Author Topic: Balanced Keyboard Layout  (Read 85447 times)

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1200 on: December 31, 2017, 11:36:54 PM »
You really put in a lot effort for this.

You're okay with Den3 at the current state?

I accept your reasoning behind it (ie punishing pinky usage). I may not agree with the exact weightings but have not looked at it hard enough to debate it.

Think it will be more useful to first run all the layouts through all the tests and see how they stack up... if for example, QWERTY suddenly comes out ahead of Dvorak, then we will need to talk... :-)

First need to get it running locally and then see where I need to put in extra "write to console" stuff if necessary, to get the data and error conditions I need. Should only be in one or two places I think.

I think I will change the weightings in the "average" calculations, at the moment each score is added once, except for Patrick English, and Den 1 English, which get added twice each, in an attempt to balance the numerous word-based scores.

Think I will change that to Patrick English x 2, Den 1 English x 3, and Den 3 English x 1, because Den 3 already includes some word-based metrics in its score.

My gut feel is still that Den 1 is "most accurate", in being largely agnostic about any particular design philosophy (where Den 3 takes the deliberate position against pinkies. There may be some people (eg Colemak with both A and O on pinkies) who would challenge this.)
But my gut has been known to be wrong :-)

Cheers, Ian
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 03:52:31 AM by iandoug »

iandoug

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Same finger bigrams
« Reply #1201 on: January 02, 2018, 02:28:52 PM »
Hi

Added another metric of my own invention, which possibly has some similarities to methodologies used by the scientists in one of those studies comparing QWERTY with Dvorak etc.

It's based on the probability of one given letter following another ( http://www.prooffreader.com/2014/09/how-often-does-given-letter-follow.html ) (took me ages to manually type all those probabilities).

Anyway, we see which letters are on a given finger, then look up the probability in both directions for all letters on same finger (ie so we add "er" and "re", for example), and add them all up, and rank the results.

I ignored Capital letters, and also when both letters were on same key (as in CPL layouts), since the idea is to see how much a given finger has to fly around.

No distances were harmed in this production. That's under ToDo, with Row Jumps, Rolls, etc... when I figure out some way to score it.

Anyway the top end looks like this:


1   seelpy-1-1.en.ergolinear   15.48
1   seelpy-1.en.ergolinear   15.48
3   seelpy-1-4.en.ergolinear   15.61
4   beakrak-1-2.en.ergodox   16.06
5   hieaqmtsrn.en.ansi   16.39
6   proxkb.en.ergodox   17.19
6   proxkb-thumbshift.en.ergodox   17.19
8   maltron-us-90-mod-Andreas.en.ergodox   17.51
9   hieamtsrn.en.ansi   17.61
10   dvormax.en.ansi   17.77
11   opuiany.en.ergodox   19.14
12   balance-twelve.en.ansi   20.60
13   seelpy-1-8.en.ergolinear   21.03
14   beakl-clp-0.en.matrix   21.27
15   widely-alternating-A.en.ansi   21.33
16   beakl-modified.en.ergodox   21.88
17   mtgap-mod-joey2216.en.ansi   21.97
18   x1-ou.en.ergolinear   22.71
18   m2-tweak.en.ansi   22.71
20   maltron-us.en.ergolinear   22.86
20   maltron-us-90.en.ergodox   22.86


and the bottom end like this:


354   a-joy.en.ansi   238.65
354   a-joy-rehomed.en.ansi   238.65
356   qwerty-mod-noah.en.ansi   239.73
357   blick.en.ansi   241.01
358   neo2.en.ansi   242.76
359   ina-dv.en.ansi   247.47
360   ward.en.ansi   247.70
361   hoke.en.ansi   255.81
362   reverse-qwerty.en.ansi   258.62
363   rhythmic.en.ansi   269.31
364   tyler.en.ansi   270.50
365   qwerty-q-layout.en.ansi   272.72
366   cyberswarm.en.ansi   274.09
367   dvorak-onehand-right.en.ansi   275.74
368   wong-poiea.en.ansi   293.10
369   trotman.en.ansi   295.47
370   culemak-mod-Ian-hp.en.ansi   299.42
371   as-in-red-hot.en.ansi   308.38
372   mcgunnigle-peoples.en.ansi   343.95
373   tnwmlc.en.ansi   366.12
374   dvorak-onehand-left.en.ansi   384.13


For a change the bottom end is not QWERTY and Alphabetics-dominant.

The Famous Brands stack up like this: (all standard ANSI variants)


Colemak 46.68
Klausler 60.06
Dangvu 64.53
MTGap 70.13
Workman 81.62
Capewell 94.94
QGMLWY 109.93
Dvorak 129.02
Norman 162.00
QWERTY 181.65


Gory details here: http://www.keyboard-design.com/same-finger-bigrams.html

The details of how the score was arrived at are on each layout's page.

The graph showing the spread over all the layouts is actually the smoothest progression of the lot. Which kinda gives me some sort of confidence in the metric... :-) (FWIW)

Cheers, Ian
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 02:40:00 PM by iandoug »

iandoug

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Re: Same finger bigrams
« Reply #1202 on: January 03, 2018, 01:22:28 AM »
Added another metric of my own invention, which possibly has some similarities to methodologies used by the scientists in one of those studies comparing QWERTY with Dvorak etc.

The Famous Brands stack up like this: (all standard ANSI variants)


Colemak 46.68
Klausler 60.06
Dangvu 64.53
MTGap 70.13
Workman 81.62
Capewell 94.94
QGMLWY 109.93
Dvorak 129.02
Norman 162.00
QWERTY 181.65


After a restless night of tossing and turning, I finally gave in to the voice at the back of my head and changed the calculation a bit.

Consider qu and et. The chances of u following q, and t following e, are:

qu: 98.7
et: 2.66

So if a layout had qu on same finger, I would have added 98.7 to the score, and only 2.66 if et were on same finger... but clearly having et on same finger is much larger problem than qu, since et are two most common letters.

So now I multiply the above numbers by the frequency of the first letter in English, so we have

qu: 98.7 * 0.1 == 9.87
et: 2.66 * 12.1 == 32.186

which is a much better reflection of reality.

So the Famous Brands now stack up as follows:


Colemak 82.48
MTGap 93.05
Capewell 128.75
Klausler 181.35
Dvorak 196.04
Dangvu 204.9
Workman 212.57
QGMLWY 350.73
Norman 503.58
QWERTY 525.73


The relative percentages are going to have a much wider range, since the scores now range from 8.01 to 1,757.11.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 12:03:17 PM by iandoug »

iandoug

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Corpus update
« Reply #1203 on: January 03, 2018, 12:09:57 PM »
Hi

FWIW an update to the corpus used in tests.

At the moment, for comparison purposes, I am only using the files in EnglishTexts and Programming.

The WordLists, MixedLanguages, and DigitsEtc are useful for fine-tuning particular aspects of a layout, or just cross-comparisons to things non-English or rare English. But don't think it's fair to compare layouts using them as inputs.... my focus is on English and Programming. I believe if you're going to enter hundreds of digits, you should use a numpad....

These versions SHOULD be free of non-ANSI/ASCII characters, ie only stuff found on normal ANSI 104 keyboard. Think one of programming files still has two(?) arrows (or something) hiding somewhere.

The home-alone.txt is the list of words from the various home-key, home-block, easy-block and one-handed tests... the sample long words from the various layouts, deduped. (home == home key/block, alone == one-handed). Yes I know my sense of humour is weird.

Cheers, Ian
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 12:20:39 PM by iandoug »

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1204 on: January 03, 2018, 11:40:14 PM »
Numpad revisited. Prioritize 1, 0 at the strongest fingers.

Code: [Select]
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iandoug

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Re: Same finger bigrams
« Reply #1205 on: January 04, 2018, 02:57:19 PM »

Colemak 82.48
MTGap 93.05
Capewell 128.75
Klausler 181.35
Dvorak 196.04
Dangvu 204.9
Workman 212.57
QGMLWY 350.73
Norman 503.58
QWERTY 525.73


Voice in my head was still complaining... something about finger usage.... so I did a quick experiment, and multiplied each letter pair on same finger by a weighting per finger (simplified model: thumb = 1, pinky = 5).

Overall resulting order was sorta the same, but some differences, here's the revised list:


Colemak 210.78
MTGap 264.3
Capewell 377.79
Klausler 440.98
Dangvu 482.96
Dvorak 523.69
Workman 567.26
QGMLWY 802.54
QWERTY 1426.34
Norman 1446.09


Which is not bad, and except for QGMLWY, compares order-wise with the same-finger list (here in reverse order) on https://normanlayout.info/compare.html


    Norman: 4.7%
    QWERTY: 4.6%
    Minimak: 3.1%
    Asset: 2.6%
    Workman: 2.4%
    Dvorak: 2.2%
    Klausler: 1.6%
    Capewell: 1.4%
    Arensito: 1.3%
    Colemak: 1.3%
    QGMLWY: 1.3%


Norman is known to have bad same-finger metric.
I assume QGMLWY is out of order for me because of the finger weighting.
It's score was calculated thus: (first digit is KLA finger number)

1 => 'qdz': 0.42
2 => 'gsx': 20.0084
3 => 'mtc': 94.0185
4 => 'lwnrvj': 111.011
5 => ' ': 0
6 => '': 0
7 => 'yfiakp': 447.6328
8 => 'ue': 31.4118
9 => 'bo': 98.0376
10 => 'h': 0
11 => '': 0

Cheers, Ian
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 03:01:57 PM by iandoug »

iandoug

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GhettoDox
« Reply #1206 on: January 05, 2018, 04:12:26 AM »

iandoug

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Keyboard for mouths
« Reply #1207 on: January 13, 2018, 07:35:41 AM »
Stumbled across this:

http://www.musanim.com/mam/qhkcstfpn.html

Tried playing around with it but requirement of having vowels and liquids on home row works at odds with putting common letters on home row. T, N and D can easily be put in better (but not optimal) spots.
Also have H and E on same finger is never going to work.

Came to the conclusion that it may be comfortable for the mind, but we type with fingers not brainwaves, so comfortable for fingers is more important.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 09:41:30 AM by iandoug »

iandoug

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not good
« Reply #1208 on: January 16, 2018, 07:26:15 AM »
smashed my left wrist. back on ansi keyboard and mouse on right hand and mostly one handed typing for now. At least it has mech switches (gateron red I think)

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1209 on: January 17, 2018, 12:57:24 PM »
Sorry to hear that.

Are you now gonna devise the perfect one hand layout? For that, I suggest sticky modifiers--so you don't have to hold down shifts, which would demand dexterity.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1210 on: January 17, 2018, 01:44:39 PM »
Sorry to hear that.

Are you now gonna devise the perfect one hand layout? For that, I suggest sticky modifiers--so you don't have to hold down shifts, which would demand dexterity.

I did wonder if the universe was pointing me in that direction.

More worryingly so because a few days ago I had been thinking about one-handed layouts for some reason ... but more along the lines of "I'm glad I don't need to work like that" .... and now here I am doing that...

I'll see if the universe throws any bright ideas my way over the next few weeks....

Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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I only use one hand...
« Reply #1211 on: January 18, 2018, 12:34:14 PM »
So yeah, Ansi 104 sucks even more for one hand than for two.

As such, both one-handed Dvorak layouts are pointless wastes of time... the form factor is completely wrong.

For right-hand use, the lack of alt-tab on right is particularly annoying, as is the constant switching between mouse and keyboard. At least the right-hand copy/paste operations are more comfortable than ctrl-xcv would be, but ctrl-a is awkward.

Maybe need better mouse with more buttons that I can assign to such things.

As far as keyboard goes, it feels like something like my mobile layouts (eg Z8 here http://keyboard-design.com/swiping.html) are what is needed but I have some issues with my own layouts that annoy me. (in particular, the M, and distance between Y and OU).

So started with a mockup on KLE, still lots to do. Am thinking of main block with letters and 4 puncs, then shift layer, then two more layers, one numeric, one punc. Not sure about navigation yet.

Will advise any progress or bright ideas.

Oh yeah, having ctrl-Q and ctrl-W next to each other is NOT GOOD.

Must maybe pick my surgeon and physiotherapist's brains about market for one-handed layouts... such users probably less pedantic than most about qwerty and maybe medical aid does not freak about price....

Den

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Re: I only use one hand...
« Reply #1212 on: January 19, 2018, 01:38:27 PM »
Try the CLP model. Since it optimizes lowest amount of movement. But you need great locations for the modifier keys on the thumbs. Obviously ANSI/ISO will not work at all. (we all know that that form factor is just crap for advanced keyboard design anyway.) Split keyboard may be better, since you just need one half.

Get a mouse with many buttons. Assign them meta and editing actions that replaces any ctrl- stuff. copy, paste, select all, save, back, etc.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 01:43:39 PM by Den »

iandoug

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Re: I only use one hand...
« Reply #1213 on: January 19, 2018, 02:39:06 PM »
Try the CLP model.

Yeah, came to same conclusion, but with a twist.. no upper case slots needed.

Just another toggle on thumb for CAPS.

So that helps reduce the key count considerably.

Get a mouse with many buttons. Assign them meta and editing actions that replaces any ctrl- stuff. copy, paste, select all, save, back, etc.

Am considering it. Problem is my usual online stores take a week or two to deliver (no next-day Amazon-style here AFAIK)
This cast is supposed to come off on 30th and be replaced with modern design and at that point they'll probably want me using my fingers as much as possible (to ensure tendons etc don't get too attached to the steel plates). So may end up NEEDING fancy mouse for only few days. Am going back to my trackball :-)

Speaking of mouse, using one on my right hand again is damaging indicated spot on attached, Years ago when I used mouse I put blanket on table then covered it with sheet, and that was my desk/mousepad. Suppose that protected my hand. Sheet gave nice solid colour for mouse laser to measure on, blanket provided padding.


iandoug

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Thoughts on Gigabyte K83 keyboard
« Reply #1214 on: January 21, 2018, 03:28:42 PM »
When I got involved with layout design I thought it would be good to have a spare keyboard to test new layouts on, so I bought a low-end Microsoft keyboard.

Then discovered two problems with swapping keycaps around:

1. Profile... different row, different shape... (in truth I should have seen that one coming...)

2. F and J have different stem alignment... don't fit nicely in other places.  Or other keys in their spots. Guess this is an assembly aid.

So I was annoyed and splashed out on a low-end mech keyboard instead... Gigabyte K83, with Cherry Red switches (wanted to see how reds were, since I had bought browns for the keyboard I'm building, and not going to use blues....)

Observations:

1. Reds are quite sensitive. See (3) below.

2. Switches bottom out quite hard.... maybe this is a function of me banging my MS Natural for 20 years and I need to develop a lighter tough. I have now installed black rubber ring bumpers (from Massdrop) on Ins and Del, since using them for copy-paste was hurting my middle finger a lot. The bumpers seem to help quite a bit.

3. Spacing... the numpad is too close to the nav keys, my fingers can't fit in the gap, and I end up typing numbers  (given (1) above) when I don't mean to. For this issue alone, I'd suggest you look at other options.

Cheers, Ian
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 03:34:02 PM by iandoug »

iandoug

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Re: Thoughts on Gigabyte K83 keyboard
« Reply #1215 on: January 22, 2018, 11:44:42 AM »

3. Spacing... the numpad is too close to the nav keys, my fingers can't fit in the gap, and I end up typing numbers  (given (1) above) when I don't mean to. For this issue alone, I'd suggest you look at other options.


after staring at a few other keyboards lying around, realised the problem is actually a combination of narrow gap PLUS their island-style design.... other boards have a raised surface which is high enough to rest your fingers on without triggering keys.

iandoug

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different approach to one-hand keyboard
« Reply #1216 on: January 22, 2018, 11:56:57 AM »
was doing some research on one-handedness, found stats:

http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/statistics.html

But wait! there's more!

Their 'solution' is to use kiddie-size keyboards:
http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/multimediaminikeyboard.html

which seem seriously overpriced, compared to, for example
https://www.amazon.com/Keyboard-Portable-Professional-Industrial-Computer/dp/B071ZZ5G5Q/

or from China for half that....
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/MCSAITE-8017-78-Key-Portable-Mute-Ultra-thin-USB-Wired-Computer-Keyboard-for-Office-Desktop-Notebook/32846014011.html

I shall refrain from further comment :-)

Den

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Re: different approach to one-hand keyboard
« Reply #1217 on: January 22, 2018, 12:49:57 PM »
Their 'solution' is to use kiddie-size keyboards

sure, if your solution is traveling all over the entire keyboard with one hand.  ::) but that's moot if you intend for the hand to stay relatively in place.

yellowedplastic

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Re: Thoughts on Gigabyte K83 keyboard
« Reply #1218 on: January 25, 2018, 02:22:32 PM »
1. Reds are quite sensitive. See (3) below.
You can get even lower force switches, but yes, they are. Soft linear switches like MX Reds have undeserved hype as somehow, "good for gaming," which makes them very popular. If your Natural is a 90s beige model, it should be heavier, and give decent tactile feedback.

Quote
2. Switches bottom out quite hard.... maybe this is a function of me banging my MS Natural for 20 years and I need to develop a lighter tough. I have now installed black rubber ring bumpers (from Massdrop) on Ins and Del, since using them for copy-paste was hurting my middle finger a lot. The bumpers seem to help quite a bit.
This is typical of mechanical switches, as you're making a piece of brittle plastic slam into another piece of brittle plastic, that is soldered to a stiff PCB, and maybe also supported by a stiff metal plate. You can use hushers or O-rings on the caps, or if adventurous, trampoline mod (once your wrists are back to normal), which is where you put a tiny piece of silicone or foam inside the bottom of the cavity that helps align the stem. There are also silent switches out now, which are switches that have a thin rubbery substance added to where the stems hit the housing, that slightly softens the bottoming out a little bit, as well as reduce noise. Also, with heavier and also more tactile switches (both, "tactile," which means having a bump in the way, and clicky types) it's easier to learn to not bottom out hard, since you get some obvious feedback around the activation point, which is why so many people like MX Black, Green, and Clear (along with even more niche switches, like Zealios 65g+, the Kailh Heavy lines, and so on).

Their solution might be mini keyboards, but if you can use your fingers well enough to solder, the real solution is an ergonomic minimalistic one-handed keyboard! Being fully custom, and requiring work to get a full layout with one hand, these could also be solutions to problems like having free time :).
https://github.com/tshort/dactyl-keyboard/blob/master/things/right-4x5.stl
https://github.com/adereth/dactyl-keyboard/blob/master/things/lightcycle-cherry-top-right.stl
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 02:26:08 PM by yellowedplastic »

nichetype

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1219 on: February 02, 2018, 07:42:31 PM »
I've been looking into keyboard layouts and designs for the past couple years now. I first tried to learn Colemak and decided I didn't like the way it felt, tried Workman and Norman a bit, and then decided to learn Dvorak since it's somewhat mainstream and I liked the hand alternation and the beauty of the layout. I'm still very slow and still type mostly QWERTY. Finally I came across BEAKL and have been comparing it with other layouts like MTGAP and PUQ30 (Aus der Neo-Welt). I'm really fascinated by the the unique philosophy behind BEAKL, mainly the home block rather than the home row. It really seems to take into consideration modern keyboards in that the bottom row isn't something to avoid like on typewriters. I have questions I'd really like to ask Den.

Is BEAKL 9 "stable" or do you foresee more experimentation in the future to create a new recommended layout; basically, is this project done or is it still evolving?

Do you want to proliferate this layout, or is it mostly just for your own curiosity and satisfaction? It seems like a lot of layouts are just abandoned after they're completed, like MTGAP, Halmak, Workman, etc. It would be really interesting to see a community adopt BEAKL like has happened with Colemak (which is unfortunately a bit fanatical in my opinion).

Which is the utilized effort grid for BEAKL 9? I've seen one that rates upper pinkies worse than lower pinkies with upper index better than lower index, and one with equal scores for top and bottom pinkies and index fingers. I'm particularly curious how "L" came to be placed on the lower middle finger position as it is a very common letter and I'm surprised it isn't placed where "F" is at upper ring finger as in both effort grids, that position is rated better than lower middle.

Which brings me to another curiosity...were any of the opted layouts hand tweaked at all? Or are they purely generated by the algorithm? Is there anything you'd prefer to change?

Colemak scores very well in many tests. What do you think a computer-assisted layout offers that a human's intuition and testing cannot?

The latest BEAKL layouts assume the use of a somewhat large ortholinear keyboard. The most popular is the Planck, which is 12x4 (48 keys). Do you have an adaptation of BEAKL that can fit in a 40% form factor board? If the main keys are limited to 30 (instead of 32) with no number row, how would the punctuation be set up? Is there a punctuation set-up if the only concern is English prose and programming is not taken into consideration? I've often thought about placing semicolon on comma, colon on period, and making the slash into question mark with shifted exclamation point, for example.

I have read the entire thread, so I apologize if I've missed anything that may have already been answered. I'm just very curious to learn more about and possibly adopt such an interesting and efficient layout. On a final note, I found it very intriguing that BEAKL 9 seemed to score comparatively poorly against other popular layouts in distance using the Keyboard Layout Analyzer. At first it put me off, but then I considered that if the fingers were moving up and down more then they might actually be less prone to fatigue (and indeed the same finger scores for BEAKL 9 were very good, especially for pinky), so what are your thoughts on distance as a metric of layout quality? Thank you.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1220 on: February 02, 2018, 09:49:10 PM »
On a final note, I found it very intriguing that BEAKL 9 seemed to score comparatively poorly against other popular layouts in distance using the Keyboard Layout Analyzer. At first it put me off, but then I considered that if the fingers were moving up and down more then they might actually be less prone to fatigue (and indeed the same finger scores for BEAKL 9 were very good, especially for pinky), so what are your thoughts on distance as a metric of layout quality?

Which version of KLA? Patrick's original?

Cheers, Ian

nichetype

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1221 on: February 02, 2018, 10:13:08 PM »
Which version of KLA? Patrick's original?

Cheers, Ian

I think so. The one at http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/ I compared it to Colemak, Dvorak, PUQ30, and MTGAP all using the ErgoDox thumbshift format. Site may be a a little buggy though. I wish I had better resources but I have no programming knowledge whatsoever. I just enjoy typing.

Edit: Just realized this is obviously at least partly due to eliminating common letters from the pinky home positions, thereby making the other stronger fingers travel more up or down to common letters.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 11:30:38 AM by nichetype »

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1222 on: February 06, 2018, 01:19:06 AM »
Is BEAKL 9 "stable" or do you foresee more experimentation in the future to create a new recommended layout; basically, is this project done or is it still evolving?

BEAKL 9 is stable candidate recommendation for mass consumption. This leg of the project is on hiatus until new breakthrough.

Quote
Do you want to proliferate this layout, or is it mostly just for your own curiosity and satisfaction? It seems like a lot of layouts are just abandoned after they're completed, like MTGAP, Halmak, Workman, etc. It would be really interesting to see a community adopt BEAKL like has happened with Colemak (which is unfortunately a bit fanatical in my opinion).

I'm not good at promotion, but have done some seeding around the 'net. Apparently, there are a few enthusiasts who have heard of BEAKL and have adopted it to their custom keyboards kits (although I know not about their experiences with it.) I do recommend people looking for optimal layouts should give any of the BEAKL layouts a try, or adapt the BEAKL philosophy to achieve a layout to their personal comfort.

Quote
Which is the utilized effort grid for BEAKL 9? I've seen one that rates upper pinkies worse than lower pinkies with upper index better than lower index, and one with equal scores for top and bottom pinkies and index fingers.

I played around with the effort grid so much, I haven't really kept track of effort for older BEAKL Opted layouts. For 8 or 9, it's something like this:

Code: [Select]
Left Hand
 P      R       M     I     I
15     1.5     1     1.5   5
 5     0.5     0.5   0.5   1.5
 7     2       5     1     7

Quote
I'm particularly curious how "L" came to be placed on the lower middle finger position as it is a very common letter and I'm surprised it isn't placed where "F" is at upper ring finger as in both effort grids, that position is rated better than lower middle.

1. L is more often doubled. Tapping double middle finger is less punishing than double ring.
2. L is used more in bigrams with other consonants, so rolls with middle finger is preferred.
3. Middle finger intended to handle higher percentage of total effort.

Quote
Which brings me to another curiosity...were any of the opted layouts hand tweaked at all? Or are they purely generated by the algorithm? Is there anything you'd prefer to change?

Actually BEAKL 9 is amalgamation of 7 vowel district and 8 consonant district. Punctuation layer manually tweaked from Arensito.

Quote
Colemak scores very well in many tests. What do you think a computer-assisted layout offers that a human's intuition and testing cannot?

Human designs can consciously or unconsciously bias toward certain factors, without knowing how it affects other factors. Humans obviously cannot generate and test thousands or millions of layouts against each other in mere minutes. It's easier to have AI find the optimal layer per specifications, then have human test it for comfort.

Quote
The latest BEAKL layouts assume the use of a somewhat large ortholinear keyboard. The most popular is the Planck, which is 12x4 (48 keys). Do you have an adaptation of BEAKL that can fit in a 40% form factor board? If the main keys are limited to 30 (instead of 32) with no number row, how would the punctuation be set up? Is there a punctuation set-up if the only concern is English prose and programming is not taken into consideration? I've often thought about placing semicolon on comma, colon on period, and making the slash into question mark with shifted exclamation point, for example.

A few people have attempted to put BEAKL on Planck keyboards. (you can search the web for them.) Puncs you can do as you wish according to your usage. I set them up in order to have great scores on KLA, while still intuitively laid out. You can take out the digits from the punc layer if you have a numpad layer. Then the remaining puncs can fit better on the home block.

Quote
I'm just very curious to learn more about and possibly adopt such an interesting and efficient layout.

I hope you give BEAKL a try. But I also ask you to inform us of your experiences.

Quote
On a final note, I found it very intriguing that BEAKL 9 seemed to score comparatively poorly against other popular layouts in distance using the Keyboard Layout Analyzer. At first it put me off, but then I considered that if the fingers were moving up and down more then they might actually be less prone to fatigue (and indeed the same finger scores for BEAKL 9 were very good, especially for pinky), so what are your thoughts on distance as a metric of layout quality? Thank you.

The original KLA has the same effort for all fingers on distance scores. But BEAKL 9 favors moving around strong fingers. Also not as many common letters on the home row; in particular, no common letters on home pinky, which could save a little distance.

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Re: not good
« Reply #1223 on: February 22, 2018, 01:15:12 AM »
smashed my left wrist. back on ansi keyboard and mouse on right hand and mostly one handed typing for now. At least it has mech switches (gateron red I think)

We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Had another quick op to remove the wire. Surgeon was not very encouraging about regaining full use of left wrist, physiotherapist was more hopeful. Will have to see how it goes. Still on ANSI keyboard and mouse on right hand, can type a little bit with left hand.

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Re: not good
« Reply #1224 on: March 06, 2018, 09:18:22 AM »
We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Had another quick op to remove the wire. Surgeon was not very encouraging about regaining full use of left wrist, physiotherapist was more hopeful. Will have to see how it goes. Still on ANSI keyboard and mouse on right hand, can type a little bit with left hand.
oh no !!!
no,no,no!
I really hope your physio is right ! ;-)

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1225 on: March 06, 2018, 09:49:09 AM »
I have been using a modified BEAKLOpted36 on and off recently, on a US kbd, in Windows.
I finally got around to doing an XKB setup so I can learn / practice it with KTouch in Ubuntu.
So I came over here for a peak at the latest news, and now I am going to try out BEAKL9. ;-)
Tried it a bit and I do think I will like it more.

The increased use of layers in beakl9 brings me back to my old "get a 'real' kbd" dilemma.
I have a Microsoft Sculpt Ergo at home, a bit better than std crap kbds (actually the Dell one at work is really not nice).
So I am looking into ergo (or at least 'better') kbds *again* !

The problem for me is in part the price, for ex. an Ergodox EZ comes out to around $500 here in Canada.
Since I would very probably want two (home + work), that's close to $1,000 just for keyboards !
Also there are few models available here.

I have been looking again at the reviews at xahlee.info and thought maybe the SmartYao could be an interesting compromise.
(sold as Koolertron on Amazon)
Physical keys (Cherry Mx or Gateron), split kbd, not staggered, some thumb keys, programmable and not as expensive as other better known alternatives.

X-Bows sounds good too (kickstarter?)

What kbd are you guys using ? Any comments / advice ?
Den, I noticed that your latest layouts are shown in matrix format, guessing you are using a matrix type of kbd ?
Not many of those around !?

And do you prefer physical keys (I assume so!)
'red' soft or 'brown' clicky medium .. or other ?

thank you :)

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1226 on: March 06, 2018, 10:41:34 AM »
I have been looking again at the reviews at xahlee.info and thought maybe the SmartYao could be an interesting compromise.
(sold as Koolertron on Amazon)
Physical keys (Cherry Mx or Gateron), split kbd, not staggered, some thumb keys, programmable and not as expensive as other better known alternatives.

Odd.. the pic on Xah's site has non-staggered keys, but the one on Amazon is staggered ...

Was going to suggest you look at MS Natural original but can't find it online now (only 2nd hand), I thought they were still being manufactured. Will be cheaper than more modern designs.

Else build your own ... do it slowly and spread the costs over months. It will work out more expensive, but then you get exactly what you want.. :-)



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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1227 on: March 06, 2018, 10:47:53 AM »
Odd.. the pic on Xah's site has non-staggered keys, but the one on Amazon is staggered ...

Was going to suggest you look at MS Natural original but can't find it online now (only 2nd hand), I thought they were still being manufactured. Will be cheaper than more modern designs.

Else build your own ... do it slowly and spread the costs over months. It will work out more expensive, but then you get exactly what you want.. :-)
Dagn !!
I would make such a poor Secret Agent hahaha,
did not even realize the Koolertron on Amazon was staggered !!
that change things :(
thx for noticing and telling me !!!

There is no way I could come up with a good design myself, even a DIY kit would be too much for me hehe.
(how is yours coming along by the way, havent kept up with this forum..)

For the MS Natural, I guess the one I have, the MS Sculpt Ergo is kind of the replacement for it.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 10:50:55 AM by philippe.quesnel »

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1228 on: March 06, 2018, 10:58:40 AM »
For the MS Natural, I guess the one I have, the MS Sculpt Ergo is kind of the replacement for it.

Everything after version one was a step downhill, in my humble opinion... I've owned most of them (not the Sculpt, but have examined it in store). Still have 2 model 4000s, one in use.

I'm still using mine (MS Natural original). Smashing my wrist got in the way of many projects, but I have put the new keyboard on the dining room table, along with the tools and soldering iron. Still busy adding the wires to the Teensy, then need to connect Teensy to keyboard and see if any thing actually works... then it's the whole Program The Teensy step that's looming like a monster over me....

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1229 on: March 06, 2018, 12:33:49 PM »
Everything after version one was a step downhill, in my humble opinion... I've owned most of them (not the Sculpt, but have examined it in store). Still have 2 model 4000s, one in use.

I'm still using mine (MS Natural original). Smashing my wrist got in the way of many projects, but I have put the new keyboard on the dining room table, along with the tools and soldering iron. Still busy adding the wires to the Teensy, then need to connect Teensy to keyboard and see if any thing actually works... then it's the whole Program The Teensy step that's looming like a monster over me....
I'm really surprised, was certain you were using one of the high end keyboards.
I'm still impressed by the fact that you're building your own keyboard !

Just read that it might be possible to use two single hand Koolertron (which are orthogonal) together,
ends up with the same number of keys

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1230 on: March 06, 2018, 06:11:32 PM »
Just read that it might be possible to use two single hand Koolertron (which are orthogonal) together,
ends up with the same number of keys
Hmm, I took the BEAKL9 image and overlayed each half on its own Koolertron 48keys orthogonal one hand kbd ..
fits like a glove  ;D (well, with one extra unused row on top)

The version with OEM Gateron Red Switches is CAD $96 + tx each .. reasonable
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 06:16:28 PM by philippe.quesnel »

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Assorted thoughts
« Reply #1231 on: March 10, 2018, 10:21:43 AM »
Hi all

Various things running around in my head, thought I should write them down for future reference... mainly to do with KLA and the modelling process.

In no particular order...

1. At the moment AFAICT we calculate the effort or work required to type as a function of distance moved and finger used. If I remember correctly we have
  a. Patrick: linear distance between keys, calculated by Pythagoras
  b. Den1 : as for Patrick, plus 4mm down and 4mm up for each key press
  c. Den3: Distance between keys doubles x-distance, also 4mm up and down, and different weightings for the fingers, where pinky is punished. Can't remember if distance is sqrroot( (2x)^2 + y^2) or sqrroot( 2(x^2) + y^2).

Den3 calcs have bothered me for a long time, and in recent days think I have come to realise why. I understand it wants to punish horizontal movement, but I really think that it is actually easier for Index finger to move one key to left or right, than to go up one row. Going down may be easiest of all.
The situation with the pinky may be the same. Regret due to personal bad pinkies I am not qualified to offer opinion on this, but both index and pinky are blessed with sideways movement facility, and I'm not sure if it's fair to punish them for that.

Contrawise, the two middle fingers are not designed to move sideways when curled over the keyboard, and thus I agree sideways movement, as in ANSI layout, should be punished.

2. Fingers have a limited range of movement. For some keys, you need to move your hands as well. This 'extra effort' is not included in calculations.

3. Related to (2), how accurate are our finger maps? Do people really use pinky to hit backspace or \| or ~ on QWERTY? Or do they make like me and use ring finger? If so, then we need to redo the finger maps to match reality and not some ivory tower touch typing ideal scenario. All of which is going to invalidate all the current scores.

4. Since people have different size hands (eg http://www.smallpianokeyboards.org/hand-span-data.html ) and we can't pick some magical 'average' (well maybe we can)), I was wondering if we could "allow" for the issue in (2) by changing the distance calculation somewhat, by loading the distance.
eg instead of say sqrroot( x^2 + y^2) we just use  x^2 + y^2 so that larger distances (implying having to move hand as well) are punished. The downside of this is that vertical motion is not adjusted accordingly... maybe we need to do 2(z^2) instead of just 2z.

5. At the moment (as in (1)) we assume the effort required to press a key is always the same. However I contend that pressing basically straight down on the home row requires less effort than in a situation that I use a lot, which is ctrl-insert on ANSI. In this scenario my hand is flat, thumb on Ctrl and middle finger extended straight out to Insert, and then press down. The muscle motions (and stresses on the joints) are very different to pressing K on QWERTY home row. I don't think the current "distance and which finger" models take this sort of action into account.

Okay enough for now :)

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1232 on: March 10, 2018, 12:03:41 PM »
I agree.
Regarding horizontal movement of the pinkies,
we can see examples of this with layouts that use Caps Lock as backspace or a modifier /access to a layer
or in BEAKL 9, '-' and ';' on left, right pinky.

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Give me independence or give me death
« Reply #1233 on: March 10, 2018, 01:31:31 PM »
Looks like our fingers are not really capable of moving independently of the others.

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/20/22/8542   (can export to PDF as well, if you like)

I have no opinion yet as to whether this is relevant to our modelling efforts or not.
Yes, the math(s) is a bit above Pythagoras.

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Finger strengths
« Reply #1234 on: March 11, 2018, 06:47:41 AM »
Been looking for some research/book/whatever that actually looks at how strong each finger is.

Finally found attached table which is from attached PDF, available to freely download on web.

Can't find anything that measures finger strength pushing a key, but even that is tricky to measure if you want the isolated finger action while rest of hand is held relatively still.

I guess these numbers are heavily based on "pinch strength" which I suppose is a reasonable proxy for "pushing a key" ... the relative strengths between fingers should be similar for the two tests.

So now .... do we use these ratios to recalibrate the scoring algorithms?....

Something like

fingerleftrightaverageeffort
thumb109108108.51.00
index605758.51.85
middle545554.51.99
ring373837.52.89
pinky283129.53.68

Discuss :-)

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finger strengths
« Reply #1235 on: March 11, 2018, 07:27:03 AM »
Revised numbers, from the original paper.

Interesting that middle finger comes out half as weak as thumb... maybe giving someone the finger is only half as good as a thumbs up... :-)

Guess I need to redo some of my non-KLA tests/calculations using these numbers instead of my previous "simplified" ratios of 1 - 5, thumb = 5, pinky = 1.

Cheers, Ian

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1236 on: March 13, 2018, 07:20:06 PM »
is the beakl9 kla json file available somewhere ?
I don't see it either in Ian's or Den's KLA presets.
(#1 in Ian's KLA is X1 Ergolinear but I don't see it there either !?)
thx

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1237 on: March 13, 2018, 07:57:02 PM »
ok, since I am not very patient, I entered it myself...
And I am surprised with the results!

BEAKL5 seems to do better than 9 in both Ian's and Den's kla?
Den
BEAKL5 +0%
BEAKL9 +4%

Ian
BEAKL5 +4%
BEAKL9 +10%

also, beakl EZ gets almost same results as 5

either I made a mistake entering 9, I am using the wrong kla versions .. or am just plain confused haha

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1238 on: March 13, 2018, 11:06:07 PM »
is the beakl9 kla json file available somewhere ?

https://www.keyboard-design.com/letterlayout.html?layout=beakl-9.en.matrix

You can find others here  (use the "Search" to filter the list)

https://www.keyboard-design.com/letterlayout.html

Cheers, Ian

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1239 on: March 13, 2018, 11:07:55 PM »
BEAKL5 seems to do better than 9 in both Ian's and Den's kla?

either I made a mistake entering 9, I am using the wrong kla versions .. or am just plain confused haha

I'm just mirroring Den1 ... presume you were comparing this to Den3.

Results depend a lot on your input text.... what were you using?

Cheers, Ian

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1240 on: March 14, 2018, 06:32:49 AM »
https://www.keyboard-design.com/letterlayout.html?layout=beakl-9.en.matrix

You can find others here  (use the "Search" to filter the list)

https://www.keyboard-design.com/letterlayout.html

Cheers, Ian
Ian da Man!
Thank-you, I'll search on your site next time instead of this forum!

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1241 on: March 14, 2018, 06:38:29 AM »
I'm just mirroring Den1 ... presume you were comparing this to Den3.

Results depend a lot on your input text.... what were you using?

Cheers, Ian
I was using Alice (1st in the last hehe) on Den v2, followed the link on your site's Tools page.
Is the 1st entry in the list, "Den's fork", den3?
Thx

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1242 on: March 14, 2018, 07:11:03 AM »
I was using Alice (1st in the last hehe) on Den v2, followed the link on your site's Tools page.
Is the 1st entry in the list, "Den's fork", den3?
http://shenafu.com/code/keyboard/Keyboard%20Layout%20Analyzer.html#/main  is Den1

Den 3 is here:
http://shenafu.com/code/keyboard/klatest/#/main

Will update my site to be more accurate.
"My fork" is mirror of Den1 with some cosmetic changes.



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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1243 on: March 14, 2018, 08:43:50 AM »
http://shenafu.com/code/keyboard/Keyboard%20Layout%20Analyzer.html#/main  is Den1

Den 3 is here:
http://shenafu.com/code/keyboard/klatest/#/main

Will update my site to be more accurate.
"My fork" is mirror of Den1 with some cosmetic changes.
Perfect, thank you

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1244 on: March 15, 2018, 09:33:45 PM »
ooof, just figuring out how to use the available programming of the Koolertron (SmartYao) to handle a 4 layers layout (ie current BEAKLs, Ian's layouts etc) required some ingenuity !
(ie main, shifted, punctuations, numpad)

I actually need 5 layers since I use an 'extend' layer for cursor movement & copy / paste etc, which I really can't do without !

Unfortunately, the Shift key does not give access to a shifted layer, it just shifts the character on the main layer.
So, yes, shift-a => A, shift-/ => ?, but you cannot have shift-! => @ for example.

But I think I figured out a way to have all 5 layers programmed directly in the hardware, no need for extra mapping in the OS.

My solution does mean that one of the 4 possible layouts on the keyboard is used only for a numpad, which leaves me with 3 layouts .. haha more "figuring out" to do : which layouts !!
I guess my two alternate layouts  would be a QWERTY and a special french version of a MTGAP I did.
Main one would be BEAKL10, maybe 9 or 5 ... have to make up my mind someday.

Since this is my 1st matrix kbd, I might change my mind about which layout I prefer.
It might not be the same that I prefer on my US kbd ;-)
(also why I'm thinking of a QWERTY setup : learning curve of matrix kbd)

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1245 on: March 15, 2018, 09:38:13 PM »
.. this is turning out to be almost a DIY project, hehe.
had to figure out how I wanted the keycaps organized ..
On the right you can see my 1st idea, just changed 4 b&w caps with the 4 extra colour ones .

But after millions of different permutations, I settled on a 'Home Block' thing.
Ah! looks like a numpad and a compact movement keys cluster actually !

Have a nice Friday all.

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1246 on: March 15, 2018, 09:40:34 PM »
ooof, just figuring out how to use the available programming of the Koolertron (SmartYao) to handle a 4 layers layout (ie current BEAKLs, Ian's layouts etc) required some ingenuity !
(ie main, shifted, punctuations, numpad)
.. still have to actually program the thing ..hope it all works out ;-)

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Re: Finger strengths
« Reply #1247 on: March 16, 2018, 01:20:13 PM »
Been looking for some research/book/whatever that actually looks at how strong each finger is.

Came across this in attached PDF, freely available on web.


Ballistic movements are rapid motions,
usually repetitive, in which active muscular
contractions begin the movement, giving mo-
mentum to the member, but cease or diminish
their activity throughout the latter part of the
motion. It is unlikely that, of themselves, the
fingers utilize this type of motion to any
marked degree. Barnes (/) reviews evidence
that in repetitive work finger motions are
more fatiguing, less accurate, and slower than
are motions of the forearm. Consequently, in
repetitive finger activities in which there is a
ballistic element, such as piano-playing, typing,
and operating a telegraph key, wrist and elbow
motions predominate while the fingers merely
position themselves to strike the proper key.


Which I suppose ties in with previous observations that people who type with 2 or 4 or 6 fingers can be just as fast as touch typists... because in this case they're relying on the strong muscles of the arms to do the heavy lifting rather than stretching and contracting their fingers to get to all the required keys...

All of which has major implications for the modelling we are doing in KLA.....

Nevertheless, regarding 'strength of fingers' .... was thinking that there are maybe three or four factors to consider...

1. actual strength, in particular, for pressing, while keeping rest of fingers reasonable still, as well as whether pressing almost vertically or at assorted different angles.

2. flexibility of each finger to move in different directions

3. speed of finger in doing such movements... we can not assume all fingers are equally fast, can we?

4. time to fatigue. Perhaps some fingers can work longer without tiring than others?

Also related to the "average finger strength" table I posted above... I think these were measured by measuring "pinching" force, which would mean that the thumb was pressing with the "pad" / finger-print part, rather than the edge as is common in typing. Which could invalidate my calculations, unless we can determine that the thumb is more or less equally strong pressing with edge as with pad.

I have actually modified my programs that used relative strength of fingers in evaluating layouts based on bigrams, trigrams, quadgrams and common words typeable on the home keys, just want to double check them again before uploading the results. On the one hand the results look better than what I got with previous rather arbitrary linear assignment of finger strengths ... now, layouts that can type all the required letters on home keys score higher, whereas previously layouts missing some letters came first. I hope this is a consequence of the weighting and not a logic bug. :)
As expected the split-case layouts come out on top, and the QWERTY/alphabeticals at the bottom.

The new results affect the Best Layout Overall results as well.

Cheers, Ian

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Re: Finger strengths
« Reply #1248 on: March 16, 2018, 02:20:10 PM »

marked degree. Barnes (/) reviews evidence


Available at archive.org. 173MB PDF.

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.275373

It's a textbook on Time and Motion studies... 3rd edition. Scanned so text not searchable :-((

Found attached, possibly text changed between 1st and 3rd editions.

FWIW, the other day I was thinking back to my days playing arcade video games, in particular Asteroids Deluxe, which had five buttons. You steered with your left hand (2 buttons)(ob reminder: yes, you can use the mouse with your left hand...), left thumb button for shields, and right hand controlled thrust (forefinger) and fire (middle finger).  The way to fire off a rapid volley was to freeze your right hand and arm then move the whole thing up and down rapidly, rather than trying to just move your middle finger.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 02:23:56 PM by iandoug »

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Re: Finger strengths
« Reply #1249 on: March 16, 2018, 04:14:39 PM »
Available at archive.org. 173MB PDF.

https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.275373

It's a textbook on Time and Motion studies... 3rd edition. Scanned so text not searchable :-((

Found attached, possibly text changed between 1st and 3rd editions.

FWIW, the other day I was thinking back to my days playing arcade video games, in particular Asteroids Deluxe, which had five buttons. You steered with your left hand (2 buttons)(ob reminder: yes, you can use the mouse with your left hand...), left thumb button for shields, and right hand controlled thrust (forefinger) and fire (middle finger).  The way to fire off a rapid volley was to freeze your right hand and arm then move the whole thing up and down rapidly, rather than trying to just move your middle finger.
Very interesting quote !
I have been wondering if touch typing is REALLY better than my old technique, as far as comfort goes.
(For now, I am still faster on qwerty with personal technique - currently influenced by practicing touch t. - than with touch typing : have to properly learn a layout !)

I'd say that with touch typing I get less hands / arms (and head!) movement but more tension... and for now less comfort ;-p
The way I am used to type feels more fluid, whereas t.t. brings back my old tense forearm muscles from my music studies days (guitar = tendonitis).

On the other hand, and the reason why I want to touch type, I keep doing the bobbing head thing from kbd to screen .. not good for neck and shoulders,not good at all.

I was wondering also about this "the thumb is the great powerful underused finger" idea, ie how much stronger it is in actual typing use.
The strength of my index pushing down in typing position vs the strength pushing down-sideways w. my thumb "feels" kinda similar.