geekhack Community > Ergonomics

A modified Colemak

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Oobly:

--- Quote from: stevep on Mon, 09 March 2015, 12:41:34 ---
--- Quote from: Oobly on Mon, 09 March 2015, 07:52:23 ---It breaks the shortcut key familiarity of Colemak, though. If you're doing that, you may as well go for an even more optimised layout.

--- End quote ---

You are right that V is separated by one key from X and C but they are all on the same fingers before and still on the bottom row, so actually shortcuts don't feel *so* unfamiliar. Trying to maintain some Qwerty similarity where possible is worthwhile in my view, as it makes a new layout a little easier to learn. For those for whom shortcuts are sacrosanct, on the Colemak forum an alternative version was also proposed, where the bottom row is Z X C V D, to avoid exactly that problem.

I would be interested to see what an "even more optimized layout" would look like. I'm not saying such a thing is impossible, but I think the scope to get improved key positions while not adversely affecting same-finger bigrams or finger balance would be a tough challenge indeed!

--- End quote ---

I prefer an alternate layout to be as different from QWERTY as possible in terms of the alpha characters, since then it impacts your QWERTY skills less during the learning period, but it depends on if you want to replace your QWERTY skills or keep them in tandem with your new layout. I didn't have a choice as I needed to keep my QWERTY skills up to speed for my work.

I agree that it's not easy to come up with a better layout, but if you put enough time and effort in you can do it. Here's one I came up with:




You can try in the patorjk analyser:


--- Code: ---{
    "label": "Modified AdNW",
    "fingerStart": {
        "1": 29,
        "2": 30,
        "3": 31,
        "4": 32,
        "5": 56,
        "6": 56,
        "7": 35,
        "8": 36,
        "9": 37,
        "10": 38,
        "11": 56,
        "false": -1
    },
    "keyboardType": "standard",
    "author": "Stephen Keen",
    "authorUrl": "",
    "moreInfoUrl": "",
    "moreInfoText": "",
    "keys": [
        {
            "primary": 96,
            "shift": 126,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 0
        },
        {
            "primary": 49,
            "shift": 33,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 1
        },
        {
            "primary": 50,
            "shift": 64,
            "finger": 2,
            "id": 2
        },
        {
            "primary": 51,
            "shift": 35,
            "finger": 3,
            "id": 3
        },
        {
            "primary": 52,
            "shift": 36,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 4
        },
        {
            "primary": 53,
            "shift": 37,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 5
        },
        {
            "primary": 54,
            "shift": 94,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 6
        },
        {
            "primary": 55,
            "shift": 38,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 7
        },
        {
            "primary": 56,
            "shift": 42,
            "finger": 8,
            "id": 8
        },
        {
            "primary": 57,
            "shift": 40,
            "finger": 9,
            "id": 9
        },
        {
            "primary": 48,
            "shift": 41,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 10
        },
        {
            "primary": 45,
            "shift": 95,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 11
        },
        {
            "primary": 61,
            "shift": 43,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 12
        },
        {
            "primary": 8,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 13
        },
        {
            "primary": 9,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 14
        },
        {
            "primary": 98,
            "shift": 66,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 15,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 117,
            "shift": 85,
            "finger": 2,
            "id": 16,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 44,
            "shift": 60,
            "finger": 3,
            "id": 17,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 46,
            "shift": 62,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 18,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 113,
            "shift": 81,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 19,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 112,
            "shift": 80,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 20,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 99,
            "shift": 67,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 21,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 108,
            "shift": 76,
            "finger": 8,
            "id": 22,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 109,
            "shift": 77,
            "finger": 9,
            "id": 23,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 102,
            "shift": 70,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 24,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 91,
            "shift": 123,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 25
        },
        {
            "primary": 93,
            "shift": 125,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 26
        },
        {
            "primary": 92,
            "shift": 124,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 27
        },
        {
            "primary": 20,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 28
        },
        {
            "primary": 104,
            "shift": 72,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 29,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 105,
            "shift": 73,
            "finger": 2,
            "id": 30,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 101,
            "shift": 69,
            "finger": 3,
            "id": 31,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 97,
            "shift": 65,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 32,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 111,
            "shift": 79,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 33,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 100,
            "shift": 68,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 34,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 116,
            "shift": 84,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 35,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 114,
            "shift": 82,
            "finger": 8,
            "id": 36,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 110,
            "shift": 78,
            "finger": 9,
            "id": 37,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 115,
            "shift": 83,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 38,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 47,
            "shift": 63,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 39,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 13,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 40
        },
        {
            "primary": 16,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 41
        },
        {
            "primary": 107,
            "shift": 75,
            "finger": 1,
            "id": 42,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 121,
            "shift": 89,
            "finger": 2,
            "id": 43,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 39,
            "shift": 34,
            "finger": 3,
            "id": 44,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 45,
            "shift": 95,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 45,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 120,
            "shift": 88,
            "finger": 4,
            "id": 46,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 106,
            "shift": 74,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 47,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 103,
            "shift": 71,
            "finger": 7,
            "id": 48,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 119,
            "shift": 87,
            "finger": 8,
            "id": 49,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 118,
            "shift": 86,
            "finger": 9,
            "id": 50,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": 122,
            "shift": 90,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 51,
            "altGr": -1,
            "shiftAltGr": -1
        },
        {
            "primary": -16,
            "finger": 10,
            "id": 52
        },
        {
            "primary": 17,
            "finger": 5,
            "id": 53
        },
        {
            "primary": -91,
            "finger": 5,
            "id": 54
        },
        {
            "primary": 18,
            "finger": 5,
            "id": 55
        },
        {
            "primary": 32,
            "finger": 5,
            "id": 56
        },
        {
            "primary": -18,
            "finger": 6,
            "id": 57
        },
        {
            "primary": -91,
            "finger": 6,
            "id": 58
        },
        {
            "primary": -93,
            "finger": 6,
            "id": 59
        },
        {
            "primary": 17,
            "finger": 6,
            "id": 60
        }
    ]
}
--- End code ---

I designed it for a vertical staggered board like ErgoDox with thumb keys that make it even more efficient. It uses different philosophy to Colemak, though, with alternation favoured over rolls.

Oobly:
I feel I should apologise for my abrupt statement about the layout. I  must commend you on taking a well established layout and improving it. I should also point out that my layout is designed around the criteria that I find important, so it may well not be a good fit for others.

stevep:

--- Quote from: Oobly on Mon, 09 March 2015, 14:40:44 ---I feel I should apologise for my abrupt statement about the layout. I  must commend you on taking a well established layout and improving it. I should also point out that my layout is designed around the criteria that I find important, so it may well not be a good fit for others.

--- End quote ---

No worries!  I had a bit of a look at your layout. It has some nice features - the same-finger ratio is slightly lower than Colemak's which is no mean feat. Of course, it looses all Qwerty (and shortcut) similarity which for me is a significant down side, but OK for those who want to make a completely clean break. Since I switched to Colemak and haven't needed to use Qwerty so I don't care about maintaining Qwerty ability at all, and ease of learning was a major factor.

I notice you have O and D in the middle row centre column. I presume therefore you don't hold with the Workman criticism that those are awkward keys?  For intermediately-common keys, I like to make to good use of the best available non-home keys i.e. bottom-row index finger and top-row middle finger. For your layout, that means I would probably want to switch O with - and also D with G!  It's amazing how subjective Keyboard layouts can be :)

EZPZ:
I have been using the swapped version of V and D, and it works out really nicely - maintaining the shortcut key functionality is such a big plus!

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