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Author Topic: Balanced Keyboard Layout  (Read 308966 times)

iandoug

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Re: Finger strengths
« Reply #1250 on: 2018-Mar-17 03:52 »
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 think we need to introduce some new terminology... as I understand it, "Touch Type" has two components:

1. each key is assigned to a particular finger. Thou Shalt Use No Other Finger.

2. the keyboard map is integrated into your head-hand continuum. So you should not need to look at the keyboard because you "know" where the key is.

Now I'm reasonably good at (2), even when I hit the wrong key, I hit backspace and try again (sometimes 2 or 3 times) but rarely need to look at the keyboard, I just know I was a key or so off to the left or right, and try again...)

But there is no way I comply with (1). So am I "touch typing" or not?  (*)

At this point I don't really have better terms. Perhaps (2) could be "blind typing" or somesuch, and (1) could be something referencing "correct fingers".

Cheers, Ian

(*) The other day my therapist asked if I was "touch typing" (ie yet/again) and how my speed was (after the whole smash-my-left-arm incident). I didn't know how to answer because I don't consider my typing to be "touch typing"....

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1251 on: 2018-Mar-17 04:19 »
Finger typing and arm typing certainly employ different dynamics. Yet there could be similarities for the sake of measurement. So we must reason which metrics are important for either typing style, and how these metrics are same or different.

Metrics: Distance, same finger, same hand, rolls, home keys, home block, finger weights, etc.

Explication in later post.
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iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1252 on: 2018-Mar-17 07:59 »
Finger typing and arm typing certainly employ different dynamics. Yet there could be similarities for the sake of measurement. So we must reason which metrics are important for either typing style, and how these metrics are same or different.

Attached page from Barnes' book. I found it very interesting that operator A2 was able to move the object 8 and 16 inches in effectively the same time... and even faster for the longer distance.
Comparing those numbers to his 24 inch time, and to both operators' "loaded" time, I'm guessing two things:

1. difference in body type, A2 was more slightly built and used forearm+wrist for 8 and 16 inches, but had to use shoulder as well for 24 inches. A1 was heavier-built, less flexibility, and had to use shoulder for 16 and 24 inches.

2. adding weight involved the shoulder and thus slowed the times down.

But given that a typical keyboard alpha area width is less than 16 inches, in theory there is hardly any time difference between moving 2 keys or 4 keys, for some people at least. Think the issue is not so much the "moving" as stopping in the right place.

iandoug

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Re: Finger strengths
« Reply #1253 on: 2018-Mar-18 07:57 »
4. time to fatigue. Perhaps some fingers can work longer without tiring than others?

A few months back I was thinking about this in relation to same-finger usage... and wondering about modelling it.

A finger (well, the muscles in the hand and forearm that work it) will eventually get tired after repetitive action.

And will recover after some rest.

Question is, is this actually a factor in real-world typing? Probably most people don't type continuously these days, unlike secretaries/data-capture people in times gone by.

We could pick some number (x) and say that for every keystroke typed continuously by same finger, finger loses 'x %' energy. And for every keystroke where finger is resting, it gains 'y %' energy.
x may or may not be equal to y. I suspect y < x.

My thinking was along the lines of say we use pinky twice in a row (ie loses 2x %), then it rests for 1 key (recovers y%), then gets used again twice in a row, etc.
Do this for all fingers, probably with different x and y for each finger.

These numbers then directly impact "effort" calculations... tired fingers need more effort to do same job.

Yes I know this is probably overkill :-)

Just putting it out there in case it gets someone else thinking...


iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1254 on: 2018-Mar-18 09:27 »
Attached page from Barnes' book.

Browsing around the book.

Has a guideline (these things are aimed at efficiency on production line etc, but some things still relevant somewhat to keyboard analysis):

"Smooth continuous motions of the hands are preferable to zigzag motions or straight-line motions involving sudden and sharp changes in direction" ...

which kinda sums up the problem with typing ... we're continuously changing direction.

So how do we arrange keys to be in circular motion rather than zig-zag....

Suppose this ties in with inward and outward rolls to a degree.

Modelling typing can get very tricky :-) ... suppose that's why Patrick took a simplified model.


iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1255 on: 2018-Mar-18 10:40 »
Browsing around the book.

Attached.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1256 on: 2018-Mar-19 19:38 »
The downside of concave wells is not as effective for less-fingers typing (e.g. 6-finger style), versus flat keyboards. Thus concave keyboards fitted for 10-finger typing limit freedom of motions. ( and limits even creative optimizations of bigrams. Although with an ideal layout, such creative outliers shouldn't be necessary in the first place.  :-\ )

So the studies also suggest to reduce the pinky usage for optimal performance. But perhaps I went too far with pinky ban, and now under-utilized it? Same for KLA Den3, over-penalizing the pinky?

I'd like to move the K down from the far index-top-inside. So borrowing from BEAKL 11&14 and slightly modified the vowel district, combined with the consonant district unchanged from BEAKL 8&9:

Code: [Select]
BEAKL 15

qhoux gcrfz
yiea. dstnb
j/,k' wmlpv

Scores generally better than BEAKL 9. Very close scores to BEAKL 8, if not for extra pinky penalties. Generally better distance than both; definitely feels like less reaching to the far corners.

Arhu

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1257 on: 2018-Mar-20 04:26 »
Hi there. I want to try and learn Beakl. Do you have any quick pointers on how to use it in Windows? I couldn't find any info on that, really. The download page on shenafu throws a 404 error. I used Portable Keyboard Layout a few years ago when I tried getting into Dvorak, which was very useful.

As I understand I'll need a better keyboard to really make use of the layout, but for now my old MS Natural 4000 will have to suffice.

While searching for more info I also stumbled upon a customized version called Beakl Mu, in which a user combined BEAKL 8 left hand and the BEAKL 10 right hand. Any thoughts on that?

Anyway, I'll probably start with the currently recommended version 9 (or 15 now? ;)) and go from there.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1258 on: 2018-Mar-20 05:08 »
The downside of concave wells is not as effective for less-fingers typing (e.g. 6-finger style), versus flat keyboards. Thus concave keyboards fitted for 10-finger typing limit freedom of motions. ( and limits even creative optimizations of bigrams.

Yeah, on the one hand I see the design rationale for concave well, on the other I know they ain't gonna work for my non-standard hands.
Also I'm sure there are issues between big hands and smaller hands.

You got KLA json for latest version please?

Thanks, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1259 on: 2018-Mar-20 05:12 »
Hi there. I want to try and learn Beakl. Do you have any quick pointers on how to use it in Windows?

Windows uses some sort of keymap file, yes? Mmm .klc files?

I should generate those for the layouts... will see what I can do. Also xkb files....

Cheers, Ian

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1260 on: 2018-Mar-20 05:19 »
I use Autohotkey to remap all the layers.

If you just want to rearrange the alphabet, then PKL could work. Or Autohotkey with simple remapping commands.

I have very complex AHK scripts that work on my Kinesis Advantage 2, along with some hardware remaps. It covers many layers and locks/toggles. So most likely these scripts won't work for anyone else.

If you're really into alternative layouts, ideally you'd want a keyboard with built-in firmware programmability, especially for multiple layers. Popular ones Ergodox, but there a few others. However, these are not cheap.

Reason I don't like BEAKL 8 is that I much prefer the common vowels on the home keys. H is not as common as these vowels, so I don't need it at home. Similarly, TNS are the most common consonants, so they should be the home letters.

On the contrary, BEAKL Mu creator prefers nice rolls, so H-R on the home keys is understandable--it's was designed for this purpose. However, it just doesn't fit my personal style; overall, rolls are not the top priority for me.

Also as he noted, the differences in scores between the BEAKL versions are very minute. So it's really a matter of personal preference at this point. That said, at this moment, I'd like someone to test out BEAKL 15.  ;D
« Last Edit: 2018-Mar-20 05:30 by Den »

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1261 on: 2018-Mar-20 06:21 »
Uploaded BEAKL 11 to 15 on KLA test and 3, under BEAKL section when selecting layout.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1262 on: 2018-Mar-20 06:52 »
Uploaded BEAKL 11 to 15 on KLA test and 3, under BEAKL section when selecting layout.

Thanks. Still need to run Den3 with previous collection, will add these and BEAKL MU to next batch.

Staring at .klc and PKL ... will see if can get at least ANSI layouts to work. Will need to find samples of other form factors.

Cheers, Ian

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1263 on: 2018-Mar-21 06:31 »
Left and right hands have different attributes and inclinations. Thus the variables in analysis and scores should also be different, rather than mirrored.

Left is weaker and slower. Wants to stay in place. So more penalty for distance. Can't handle too many letters. Finger usage should be less, and higher penalty for same finger.


iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1264 on: 2018-Mar-21 06:38 »
Left is weaker and slower. Wants to stay in place. So more penalty for distance. Can't handle too many letters. Finger usage should be less, and higher penalty for same finger.

so that puts us back with vowels and punc on left .... been there, done that :-)

or do you want to overload right with etanoisrh ? :-)... put zxkqj etc on left?

Feels like you are saying hand balance should not be 50/50 ...

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1265 on: 2018-Mar-21 17:01 »
so that puts us back with vowels and punc on left .... been there, done that :-)

or do you want to overload right with etanoisrh ? :-)... put zxkqj etc on left?

Feels like you are saying hand balance should not be 50/50 ...

We're not predicting or dictating the exact locations of all the characters. We are only prescribing the scoring criteria numericaly, according to studies and best practices.

Just as fingers have different strengths, so too each hand and arm. So that should be reflected in the analyses.

Study says more like left/right hand = 0.8887, or about 47/53. Compare finger usage of BEAKL9 is 38.7/43 = 0.9.

Index is slightly stronger and agile than middle. So we give both a high share of keys pressed. But index is also shorter, so needs more effort to reach distant keys. So distant penalty for index is higher.

« Last Edit: 2018-Mar-21 17:11 by Den »

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1266 on: 2018-Mar-21 17:20 »
Study says more like left/right hand = 0.8887, or about 47/53. Compare finger usage of BEAKL9 is 38.7/43 = 0.9.

Index is slightly stronger and agile than middle. So we give both a high share of keys pressed. But index is also shorter, so needs more effort to reach distant keys. So distant penalty for index is higher.

Curious how extra line appeared as I quoted. :-)

We've actually got a lot of layouts that are in the 45/55 percentage balance range.

Re index and reach, it's one of the reasons why I think key to "inside" of index should be part of Home Block/whatever ... it is easy to reach . I think H from J is easier than M from J, on ANSI QWERTY. Going to M requires an awkward hand shift.

I saw some research the other night that concluded that the left hand index is stronger for gripping than right hand index. (IIRC... was something like that.) Found that rather odd.
Really struggling to find research that measures relative finger strength for pushing buttons ... they're all focused on "pinch" and different hand grips etc.
Would also like relative flexibility, and endurance... I basically search these things on my phone when I go to bed... tires me out :-)

iandoug

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KLE renders
« Reply #1267 on: 2018-Mar-21 17:40 »
BTW http://kle-render.herokuapp.com/ has been updated, should be able to handle full width of your matrix layouts now. Also other changes.

I'll need to modify my program that generates KLE from KLA to make matrix full width. At present I skip a bunch of keys in the middle.

Sample render attached.

nichetype

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1268 on: 2018-Mar-21 21:18 »
Re index and reach, it's one of the reasons why I think key to "inside" of index should be part of Home Block/whatever ... it is easy to reach . I think H from J is easier than M from J, on ANSI QWERTY. Going to M requires an awkward hand shift.

I happen to agree with you on this, which is why I don't subscribe to the merits of layouts like Workman and Colemak Mod-DH. That said, some people really do find the middle center column uncomfortable. Maybe a one-size-fits-all layout is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1269 on: 2018-Mar-21 22:37 »
reaching the inner column requires spreading the fingers. which is somewhat more effort and slightly uncomfortable. it's also further away for rolls.

Arhu

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1270 on: 2018-Mar-22 04:48 »
I managed to put together a basic ISO Beakl 15 version with MS Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4 (attached if anyone is interested). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to create a numlock layer with it, so I only have the normal, shift and AltGr layers. The "test keyboard layout" window works well enough for practice sessions. I'm planning on eventually getting a X-Bows keyboard though for a more appropriate form factor and thumb access to modifier keys.

Do you guys know of any typing tutors I could use? Currently I'm following the simple training lessions for Beakl 9 on keyboard-design.com, though some keys are different from Beakl 15 obviously.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1271 on: 2018-Mar-22 05:01 »
I managed to put together a basic ISO Beakl 15 version with MS Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4 (attached if anyone is interested). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to create a numlock layer with it,

Thanks for the sample, noted the issue re numlock.
I think the advanced things keyboard hackers do are not going to be supported by MS anytime soon (please correct me if I'm wrong :-) )

Regret my current setup re new layouts is still very messy ... If I add it to the database and "everything else" (ie all the tests etc) are not done then things may break.
And doing the KLA tests takes a while, basically at the moment I test all layouts on each preset, which generates a file (copied from browser console), and then have loader program which reads in each file and processes it.

I suppose I need a "one layout, all tests" process (as opposed to "one test, all layouts") but at the moment the console log won't tell them apart, especially in KLA original and Den1. I think Den3 writes some sample text from preset which could enable auto processing of the log file.

So typing training inputs for Beakl15 will be there eventually, just not now. Sorry.

Cheers, Ian

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1272 on: 2018-Mar-22 07:36 »
Study says more like left/right hand = 0.8887, or about 47/53. Compare finger usage of BEAKL9 is 38.7/43 = 0.9.

Index is slightly stronger and agile than middle. So we give both a high share of keys pressed. But index is also shorter, so needs more effort to reach distant keys. So distant penalty for index is higher.

ETA for Den4 ? :-)

If imminent then no point in me testing everything with Den3 ....

Thanks, Ian

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1273 on: 2018-Mar-22 19:49 »
Kinesis released a graphical app to customize layouts for Advantage2 (in beta test mode).

https://www.kinesis-ergo.com/advantage2-smartset-app-beta/

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1274 on: 2018-Mar-26 12:18 »
I happen to agree with you on this, which is why I don't subscribe to the merits of layouts like Workman and Colemak Mod-DH. That said, some people really do find the middle center column uncomfortable. Maybe a one-size-fits-all layout is nothing more than a pipe dream.
Hehe, I am part of the "other group" .. bottom row M with the index is more comfortable for me.

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1275 on: 2018-Mar-26 12:35 »
I managed to put together a basic ISO Beakl 15 version with MS Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4 (attached if anyone is interested). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to create a numlock layer with it, so I only have the normal, shift and AltGr layers. The "test keyboard layout" window works well enough for practice sessions. I'm planning on eventually getting a X-Bows keyboard though for a more appropriate form factor and thumb access to modifier keys.
Did you get the Control-XYZ part down ? ie. does ctrl-a correctly output ctrl-a or does it output ctrl-f (the original key!) ;-) ?
MS Keyboard Layout Creator does not change the virtual key part of the layout, you need to do this manually (thx Mictosoft)
Here's an article with the details if ever you didn't know about this : http://www.sensefulsolutions.com/2010/08/how-to-fix-keyboard-shortcuts-in-klc-eg.html

I guess you could use shift-altGr for the numpad layer?

I too use AutoHotkey with my own scripts .. though there are some quirks, which is why I am working on a new version  :P

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1276 on: 2018-Mar-26 12:44 »
Did you get the Control-XYZ part down ? ie. does ctrl-a correctly output ctrl-a or does it output ctrl-f (the original key!) ;-) ?
MS Keyboard Layout Creator does not change the virtual key part of the layout, you need to do this manually (thx Mictosoft)
Here's an article with the details if ever you didn't know about this : http://www.sensefulsolutions.com/2010/08/how-to-fix-keyboard-shortcuts-in-klc-eg.html

from looking at your KLC file, I believe the ctrl shortcuts in the layout don't work !

Code: [Select]
14 Y 1 x X -1 0026
15 F 1 g G -1 -1
16 G 1 c C -1 005b
17 C 1 r R -1 0022
18 R 1 f F -1 005d

the virtual key column (2nd col YFGCR) need to modified to be the same as the keys column (XGCRF), just be carefull with keys that use special names like OEM_PERIOD!

Arhu

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1277 on: 2018-Mar-26 13:49 »
Thanks for the heads up. Didn't know about the Ctrl shortcuts thing. My version doesn't even compile because somehow a duplicate OEM_4 key snuck in there and I don't know how to get rid of it. May have to do the layout from scratch. So far it's fine though as I can still continue with some basic typing lessons.

I'm thinking that AutoHotkey would be a better solution. Can you share anything or did you already make the transition to a proper non-ANSI keyboard?  ;)

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1278 on: 2018-Mar-26 20:23 »
hmm, my stuff is available here : https://github.com/phques/txt2autokey
but it's something I did for myself, only AutoHotkey scripts.

The original idea was to have a small program written in Go that reads a simple text file containing the new layout and generated an Autohotkey AHK script that remapped the keys. But it only supported main layer and shift layer.

The latest stuff is under examples.layers/, which works with the layout key mappings directly inside an AHK script.
For example : under examples.layers/beakl9, you have beaklOpted9full.ahk which you can start with Autohotkey (currently version 2.0-a089-3de22ab), it should give you a standard BEAKL9 layout with an 'Help Image' (help image stuff is based on code modified from PKL)
(oops, I think the current images are for my modified version, there will be small differences!)

The mappings are done like this in the script:
Code: [Select]
; main layer
CreateLayer(1)

; shifted chars (declare 1st!)
AddMappings(1, 1, '  2 3 4     7 8 9  ',     '  + = *      ^ `% ~ ')
AddMappings(1, 1, 'q w e r t  y u i o p',    'J H O U K  G C R F Z ')
AddMappings(1, 1, "a s d f g  h j k l `; '", 'Q I E A Y  D S T N B `; ')
AddMappings(1, 1, 'z x c v b  n m , . /',    '? ! `` @ X W M L P V')
AddMappings(1, 1, 'Capslock', '-')
etc...The help images you have to create manually.
The whole thing was not intended to be used by 'the general public' hehe, but if you feel comfortable playing around with it, be my guess .. but don't expect major tech support ;-p
« Last Edit: 2018-Mar-26 21:43 by philippe.quesnel »

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1279 on: 2018-Mar-26 20:29 »
you might want to take a look at PKL, 'portable keyboard layout', it is used for example for the Windows versions of B├ępo and BvoFrak. It generates AHK scripts from a Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator file.

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1280 on: 2018-Mar-26 20:53 »
I'd like to move the K down from the far index-top-inside. So borrowing from BEAKL 11&14 and slightly modified the vowel district, combined with the consonant district unchanged from BEAKL 8&9:

Scores generally better than BEAKL 9. Very close scores to BEAKL 8, if not for extra pinky penalties. Generally better distance than both; definitely feels like less reaching to the far corners.
Yay, a new version to try out !  ;)
I am currently trying out 9 - 10, alternating between the two.. some things I prefer on 9, some more on 10,
will give 15 a try, thx

Still trying to get something decent going on my two half SmartYao orthogonal .. kinda disappointed for now!
As far as the physical aspect goes, it really changes some of the difficulties .. for example, the middle column bottom row keys are just crazy to reach (for me anyways)
I also had to change the thumbs assignments, it just didn't work for me on this keyboard

Arhu

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1281 on: 2018-Mar-28 03:26 »
Thanks philippe, will have a look. I tried using MSKLC again but was only partly successful. Apparently it can't properly handle empty keys and uses defaults there, which means I can't move certain VK_'s without getting error messages about duplicate assignments. And some VK_'s I can't seem to be able to move at all.

I did manage to make a version that compiles, so I can now switch layouts more easily and use a simple online typing tutor to use custom lessons from keyboard-design.com.


Since I'm learning on an ergonomic keyboard, typing already feels very nice. I also tried on an ANSI/ISO keyboard and it was surprisingly painful. I've been typing QUERTY on it and hadn't had that much of a problem. It seems the homerow-focus of better layouts actually works against them on ANSI/ISO keyboards.

On QUERTY my hands eventually find their own resting positions: a virtual homerow on AWEF/JIO; rather than ASDF/JKL;, with arms further apart. While typing my hands hover over the keys I'm about to press, but never actually the home row. I only need the bumps on F and J to get my bearings. In this sense the wild key pattern of QUERTY isn't as bad on ANSI/ISO as it should be -- they both mask each others problems to a degree, albeit for all the wrong reasons: ANSI/ISO homerow is pretty bad for a two-handed resting position, but  QUERTY doesn't care as it doesn't actually use the homerow much. Still, there's too much finger acrobatics required.

Anyway, all these musings did was to reaffirm my conviction that I need to switch. ;)
« Last Edit: 2018-Mar-29 02:47 by Arhu »

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1282 on: 2018-Mar-28 23:25 »
On QUERTY my hands eventually find their own resting positions: a virtual homerow on AWEF/JIO; rather than ASDF/JKL;, with arms further apart. While typing my hands hover over the keys I'm about to press, but never actually the home row. I only need the bumps on F and J to get my bearings.

Interesting, I remember my parents telling me that they had learned the "Lasalle" technique .. and that was the home row they used in the technique.
I thought it made some "ergonomic sense" and
 tried this for fun a while ago, but found that the bottom row became even harder to reach for the two middle fingers.
Maybe with training it could become more natural, with possibly some hand movement towards the bottom?
« Last Edit: 2018-Mar-28 23:37 by philippe.quesnel »

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1283 on: 2018-Mar-28 23:36 »
I have been trying out BEAKL15 and have to say that it is my favorite BEAKL / favorite layout at the moment.
With some changes to the altgr layer, that better suit my personal taste / programming needs.
(thx all !)

Arhu

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1284 on: 2018-Mar-29 02:24 »
I thought it made some "ergonomic sense" and tried this for fun a while ago, but found that the bottom row became even harder to reach for the two middle fingers.
I guess so, but personally I only really have two home keys (F and J) and let the hands rest naturally. My resting position keys are different for ANSI and ergonomic keyboards. With sufficient proficiency the actual homerow doesn't matter much anyway because your hands and fingers will be moving into new positions all the time while typing, which is all over the place on Querty. It's different when you are still learning and your muscle memory isn't developed yet, i.e. when you still rigidly move your fingers back to the home row after each key press.

Based on these anecdotal observations I question to some degree the validity of homerow based alternate keyboard layouts on ANSI keyboards, because the traditional homerow is in such an awkward spot. I assume they'd work better if the homerow keys were moved to follow more natural hand resting positions. The layouts are totally fine on ergonomic keyboards, of course.


Quote
With some changes to the altgr layer, that better suit my personal taste / programming needs.
Don't tease. Reveal your insights. ;)
« Last Edit: 2018-Mar-29 02:34 by Arhu »

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1285 on: 2018-Mar-29 12:07 »
Don't tease. Reveal your insights. ;)
well it is personal taste  ;D
for BEAKL15 I use the modified version I use in 9-10
Code: [Select]
    original 15               original 9-10                modified 9-10
    + = *      ^ % ~           + = *       ^ % ~              _         ^ % ~   
    [ " ] &    { _ }           { _ } &     [ " ]          : { = } !     [ " ] \ 
- \ ( 1 ) #  $ < 0 > |     - \ ( 1 ) #   $ < 0 > | ;    # & ( 1 ) *   + < 0 > | $
  5 4 3 2 :    9 8 7 6       5 4 3 2 :     9 8 7 6        5 4 3 2 -     9 8 7 6 

I kept {} on the left and [] on the right as in BEAKL9-10, but with =_ swapped
and moved down *+, taking the place of #$ in the middle column
&| on the pinkies for some symmetry of logical operators
added ! -
etc ..
I have been typing := a lot lately, in my AHK scripts hehe
and -> => =< are nice to type

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1286 on: 2018-Mar-30 06:56 »
The numbers on punc / altgr layer are only for KLA scoring. In reality, i never type numbers on that layer. I use number row or numpad. So i might move the numbers back to number row, then put other puncs in their place on punc layer, thus better slots for puncs.

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1287 on: 2018-Mar-30 09:30 »
The numbers on punc / altgr layer are only for KLA scoring. In reality, i never type numbers on that layer. I use number row or numpad. So i might move the numbers back to number row, then put other puncs in their place on punc layer, thus better slots for puncs.
I thought in the past the numbers were "in the way" of more symbols etc but I am not certain what to do with numbers :-)
I sometimes do use top row to type 1 & 0 but that's about it

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1288 on: 2018-Mar-31 04:39 »
overall, moving the numbers back to the number row didn't affect the scores too much.

the analyzer is problematic for code and puncs test when it comes to repeating symbols. for instance, something like long string of ********** would account for a lot of same finger and hand penalties. but in reality, you just hold down the button, so it should be effortless really. however, if that finger was a weaker finger, it could accumulate substantial penalties.

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1289 on: 2018-Mar-31 04:52 »
the analyzer is problematic for code and puncs test when it comes to repeating symbols. for instance, something like long string of ********** would account for a lot of same finger and hand penalties. but in reality, you just hold down the button, so it should be effortless really. however, if that finger was a weaker finger, it could accumulate substantial penalties.

Not to mention copy-and-paste... :-)

On the other hand, all layouts are penalised in same way.

Back in my youth it was common (especially in that abomination COBOL) for programmers to make pretty blocks around section headings, comments, etc

###########################################
# Main Section - Program Control          #
###########################################


But Linus threw a hissy fit about that once...

https://lkml.org/lkml/2016/7/8/625


Arhu

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1290 on: 2018-Apr-01 12:19 »
I have been typing := a lot lately, in my AHK scripts hehe
and -> => =< are nice to type
The numbers on punc / altgr layer are only for KLA scoring. In reality, i never type numbers on that layer. I use number row or numpad.
Does the punc layer take bigrams like all the comparison operators etc. into account? Or was it mostly designed by hand?
Either way I'm looking forward to a numberless version of it if that feels better. Still busy learning the default layer, myself.

I ordered an X-Bows keyboard plus numpad which is due in May. Here's an idea for the key mappings based on BEAKL 15.

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1291 on: 2018-Apr-02 02:35 »
Does the punc layer take bigrams like all the comparison operators etc. into account? Or was it mostly designed by hand?
Either way I'm looking forward to a numberless version of it if that feels better. Still busy learning the default layer, myself.

I ordered an X-Bows keyboard plus numpad which is due in May. Here's an idea for the key mappings based on BEAKL 15.

I start with something like this:

Code: [Select]
  40123 76598
   <$>   [_]
 -\(")# %{=}|;
   :*+   &^~

iandoug

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1292 on: 2018-Apr-02 04:07 »
I ordered an X-Bows keyboard plus numpad which is due in May. Here's an idea for the key mappings based on BEAKL 15.

Oh very nice mockup indeed .... :-)

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1293 on: 2018-Apr-02 21:11 »
I start with something like this:

Code: [Select]
  40123 76598
   <$>   [_]
 -\(")# %{=}|;
   :*+   &^~

This tops the punctuation torture test by far.


shopt

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1294 on: 2018-Apr-04 06:05 »

shopt

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1295 on: 2018-Apr-04 06:50 »
About a month ago, I got an Ergodox EZ, started using beakl9, and lurking this thread (there's a lot of it). I thought I would post my thoughts so far.

Until about a month ago, I had been using ANSI keyboards. Around 6 years ago I switched from qwerty (some sort of 4-6 finger typing method with glances at the keyboard) to programmer dvorak (touch typing). Not a lot of thought went into it, I just went along with a coworker and liked how much more comfortable it was than qwerty. Anyway, I grew more and more annoyed with the ANSI layout, and the right pinky "ls -l" curse in dvorak. Most of the time I had "l" and "ll" aliases, but still a bit too much right pinky.

So I started using BEAKL9 on my EZ. BEAKL9 and dvorak-p share positions of 'e', 't', 'n', 'm' and 'x' (well sort of x, the position is much less awkward on an ergodox). Sharing 'e', 't', and 'n' made initial progress easy but also made it all too easy to "lapse" back into dvorak. And the "gcrf rotated by one" still gets me due to how they are almost in their dvorak positions.

Anyway, my pinkies love BEAKL, and overall I'm quite happy. The main niggles I have so far are:
  • The "cd" command is a bit clunky, though nowhere near as bad as "ls" from dvorak. This is partially worked around by having "..", "...", etc. aliases
  • The "hi" bigram is less smooth on BEAKL9 than dvorak. It is not in the top bigrams for english, but still common enough to be noticeable.
  • Due to my work, I'm having to type the awkward "pr" bigram quite a bit more than standard english calls for. Anyway, this is a problem specific to me, and hopefully not permanent.

Other changes I found myself making:
  • I could not get used to the arrows in their positions marked. I had to change to left, up, down, right (I generally shift my whole left hand down if using arrows)
  • Assuming I understood the thumb positioning correctly, I had to swap space and tab as well as the shift and alt gr layer switches. I also made the thumb layer switches "one shot", which probably has no bearing on test scores but makes typing nicer for me.
  • I changed the far right pinky from ';' to ':' on the base layer, and ';' in the shift, punc, and num layers. As a vim user who does most of my code in golang, python, bash, and scala, I use : much more often than ;. I've also made far left pinky into '_' in the shifted layer.

Thanks for all the work you have put into this. I really appreciate it.

If anyone is interested, my current (not final, still doing minor tweaks) layout is https://configure.ergodox-ez.com/keyboard_layouts/kwjvgn/edit. Note the AltGr in that is a literal AltGr, not a layer switch. Also the "shifts" are literal "shifts", the "shift" layer is layer 1. For most keys the result is the same, but not all.

shopt

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1296 on: 2018-Apr-04 07:02 »
I noticed at one point in the thread, single keypresses for bigrams and words were looked at. The "th" bigram is more frequent than some letters, so in theory it might make sense to give it a key, and push 'q', 'z', etc. into a layer. Has anyone tried something like that?

shopt

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1297 on: 2018-Apr-04 07:20 »
I was thinking the other day... one of the (many?) criticisms against new layouts is whether they maintain ZXCV at bottom left, for the purposes of short-cuts. And possibly A as well.

But in truth, it is not so much the LETTER that is important, but the closeness of those keys to the left Control key.

So let's say a swanky new layout puts PKQX there instead. Surely we can just tell the OS/keyboard driver to treat Control-P as Undo, Control-K as Cut, etc?

Or do people really need to see the XCV to know what they're going to produce? (FWIW I use the right-hand shortcuts mostly - ctrl-insert, shift-insert, etc) and my fingers do that without me thinking too much... no need to look.)

(Yes I know Den says cut/copy/paste should have dedicated keys, but ANSI/ISO does not always oblige... :-) )
The other approach sometimes suggested is that keys perform their "qwerty" functions when ctrl is down. Personally I would find that very confusing. Also, cut is a bit more of a convenience, it can be simulated by copy+delete (or copy can be simulated by cut+paste or cut+undo).

Den

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1298 on: 2018-Apr-04 07:29 »
I noticed at one point in the thread, single keypresses for bigrams and words were looked at. The "th" bigram is more frequent than some letters, so in theory it might make sense to give it a key, and push 'q', 'z', etc. into a layer. Has anyone tried something like that?

I have it brought it up in the design of my phonetic script. (http://shenafu.com/smf/index.php?topic=117.msg1661#msg1661.) Such that 'TH' and 'NG' should be their own new single letters. Where TH is common in European languages, and NG is common in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

As for how to implement it on a keyboard. What are some ideas without inventing a new letter? Macros? Autocorrect? Replacement? (e.g. typing z becomes th).

philippe.quesnel

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Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Reply #1299 on: 2018-Apr-04 12:15 »
Lots of interesting ideas here :-)
Since most of the top 'best layouts' results on Ian's site seem to be Essie / CLP types, it had me investigating these *again*.
I measured w. KLA a few old layouts I had done with a modified MTGAP "mtgap seelpy beakl" layouts !
(my own take on the SC thing anyways)
One of them is usually #2 for my programming tests, just afterX7-1H .. except for "normal text" (Classics Collection preset),where it does not do as well
Code: [Select]
main / shifted                     altgr / shift-altgr
    F  O  U     N  D  C                 [  %  `         Q  K  ]
 G  H  E  A     R  T  S  P           <  V  &  +         |  W  \  >
    Y  !  I     L  M  B                 ?  #  ;         X  J  Z
                                   
    f  o  u     n  d  c                 (  =  :         q  k  )
 g  h  e  a     r  t  s  p           {  v  -  ,         "  w  '  }
    y  .  i     l  m  b                 /  *  ;         x  j  z
kinda usable ;-p  missing 3-4 symbols right now though.
I'm using a key mask to restrict the keys to use, 3x3 home block + home row pinky in this one
« Last Edit: 2018-Apr-04 12:34 by philippe.quesnel »

 

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