Author Topic: Ergonomics and modifiers?  (Read 7210 times)

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Offline joesventek

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Ergonomics and modifiers?
« on: Fri, 18 May 2018, 10:54:18 »
In my day to day work I have to use a fair amount of modifier keys. This in combination with one sided use of all the modifiers led to the first signs of what some call an Emacs Pinky.

That's why I'm on a quest to save my (left) pink now.

Here's what I've done so far:

  • Mapped Capslock to Ctrl.
  • Switched from german to "us altgr intl" layout on my 60% ISO board. This makes it easier to type commonly (to me) used symbols like { and }. On the other hand it makes it a bit harder to type stuff like german umlauts.
  • I'm trying to split the work the left pinky has to do with the right pinky. Shift is a good example.

Unfortunately this seemingly is not enough to save my left pinky.

So I went out to build my own split ergo keyboard featuring thumb keys. I thought putting the modifiers on thumb keys could save that poor pinky.
Turns out, while planning the build and the layout to be, putting all modifiers on thumb keys is not a good idea either. Because you know, sometimes, maybe often even, I have to press multiple modifiers at once.
Please note: I count keys to switch layers as modifiers as well.

I guess that's one of the reasons my custom ergo split project is stuck in limbo for so long now.

Just two hours ago I decided to give dual role on the home row a go. I already played with space as a dual role key und I did not like it because it often got in my way while typing.
So this time I put Ctrl on F and J and just for the sake of doing it a numpad layer on A.

I've been using those dual role keys now at work and they seem to work very well. I don't miss letters while typing and the modifiers are identified correctly when I want to use them.

So I think dual role keys on the alphas in combination with some thumb keys (on a split keyboard) might be a really good way to save the pinkies.

What are your thought? How do you save your pinkies? Any other tricks worth sharing?

Also I'm wondering while dual shot keys on the alphas are not more common? Searching did not yield many (useful) results.
« Last Edit: Tue, 19 February 2019, 07:16:44 by joesventek »

Offline vvp

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 18 May 2018, 14:34:51 »
Dual shot keys postpone sending of key press event untill another key is pressed or until the dual shot key is released. This is a significant problem if you use your keyboard also for gaming or when you accidentally have pressed two keys at once while typing quickly. Example: lets say you type "yes" as "+y+e-y-e+s-s"(*) ... if y key is a dual shot key then you get garbage. If it is a simple key then this will be interpreted by programs without problem as expected. I do not know how other typist but this accidental press of two ordinary keys at once happens sometimes to me. It is never a problem if you do not use dual shot keys.

(*) +x means key x is pressed, -x means it is released

I have all modifiers on thumb cluster and I often press two modifiers at once. E.g. I use Win-Shift-<Number> often to control i3 window manager. Look at this post to see how I press two modifiers at once on my thumb cluster:
https://deskthority.net/post250605.html#p250605

The other option is "merge-able" macros. I use them to press chords like Shift-F1 as FnShift-A or chords like Ctrl-Shift-F1 as FnShift-Ctrl-A. FnShift is a palm button.

Good luck with your pinkie off-loading.

Offline joesventek

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 19 May 2018, 03:42:52 »
The problem with dual shot keys you describe is actually what I experienced when I put Ctrl on Space. That's why I thought dual shot keys were no solution to my problem. This test was done with a really old version of TMK though. My recent test with modifiers on the home row was done using the latest version of QMK with IGNORE_MOD_TAP_INTERRUPT (the QMK documentation states: "makes it possible to do rolling combos (zx) with keys that convert to other keys on hold") set and have not experienced any of those problems when typing very fast. Time will tell how reliable this solution is though.

Thanks for the link to your solution for pressing multiple modifiers at once with the thumbs. Though I only had time to skim your post for now and I have to defer reading it thouroughly I can't see myself using this solution. At first sight it looks like this would just cause problems for the other fingers and/or unreliable key hitting.

Also I forgot to mention I played with one shot modifiers as well. So when putting all modifiers on thumb keys I would be able to press them in succession instead of simultaneous. I feel this is slowing me down considerably though, so I think this is not a good solution to me as well.

Offline vvp

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 19 May 2018, 13:15:30 »
OK, so the firmware postpones a dual shot key effect even more (until a key in a chord is released). Non-gamers would not really mind. Gamers would mind even the shorter postponement I mentioned before. Makes sense.

Online algernon

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 19 May 2018, 15:32:54 »
You want one-shot modifiers, on the thumb cluster. One-shot means it remains active until *after* the next press, even if you release it. You can also chain modifiers this way, because one-shot modifiers do not cancel each other (talking about QMK and Kaleidoscope here, other firmware may implement them differently). This means if you want to type `Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F`, you type `Ctrl, Shift, Alt, F` instead. No chording, no weird finger gymnastics, and you only need one set of modifiers, saving a few keys on your layout. (Ok, you may want Right Alt)

I've been using oneshots this way for almost two years now, my pinkies love it, because they don't need to hold anything at all. My thumbs love it, because they can drum on the thumb cluster from time to time - and they don't need to hold anything either! My keymap loves it too, because I could put more useful stuff on my base layer, after removing all the Right modifiers.

Seriously, try one shot modifiers. They help, and are incredibly easy to get used to.

(You can also hold them, and they act like a normal modifier then. You can even double-tap them to have them lock until a third tap, so you can TYPE IN ALL CAPS WITHOUT CAPSLOCK OR HOLDING SHIFT! Awesome!)

Offline joesventek

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 22 May 2018, 04:32:25 »
OK, so the firmware postpones a dual shot key effect even more (until a key in a chord is released). Non-gamers would not really mind. Gamers would mind even the shorter postponement I mentioned before. Makes sense.

Fortunately I'm not a gamer, so this is not a problem to me. I guess I just have to test out modifiers on the home row for a bit longer to make sure they work for me.

You want one-shot modifiers, on the thumb cluster. One-shot means it remains active until *after* the next press, even if you release it. You can also chain modifiers this way, because one-shot modifiers do not cancel each other (talking about QMK and Kaleidoscope here, other firmware may implement them differently). This means if you want to type `Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F`, you type `Ctrl, Shift, Alt, F` instead. No chording, no weird finger gymnastics, and you only need one set of modifiers, saving a few keys on your layout. (Ok, you may want Right Alt)

I've been using oneshots this way for almost two years now, my pinkies love it, because they don't need to hold anything at all. My thumbs love it, because they can drum on the thumb cluster from time to time - and they don't need to hold anything either! My keymap loves it too, because I could put more useful stuff on my base layer, after removing all the Right modifiers.

Seriously, try one shot modifiers. They help, and are incredibly easy to get used to.

I did try one shot modifiers and did not like them at all (because using them felt awkwardly slow to me and I got all confused when I accidentally hit a modifier). But I guess I have to give them a serious try again to finally form an opinion on them.

Online algernon

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 22 May 2018, 04:42:45 »
I did try one shot modifiers and did not like them at all (because using them felt awkwardly slow to me and I got all confused when I accidentally hit a modifier). But I guess I have to give them a serious try again to finally form an opinion on them.

For accidental hits, I set up my Esc key to cancel any oneshots if active, and only act as Esc when there are no one-shots in flight. This made the accidental hits much less confusing. As for speed - that's just a question of practice. After about a week of using oneshot modifiers, I found I type capital letters faster, because my thumb got used to pressing shift, and moving my thumb slightly and tapping a key turned out to be faster than reaching for Shift with my pinky, and holding.

Offline stevep

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 23 May 2018, 09:29:40 »
Thumb keys are the way to go. Thumbs are perfect for modifiers, but the design of traditional keyboards is unfortunately very stupid, which makes optimal usage harder to achieve than it should be.

One option is to go for a radically changed keyboard design, such as the ErgoDox or Planck. They provide convenient thumb keys and can be programmed in hardware. But they do require a bit of relearning, and it might be annoying if you need to frequently switch back to ordinary hardware.

Another option, for standard keyboards, is you can access the Alt keys via your thumbs, with alternative functions assigned to them. This works especially well on laptop-style keyboard where the Alt keys are directly below C and comma. Here are some ideas of what you could to with these modifier keys. Also some keyboards have split space-bars, such as the Matias Ergo Pro or the upcoming UHK, which allows you to use one of the spacebars for something else. I have been doing this for years and highly recommend it.


« Last Edit: Wed, 23 May 2018, 09:37:26 by stevep »

Offline joesventek

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 03 June 2018, 11:37:10 »
So after having used modifiers on the home row for a bit now, I come to the following conclusion: When they work, modifiers on the home row are really really great and comfortable! Unfortunately, no matter what settings in QMK I change, there are always some quirks that get in my way.

So the next experiment in trying to save my pinkies is building a custom split keyboard with thumb keys: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=95919.0

Offline vvp

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 03 June 2018, 12:38:53 »
Can you please elaborate on the "quirks".

Offline joesventek

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 03 June 2018, 15:03:07 »
Sure. The problem is I can either make the modifiers or the alphas work reliably. Not both at the same time. After tweaking the available settings the best I can, I can make both work maybe 90% of the time. As soon as I type or hit the modifiers any other way than I usually do (faster, slower, ...), I get accidental letters when I want to have modifiers or the other way around.

I'm sure one can get used to this by being more disciplined when typing. Unfortunately I don't think I can though. Which makes me kinda sad because I really like the shift keys on the home row when they work. Unfortunately those are the least reliable dual role keys to me.

I'll keep experimenting with dual role keys on less frequently used letters though.

Offline vvp

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 03 June 2018, 16:43:15 »
Thansk for your response.
Sorry, I do not use QMK. Cannot you configure QMK so that dual role keys so that they do not depend on timeouts and speed of typing?

After our previous discussion I expected the firmware to buffer all the keystrokes in sequence (not sending anything to the OS just yet). Then a higher level layer would transform this sequence of keys presses and releases and emit them to the OS. The transformation would be done in such a way that if any key is both pressed after and released before a dual role key then the dual role key is interpreted as a modifier. In any other case the dual role keys would be interpreted as non-modifier.
This approach does not depend on speed. It depends only on the sequence of key presses and releases. Not good for gaming but it should work OK for typing.

Offline joesventek

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 04 June 2018, 01:56:56 »
I think that's exactly what PERMISSIVE_HOLD does and which seemed to work very realiable for me on the first tests. Turns out, I hit the keys in the correct order but sometimes release them in reverse when typing fast. Without buffering this works as intended by me. With PERMISSIVE_HOLD set this would then lead to accidental (to me) modifier invocations.

I'm sure this can work for a lot of people. But for me it does not at the moment. I'll make sure to give dual role keys another go with my split keyboard though.

Offline vvp

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 04 June 2018, 03:27:54 »
I think that's exactly what PERMISSIVE_HOLD does and which seemed to work very realiable for me on the first tests. Turns out, I hit the keys in the correct order but sometimes release them in reverse when typing fast. Without buffering this works as intended by me. With PERMISSIVE_HOLD set this would then lead to accidental (to me) modifier invocations.
Yes, if you would release the keys in the wrong order while intending to use a dual role key as a modifier then it would not be recognized as a modifier. But modifiers are not used that often so it should be possible to train oneself to be more careful with them.
I do not use dual role keys myself mostly because I have 10 thumb+palm keys on each half so there is plenty of easily accessible modifier candidates for me. And I play games sometimes. But I planned to add their support to the firmware I use. Now I'm not sure it is worth the trouble.

The point is that just for typing they should work OK. They have only three drawbacks:
  • they change the timing of events
  • they need some other way to press the dual role key with its own modifier (e.g. if F is dual role key with Ctrl then there needs to be alternative way to pres Ctrl-F)
  • the order of pressing/releasing of a dual role key relative to the other keys needs to be correct when used as a modifier
Looks like the last point is hard.

I'm sure this can work for a lot of people. But for me it does not at the moment. I'll make sure to give dual role keys another go with my split keyboard though.
Well, from what I read here you seemed like the most avid user trying to give dual role keys some heavy use. Most people seem to use them only as SpaceFn. That may be somewhat different since space is pressed by thumb. Please, report your experience with dual role keys if you ever return to them again.

Offline T42

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 19 January 2019, 14:27:59 »
I tried to program timing-independant dual-role modifiers without timing in Autohotkey, but gave up. When done right, they still sound like a great idea I might try again some day.

Now I am using a standard keyboard, but place my fingers one row higher than normal. The space bar is replaced with a small key so that it does not get in the way when the thumbs press C to comma (if it were QUERTY), their new main row. The thumbs reach seven keys easily and two more (LAlt, RAlt) half-decently.

In my first layout with that finger positioning, all six main thumb keys were in heavy use for [ layer2 | shift | layer1 || layer1 | shift | layer2 ]. Alt is placed on Tab and Enter (the ISO type, so it's upper part is symmetrical to Tab on what I use as home row). Ctrl is next to it on Q and ] (talking in UK QUERTY).
I used that layout for ~ 4 months. It was quite OK, but I did not like the amount of thumb movement needed.

Recently, I mapped the main thumb row to [ backspace | shift | layer2 || layer2 | shift | enter ]. But layer2 is no longer needed much, because "normal shift", "odd shift", and "double shift" are three seperate layers which already contain all important characters (but not navigation, that is still on space). Similarly, layer2 is actually three layers. With "normal", I mean combining the right shift key with keys on the left side and vice-versa. "Odd" is combining thumb and other finger of the same hand. "Double" is obviously pressing both modifiers. I've been using this for only a week now. Typing in caps by holding a single shift is no longer possible, and I still have to get used to using CapsLock instead. But otherwise, it's working well.

Offline vvp

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 20 January 2019, 06:04:37 »
The space bar is replaced with a small key so that it does not get in the way when the thumbs press C to comma (if it were QUERTY), their new main row. The thumbs reach seven keys easily and two more (LAlt, RAlt) half-decently.
Nice hack :)

Offline T42

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 20 January 2019, 13:37:50 »
Thanks. Appreciate your comment after getting no feedback in the other thread.  :)

Offline Paleoboarder

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 21 January 2019, 14:10:09 »
Yes, very ingenious, T42. Inspired by this thread (by T42's thoughts in particular but also by the fact that I can definitely relate to joesventek's left-pinky woes) I just cobbled something together which might (or might not) work on my new G80-11900. I guess I sacrificed one winkey and the menu key in favor of adding two more shift keys in the top row (I did retain the original shift keys, anything else would be too radical, I guess).

Of course I didn't think out the implications, and this is my first post here, so hi everyone!

Pardon the quick-and-dirty montage. Whether I am actually going to try this out is anybody's guess.

https://imgur.com/a/dvpDiQW
« Last Edit: Mon, 21 January 2019, 14:30:43 by Paleoboarder »

Offline Squarism

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 22 January 2019, 13:28:57 »
Ive just started adapting the dactyl-manuform keyboard. Even if the thumb cluster is great I feel as if the closest 2 thumb buttons (2 on each side) are so much more worth than others. As the process of organically develop a qmk  keymap is very time consuming, (moving keys messes with your muscle memory) I wonder I people have some advice on how to maximize use of these. Is it feasible to put LT(layer, someKey), where some key is something important as taplike keys bkspc, space or enter? Or is it hard to avoid misstakes?

...any other advice on adopting ergonomocal qmk keymaps for hotkey combo intense IDEs?
« Last Edit: Wed, 06 February 2019, 11:25:47 by Squarism »

Online csmertx

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 22 January 2019, 23:03:10 »
I remapped navigation keys to ui hjkl nm (caps as modifier). Helps me putt around with terminal emulators/vim/tmux/etc. Obviously remapping firmware would be ideal. That and a split spacebar I think.
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Offline T42

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 26 January 2019, 15:57:34 »
Yes, very ingenious, T42. Inspired by this thread (by T42's thoughts in particular but also by the fact that I can definitely relate to joesventek's left-pinky woes) I just cobbled something together which might (or might not) work on my new G80-11900. I guess I sacrificed one winkey and the menu key in favor of adding two more shift keys in the top row (I did retain the original shift keys, anything else would be too radical, I guess).

Of course I didn't think out the implications, and this is my first post here, so hi everyone!

Pardon the quick-and-dirty montage. Whether I am actually going to try this out is anybody's guess.

https://imgur.com/a/dvpDiQW
Welcome to geekhack! (says someone with eight posts :-)

Glad I inspired you, but frankly I don't see how. Your layout looks very different from mine. Are the number keys in your bottom row modifiers maybe? Or are your two new shift keys more than one shift layer? Maybe you could post an image of your layout before the inspiration for comparison.

BTW, after one more week, I still like my new layout. I can't say that I master it, because after 13 month of switching from QUERTZ to Neo (as far as letters go, other characters placed as I saw fit) and trying several variants of modifiers and other changes, I suck at every layout.  :) But I'm still confident, and typing faster or with fewer errors than before was never my goal. It's all about comfort / health.

Offline Paleoboarder

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 27 January 2019, 02:43:21 »
Glad I inspired you, but frankly I don't see how.

I should have been more specific. The part I thought ingenious was the way you dealt with the space bar to open up leeway for your thumbs. The part, by contrast, that actually inspired me was the shifting of rows as such. Being a translator by trade, I mainly type alphas, so I thought I might (theoretically) benefit from, roughly speaking, remapping the bottom modifier row (including the four arrow and the two shift keys nearby) to where the number row normally is and vice versa.

Thus you would have all four arrow keys readily within reach of the index fingers (where 5 to 8 are usually located), the left and right Control keys readily reachable by the middle fingers (where the 4 and 9 normally are) and the shift keys readily reachable by the ring fingers (where the 3 and 0 normally are).

One might consider swapping the latter two positions (i.e. Ctrl to ring and Shift to middle fingers), I don’t know. But yes, you obviously need both Shift keys up there to capitalize letters on the left or right half of the keyboard, respectively. And, on second thoughts, I might also want to move the Windows key to where I originally  placed the right Alt (or, in my case, Alt Gr) and leave the latter in its native position.

In this way, you would never really need to leave the hands' home position to actuate any of the arrow or modifier keys, and all of these would not require any pinky action (pinky relief having been a point brought up by the OP). To really test this would, however, require blank keycaps or something, I guess, since you cannot just swap the keycaps, whose profiles are optimized for their respective native positions on the keyboard, right?

Also, this concept might feel a little more natural with the 11900 (or any 1800 layout, for that matter) where the bottom modifier keys are only 1 unit wide. But theoretically it should also work with standard keycap configurations.
« Last Edit: Sun, 27 January 2019, 02:56:37 by Paleoboarder »

Offline T42

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 27 January 2019, 13:04:46 »
Glad I inspired you, but frankly I don't see how.

I should have been more specific. The part I thought ingenious was the way you dealt with the space bar to open up leeway for your thumbs. The part, by contrast, that actually inspired me was the shifting of rows as such. Being a translator by trade, I mainly type alphas, so I thought I might (theoretically) benefit from, roughly speaking, remapping the bottom modifier row (including the four arrow and the two shift keys nearby) to where the number row normally is and vice versa.
Thanks for clarifying.
If you mainly type natural languages (and for many other uses), it certainly makes sense to move the numbers to less reachable keys, or to the shift layer as AZERTY does. I guess you still need to find a better place for exclamation mark and double quotes. Or you probably already have, but didn't want to put more effort in the quick-and-dirty image.  :)

To really test this would, however, require blank keycaps or something, I guess, since you cannot just swap the keycaps, whose profiles are optimized for their respective native positions on the keyboard, right?
To have (most) keys properly labeled, I bought a Cherry MX Board 3.0 that a collegue had lying around and put its flat profile keys onto my Fnatic Streak keyboard. That was cheaper than most keycap sets.
(But that turned out to be a temporary solution. Since I hold the left hand diagonally (e.g. index finger's "home column" is 6, T, F (in QUERTY)), I hit the bottom keys at the corner. So I ordered round keycaps, assuming they are more comfortable for me. Those are still on their way from Hong Kong.)

Online jaredj

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 27 January 2019, 18:05:28 »
Thanks for being thorough in your description of your experiences. I avoided alpha modifiers for fear of just what you describe. and you've saved me some time. I've managed to avoid Emacs pinky by using xah-fly-keys in my emacs, which nearly gets rid of the use of Ctrl entirely. I recommend xahlee.info and ergoemacs.org; even if you don't use Emacs you will find useful things.

Online csmertx

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 27 January 2019, 18:22:47 »
Eventually I'll remap scroll lock (again) for toggling layouts so I can try Dvorak again. Although I enjoyed the ambidextrous heat zone of that particular layout, after a few weeks of 30minutes a day I averaged ~20wpm whereas my wpm for QWERTY is ~80. I think it's safe to assume I lost interest. I enjoy typing at a decent speed if possible.
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Offline Paleoboarder

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 28 January 2019, 03:44:35 »
If you mainly type natural languages (and for many other uses), it certainly makes sense to move the numbers to less reachable keys, or to the shift layer as AZERTY does. I guess you still need to find a better place for exclamation mark and double quotes. Or you probably already have, but didn't want to put more effort in the quick-and-dirty image.  :)

Re exclamation mark and double quotes, my quick-and-dirty image actually did consider these two. I doubt that I exclaim enough for a relocated mark to slow me down. And, as to the double quotes, these are too tricky to be covered by a single key anyway. In Word, you need to define whether or not you want typographic ones, and if (like I do) you switch a lot between German and English, you can never be totally sure if Word will apply default, English or German formatting to any specific passages, and the typographic quotes look different in both languages (not only the top-versus-bottom position of the opening quotes but also the directions of curvature). Plus in German you have the option of using »...« as quotation marks, which I do occasionally. I use macros for all of these.

In fact I have remapped the (German) >< key to Home and the accent key left to backspace to End without any notable adverse effects on my writing speed. The only non-negotiable native position along the number row is the eszett ("ß"). I am slightly older than I care to be reminded of on a daily basis, so some things are too deeply ingrained, I guess. I consider myself a pretty good touch typist, but numbers or any of the secondary characters along the number row have never really been part of this system, with this one notable exception (as I’m sure you know, you cannot write two sentences in a row without requiring at least one "ß" in German).

What I didn't wholly think out (still haven't, and likely never will) is the implications for key combinations involving multiple modifiers (like Shift + Control + Alt + Win + NumpadSub or something).

Still impressed by the radical (and concrete!) steps you're taking…

Offline T42

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 02 February 2019, 16:44:04 »
Quote
Still impressed by the radical (and concrete!) steps you're taking…
Thanks, Paleoboarder! I wouldn't call your layout conservative, either.  :)

Re Word: Interesting, although I know nothing about Word macros. But I too know that Microsoft works in mysterious ways sometimes.

Quote
as I’m sure you know, you cannot write two sentences in a row without requiring at least one "ß" in German
Ja, das stimmt. Das ist mir auch noch nie gelungen. Oh wait... did I just write two German sentences in a row without an "ß"?

In the meantime, the round keycaps arrived quicker than expected. They feel noticably better for my weird finger placement. Only minor complaint is that while the caps themselves are as flat as they looked in the pictures, the stem protrudes approximately 2 millimeters. I'd prefer them as flat as possible.

BTW, I posted my Autohotkey script at autohotkey.com and a photo of my keyboard.
« Last Edit: Sat, 02 February 2019, 16:52:07 by T42 »

Offline ala

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 16 February 2019, 17:43:59 »
Well, from what I read here you seemed like the most avid user trying to give dual role keys some heavy use. Most people seem to use them only as SpaceFn. That may be somewhat different since space is pressed by thumb. Please, report your experience with dual role keys if you ever return to them again.

I use dual role keys in my layout. I placed the modifiers as the dual keys on the bottom letter row, symmetrically for both hands. It works very well. When I really got used to them I sometimes just typed two letters instead of Mod+letter. I learned to type the modifier combination a bit slower and all is fine. Still it is way faster and/or more convenient than reaching the modifier keys somewhere else far away form the home rows. My only issue with them now is that I sometimes miss the correct hand position on the keyboard and press the wrong combo. I'm looking for something to put on the keycaps so I would recognize them by touch.

BTW, I've just read above about the One-shoot-modfiers, that's also smart. I have to try it.

Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 25 February 2019, 18:15:13 »
I have shift to sprint pinky? I don't know, it just hurts really bad when i press shift to sprint. It is not comfortable. Should i bind it to caps lock instead? But again, not all games allow it ):
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Offline T42

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 03 March 2019, 14:35:26 »
I have shift to sprint pinky? I don't know, it just hurts really bad when i press shift to sprint. It is not comfortable. Should i bind it to caps lock instead? But again, not all games allow it ):
lt's really a shame that not all games allow full remapping. But AFAIR all games I played after switching to the thumb for sprint, jump, and duck (more than 15 years ago, I guess) allowed at least those and other basics to be remapped. Which games do you mean which don't?
One group of often non-remappable controls are number keys for weapon selection. That was especially annoying when I was still using the Thrustmaster Tactical Board on a Windows version where its software didn't work. By default, it has the number keys (only 1 .. 9) on the silver keys around the central arrow keys.
Anyway, maybe you should get a programmable keyboard (with onboard mapping for full compatibility) or hasu's USB to USB converter to get past the games' limitations.
As for the pinky / sprint usage, here's my current (left hand) gaming setup:
  • Home, PgUp, NumLock = left, forward, right (ring, middle, index finger home row)
  • End, PgDown, Numpad7 = <depending on game>, back, <depending on game> (ring, middle, index finger lower row)
  • Numpad4, Numpad5, Numpad3 = duck, sprint, jump (thumb); I replaced 0, period, 1, 2 with flatter keycaps so that they don't get in the way.
A drawback is that duck+jump is impossible and sprint+jump is hard. But in the games I play, that was rarely a problem. Sometimes I reordered the three, depending on which combination (or rapid succession) a game needed. Maybe I should just grow a second thumb on my left hand though ;-)

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Re: Ergonomics and modifiers?
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 03 March 2019, 15:51:17 »
It use to be so much easier to remap keys for games.  These days every game seems to have an anti-cheat daemon that checks for external programs.

Remapping at the source before it reaches the computer seems to be the way to go.

Would also be great for those that want to remap for terminal consoles without the need to modify kernel keymaps.

Thought I should mention it's been a while since I've lived in a Windows environment so take this post with a grain of whichever salt you prefer.
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 / another 3d keyboard model thread / BSD thread / github / falotalt
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