Author Topic: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout  (Read 12634 times)

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Offline cloud_c

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programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« on: Thu, 30 January 2014, 16:48:55 »
Hello, I'm looking to start a discussion amongst programmers for dvorak layouts on an ergodox.
What works for you?
What doesn't?
Do you have a layout that you would like to share?

Personally I have been using a Freestyle II keyboard with the programmer's dvorak layout for about a year and a half.

For this setup what works for me is dvorak lettering layout, the symbols precedence over the numbers, and the keyboard's dedicated left hand copy/cut/paste.
(though I've had to remap those in the OS for them to work)

What doesn't work for me is the lack of certain keystrokes that I have been using for decades when editing code.
These are: right ctrl + ins/home/end(copy/top/bottom) , right shift + ins/del(paste/cut)
ins and del combinations are not easy or possible on this keyboard
It feels like I've gained efficiency with the macro keys on the left side, but lost my tried and true right hand editing shortcuts
I've recently acquired a tenkeyless mechanical and all the right hand joys (editing) are back, but I'm missing the split keyboard sorely (wrists) and the left side macros.
Now I'm waiting on the shipment of an ergodox to try and bridge the gap between the two keyboards above.

This is the layout that I'm planning to implement at the moment:
http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/6f2db879923056a81b3c0f90edc99e38

I've tried to merge the right hand editing techniques into the design without resorting to hacking the pcb too much to get a layout I'm comfortable with.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: Thu, 30 January 2014, 17:21:55 by cloud_c »

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 30 January 2014, 22:33:03 »
Putting space that far away from the middle might hurt your thumbs. Also, are you planning to use your thumbs on the thumb keys? Having larger thumb keys is a lot easier than small ones in my opinion.

Not sure if you got an ergodox already, but the Matias Ergo Pro might be what you're looking for since it has home, end pgup, pgdn together next to arrow keys. It also has dedicated cut, copy, and paste keys.

Offline daerid

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 00:44:32 »
I've been using my ErgoDox for full-time programming work since June of last year. Here's my layout: https://www.massdrop.com/ext/ergodox/?referer=QJGS5L&hash=6bde6a47f792b1262dfcf8a6223904c2

I can't really comment on dvorak, as my layout is qwerty, but I've used those same keys for decades writing code (the "six pack"), and my layout has been very, very usable. IMO having the 2nd layer bound to a thumb key makes all the difference in the world.

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 01:24:40 »
That's a nice layout, daerid. I've thought too much about optimizing the first layer while waiting for my dox. It just arrived yesterday, so I might look at yours as a starting point. Was it a big change to move the arrow keys to the left hand?

Offline cloud_c

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 09:56:32 »
Putting space that far away from the middle might hurt your thumbs. Also, are you planning to use your thumbs on the thumb keys? Having larger thumb keys is a lot easier than small ones in my opinion.

Not sure if you got an ergodox already, but the Matias Ergo Pro might be what you're looking for since it has home, end pgup, pgdn together next to arrow keys. It also has dedicated cut, copy, and paste keys.

I put the space bar as a 2x key centered under the home keys. I find that to be about right for where my thumbs naturally fall on a standard keyboard.
I don't have the ergodox yet, the kit is in the process of being built/shipped. Does the same key placement feel strange on the ergodox?
I'm planning on using the thumb cluster on the left hand with the thumb, but the right thumb cluster with fingers.

Re: Matias Ergo Pro, I'm looking for a keyboard that does not have the traditional staggered key layout. I have been considering a Kinesis Advantage since before the Freestyle II, but I'm not convinced about the one piece design. I'm finding it very functional to be able to move one side of the keyboard independent of the other depending on posture, mouse placement, cell, glasses, other toys on the desk...

Offline daerid

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 10:04:43 »
That's a nice layout, daerid. I've thought too much about optimizing the first layer while waiting for my dox. It just arrived yesterday, so I might look at yours as a starting point. Was it a big change to move the arrow keys to the left hand?

Not at much as I thought it would be. It took about 3 or 4 days before it started feeling natural.

Offline pyro

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 11:10:30 »
I'm a bit surprised to see [capslock] on its original position. If you don't use it for entering long numbers, maybe replace it with [backspace] and put [enter] on the left thumb instead. Being able to [enter] while using the mouse is nice. It might also fit better with Dvorak's hand alteration, since more words/textbox-entries will end on the right hand.

I'd probably also replace one of the spaces with a layer modifier/backspace/shift or something. Too convenient a position to not use it.

Offline cloud_c

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 16:37:21 »
I'm a bit surprised to see [capslock] on its original position. If you don't use it for entering long numbers, maybe replace it with [backspace] and put [enter] on the left thumb instead. Being able to [enter] while using the mouse is nice. It might also fit better with Dvorak's hand alteration, since more words/textbox-entries will end on the right hand.

I'd probably also replace one of the spaces with a layer modifier/backspace/shift or something. Too convenient a position to not use it.

For those unaware the programer's dvorak layout [capslock] is used to enable the "second layer" as it were for the numbers on the top row. So a capital "(" is a "1". Of course it also serves to gets capital letters.
I do use the [capslock] commonly for numbers and capitalized whole word clusters.

The [backspace] instead of the caps could certainly help. I definitely use it more than the [capslock].

Is that how you have your setup with a [backspace] instead of the [capslock] and [enter] key on the left thumb cluster?

I find myself locating the [alt] on keyboards by following the [space] (naturally under the thumb) to the first key on the left. A layer modifier could certainly work as it is not a dangerous key to replace the left space with. I haven't considered other layers, but that could be good for to access f-keys. I do have a layer modifier in the layout above in the left thumb cluster, but this is would be even easier access to the key. Thanks!

Offline nomaded

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 01 February 2014, 02:11:34 »
Just started using the ErgoDox and I came up with this layout for regular Dvorak:

https://www.massdrop.com/ext/ergodox/?referer=QWFQXZ&hash=f4aecf1da1e93fdd32be1c008e88b9ac

I was inspired by the idea of making the more commonly used modifiers easily reachable by the thumbs, and the bottom row is easier to reach for my hands than around the outside of the 2 2x keys. I'm not sure if I'll stick with this layout. I may swap the shift keys with Space and Backspace since just typing this out, I find myself hitting the shift keys instead of Space and the Backspace keys instead.
Dvorak
ErgoDox fullhand (MX Clears) w/Nuclear Green Data SA || Infinity ErgoDox (Zealios 78g tactile) w/SA Retro || Atreus62 (MX Clears) w/Chocolatier || TECK 209 (MX Browns) || TouchStream ST
Kensington Slimblade Trackball || Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman || Apple Magic Trackpad
Current Dvorak-based ErgoDox layout || Current Dvorak-based TECK layout

Offline pyro

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 01 February 2014, 16:11:42 »
Is that how you have your setup with a [backspace] instead of the [capslock] and [enter] key on the left thumb cluster?

The enter, yes, but I backspace via Ctrl+h and Ctrl+w. My current keyboard layout is kind of an organically evolved mess, but really like it. Here is what it looks like on my Thinkpad x200:


src

I also use my left thumb to press space.

Offline cloud_c

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 03 February 2014, 09:24:57 »
The enter, yes, but I backspace via Ctrl+h and Ctrl+w. My current keyboard layout is kind of an organically evolved mess, but really like it.

I also use those plus Ctrl+u for deleting a line along side the other shell shortcuts like alt+f alt+b (skip word forward/back).

I will be studying your layout a bit. It really is quite different than I've seen.
Your layout looks really functional on many levels.
Especially for a touch point keyboard and on X window environment with a lot of shells. (correct me if I'm wrong on that environment guess)

Offline pyro

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 04 February 2014, 04:24:55 »
Especially for a touch point keyboard and on X window environment with a lot of shells. (correct me if I'm wrong on that environment guess)

It's a small screen (1280x800), so I rarely have more than 4 windows per desktop.

Offline cloud_c

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 05 February 2014, 08:33:47 »
I can't really comment on dvorak, as my layout is qwerty, but I've used those same keys for decades writing code (the "six pack"), and my layout has been very, very usable. IMO having the 2nd layer bound to a thumb key makes all the difference in the world.

daerid, I'm not sure I've understood correctly. Which keys are you referring to as the "six pack"?
Do you use ctrl + x/c/v for cut/copy/paste in your layout?
I see the layers, but I don't quite understand how you're using them.

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 05 February 2014, 09:29:07 »
I can't really comment on dvorak, as my layout is qwerty, but I've used those same keys for decades writing code (the "six pack"), and my layout has been very, very usable. IMO having the 2nd layer bound to a thumb key makes all the difference in the world.

daerid, I'm not sure I've understood correctly. Which keys are you referring to as the "six pack"?
Do you use ctrl + x/c/v for cut/copy/paste in your layout?
I see the layers, but I don't quite understand how you're using them.

I think he was talking about insert/del/home/end/pgup/pgdn.  They're in a group of six keys on a normal keyboard.

Offline daerid

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 05 February 2014, 13:09:27 »
I can't really comment on dvorak, as my layout is qwerty, but I've used those same keys for decades writing code (the "six pack"), and my layout has been very, very usable. IMO having the 2nd layer bound to a thumb key makes all the difference in the world.

daerid, I'm not sure I've understood correctly. Which keys are you referring to as the "six pack"?
Do you use ctrl + x/c/v for cut/copy/paste in your layout?
I see the layers, but I don't quite understand how you're using them.

By "six-pack" I mean the ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdn keys, which are typically clustered together in a 3x3 configuration on standard keyboards.

Yes, I use Ctrl-C/X/V/Z a lot, having Ctrl where Caps usually is makes that very simple. By using the center thumb keys as layer toggles, it's easy for me to hit the six-pack as well as arrow keys. Hope that clears it up.

Offline cloud_c

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 06 February 2014, 16:28:40 »
Yes, I use Ctrl-C/X/V/Z a lot, having Ctrl where Caps usually is makes that very simple. By using the center thumb keys as layer toggles, it's easy for me to hit the six-pack as well as arrow keys. Hope that clears it up.

The layer toggle is where my confusion comes from.
This is likely only an issue for me because I don't have an ergodox yet, but how do you do a ctrl + ins combination key stroke?
I'm confused because the layer 1 and 2 in your layout do not have ctrl keys so I'm not seeing how one would press the two together.
Is the left control the same on all the layers, just not in the configurator?
I'm missing something, sorry for the noob question.

Offline daerid

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 06 February 2014, 17:43:02 »
The layer toggle is where my confusion comes from.
This is likely only an issue for me because I don't have an ergodox yet, but how do you do a ctrl + ins combination key stroke?
I'm confused because the layer 1 and 2 in your layout do not have ctrl keys so I'm not seeing how one would press the two together.
Is the left control the same on all the layers, just not in the configurator?
I'm missing something, sorry for the noob question.

The character on the layout means "use the key defined in layer below for this position". So the Ctrl key is the same on all 3 layers. A Ctrl+Insert combo involves the left pinky (ctlr), the left thumb (toggle layer 1), and right index (insert).

Offline cloud_c

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Re: programmer's ergodox dvorak layout
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 07 February 2014, 14:10:04 »
The character on the layout means "use the key defined in layer below for this position". So the Ctrl key is the same on all 3 layers. A Ctrl+Insert combo involves the left pinky (ctlr), the left thumb (toggle layer 1), and right index (insert).

Thanks for the explanation, that makes a lot more sense to me now.
I will revise my layout to make use of that design; I like it.
Do you ever have any key combination awkwardness?