Author Topic: The Great Keyboard Layout Comparison: 2021 edition.  (Read 718 times)

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Offline iandoug

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The Great Keyboard Layout Comparison: 2021 edition.
« on: Wed, 26 May 2021, 16:10:14 »
Hi all

It's been a while since the the last time I did this exercise (2017) but I have done another comparison between the various keyboard layouts.

The results are up at https://www.keyboard-design.com/best-layouts.html

As part of the process, I also refreshed the Internet Letter Layout DB (ILLDB) at https://www.keyboard-design.com/internet-letter-layout-db.html

The layouts were evaluated for finger-based metrics using a fork of the Keyboard Layout Analyzer at https://klanext.keyboard-design.com , as well as some word and same-finger bigram tests via custom programs.

There were 355 layouts evaluated, in ANSI, Ergodox or Matrix form factors.

I included new layouts developed in recent times, as well as removing older development and minor variants, and those deemed "bad for hands"  (chiefly constant AltGr on ANSI) and "bad for heads", chiefly the Seelpy/Essie style layouts.

The analysis includes new features, while some used last time have been removed. The motivations are at https://www.keyboard-design.com/testing-2021.html

Click the links in the top 30 lists to see each layout's analysis, or via the ILLDB.

Feedback welcome.

Thanks, Ian

Offline Volny

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Re: The Great Keyboard Layout Comparison: 2021 edition.
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 27 May 2021, 19:56:24 »
Seems very interesting. But coming at it from the perspective of someone with no prior knowledge of you or your website, or the keyboard analyzer tool, I felt there was some very basic info missing about the project's raison d'etre that would help me understand the purpose of it all.

I read (ok, skim read) a number of pages on the site and came across a lot of technical explanation and even the word acetylsalicylates. Yet I still couldn't tell what exactly you're assessing, and why: WPM, number of typos? Total distance travelled by fingers? Subjective measurement of RSI pain/fatigue? And who is the site for: people worried about RSI, coders who want to type as quickly as possible, interested consumers who want to get a sense of the market's breadth, retailers, engineers?

I'm sure I'd get answers to those questions if I drilled deeply enough into the content, but they should have been made clearly available to me earlier. I shouldn't have still been wondering those things after reading 3 or so pages. If I arrived from Google, I probably wouldn't have hung around long enough to get any actual value from the site.

I hope that feedback helped.

Offline iandoug

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Re: The Great Keyboard Layout Comparison: 2021 edition.
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 06 June 2021, 13:07:01 »
Hi Volny

Thanks for the feedback.

It's aimed at people looking for something better than QWERTY.

If you're not in that group, then it will be irrelevant to you.

I will write an intro. :-)

Thanks, Ian

Re: The Great Keyboard Layout Comparison: 2021 edition.
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 07 June 2021, 11:31:10 »
Hello Ian, i am trully happy that you resurected this analyzer.

i have a short feedback to give you just after few minutes of usage:

In results section, 3 digits decimal is way too much, it is really hard to read them properly without getting an insane headache.
1 digit is far enough imo.
I don't get how your shakespeare corpus work. Could you give us a hint please.

The second point i really do like on others analyzers is on the heatmap. We have the possibility to quickly check the number of keystrokes per key when pointing them with mouse cursor.

Beside, i took a quick look on what you're planning to do (possibility of customization of fingers penalties), it's something that was in my mind when i saw all different forks from Patrick's original analyzer with different scoring system (and results) given for the same corpus and layout.

Keep up

Edit: typos
« Last Edit: Mon, 07 June 2021, 11:48:03 by Sylvester_Stalin »

Offline iandoug

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Re: The Great Keyboard Layout Comparison: 2021 edition.
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 07 June 2021, 14:16:21 »
Hi Sylvester

You are probably right, I put in three when I was trying to debug the "distance measuring" problem.

There's a write-up here (scroll down to 4 May 2021)
https://www.keyboard-design.com/index.html

Regarding the heatmap, I inherited the fork from Den / Shenafu, he made those changes. I will take a look after I find and fix the "reload on first edit" bug ... spent most of the day going around in circles trying to find why it happens...

For the Shakespeare corpus, see my breathless prose in
Keyboard-Layout-Analysis-Createng-the-Corpus-Bigram-Chains-and-Shakespeares-Monkeys-1.0.1.pdf

(embarrassing typo included at no extra cost) at
https://zenodo.org/record/4644104

The zip file is also useful). Get the 101 versions.

Cheers, Ian