Author Topic: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak  (Read 2686 times)

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Offline mawgul

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Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« on: Tue, 16 November 2021, 22:59:00 »
Hi everyone. I want to know your opinion but especially your experience with keyboard layouts.I am between two options Colemak and Dvorak.

I have tested them both for just two months of practice. I know it is not much but I wanted to have some contact, it must be said that I have practiced them that time but I have not implemented them in my workflow.

DVORAK => My problem with Dvorak is that my hands feels slow. I have read out there that this distribution does about the use of one of the hands. Also the position of the L seems somewhat uncomfortable, (hardcore ls in linux). Losing the shorcuts now I don't see as important but I will probably feel it a lot later.

Its advantages:

* It is in all OS, so it is easy to change and install.
* It's more convenient for vim, most colemak users tell me that they end up using a layout layer to navigate in vim
* Its modification for programmer seems extremely attractive to me.

COLEMAK => My problem with Colemak is that it is not installed by default in all operating systems and because of my work I will probably not have administrator privileges all the time. Also I do not see it very thought to program but rather to write.

Its advantages:

* Their rolls are beautiful, and they feel great in the hand.
* There are many Dvorak users who seem to like Colemak the most.
* Stats seem to be better
* Keyboard shortcuts

Be willing to give in:

* Keyboard shortcuts. If I can find a simple and practical way to do the same with Dvorak.
* Keep QWERTY as a secondary layout, in which case the Colemak installation would not be a problem.

That I'm not willing to give in:

*Something for improve writing and the programming syntax too.
*I want to use the mouse less, so I am interested in a layout that is generous with vim.
           In Dvorak the movements are easier, but the rest of the keys change.
           In Colemak there are several keys that do not change, but the navigation is rough.
*Hand pain, I heard that dvorak is balanced towards one hand.
* A layout that does not change from one day to the next. This leaves out several custom layouts often suggestted.

Considerations:
--> My keyboard is a 104 Ansi, I cannot use extend (from colemak) due to a firmware problem, when the folks at sonixqmk advance I will probably be able to set my own keyboard setup but at the moment it is impossible. For this reason I cannot change my keyboard either.

--> I am an analyst and programmer so although I am typing for a long time, I often find myself needing to share my keyboard with others and typing in ohters machines.

--> I often use the Spanish language

Sorry for the long post. I appreciate all the answers and experiences that you can share with me, I ask that you please do not deviate the subject, I am not asking whether to stick with qwerty or mgtap, or if I should buy another keyboard. I've been thinking about this for a long time so the more information you can give me the better. Thanks in advance for sharing your insights with me.

Offline knightjp

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Re: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 19 December 2021, 10:26:15 »
I went switching layouts once and to be honest, I'm not sure that I'm at the place I want to be at all right now even.

I was debating the usage of the Dvorak vs Colemak for a long time.
https://julxrp.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/colemak-vs-dvorak/

I ended up with Colemak.
https://julxrp.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/your-keyboard-you-ill-stick-with-colemak/

After about 2 years with Colemak, I decided that I needed to say Good Bye. I wasn't making the progress that I wanted with it.
https://julxrp.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/good-bye-colemak-its-been-fun/
In addition there were other annoyances that just made me think that Qwerty was where I needed to be.

In your comments about Dvorak, I found that my movements were better and faster with Dvorak over Colemak and even though it seems that the right hand does move more, I feel that it is OK when you count in punctuation, which many of the layout comparisons don't.

If you were to paste some code that you write into a keyboard layout analyser, you will probably find that Dvorak might come out on top.
If we were to think about the layouts, even Colemak does use the right hand a bit more than the left.

Try typing the word "start" in Colemak.

I've been thinking about going to Dvorak because I find it easier to type on, however I feel that I like the to stay with QWERTY where it is standard.

Offline dusan

  • Posts: 113
  • Location: Saigon, Vietnam
Re: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 19 December 2021, 11:19:36 »
Dvorak layout has three pretty unique features, most likely design criteria, that may have been neglected in other layouts.
  • Within a row, the most frequently used character is assigned to the middle finger (rather than the index finger).
  • It lets the left hand stay on home row most of the time, thereby mitigates the disadvantage of the left hand on the staggered keyboard.
  • It is phonology-centric. It facilitates finger rolling within a consonant cluster and a vowel cluster and hand alternation within a syllable. It is therefore suitable for every natural language (not just English).
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Offline knightjp

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Re: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 19 December 2021, 12:29:28 »
  • It is phonology-centric. It facilitates finger rolling within a consonant cluster and a vowel cluster and hand alternation within a syllable. It is therefore suitable for every natural language (not just English).
Interesting. Most of the criticisms against Dvorak have always come pointing that it works well only for English language. To hear that is works well for other languages as well is really good.
« Last Edit: Sun, 19 December 2021, 13:24:00 by knightjp »

Offline dusan

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Re: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 19 December 2021, 20:55:08 »
  • It is phonology-centric. It facilitates finger rolling within a consonant cluster and a vowel cluster and hand alternation within a syllable. It is therefore suitable for every natural language (not just English).
Interesting. Most of the criticisms against Dvorak have always come pointing that it works well only for English language. To hear that is works well for other languages as well is really good.

I've seen a variant of Dvorak layout for French and a couple ones for German and Spanish. I've heard of Finish and Nordic variants. The extent of modification can be described as slight or moderate. So, yes and no. Dvorak suits other languages pretty well, but it may not be the best and certainly can be tailored for a particular language. I believe that conversely, those tailored variants are also suitable for English, although may not be as good as the vanilla Dvorak.

For Vietnamese, the vanilla Dvorak is already so good that I feel no need for modification. Possibly because Vietnamese is only moderately rich of vowel clusters and is poor of consonant clusters (only 10: ch, dz, gh, kh, ng, ngh, nh, ph, th, tr), of those very few can occur as coda (only 3: ch, ng, nh). BTW, so few that there is a method that uses key repetition and consonant keys to type diacritical marks right after the nucleus or the syllable.  For example, DD is interpreted as đ, AA as , AW as ă, AS as , AF as , AR as , AX as , AJ as and DDAWNGS as đắng (bitter). This method is possible because in Vietnamese, a syllable is a morpheme, and morphemes are separated by space or punctuation, i.e. they look like words in Western languages. The method, used in Vietnamese telegraphic service for over a century, is now popular as it allows typing the language on any keyboard with just 26 alpha keys.
« Last Edit: Mon, 20 December 2021, 09:53:51 by dusan »
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Offline knightjp

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Re: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 17:01:25 »
@mawgul
I'm not sure that our discussions have brought you an answer already. IMO, I think that you will be happy with Dvorak. I know that it seems that Dvorak is only biased for the right hand, but that is not the case when you factor in the punctuation; which you would be using a lot of when you program.
Another benefit is that if you are moving from one machine to another, it will make it easier for you to use stock Dvorak because it is installed on every machine and ever OS by default. From what most users say, vim on Dvorak is not that bad and shortcuts, there is a work around.
The way that you can use shortcuts on dvorak is by pressing the right CTRL button with the thumb of your left hand and use the left pinky for the copy and left ring for the paste. It will take some getting used to and there will be some frustration because V and W are next to each other.

Offline dusan

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  • Location: Saigon, Vietnam
Re: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 21 December 2021, 20:59:10 »
@mawgul,

The difficulty with the P key (the L key in Dvorak), while there are no difficulties with the semicolon, slash, A, Q or Z key (the S, Z, A, apostrophe, semicolon key in Dvorak, respectively), indicates an issue with the typing technique. Layouts are not responsible for it. Dvorak, in particular, is just responsible for detecting it soon before it can cause a sharp pain. RSI, CTS, whatever.

Certain jobs, programmers included, are more likely to be affected. For heavy use of symbols around the P key (the equal sign key, the backslash key and bracket keys, for example.)

A proper technique can prevent it and maybe, heal. See my post in Split and ortholinear did nothing for my RSI for details.

EDIT: BTW, I think that we choose layout for our natural language(s), not for job or environment. I don't think C++/SQL/whatever, Linux, Ctrl+Z X C V, vim etc are relevant.
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 December 2021, 21:42:06 by dusan »
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Offline rebus

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  • Location: Italy
Re: Help me to choose between this awesome layouts. Dvorak or Colemak
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 30 December 2021, 07:45:12 »
I tried Colemak before reading that Dvorak is better suited for Italian (my native language), so I switched to Dvorak and I actually found it to be more comfortable to me. I guess Spanish is someway similar, anyway both are good layouts, far better than QWERTY.