The Dvorak Keyboard: The Right Way To Go

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Which keyboard layout do you use most often?

Dvorak
1
8%
Qwerty
10
77%
Qwertz
0
No votes
Other
2
15%
 
Total votes: 13

Jenda
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The Dvorak Keyboard: The Right Way To Go

Post by Jenda »

I finally made the switch to dvorak today. I strongly recommend you do the same, especially if your main languages are amongst the following:
English, French, German, Spanish, Norweigian (Norse?) and Hebrew - all these have their own Dvoraks (unlike Czech).
There is a simple, yet very effective GNU/Linux program for learning called dvorak7min available on Synaptic and in RPM here.

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Post by Void Main »

I'm not a big fan of the man (Dvorak) and I can't imagine switching after becoming so proficient in QWERTY over the last 40 years. :) Also, vi/vim is a big part of my life and the vi/vim commands are already designed with efficiency in mind as far as physical location on the keyboard for the command. Moving all the letters around would destroy that efficiency unless there were a vi/vim map (maybe there is) that would remap the keys back to their proper position if using a Dvorak keyboard. Of course that would also mean it would be very difficult to use a vi reference if none of the letters match up to what is on the keyboard.

I think I'll stick with QWERTY even if it isn't the best. I'm sure English isn't the best language either but that's what I learned and that is what the rest of my family speaks. If I switched now communicating could become difficult in several ways. :) Or are there ways to solve those peripheral issues? On the other hand Linux is better than Windows and I chose to go the Linux route even though there are peripheral disadvantages to do so (most other people don't use Linux). I am willing to struggle through the disadvantages to benefit from the much bigger advantages when it comes to Linux so maybe I should reconsider.

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Post by Jenda »

Exactly:
Yesterday: GNU/Linux - it didn't take long to convert me
Today: Dvorak - a bit of history and a few statistics and there isn't any doubt
Tomorrow:who knows? hexadecimal numerics? A new alphabet? A new, meaning-optimised language? Maybe not - but I refuse to conform to standards just because they are standards and especially when making the switch is as easy as with a damn keyboard or an OS.
Dvorak only made the layout for English - so the language is OK (the other languages are modern adaptations) - IMO English is indeed one of the most useful (not because of it's popularity) lingos. I once heard it's the easiest language to learn wrong :)
I'm quite sure Vi can change it's commands - there might even be a Vi-for-dvorak, or that there is another solution to this problem (this is, afterall, the free SW world.)
from http://www.shiar.org/happy/txts/dvorak.php:
Difference: It might be a problem when you're using keys by position, unix commands for example, or moving around in vi using hjkl. These shortkeys weren't made with dvorak in mind. Personally, I don't really mind. It takes a little getting used to new positions, but they don't seem that much worse.
If you are willing to give it some thought, start here:
http://dvzine.org/
then check out:
http://www.acm.vt.edu/~jmaxwell/dvorak/keyboard.html
http://www.geocities.com/malibu_malv/curse_qwerty.html
for a lot of detail and help go to:
http://www.mwbrooks.com/dvorak/procon.html

WIKI:
* It is easier to type letters alternating between hands.
* For maximum speed and efficiency, the most common letters and digraphs should be the easiest to type. This means that they should be on the home row, which is where the fingers rest.
* Likewise, the least common letters should be on the bottom row, which is the hardest row to reach.
* The right hand should do more of the typing, because most people are right-handed.
* It is more difficult to type digraphs with adjacent fingers than non-adjacent fingers.
* Stroking should generally move from the edges of the board to the middle (as an example, rap your fingers on a table and see which is easier: going from little finger to index or vice versa). This motion on a keyboard is called inboard stroke flow.

In 1984 the Dvorak keyboard had an estimated 100,000 users.
[/i]

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Post by worker201 »

There is more to this than 'standards'. The fingers and the hands get used to the letters being in the (for lack of a better word) normal place. Proof - I typed everything to this point without looking at the keyboard. Another proof - notice how much more difficult it is to type on a keyboard with a really small backspace key: I end up with ========= across the screen, and it gets really frustrating. My finger knows where that backspace key is supposed to be, and if it isn't there, all sorts of errors abound. Imagine what would happen if the d was replaced by a n? It's like there is an unspoken bond between the brain and the fingers and the qwerty keyboard, especially in someone as old (!) and experienced as Void Main. The point is that the marginal benefits of switching wouldn't equal the marginal loss of dexterity.

Additionally, I think that there ought to be some universal standard for keyboard layout. However, what that standard should be is not for me to decide.

By the way, I think there is one really good thing about English - it seems to have the most colorful curse library. Jerk, kneebiter, moron, knucklehead, half-wit, numbskull, and etc all mean exactly the same thing, semantically. Not to mention all the millions of vulgar permutations! In Spanish, for example, there are basically 2 words that cover this range, with the rest of cursing being more flagrant and complex, using complete metaphors. Translating an average R-rated movie into Spanish would get somewhat boring to a subtitle reader - it's the same two words over and over again. English is much more colorful, in a socially marginally unacceptable way.

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Post by Calum »

this isn't the same dvorak who was a composer, no?

well, i can not type properly in any way, but i have a typing speed of 46 wpm using my three finger method, on a qwerty keyboard, and that's be down to zero on a dvorak one i think!

on the other hand i do plan to learn other languages to speak and write, though i don't think those are the same thing as switching keyboards.

plus my flatmates use this computer too, can you imagine how irate they would be if i switched keyboards on them one day?

i did consider the blank qwerty keyboard (with no letters printed on it) but the flatmates issue scotched that for me too!

aha, jenda, Norwegian is "Norsk" when written in Norwegian (or in Norsk if you like), "Old Norse" (or "Norn") is a mediaeval language which modern Nordic languages (Danish, Icelandic, Swedish and Danish) are based on, similar to the way that Modern English, Scots and possibly what is laughably known as "US English" are based on Old English.

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Post by Void Main »

Actually, it's not the Czech composer:
http://www.dvorak-keyboard.com/

But here's how dumb I am, I thought it was John Dvorak (PC Magazine, ZD, etc) who actually came up with this thing. :) I thought it would have been his one and only achievement. I should have known better. :)

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Post by Void Main »

Another thought on this. I use a laptop keyboard 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time I am using either a PC keyboard or a Sun keyboard (and more than one of each). I assume you can just use a different keyboard map for a laptop? I suppose I could also run a different keyboard map on my login ID to Sun and Linux systems? A special keyboard is not required right, that is, the actual key layout is the same between the two keyboards right? I am afraid that once I learn the Dvorak that I would get confused when I had to use a QWERTY keyboard.

Is it that difficult to know and use both keyboards? I am very proficient at QWERTY and I am afraid that if I switch back and forth between keyboards that I won't be as proficient on either of the two as I am when using the QWERTY only. It's bad enough switching between PC and Sun keyboards. The only major thing that hangs me up are the CTRL and CAPS LOCK keys are reversed on a Sun keyboard. It screws me up so much that I actually remap those keys in my Solaris login so the Sun Keyboard acts like a PC keyboard. If I could remap everything (Sun, PC, and laptop keyboards) then I might consider learning. Then I would only have a difficult time when I would have to use someone elses QWERTY.

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Post by Void Main »

worker201 wrote:especially in someone as old (!) and experienced as Void Main.
Hey watch it now! :) Actually I am seriously feeling the effects of aging the last couple of years. If you all are still in your early 30s or younger PLEASE enjoy it while it lasts!!! It really sucks getting old even though many would consider me a young buck. At work I run my two 19" monitors that sit side by side in 1600x1200 mode so I can cram a lot of stuff on them at once. People keep telling me I am going to go blind looking at the small fonts. Well, either that has started to catch up with me or the aging process is starting to catch up with me because I have noticed in just the last 6 months that my vision is starting to crap out on me. I have a difficult time reading small print on things if I can read it at all any more. I've always had perfect vision in my younger years but it won't be long and I'll have to go in and see about getting some glasses. Then there are the aches and pains all the time, but I don't want to horrify the "younguns" so I'll save it. :)

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Post by Calum »

well, i'm 27 and have always had bad eyesight, so there! :-D

i'm shortsighted though, so hoping it may improve slightly with age.

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Post by Jenda »

There is more to this than 'standards'. The fingers and the hands get used to the letters being in the (for lack of a better word) normal place. Proof - I typed everything to this point without looking at the keyboard. Another proof - notice how much more difficult it is to type on a keyboard with a really small backspace key: I end up with ========= across the screen, and it gets really frustrating. My finger knows where that backspace key is supposed to be, and if it isn't there, all sorts of errors abound. Imagine what would happen if the d was replaced by a n? It's like there is an unspoken bond between the brain and the fingers and the qwerty keyboard, especially in someone as old (!) and experienced as Void Main. The point is that the marginal benefits of switching wouldn't equal the marginal loss of dexterity.
Although I realise this gets worse with age, I will share my experience.I was amused by the way my brain is capable of remapping these connections in less than three days for me - I know exactly what your talking about. I do, afterall play the sax and the piano where you are even more dependant on the work your brain does "for you". Although I am a little slower still, I can easily switch back to QWERTY and back without any trouble (I just did a few times - I hope not to have to too often, DV is tangibly more comfy) and dvorak7min taught me to write without looking at the keyboard (It shows you an on screen one, I recommend (personal XP) switching this off as soon as you feel like it, TSTB.
d was replaced by a n
It's actually an "e" ;-)
I think that there ought to be some universal standard for keyboard layout. However, what that standard should be is not for me to decide.
Isn't QWERTY a standard enough for you?
this isn't the same dvorak who was a composer, no?
Long time no see. I recognised the lowercase type immediately.
No, but they were related and of Czech origin - like me! (sorry, I just had to say that.)
well, i can not type properly in any way, but i have a typing speed of 46 wpm using my three finger method, on a qwerty keyboard, and that's be down to zero on a dvorak one i think!
There's only one way to find out, and unless your physiological state prevents this, the tutor will teach you proper, nine-or-ten-finger touch typing.
on the other hand i do plan to learn other languages to speak and write, though i don't think those are the same thing as switching keyboards.
Not all that differrent, but the latter is a whole lot easier.
And thanks for the ed on Norsk.
I thought it was John Dvorak
I'm not a big fan of the man (Dvorak)
Aha. that's why - I hate that guy.
you can just use a different keyboard map for a laptop?
Yes, I believe so. Most OSes, AFAIK, already have the keyset (eg. Windows and GNU/Linux (loadkeys dvorak)).
I suppose I could also run a different keyboard map on my login ID to Sun and Linux systems?
I'd suppose so, your the techie...
A special keyboard is not required right, that is, the actual key layout is the same between the two keyboards right?
Right. all that changes (on most popular DVs - they vary) are the letters and some common punctuation (',."<>;:-_/?=+[{]}) ("()" excluded)
I am afraid that once I learn the Dvorak that I would get confused when I had to use a QWERTY keyboard.
etc.
I can only tell you that I don't have the problem of not being able to use QWERTY, just not wanting to.

I'm eigteen and already short sighted... oh well.

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Post by Void Main »

Jenda wrote:I'm eigteen and already short sighted... oh well.
Aha!! I used to hate this term but I am finding that it is turning out to be somewhat true. Ever hear of the phrase "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? I can still learn new things but I am finding it takes much longer to learn new things than when I was your age. I might just give it a shot though.

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Post by Calum »

who said "other", and what do they use?

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Post by Jenda »

not me...
But hey y'all: WHO DID?
Is the Solaris kbd different?
BTW if you're wondering, I use both dvorak and QWERTZ

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Post by Void Main »

A Sun keyboard is basically QWERTY with the Caps Lock and Control key switched (just to throw me off). It also has a bunch of other buttons that never get used except for possibly the "Stop" button on occasion but hopefully you would never have to use that. BTW, I voted QWERTY.

Sun Keyboard + Mouse:
http://www.sunshack.org/data/sunpix/type6_kbd+mouse.jpg

They actually have more than one keyboard (for other countries/languages). That's the one I use half of the time at work.

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Post by Void Main »

Ok, so I am taking the plunge. Yeah it's a year late but I decided to learn the Dvorak keyboard. I've been practicing the last couple of days and I'm learning more quickly than I thought I would have.

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