 12 and MTGAP were the other two top layouts.

So I was considering getting a mech keyboard that I can swap caps around on to test the layouts... HIEAMTSRN 'relabelled' a few caps, I've tried to avoid doing that in my tests, but moving the left shift to where CapsLock is does make a definite difference. I've also tried swapping Alt-Grey and R-Shift, which helps a little.

Been a bit quiet lately, things got hectic work-wise. I see the Advantage2 address some of the criticisms of the original, especially those mushy rubber keys. I must look at 'tenting' my own design. Not sure how well keywells work, it makes strong assumptions about people's relative finger length.
Eg....
http://www.livescience.com/49883-finger-length-in-men.html

Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #64 on: August 05, 2016, 11:48:00 AM »
Was it your vote here, or do you have a fan? :-)

http://www.strawpoll.me/10920081

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #65 on: August 05, 2016, 01:31:06 PM »
Have come to the conclusion that the legacy assignment of assorted punctuation etc to random numbers is standing in the way of a sane layout. Also some numbers are more common than others (eg 0 and 1, presumably because they are used in dialling codes, IP addresses and multiples of 10, and so should NOT be on the pinkies ....

New high score (for ANSI104) for Alice: 71.14. But numrow is destroyed (still no key relabelling though, but hence my rant above).

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #66 on: August 05, 2016, 01:32:59 PM »
Was it your vote here, or do you have a fan? :-)

http://www.strawpoll.me/10920081

Lol i dont remember that poll. When was it made? I mean i thought BEAKL is too new, unknown and untested. As far as I know, I'm the only user. But apparently someone thought it was worthy enough to be put on a poll about keyboard layouts. Like I can't add options to that poll. And I definitely didnt make that poll. MTGAP not on there?

Disclaimer: i did vote just now so there are 2 users for BEAKL ;p
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 01:38:53 PM by Den »

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #67 on: August 05, 2016, 01:37:26 PM »
AFAIK it popped up today on /r/linux
Judging by the few votes it is new.
And most people are stuck on qwerty.
I guess some manufacturer is testing the water to see if there is a market for an alternative layout off the shelf.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 01:58:22 PM by iandoug »

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #68 on: August 05, 2016, 01:52:27 PM »
AFAIK it popped up today on /r/linux
Judging by the few votes it is new.
And most people are stuck on querty.
I guess some manufacturer is testing the water to see if there is a market for an alternative layout off the shelf.

Interesting since i didnt even make the files necessary to install BEAKL on linux. But i guess linux users would be more open-minded to alternative layouts.

I did make autohotkey scripts to convert dvorak to beakl for windows. But thats only found in this thread, not publicised.

Actually yesterday i did tweet to @kinesisergo, makers of kinesis keyboards, about how my BEAKL layout reduces workload by the pinkies. And they seemed to agree with that feature. Also i did go around some months ago to various keyboard related forums to proclaim my new theories on typing efforts. Including geekhack, deskthority, and colemak forums. Perhaps most importantly, i added an entry to the deskthority wiki to make BEAKL seem more official and authoritative.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #69 on: August 05, 2016, 02:10:33 PM »
Mmm I wonder if it is Kinesis that is running the poll then ... the timing and list of options is curious.

ADNW is not listed on Wikipedia page on keyboard layouts. And the list is missing Norman and, as you say, MTGAP, which is actually a *bloody good* general purpose layout .. it may not be 'best' in a given test but is generally One of the Best in any given test I've thrown at it... while others are not that consistent. More so because it does weird things like mixing the n in with the vowels... although it does relabel some keys, the numrow is as per qwerty.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #70 on: August 05, 2016, 02:39:20 PM »
The deskthority wiki is not affiliated with wikipedia. Here is the link to my BEAKL entry:
https://deskthority.net/wiki/Keyboard_layouts#BEAKL_.282016.29

AdNW section is right above this.

it may be Kinesis' doing. maybe they will upload preprogrammed layouts ready to be downloaded on their site? to coincide with the new feature for their new keyboard. :shrug

MTGAP is definitely awesome, but it's not hyped up enough. everyone's all aboard colemak and adnw hype trains.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #71 on: August 06, 2016, 02:15:30 PM »
So at lunch I'm staring at my latest efforts, and have what I thought was a brain wave ... do a layout based on

T H E ... D N A

since The and And are the two most common words in English, and typical home-row letters (except the D).

So I tried it out .. and was soon swapping the letters ... don't get a good score with that as starting point.

Anyway after much effort I have a new top layout (well, 'top' as in "beats the others on Patrick's site").

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/glSPVfcC

That wins all three competitions. However I have other layouts/variants that get better scores individually.

What I 'like' about this one is that there are no funny tricks ... no keys got new shift symbols, numrow is standard (except for - and = which I had to move, the - helps on Alice).

I could boost the Alice score substantially by moving Left Shift up one key, moving the () to better location on top row, and bringing the ! down into 30-keys block.

But for now it's the best all-rounder on Patrick's site. If I run it against my "corpus" it doesn't do so well (4th behind HIEAMSTRN improved, MTGAP and HIEAMSTRN) but in fairness HIEAMSTRN remaps some keys. MTGAP is just bloody good (and does remap some keys but don't know if that is what makes the difference).

Must make an effort to get the German analyzer working. I wanted to test this layour on the Colmak site but that only seems to handle the 30 keys, leaving out the '/".

Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #72 on: August 06, 2016, 02:27:11 PM »
Finally.

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/lhHjZ86l

Right index working too hard, distance is bad but still gets high scores, including on my corpus.

Will probably suck for any brackety programming languages though :-)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 07:43:24 AM by iandoug »

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #73 on: August 07, 2016, 04:30:11 AM »
Came to realise last night that humans are strange creatures. We are happy to accept a keyboard with letters in 'random' (ie non-alphabetical) layout, but our heads expect the digits to be in order ... even if that is not optimal.

Bought a cheap MS 200 keyboard today, seemed to be the only one they had that had poppable semi-decent keycaps without any non-standard shapes so I can rearrange them easily. I did look at a Razor gaming keyboard.... but price for need didn't make sense :-)

Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2016, 08:25:22 AM »
(@#&(@#&$( Microsoft.

Their keys pop off and on okay, but some genius decided to make the F and J keys have different shafts to all the rest.... possibly I can scrape the offending bit of plastic off of those two keys, and the two new ones going where they were, but this is not going to support "frequent rearranging" ....

Should have plonked down the money on the Razor ... as least I think it has Cherry-compatible keycaps, and I've got lots of spare of those.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #75 on: August 07, 2016, 04:34:01 PM »
Came to realise last night that humans are strange creatures. We are happy to accept a keyboard with letters in 'random' (ie non-alphabetical) layout, but our heads expect the digits to be in order ... even if that is not optimal.

we're used to seeing and using numbers in order. finger 'order' according to typing effort on a keyboard is a unique case. cf numpad and phones have their own ordering.

i'm testing a number order which i think is optimal. but yet to conclude if it's really better and worth the side effects. eg gaming hotkeys. (thankfully most well designed games let you customize hotkeys.)

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #76 on: August 07, 2016, 04:40:47 PM »
(@#&(@#&$( Microsoft.

Their keys pop off and on okay, but some genius decided to make the F and J keys have different shafts to all the rest.... possibly I can scrape the offending bit of plastic off of those two keys, and the two new ones going where they were, but this is not going to support "frequent rearranging" ....

Should have plonked down the money on the Razor ... as least I think it has Cherry-compatible keycaps, and I've got lots of spare of those.

not really into testing out physical keyboards. the only alternative i've tried is Kinesis based on positive testimonies on the keyboard and the manufacturer. most other keyboards are same lame cheap designs. there are some interesting ones, like teck and ergodox, but reviews have been mixed.

the most important isnt physical rearrangement of characters; it's logical layout. physically changing keys seem tedious when you're testing out so many new layouts. until you've settled on a layout and want to publish it to the world.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #77 on: August 07, 2016, 04:46:06 PM »
for constant rearrangement, perhaps a tablet that allows reconfiguring the keys. something like AnySoftKeyboard for android. which as you may know i'm very familiar with from my other topic on optimal tablet/phone layouts. given a big enough tablet to fit ten fingers, might be easier to test logical layouts with automatic visuals.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 01:57:22 AM by Den »

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #78 on: August 09, 2016, 08:29:31 AM »
the most important isnt physical rearrangement of characters; it's logical layout. physically changing keys seem tedious when you're testing out so many new layouts. until you've settled on a layout and want to publish it to the world.

For me the proof of the pudding is in the typing .... have managed to get the MS set up on this box but typing is a challenge... seeing as I'm going from something widely regarded as decent (original MS Natural) to this MS 200 ... different  physical and logical layout and mushy keys....

Have splashed out on a low end mech keyboard ---- maybe that will feel better. For some reason typing on this layout seems easier.....

The zxcv keys are now mostly on the right hand, but still within reach. Ctrl-R and Ctrl-T are a bit  more problematic. As is muscle memory....

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #79 on: August 10, 2016, 10:40:56 PM »
I practiced some more with BEAKL 3.0, but for some reason it just doesn't jive for me. The vowel district seems the main issue. So I significantly altered the configuration in Opt to punish awkward rolls in the left hand. And it spit out something like this:

Code: [Select]
BEAKL 4.0
jyo.k gcmnz
hieau dstrp
q"',x wflbv

So far I like this a lot more with just a little practice. The H is back on the home pinky, which I can live with. Y moved from the bottom row to the top, which feels much better. The consonant district has some minor changes, swapping G/F & M/L.

It resembles more like BEAKL 1.0 but outperforms it by a bit.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #80 on: August 10, 2016, 11:16:26 PM »
Pretty good :

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/x6NV84bH

You can win on Alice like this:
http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/1HJ0RWMN

And if you do this, you win all three...
http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/FGbTQBGk

But don't know what opt will say about that ... :-)

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #81 on: August 10, 2016, 11:23:22 PM »
Now Ian is upset. This new layout beats my previous best 2 out of 3 (the Words tests):

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/Mc6v9bpr

These scores are getting seriously high (compared to, for example, dear old QWERTY..)

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/j54DMs6c


iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #82 on: August 11, 2016, 12:43:31 AM »
Silly me. I think I got your ' and " the wrong way around.

Here you go... let's see what Opt thinks of this:

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/kL7W45zf

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #83 on: August 11, 2016, 01:30:56 AM »
I fixed the '   " on your original layout and it immediately wins Alice (against other layouts on Patrick's site)

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/Rqql9vjZ

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #84 on: August 11, 2016, 08:47:28 AM »
Silly me. I think I got your ' and " the wrong way around.

Here you go... let's see what Opt thinks of this:

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/kL7W45zf

" ring finger
' middle finger

I'm sure you can score better on patorjk by putting N on home row. But putting R or other frequent letter on right pinky will overwork that finger, and worse for rolls. I think Opt puts R on home and N on top because R has more digrams with other consonants. So rolls with R will be faster and more convenient even if other consonants are on top or bottom row.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #85 on: August 11, 2016, 09:59:33 AM »
If you look at the numbers here:

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/Rqql9vjZ

then the new layout has the second lowest right pinky travel and usage, against other leading layouts. The only one that's lower is my other OAEH layout.

So I don't think your worries are justified...

Perhaps on other tests the results will be different. I tried loading the layout on the Colemak evaluator and it didn't do so well, but that thing is focused almost entirely on minimizing same-finger usage, and I'm not sure that using just about only that is a good metric.

I discovered that the Adesso keyboards that I have here are good for keytop rearranging... so I've loaded the new layout onto one. Don't really like them as keyboards because they're MS Natural wanna-bes but the key action is not that good. But at least the 'ergo' layout will be less frustrating than ANSI slab.
Need to print some stickers for the relabelled keys. And make an xkb file :)

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #86 on: August 11, 2016, 10:57:04 PM »
If you look at the numbers here:

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/Rqql9vjZ

then the new layout has the second lowest right pinky travel and usage, against other leading layouts. The only one that's lower is my other OAEH layout.

So I don't think your worries are justified...

I look at the pinky usage percentages and make sure each pinky falls under 5% in many typical conditions. With the R on right pinky, there's a high risk of it going way above 5%, even approaching 8%.

Quote
Need to print some stickers for the relabelled keys. And make an xkb file :)

How do you create and distribute xkb files?

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #87 on: August 11, 2016, 11:48:40 PM »
XKB: I use Kate (text editor) to modify a file and then paste it into a suitable spot in
/usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/us   (since it's a variant of the US layout).

Then I add appropriate entries to
/usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst
/usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.xml
/usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/evdev.lst
/usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/evdev.xml

The docs on the web are a little vague on that, apparently not all 4 are necessary but I haven't had time to fiddle, and thought it better to keep them all in synch. I use KDE so the changes are auto-detected in System Settings, apparently the people on Gnome and cousins need to restart their desktop.

Sample xkb file below.

Was testing the new layout against my 9428-line perl program, and your Balanced12 comes up best. Then I noticed that the version on Patrick's site is not correct ... it's missing the } and it has a dash, underscore plus another similar looking character loaded with Unicode code. I modified it to put the } on the 8. You should ask Patrick to fix it (via github), he fixed the INA layout for me which had a similar issue.

Still trying to figure out exactly how Balanced12 comes out on top, must be something to do with the punctuation. It gets 49.97 while the best I've got BEAKL4--modified to is 48.79, and everything else lower (HIEAMTSRN-improved gets 46.96, MTGAP 44-something), so you can see it's doing something right that the others are not.

Here's the current version that I'm playing with, the numbers and punctuation are still a mess. Moved some other minor keys around as they got better scores on the other three tests. Looks neater in fixed-pitch font :-)

// HIEAU Keyboard Layout symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// 2016-08-12 Den + Ian Douglas. http://www.iandoug.com

partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "hieau" {

    name[Group1]= "English (HIEAU - 1)";

    include "us(basic)"

    // Alphanumeric section
    key <TLDE> {  [        grave,  asciitilde, dead_grave, dead_tilde  ] };
    key <AE01> {  [            1,  equal                               ] };
    key <AE02> {  [            2,  plus                                ] };
    key <AE03> {  [            3,  parenleft                           ] };
    key <AE04> {  [            4,  dollar                              ] };
    key <AE05> {  [            5,  percent                             ] };
    key <AE06> {  [            6,  asciicircum                         ] };
    key <AE07> {  [            7,  ampersand                           ] };
    key <AE08> {  [            8,  parenright                          ] };
    key <AE09> {  [            9,  numbersign                          ] };
    key <AE10> {  [            0,  asterisk                            ] };
    key <AE11> {  [  bracketleft,  braceleft                           ] };
    key <AE12> {  [ bracketright,  braceright                          ] };

    key <AD01> {  [ k,          K         ] };
    key <AD02> {  [ y,          Y         ] };
    key <AD03> {  [ o,          O         ] };
    key <AD04> {  [ comma,      caretleft ] };
    key <AD05> {  [ z,          Z         ] };
    key <AD06> {  [ f,          F         ] };
    key <AD07> {  [ c,          C         ] };
    key <AD08> {  [ l,          L         ] };
    key <AD09> {  [ p,          P         ] };
    key <AD10> {  [ q,          Q         ] };
    key <AD11> {  [ minus,      underscore] };
    key <AD12> {  [ semicolon,  colon     ] };

    key <AC01> {  [   h,  H   ] };
    key <AC02> {  [   i,  I   ] };
    key <AC03> {  [   e,  E   ] };
    key <AC04> {  [   a,  A   ] };
    key <AC05> {  [   u,  U   ] };
    key <AC06> {  [   d,  D   ] };
    key <AC07> {  [   s,  S   ] };
    key <AC08> {  [   t,  T   ] };
    key <AC09> {  [   n,  N   ] };
    key <AC10> {  [   r,  R   ] };
    key <AC11> {  [   v,  V   ] };
   
    key <AB01> {  [   j,          J          ] };
    key <AB02> {  [   quotedbl  , question   ] };
    key <AB03> {  [   apostrophe, slash      ] };
    key <AB04> {  [   period    , rightcaret ] };
    key <AB05> {  [   exclam    , at         ] };
    key <AB06> {  [   w         , W          ] };
    key <AB07> {  [   g         , G          ] };
    key <AB08> {  [   m         , M          ] };
    key <AB09> {  [   b         , B          ] };
    key <AB10> {  [   x         , X          ] };
    // End alphanumeric section

//    key <CAPS> { [    BackSpace,       Escape,       BackSpace,        BackSpace ] };
   
    include "level3(ralt_switch)"
};

additions to the .lst files:
hieau           us: English (HAEIU - 1)

additions to the .xml files:
   <variant>
          <configItem>
            <name>hieau</name>
            <description>English (HIEAU - 1)</description>
          </configItem>
    </variant>

paste, for example, just before the closing </variantList> before the Afghani section starts.
       </variantList>
    </layout>
    <layout>
      <configItem>
        <name>af</name>
        <shortDescription>fa</shortDescription>
        <description>Afghani</description>
 


iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #88 on: August 11, 2016, 11:52:58 PM »
I think it will be worthwhile to write some Perl to convert between various config files, eg from Keyboard Layout Editor to Keyboard Layout Analyser, xkb, and the two config files that Win and Mac use. Generating the '30-keys' map should be possible but these things REALLY need to be 31-keys at least, and preferably 'entire keyboard' .... :-)

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #89 on: August 12, 2016, 01:15:27 AM »
Can you add new layouts to xkb without modifying existing files? In other words, create only new files and zip them into a single .tar.gz file for easy distribution. Then the user just has to unzip the files and choose the new layout in the system settings.

Balanced 12 was not created by me, although the vowel district does resemble BEAKL 1. It does very well under my AdNW tests. Right in between MTGAP (1st) and BEAKL 4 (3rd) in default settings, but they were all very close. Under my modified settings, Balanced 12 scored better than MTGAP, but not as good as Bu. Naturally all the BEAKL layouts scored the best by a mile under my settings.

Some programs may not properly read non-ASCII characters, so presence of these characters in the layout may mess up the scores.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 01:22:39 AM by Den »

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #90 on: August 12, 2016, 01:32:56 AM »
Whoops.... all this time I've assumed Balanced 12 was yours ... sorry :-) . It does do pretty well in the scoring.
I'll ask Patrick to fix it.

Re the xkb files, I don't know.... it would be nice, but there are the config files that need to be edited, and you can't just 'replace' whatever the user happened to have on his system, because it could have been modified.

The 'clean' way is to get your layouts added upstream by the xkb maintainers, and then it will be automagically added when people update their systems. Eg Norman, Workman, etc, have followed that route. I don't think you need to beg them to add the layouts, or pay them money, but I guess they have some criteria to stop every 'new' layout getting added, when no one uses it. I suppose getting some community support for the layout would help. Build a 'vibe' etc.

I'm actually busy building a new site which will, amongst other things, deal with new layouts and attempt to track and report on the good/better/best ones.

Cheers, Ian

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #91 on: August 12, 2016, 04:15:17 AM »
Finally beat Balance 12 at Perl:
#1 Prog BEAKL 4 Mod Ian 71.71 74.63 74.10 c70.01 s48.97 : 50.16
#2 Balance Twelve : 49.97
#3 HIEAMTSRN Improved 3 : 46.96

But only by swapping your ' and " around, because the program makes heavy use of ".

So those scores in the layout name become
1 Prog BEAKL 4 Mod Ian 71.40 74.61 74.10 c70.05 s50.16

c == my large text corpus
s == s.pl, the program
Alice drops the most because it uses the ' for all the dialogue.

Layout is here: http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/gR5B6vzV

Will probably suck for people use Emacs because I switched the ~ and ` around. Perl uses ~ a lot.

Cheers, Ian

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #92 on: August 12, 2016, 11:01:29 AM »
I did name earlier ones Balanced layout, but apparently someone else also came up with a similar name (Balance without 'd') much later.

Looking back at my earlier Balanced layouts, one of them has the home row OAEID RHTNS. of which the vowels kind of resembles your OAEH. totally forgot why I arranged them like that, but apparently it was copied directly from Klausler, which at that time I was very impressed and learned a lot from.


Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #93 on: August 12, 2016, 11:15:18 AM »
Re the xkb files, I don't know.... it would be nice, but there are the config files that need to be edited, and you can't just 'replace' whatever the user happened to have on his system, because it could have been modified.

The 'clean' way is to get your layouts added upstream by the xkb maintainers, and then it will be automagically added when people update their systems. Eg Norman, Workman, etc, have followed that route. I don't think you need to beg them to add the layouts, or pay them money, but I guess they have some criteria to stop every 'new' layout getting added, when no one uses it. I suppose getting some community support for the layout would help. Build a 'vibe' etc.

I'm actually busy building a new site which will, amongst other things, deal with new layouts and attempt to track and report on the good/better/best ones.

Cheers, Ian

It kind of catch 22. If it's cumbersome to install new layouts, people won't try and use them. And if nobody uses them, they won't add new ones.

Obviously I would like to submit a layout to the official patches eventually. However we still need to settle and decide on a final version that we all feel satisfied on. And then hopefully be accepted by the public. I wonder if I can sell to them the claim to reduce pinky usage and fatigue. And of course test scores  :P


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First new idea in keyboard layout since, um, ergo and thumbkeys
« Reply #94 on: August 12, 2016, 02:27:52 PM »
It's not every day a new idea comes along, but today is your lucky day... :-)
You can look if you promise not to laugh...

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/FH8z8sHL
(its for the SAT words but you can then see the layout. Regret I can't share the input source.)

Actually had the idea a few days ago and finally got around to trying it out.

Here's the scores when run against my perl program as input. The program is not just perl, it outputs HTML/Javascript/PHP, and contains data arrays with address, geo co-ordinates,  and phone number data.



Finger travel:





Consecutive finger use, excluding doubles.



In all cases you need to compare it against its peers, not just absolute. The input file is not your typical Alice file :-)

I must still doublecheck I didn't miss any characters when rearranging.

As an experiment I ran it against the first 1000 digits of pi, where it did very badly, second worst, but still beat Balance 12. I reality, if you are entering something like that, you'll use the numpad not the numrow.

Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #95 on: August 12, 2016, 02:34:01 PM »
The number and punctuation layouts are based off of Michael's frequency lists, and then guided by heatmaps.
Layout is rather bizarre at first glance, but then so too is QWERTY.

Cheers, Ian

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #96 on: August 12, 2016, 06:40:48 PM »
It's pretty novel idea. Have you actually tried typing this way, and how does it feel? However the brackets seem all over the place, hard to find and memorize.

Speaking of numpad, you could try secondary layer like Kinesis. But the num-lock key to switch between modes should be more accessible, like at the thumb.

It has been argued that optimizing punctuation (and maybe numbers) may be fruitless because they're not used often. So if one would rearrange them, it would be very personal, based on one's personal habits and whatever programming language one uses the most.


iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #97 on: August 13, 2016, 07:16:00 AM »
It's pretty novel idea. Have you actually tried typing this way, and how does it feel? However the brackets seem all over the place, hard to find and memorize.

No, only did the tests last night. Was impressed with the scores and just shared. I ran another test with a longish PHP/Mysql program and it is a clear winner (ie 60 vs 50 for MTGAP. Some other layouts score higher than MTGAP, including Balance 12, even ADNW and that BePov-whatever one. Didn't check them all, but know from experience which are likely to score high).

Yes the brackets etc are all over the place. It bothers me too. But it's hard to argue with the numbers... after all, we all learned how to type QWERTY and that's also all over the place.

Speaking of numpad, you could try secondary layer like Kinesis. But the num-lock key to switch between modes should be more accessible, like at the thumb.

I have a 'problem' with 'layers' in that I have enough trouble hitting + instead of = (or vice versa) without having to remember what's the third or 4th level character on a key... when I'm coding I have enough other things to worry about than needing all that extra processing in my head. But I accept that some people say it works for them... they like smaller and smaller keyboards, I prefer dedicated keys for as much as possible. Hence my rather large keyboard layout.

I'm just trying to optimise ANSI because it's a challenge and I figured I could beat MTGAP, Balance 12 and HIEMNSTRA...

ANSI is not the best layout to start with, and while a better logical (as in 'move the keys around') layout is a step in the right direction, we need to start with form factor first, eg ergo style.

Which creates another problem... how do you take an arguably good layout and move it from ANSI to Ergo... without losing the goodness, and still gaining from the thumbkeys?...


It has been argued that optimizing punctuation (and maybe numbers) may be fruitless because they're not used often. So if one would rearrange them, it would be very personal, based on one's personal habits and whatever programming language one uses the most.

Agreed.... but if I'm building a keyboard for 'programmers', or even just for myself, then why not? :-)
I realise not every language uses {} or </> but if they are not interfering with anything else, then might as well optimise...

I need to find white-on-black tape for my Brother p-touch label printer to make some stickers. Then I can try typing on that weird layout and see how it goes ...

Also need to stop trying to optimise... wish there was a way to measure/know when Max Optimum has been reached... :-)

Cheers, Ian

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xkb
« Reply #98 on: August 13, 2016, 07:41:31 AM »
Re xkb, came across these rather old instructions for installing Carpalx:



INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
=========================

 
1. Copy carpalx.xkb to your XKB symbols directory (path my differ slightly)

    $ cp carpalx.xkb /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/carpalx

2. Add the following lines to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols.dir

    -dp----- a------- carpalx(qgmlwb)
    --p----- a------- carpalx(qgmlwy)
    --p----- a------- carpalx(qfmlwy)
    --p----- a------- carpalx(qwkrfy)
    --p----- a------- carpalx(qwyrfm)
    --p----- a------- carpalx(tnwmlc)

3. Now it should be possible to load the layouts with, e.g.

    $ setxkbmap carpalx                            # defaults to QGMLWB
    $ setxkbmap -layout carpalx -variant qwkrfy    # to select other variants


4. The following files should also be updated:

    /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/xorg.lst
    /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/xorg.xml


NOTE: You can find examples of such files being modified in folder

    usr-share-X11-xkb-rules

under the current folder. You can diff between the old and new versions
in order to see what the differences are. Changing these files, you will
be able to change keyboard layouts using configuration applets offered
in Gnome and KDE.


Useful documentation:
    http://www.khjk.org/log/2011/jan/carpalx.html
    http://hektor.umcs.lublin.pl/~mikosmul/computing/articles/custom-keyboard-layouts-xkb.html
    http://people.uleth.ca/~daniel.odonnell/Blog/custom-keyboard-in-linuxx11


iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #99 on: August 16, 2016, 01:05:53 PM »
So I went back to the drawing board after the last radical double-decker numerals makeover, and continued with the layout we had before.

I have successfully tweaked it to the top scores against other notable layouts with different inputs, including Perl and PHP. Results against Alice are here, so you can see the layout. It's basically the "Programmers" variant of the other layout.

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/load/RSDqvq5L

The "distance" scores are not the lowest, but the "same finger in succession" scores are good. So it can't be all bad.  I suppose if we compare them to QWERTY instead of other top layouts then the scores are not that bad.

On the Plus side, Ctrl- X, V, Z, M, B, R and T (last two for browsers) are convenient (on right hand), while Ctrl- S, A and C are not so convenient.
The numbers in the titles of slot 1 and 2 refer to the scores on Alice, Common Words, SAT words, my large Corpus, s.pl (large Perl program with HTML and PHP generated), and a largish PHP/MySQL program.

I did spend some time trying to achieve lowest "distance" scores and came to the conclusion that it would need to be based off the 11 most common letters going on the home row... but could not get a sane layout for that. The BvoFRak EN V0.5 seems to excel in getting low 'distance' scores, and it's "almost" based off those letters. I tweaked it a bit and was able to get lower 'distance' scores, but at the same time the overall score went down.

I'm wondering if getting a High Score as well as a Low Distance score are mutually exclusive goals.

I also tried an experiment (after seeing what BvoFRak EN V0.5 did) of moving the Left Hand Home position one key to the right to open up a column on the left pinky but that didn't work so well. Also not possible on an MS Natural or Adesso split keyboard. (if you still want a column to the right of the left index)

After painstakingly moving the keys, and relabelling others, on my Adesso, I realised that it has profiled keys and you can't just move a row 1 to row 3 .... so will have to revert it to QWERTY and then relabel all those that change rows. Will move what I can if in same row. Will try the layout in slot 1 on URL above. Note that it contains a manually fixed Balanced 12 layout.

I also note that were we are now has a lot in common with BvoFRak EN V0.5 and HIEAMTSRN Improved 3 .... which I suppose is to be expected, there are a finite number of sane layouts, particularly on the home row :-)

Cheers, Ian