Author Topic: Dvorak/Colemak users?  (Read 24877 times)

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Offline deductivemonkee

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Dvorak/Colemak users?
« on: Sat, 31 October 2015, 21:42:03 »
Does anybody here use Dvorak or colemak? If so, why?
I'd like to hear opinions, as qwerty is getting tiresome.
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Offline katushkin

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 31 October 2015, 21:47:02 »
Does anybody here use Dvorak or colemak? If so, why?
I'd like to hear opinions, as qwerty is getting tiresome.

I too am going to switch. I am thinking of moving to DVORAK in a change to what I said in the bothering you thread, because I think it's the easiest to work with ISO. And I really don't fancy getting rid of my Caps Lock.

I am wondering if it is good to have QWERTY in one place and DVORAK in another? As I don't know if I can change my Keycool to DVORAK  :))

Edit: the only problem I can see with it is not having the keysets to support the layouts :(
« Last Edit: Sat, 31 October 2015, 22:09:05 by katushkin »
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Offline deductivemonkee

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 31 October 2015, 22:35:48 »
Does anybody here use Dvorak or colemak? If so, why?
I'd like to hear opinions, as qwerty is getting tiresome.

I too am going to switch. I am thinking of moving to DVORAK in a change to what I said in the bothering you thread, because I think it's the easiest to work with ISO. And I really don't fancy getting rid of my Caps Lock.

I am wondering if it is good to have QWERTY in one place and DVORAK in another? As I don't know if I can change my Keycool to DVORAK  :))

Edit: the only problem I can see with it is not having the keysets to support the layouts :(

Keysets would be a big problem for me, because I have alps... Although if you stuck with qwerty keycaps you wouldn't be able to cheat and you could easily change it back to qwerty for friends who need qwerty and can't touch type.
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Offline deductivemonkee

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 31 October 2015, 22:39:24 »
Huh. Didn't even notice that colemak didn't have caps lock. I might try Dvorak then.
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Offline vindaon

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 31 October 2015, 23:09:40 »
All you have to do is remap Caps Lock back lol...

I use Colemak with Control mapped to the Caps Lock position.

Offline MajorMajor

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 00:18:29 »
Switched from Qwerty to DVORAK earlier this year. Love the move, glad I did it.

The reason why I chose DVORAK over Colemak is DVORAK is available on every modern OS without having to download files or remap keys, this isn't the case for Colemak. I don't want to rely on brining my own keyboard or downloading files on someone else's PC if I need to use it for a weekend. The only advantage to Colemak I saw is it might be faster to learn since it shares more keys with qwerty, and the shortcuts are placed better (copy, paste, cut).

My advice - if you make the switch, go 100% Dvorak. Don't try to spend time in both worlds. I did 100% Dvorak once I switched and it took me about 2 months to get back up to any sort of respectable typing speed, and 6+ to get back where I was with qwerty. It's a very long road of breaking down muscle memory and rebuilding it, but very worthwhile.

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Offline deductivemonkee

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 00:24:00 »
Since I would use Dvorak on my alps64 60% from bluenalgene, I could just map copy, cut, paste, and stuff back to where they would be on qwerty. Thanks for your input.
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Offline deductivemonkee

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 01:06:34 »
I've started with Dvorak. Typing this at 1wpm. At least the spacebar didn't move, I would have gone insane already!
That was painfully slow to type, and yes I'm typing this much intentionally, trying to re-teach brain how to type. The period and comma moving is really screwing me up so far.
« Last Edit: Sun, 01 November 2015, 11:12:33 by Deductivemonkee »
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Offline davkol

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 02:48:27 »

Offline bocahgundul

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 03:00:12 »
learning Colemak right now

Offline squishygnomes

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 03:09:03 »
I'm a Colemak guy. Reasons for switching away from QWERTY are fairly normal and I prefer rolls over alternation so Dvorak isn't for me.  My experiences are fairly standard, switching and using others computers is a pain but its worth it IMO. Keycaps are a pain but I can ignore the legends and I'm an Alps guy so I don't have much of a choice anyway.

To address some of the concerns voiced, Colemak has a version without the capslock remapping and Dvorak has a version that swaps to QWERTY when ctrl is held down so you can use all the same shortcuts, its called DVERTY IIRC.

Offline davkol

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 04:42:46 »
I'm a Colemak guy. I prefer rolls over alternation so Dvorak isn't for me.
How do you know?

Dvorak has a version that swaps to QWERTY when ctrl is held down so you can use all the same shortcuts, its called DVERTY IIRC.
It's called Dvorak-QWERTY in OS X, where it's present out of the box. Otherwise, it has to be added, and one of the best implementations is called DQ, although Dverty exists too.

However, it isn't widely/consistently supported, mostly because it's not a standard, while plain Dvorak Simplified Keyboard is.

Offline vindaon

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 13:15:14 »
I'm a Colemak guy. I prefer rolls over alternation so Dvorak isn't for me.
How do you know?

He could have tried Dvorak before deciding he didn't like it. That's what I did.

Rolls are fun. Like, the act of typing itself is pretty enjoyable in Colemak, at least to me it is.

Offline davkol

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 14:35:41 »
I'm a Colemak guy. I prefer rolls over alternation so Dvorak isn't for me.
How do you know?
He could have tried Dvorak before deciding he didn't like it. That's what I did.
Sure, I seriously tried DSK too—after using Colemak for 3.5 years—and concluded it required rewiring connections in the brain, or building a completely new muscle memory from scratch, due to its completely different range of motion, indeed. It takes much longer than a few weeks or so to do the actual rewiring though. It's like with basically any skill: obviously you suck initially… almost everybody sucks while acquiring a new skill.

However, the major point is that the Simplified Keyboard was also designed with experienced typists in mind, and the so-called "levelling effect" in particular. It's based on an observation that expert typists speed up, while typing common sequences. That's something entirely left out in case of Colemak, and there's no way to "try" it.

Offline katushkin

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 01 November 2015, 15:17:50 »
Literally the only thing putting me off DVORAK is keysets. I don't want to have to use Row 3 SA or DSA profile the rest of my life.
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Offline S1llyC0ne

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 02 November 2015, 02:38:25 »
I am a BÉPO (French Dvorak) user, I made the switch a bit more than a year ago.
I just received my first TypeMatrix 2020, I started using it with a silicone skin. The feeling is horrible when you don't touch type.
I had already planned to switch to BÉPO to reduce strain on my wrists and fingers.  I started to train with a paper reproduction of the bépo layout on the TypeMatrix behind my keyboard so I didn't have to watch my fingers.
It did feel amazing as my fingers moves were reduced and typing was so silent . The strain was gone. It took me about 6 months to type at an acceptable speed but I am not turning back.
I am using it at work, at home and even on my phone !

Offline thatsmrdoctortoyou

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 02 November 2015, 23:16:39 »
Ive also been interested in switching to Dvorak. Does anyone use both Dvorak and QWERTY? I'm wondering how difficult it is to use both layouts in a given day?

Offline wooshCap

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 08:36:19 »
Dvorak user here. If your going to do it go 100%. also make VIM impossible to use. copy paste is harder to do. I put color type under hot keys so I can see them on with out putting my hand on F and J keys. Good luck.

Offline thatsmrdoctortoyou

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 10:15:47 »
Dvorak user here. If your going to do it go 100%. also make VIM impossible to use. copy paste is harder to do. I put color type under hot keys so I can see them on with out putting my hand on F and J keys. Good luck.

That's exactly what my concern was. That and the location of the period and comma   :eek:

Offline weehooherod

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 12:17:06 »
I switched to Colemak about 3 years ago. It took ~3 months for me to get to get back to my Qwerty typing speed. Overall I'd say it's not worth it. I don't think I type any faster than I did on Qwerty and now using other people's computers is a hassle.

Offline wooshCap

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 14:52:12 »
Dvorak user here. If your going to do it go 100%. also make VIM impossible to use. copy paste is harder to do. I put color type under hot keys so I can see them on with out putting my hand on F and J keys. Good luck.

That's exactly what my concern was. That and the location of the period and comma   :eek:

I am a programmer. The Key layout is actually works out really well for me. I would not go back. no problem with . ,; keys. I think the key layout is better for programmers.

Offline linuxhermit

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 18:42:38 »
I'm a colemak user, and I'm super happy with my switch.  I have a damaged left hand (had some fingers reattached) and it's uncomfortable with lots of multiple hits on the same finger and stretching.  Colemak helps me avoid both fairly often
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Offline wooshCap

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 19:13:29 »
I too switched because of health problem. I started to develop arthritis on my finger joins.
Does anyone know how Dvorak compared to Colemak?

Offline steve.v

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Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 03 November 2015, 22:43:21 »
Colemak: Finger rolls, home keys, minimal movement, zxcv in same place.

Dvorak: Hand alternations, minimal movement, vowels in same hand.

Offline kebby

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 04 November 2015, 05:53:58 »
What about the option of generating something based on your personal typing patterns, any users of that? I'm not completely clear on the process but I've seen stories about that a few times and there's software for it IIRC.

I guess there are a few problems with the idea...Besides the obvious difficulty of sourcing keycap sets with row profiles, I imagine your typing habits might change over time and that something like colemak could be more of a "middle of the road" solution that would always be fairly close to the best possible option. You're also always left to create the keymaps for yourself, although I guess that might be automated by the tools available.

I'm still on qwerty but I've adopted the modifier layers from neo2 and started touch typing properly. At this point I feel like I could add colemak or something else because I'm still slower than previously anyway.

Offline rebus

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 07 November 2015, 07:29:01 »
Dvorak here. I started learning Colemak after suffering wrist pain, then after a couple of months switched again to Dvorak and immediately felt much more comfortable. I am very happy with it, and I use tons of shortcuts everyday with no trouble: actually, With Dvorak I learned to do shortcuts with both hands, which is the suggested way to do them (pressing more keys with the same hand was probably one of the main reasons I began to feel pain). Most analysis claim Colemak is better than Dvorak just looking at cold maths, but don't consider many other variables like finger long-time feelings, language used, keyboards and so on. Anyway changing layout is hard and I am very slow with qwerty now, but I feel much better.

Offline steve.v

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 08 November 2015, 04:02:04 »

Dvorak here. I started learning Colemak after suffering wrist pain, then after a couple of months switched again to Dvorak and immediately felt much more comfortable. I am very happy with it, and I use tons of shortcuts everyday with no trouble: actually, With Dvorak I learned to do shortcuts with both hands, which is the suggested way to do them (pressing more keys with the same hand was probably one of the main reasons I began to feel pain). Most analysis claim Colemak is better than Dvorak just looking at cold maths, but don't consider many other variables like finger long-time feelings, language used, keyboards and so on. Anyway changing layout is hard and I am very slow with qwerty now, but I feel much better.

reaching the L on Dvorak was uncomfortable to my pinky.

Offline trenzafeeds

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 08 November 2015, 10:39:24 »
Literally the only thing putting me off DVORAK is keysets. I don't want to have to use Row 3 SA or DSA profile the rest of my life.

Dvorak isn't really worth it if you can't touch-type, so I wouldn't worry about keysets. I use Dvorak, and my daily driver has a DE QWERTZ set on it. I found that the best way to learn is to prent out a little chart of the layout and put it under your computer screen, so you're looking at that instead of your hands. That way you start to get a feeling for where the letters are without having to totally memorize it yet. It's slow and hard, but I've been at it for about a month and a half, and I'm up to around 60 WPM.
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Offline Tony

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 09 November 2015, 06:24:08 »
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Offline kebby

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 09 November 2015, 08:18:44 »
Decided I'd go for COLEMAK even though there are some probably even better alternatives out there like MTGAP (the author recommends everyone rallying behind COLEMAK) and the GH user oneproduct's own layout that has been discussed in depth elsewhere here. Maybe even the carpalx layouts but those don't totally convince me of their superiority.

COLEMAK is just so well supported and seems good enough. i don't think it matters to me that much whether or not there is a preinstalled layout in my OS because I modify it anyway. Things like the TARMAK transition layout plan and maybe getting to show off with keycaps made me choose in the end. Mostly it's really just TARMAK though. Going cold turkey is just too hard and sets you back for such a long time that any way to avoid that is a really good thing to have. Maybe I'll go on to switch to oneproduct some day. :P
« Last Edit: Mon, 09 November 2015, 08:23:54 by kebby »

Offline nomaded

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 11 November 2015, 01:59:20 »
I've been typing Dvorak full time for over 10 years. I don't find cut/copy/paste to be any more difficult than on Qwerty; it's just different. Same with vi/vim (been using vi much longer than vim); I didn't find the change to be harder, just different. I fully touch type Dvorak. It was only within the past couple years where I've had keycaps that allowed me to easily show the Dvorak layout. I always found having Qwerty keycaps and Dvorak as the logical layout to be a security "feature".
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Offline MohammedSmith

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 11 November 2015, 22:11:30 »
As an aside, has anyone tried the Workman layout? The creator of the layout claims the layout reduces lateral movement and is designed around the natural tendencies of each finger. Do the creator's claims hold up?

Offline angelic_sedition

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 12 November 2015, 12:50:57 »
Switched from Qwerty to DVORAK earlier this year. Love the move, glad I did it.

The reason why I chose DVORAK over Colemak is DVORAK is available on every modern OS without having to download files or remap keys, this isn't the case for Colemak. I don't want to rely on brining my own keyboard or downloading files on someone else's PC if I need to use it for a weekend. The only advantage to Colemak I saw is it might be faster to learn since it shares more keys with qwerty, and the shortcuts are placed better (copy, paste, cut).

My advice - if you make the switch, go 100% Dvorak. Don't try to spend time in both worlds. I did 100% Dvorak once I switched and it took me about 2 months to get back up to any sort of respectable typing speed, and 6+ to get back where I was with qwerty. It's a very long road of breaking down muscle memory and rebuilding it, but very worthwhile.

I think if you're worried about having to use another computer, you might as well not switch at all. Colemak is on OSX and linux by default. How often do you use someone else's computer? Do you go through the trouble to change the layout to Dvorak and back each time? You may not even be allowed to alter the keyboard layout. Also, for Windows, you can run your keyboard layout off of a usb stick (assuming this is allowed) without having to alter the computer's layout.

My recommendation is to actually research the different modern layouts and pick one based on their design if you plan on switching. Some people lose their ability to type QWERTY, but after 2+ years of using colemak exclusively, I still find just using QWERTY less tedious than bothering to change the layout on someone else's computer.

If your goal is to improve your typing speed, don't even bother trying to use a different layout. Practice your touch typing with QWERTY.

As an aside, has anyone tried the Workman layout? The creator of the layout claims the layout reduces lateral movement and is designed around the natural tendencies of each finger. Do the creator's claims hold up?

The difference is going to be subjective. I think a lot of people agree that lateral movement isn't as comfortable, which is why things like colemak mod-dh exist.
« Last Edit: Thu, 12 November 2015, 13:00:12 by angelic_sedition »
QWERTY(104wpm) -> CarpalxQ(modded) -> Colemak(118wpm) -> Colemak-DH
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Offline Syne

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 12 November 2015, 12:57:17 »
I am a colemak user.

Initially, I was going to switch to dvorak when I first started looking at keyboard layouts. But the slight improvement that colemak made along with its fewer changes on qwerty pursuaded me otherwise. I don't regret it at all and would encourage anyone to use colemak or dvorak. I must say, I have lost the ability to touch type on qwerty but since I only use my own computer/laptop, it isnt really a problem for me. The amount of time I spend on my own computer verses the time I spend on other computers makes the switch well worth it.

Offline dummytim

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 13 November 2015, 17:02:08 »
I see a lot of people saying that they've been typing on a specific layout for x amount of years. Was wondering how long did it take you guys to learn? I programmed my Poker 2 to have the Dvorak layer underneath and it's been so annoying to learn for me. Does anyone have any tips on learning?

It could also be that I'm really used to the QWERTY layout since it's what I've learned to touch type on and game on.

Offline Syne

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #35 on: Sun, 15 November 2015, 08:59:13 »
It took me about a month.

Offline dummytim

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #36 on: Sun, 15 November 2015, 16:28:52 »
It took me about a month.

Was that a month before you could touch type, or a month before typing wasn't a PITA?

I started and I've just been hunting and pecking on my blank keyboard, it's no fun at all!

Offline MajorMajor

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 16 November 2015, 15:03:40 »
It took me about a month.

Was that a month before you could touch type, or a month before typing wasn't a PITA?

I started and I've just been hunting and pecking on my blank keyboard, it's no fun at all!

My advice - buy some DVORAK keycaps, well worth the investment. It made learning a lot easier for me, I tried blanks at first as well. Obviously the goal is touch typing, but it's very helpful to be able to look down for assistance to help your brain form a mental image of your new keyboard layout while you're starting out.

When I switched, I used DVORAK 100%, even with work, so probably 10+ hours a day.

After one week, I was up to ~20-25 WPM.

After 2 weeks, ~28 WPM.

After 4 weeks, ~30-35 WPM.

After 5 weeks, ~45-50 WPM.


Now, about 8 months later, I can hit 90-95 WPM. I think that's as fast or faster than what I could do with Qwerty before.

The whole time I never switched back to Qwerty, and I set my phone to Dvorak as well.
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Offline dummytim

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 16 November 2015, 21:35:37 »
It took me about a month.

Was that a month before you could touch type, or a month before typing wasn't a PITA?

I started and I've just been hunting and pecking on my blank keyboard, it's no fun at all!


My advice - buy some DVORAK keycaps, well worth the investment. It made learning a lot easier for me, I tried blanks at first as well. Obviously the goal is touch typing, but it's very helpful to be able to look down for assistance to help your brain form a mental image of your new keyboard layout while you're starting out.

When I switched, I used DVORAK 100%, even with work, so probably 10+ hours a day.

After one week, I was up to ~20-25 WPM.

After 2 weeks, ~28 WPM.

After 4 weeks, ~30-35 WPM.

After 5 weeks, ~45-50 WPM.


Now, about 8 months later, I can hit 90-95 WPM. I think that's as fast or faster than what I could do with Qwerty before.

The whole time I never switched back to Qwerty, and I set my phone to Dvorak as well.

Well I'm currently about 90WPM with QWERTY, so I wonder how much quicker I could actually get.

Where did you buy Dvorak keys from?

Offline Zustiur

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #39 on: Mon, 16 November 2015, 22:49:57 »
Colmak user, 11 months. Took a couple of days to learn the layout. About a month to type slowly. 6 months to return to qwerty speed. I still use qwerty when I have to, can still type at about full speed. About 70 wpm on both.

Did not go 100% colmak, was using qwerty at work, colmak at home initially. Now colmak at both locations but laptops and other people's computers are all qwerty.

Offline mivanov

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Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 18 November 2015, 04:30:04 »
Anyone tried this?

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/main

Or any other software that analyzes character frequency and hand movement based on it?

It says Colemak and Programmer's Dvorak are optimal for me, but Colemak seems too much like QWERTY, so I am wondering what are the benefits.
I mean - In PDvorak, you swap the whole number row which seems like a great idea(entering numbers if frequently should be done with a numpad imho),
and it's reasonable for programmers since most programming languages need a lot of punctuation instead of hardcoding number constants. So the most used number is probably 0, because of all those for loops plus most of the time in languages like C it's the default return value. So I think @/^ should be swapped with */0.

So yeah, I am currently wondering if I should switch to Colemak or Programmer's dvorak. Or maybe try some mix of my own. Then again - these days most modern OS's have both Colemak and PDvorak, so one should be able to use other's computers without problems, but if you go custom.. => you will need hardware remapping+bringing your KB everywhere.

Offline davkol

  • Posts: 4994
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 18 November 2015, 15:39:12 »
http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/main
It was pretty much useless, last time I checked. I neat toy, but that's it.

Or any other software that analyzes character frequency and hand movement based on it?
Character frequency is next to irrelevant. Bigrams work only for DSK-like layouts, and trigrams are already generally reasonable even otherwise. Why? Because of, as you mention, hand movement. You can't measure hand alternation, same-finger ratio or finger rolling on unigrams.

I've rewritten and extended the "typing effort" model of the carpalx fame, in order to support layers, dead keys and what not, but it still rots on my hard drives.

Anyway, there are basically two paradigms:
  • layouts, that favor hand alternation between each keystroke, such as Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, AdnW or the Marsan's layout;
  • and layouts based on the hypothesis, that sequences of keystrokes with adjacent fingers are faster on electric keyboards—these include Colemak, MTGAP and Maltron layouts.
There isn't enough evidence to call one or the other clearly superior, thus you have to pick a layout based on gut feeling, hype or convenience. For example, DSK has the advantage of being an ANSI standard; meanwhile, Colemak is becoming very common too, and the similarity to QWERTY allows utilization of relearning methods like Tarmak.

Offline Pro XKB

  • Posts: 25
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #42 on: Thu, 19 November 2015, 00:58:29 »
Quote
Anyone tried this?

http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/main
It is easy to use...

Quote
Or any other software that analyzes character frequency and hand movement based on it?
The AdNW optimizer (http://509.ch/opte.htm) also supports analysis of given layouts.  However, by default, it only defines keys for letters, shift, and space (mostly).  If you want to analyze a full layout, you must define the additional keys manually in a configuration file, which is somewhat tedious.

In return, you can obtain statistics in graphical and text form for monograms and bigrams.  For trigrams, there is only statistics in text form, which is a pity, as there are so many trigrams that a visual aid to process the huge amount of data would be really useful(but I have no idea how that should look like).

There is also support for a shifted level and dead key sequences, if you care about that.

Offline mivanov

  • Posts: 27
  • something something
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #43 on: Thu, 19 November 2015, 16:13:46 »
http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-analyzer/#/main
It was pretty much useless, last time I checked. I neat toy, but that's it.

Or any other software that analyzes character frequency and hand movement based on it?
Character frequency is next to irrelevant. Bigrams work only for DSK-like layouts, and trigrams are already generally reasonable even otherwise. Why? Because of, as you mention, hand movement. You can't measure hand alternation, same-finger ratio or finger rolling on unigrams.

I've rewritten and extended the "typing effort" model of the carpalx fame, in order to support layers, dead keys and what not, but it still rots on my hard drives.

Anyway, there are basically two paradigms:
  • layouts, that favor hand alternation between each keystroke, such as Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, AdnW or the Marsan's layout;
  • and layouts based on the hypothesis, that sequences of keystrokes with adjacent fingers are faster on electric keyboards—these include Colemak, MTGAP and Maltron layouts.
There isn't enough evidence to call one or the other clearly superior, thus you have to pick a layout based on gut feeling, hype or convenience. For example, DSK has the advantage of being an ANSI standard; meanwhile, Colemak is becoming very common too, and the similarity to QWERTY allows utilization of relearning methods like Tarmak.

Why unigrams? Isn't it smart enough to at least group characters? Otherwise you really can't measure the distance since most of the time many keys are adjacent.. And you can press like 3 keys almost simultaneously.

Another idea I have and will probably try sometime soon.  Get this https://www.leapmotion.com/ and program it to monitor the movement. Those are cheap on eb, but atm I don't have enough time to play with them. Physical tracking seems like the best idea anyway.


Offline Hazel

  • Posts: 53
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 09 December 2015, 17:58:50 »
I learned both Dvorak and Colemak, and ended up sticking with the latter.

I'd been a software engineer for 15 years, but I never learned to properly touch-type.  My new year's resolution for 2013 was to learn to touch-type.  In Dvorak.

I spent a couple weeks learning Dvorak at home, got up to almost 30 wpm, but it just didn't feel right.  I went looking for something better, and discovered the rabbit hole of alternate layouts. I immediately dismissed Colemak, as it didn't seem to be "logical" like Dvorak.  I spent a little time with Workman.  I even designed my own layout and used it for a few days.  Finally, I came back to Colemak and gave it a try... and it clicked instantly.  Within 3 weeks I was using Colemak full-time, and within 4 weeks I was faster than I'd been on qwerty. I haven't looked back.

Dvorak and Colemak are both really good.  Rather than worry about one being "better" than the other, I would recommend any potential switcher to try them both and see what works for them.

Interestingly, I still have most of my previous qwerty skills:  If I'm touch-typing, I type Colemak.  If I'm looking at the keyboard, I drop back into my old hunt-and-peck qwerty mode.  Some of this is probably from continuing to use qwerty on touchscreens (where qwerty's scattered placement of common keys is somewhat useful).

Offline stian

  • Posts: 24
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #45 on: Fri, 11 December 2015, 11:17:50 »
I made the switch after getting a tip from a coworker about it. I switched cold turkey and it was quite difficult to begin with. I don't regret it at all. I can still type qwerty after a little warm up, but it feels weird and the placement seems awful compared to colemak.

I can still type qwerty alright if I "finger type", and go from memory. I know people that can swap between colemak and qwerty fairly easily and touch type in both layouts fairly well. I guess it's difficult to determine the best way of learning a new layout but using it a little bit every day is probably the best thus retaining muscle memory for both? :P

With colemak everything rolls quite nicely. I heavily considered dvorak as well, but being left handed I didn't want to wear out my right hand, plus I use the mouse with my right hand. I'm stll not sure colemak is a 100% fit for me, I really like the ideas behind programmers dvorak and would love to make a programmers colemak, for example moving the {} up to the left hand somewhere; I use a Kinesis Advantage so the braces are quite far down on the right hand for me.

Offline wooshCap

  • Posts: 53
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #46 on: Sat, 12 December 2015, 16:11:27 »
I just wanted to share a great tool for learning new keyboard layout.

Typing of the dead. I love it. you can find it on steam.

Offline btacju

  • Posts: 6
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #47 on: Mon, 14 December 2015, 20:04:09 »
I learned programmer's dvorak on a whim a long time ago, and it is now the only layout I use. I don't really see the benefits of it that many people advocate. I just use it now because it's the only layout I know comfortably, and I don't feel like relearning qwerty or anything like that. It can be inconveniencing to use others' computers sometimes or play some games that don't automatically switch the keys for you. I never really noticed a change in typing speed or a reduced strain when I first switched, though there's no real way to quantify that, either, I guess.

Offline wockytocky

  • Posts: 26
  • Location: US
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 13 January 2016, 16:21:11 »
Dvorak user here. If your going to do it go 100%. also make VIM impossible to use. copy paste is harder to do. I put color type under hot keys so I can see them on with out putting my hand on F and J keys. Good luck.

I have no problems using vim with dvorak. The new locations of the navigation keys are all still pretty intuitive and easy to access imo. In Colemak, on the other hand, the navigation keys are in absolutely terrible locations. J is in the top row and K is in the bottom row, first of all. Second of all, HJK are all on the same finger :(

I switched to dvorak in my freshman year of college and used it exclusively for about 5 years. I was a CS major and did all of my programming in dvorak without a problem, fantastic layout. I'm currently switching to colemak out of curiosity more than anything else. I've met plenty of people with years of experience in one or the other but I've never met anyone who's spent a significant amount of time in both. I intend to become that person

Offline Vozella

  • Posts: 120
Re: Dvorak/Colemak users?
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 13 January 2016, 17:46:32 »
Why do people not want to learn Colemak solely because there's no CapsLock? You can either make Backspace your CapsLock or don't change the CapsLock position at all.
Edit: I just started learning Colemak a few weeks ago.
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 January 2016, 17:48:21 by Vozella »