Author Topic: Layout mod splitRest() for wider, more "At-Rest" Hand Positioning  (Read 4447 times)

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Offline tynesjo

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Layout mod splitRest() for wider, more "At-Rest" Hand Positioning
« on: Wed, 18 December 2019, 08:43:52 »

Hi all,

I've always been interested in:
a) the ergonomic benefits of split keyboards (wider hand positioning)
b) the "relegated" positioning of modifier keys (in the most inaccessible places)
c) reduced ability to train muscle memory on keys you have to "reach" for

To address those things, I started developing a keyboard layout modification which requires no new hardware (I'm using it on a laptop keyboard) and achieves the objectives.

I've been a colemak layout user for years, but in principle this approach can also be be applied to qwerty and other layouts.

I've developed a mod method for keyboard layouts dubbed splitRest, and I've now been using it in "production" as a full time data science programmer for about half a year.


The purposes and advantages of the mod are:

1. split hand positioning
(increased distance between hands of two key-widths)

2. increased "at-rest" hand positioning
(remove vast majority of contexts when hands need to move away from "home" position)

3. improved locations of modifier keys
(through key overloading, using xcape)

The mod can be found at https://github.com/tynesjo/split-rest


The current implementation works with linux and x windowing system.

Looking forward to any feedback, suggestions, thoughts &c

JT

Offline nevin

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  • Location: US
Re: Layout mod splitRest() for wider, more "At-Rest" Hand Positioning
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 18 December 2019, 09:20:47 »
very interesting.

how long did it take you to get used to the new layout?

look at Hasu's USB to USB adapter for remapping keyboards (keyboard side) for OSs or keyboards that it's not possible or easy to do. would add a lot of compatibility for other OSs & hardware to your project.
- Similar concept... taking a non-programmable keyboard and making it programmable, custom keymap, layers, etc...

another thing to consider, some boards do not differentiate between similar modifier keys. ex. left & right shift, left & right control, etc. this is a limitation of how the company designed the key matrix and usually can't be overcome unless the board has PCB and you want to take the time to trace the PCB, rewire switch, and implement full matrix/keymap in QMK/TMK firmware (...it's a lot of work)
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline tynesjo

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  • Location: Sao Paulo
Re: Layout mod splitRest() for wider, more "At-Rest" Hand Positioning
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 18 December 2019, 09:29:32 »
thanks nevin,

I would say it was a lot harder to switch from qwerty to colemak than to get used to this modification
From memory there was some productivity loss for around 2 weeks before it started paying off, but also a lot of time spent optimizing the layout (for example optimal location of the numeric keys, bracket keys etc, based on usage profiles), so maybe that biases my estimate.

Thanks for the links, I'll take a look at those :) At the moment the _only_ computer this mod I made has been tested on is my own laptop (thinkpad P1 keyboard, linux, x window) so your comments regarding possible hardware issues as well are very useful thanks.

JT

Offline nevin

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Re: Layout mod splitRest() for wider, more "At-Rest" Hand Positioning
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 18 December 2019, 12:15:36 »
i think you'd have a blast with some of the actual split keyboards/kits (some are even wireless)
i transitioned to one more than a year ago and absolutely love it. just wish they were more prominent decades ago...
i'm in the process of building a new/different version at the moment too.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline tynesjo

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  • Location: Sao Paulo
Re: Layout mod splitRest() for wider, more "At-Rest" Hand Positioning
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 19 December 2019, 16:22:12 »
yes you are probably right @nevin
actually I started on this layout modification when planning to buy an ultimate hacking keyboard, which is split,
but when I saw some of the ergonomic features of that keyboard it seemed that at least some of them could be achieved virtually

Offline nevin

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  • Location: US
Re: Layout mod splitRest() for wider, more "At-Rest" Hand Positioning
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 19 December 2019, 17:09:02 »
yeah, i've been watching that one well before it was available. really like the thumb cluster options but i won't go back to a regular/staggered layout (i prefer ortho so much more)

your current layout... well you're more than half way there already, so a transition to a programmable split keyboard should be a snap.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68