Did you have something ergonomic in mind?
If so I'd like to share that my favorite keyboard to date is the Kinesis Advantage, with the TrulyErgonomic being the second favorite (I'm currently using the TE at work to get a feel for it). I had also tried the TypeMatrix 2030 as well as the PLUM keyboard (all of them use matrix layout, which in my opinion is a must-have).
Definitely agree with you on the point of matrix layouts. Technically the Kinesis and TE are not "matrix" but staggered vertically. That's why I prefer the term "straight columns". But yes, straight columns are very nearly a must.
I could imagine getting into something with symmetric staggering, like the µTRON
or this Tipro keyboard
, or even regular staggering like on the HHKB Pro JP
, though I'd rather not since that one failed to normalise the number-row.
I'm not sure yet if I want something with either split typing-areas or vertical stagger. A perfect contiguous matrix methinks feels logical and would lend itself well to independent motion of fingers, and games with many hotkeys would be easy. There's something appealing in the æsthetics of it too.
To be sure, the Kinesis Advantage LF is very attractive. There are so
many ups to it: the finger-adjusted columns, the click sound that can be turned on/off, the fact light switches like Reds are claimed to be very suitable on this type of keyboard.
I'm also thinking the Kinesis sits well in your lap and could be modded into a portable input-station, with USB-hub and audio jack.
One of its problems is that it's not very "open" – sometimes it's nice to be able to type one-handed, which per default is impossible on the Advantage. However, I would solve that by getting out my footswitch and modifying one of its pedals so that when pressed the keyboard is mirror-reversed. Has anyone tried this?
I've my eye on Kinesis, TrulyErgonomic, Maltron 1H, Maltron 2H as well as any perfect-matrix board (e.g. Access-IS, X-Keys). But I'm leaning towards the Kinesis. It probably has more good than it has bad, and I'll work around the bad.
The Maltron two-handed (2H)
has a couple of advantages over Kinesis.
- First, the keys are not vertically staggered, and still adjust to your finger-lengths by laying down the columns at different depths.
- The function-keys are real keys, and what's more, they take advantage of the curvature of the keyboard by being placed immediately above the number-row, which in tandem with the curvature should make them the easiest function-keys to hit in history.
- There's a central keypad. This is good not due to the keypad itself but due to those keys' proximity to the main typing areas, so they could be used for hotkeys in games for example. I do wish the Maltron transitioned smoothly from keywell to keypad, forming a large contiguous keyboard.
Do you play computer games at all? The Kinesis has rather few columns for that application, I think. One or two more columns next to the index finger would have been enormously beneficial.
That's an interesting design goal. I guess it would be easy to create opposite-to-QWERTY layouts, but I doubt it would be any good. I assume you mean the layout should be excellent according to whatever metrics you choose and you don't mind if it's totally different from QWERTY? (If not: what's your rationale?)
Well, when typing Dvorak, if I had recently used QWERTY or thought about it in the context of hotkeys setup, I could be momentarily thrown off before my fingers found their stride. The perpetrators of this were mostly the A and M keys, which are on the same locations in QWERTY as in Dvorak.
I'd also like to forbid keys from positions right next to where they used to be, something many keys in Dvorak are guilty of. It feels terribly confusing, though admittedly doesn't have much performance impact.
It may all be nitpicking, but I'd like to seal all backdoors to be sure, if that's a valid idiom.
In particular this may turn out to be important because I'm going to transfer my homegrown typing style, which is how I type QWERTY, and mix it with touch-typing.
That said I think it unlikely that I'll switch again myself. I'm happy with Colemak, so I doubt switching to something else that is a couple % better in one or other metric is worth the effort.
Definitely don't change. Changing is for people who do feel unhappy with their layouts
Percentages are not what you hang yourself up on, but individual tastes, like if you find certain finger-motions uncomfortable etc. The Workman
layout is a case-example of this: he built that layout because he found lateral movement much less comfortable than other people seem to.
PS: You're Swiss. How come your layout doesn't have the ü and sharp-s and stuff?