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Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" Developer Preview has Colemak built-in!

  • Started by boli
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  • From: Switzerland
  • Registered: 21-Aug-2007
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Finally. :)

There's a caveat though, the layout with the Option (AKA alt) key pressed differs considerably from Colemak.

From the looks of it, they just moved the Option/alt characters exactly the same as the no-modifier keys. So for example, pressing Option+r on a Mac QWERTY Layout produces the ® character. The same holds true for the current Colemak implementation in Lion. The real Colemak would yield a ` character with Option+r.

Here's a pic of it, note the "Co" icon in the menu bar:
colemak.png

Here's the layout with the Option (alt) key pressed of the current Lion Colemak:
colemakalt.png

For comparison, here's the original Colemak Option/alt layout:
colemakaltoriginal.png

They might change it before they release Lion, but since the only Option/alt characters I use are üäö (which are in un-intuitive locations in Colemak IMO) I could easily get used to using Option+u, which produces umlauts: ¨ (Option+d in real Colemak). Typing an a, o or u after the umlaut results in a ä, ö or ü - same as I used to do back when I still used US QWERTY. :)

Last edited by boli (25-Feb-2011 23:53:36)
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Nice! That's great news. Looking forward to Lion even more now.  I wonder if Colemak will show up in iOS 5.0 this summer too? (Although it would make preserving my QWERTY skills that much harder if it did!)

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The AltGr mappings there are the standard MacOS ones as far as I can see. In my opinion, that's okay.

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That's great news!    not in the habit of using the alt/option layout much so that doesn't really matter to me.

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I'm used to the characters available on mac's qwerty+option keyboard, so I would probably prefer the way they have it in the developer preview right now.

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What about Caps Lock? :)

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Korivak said:

Nice! That's great news. Looking forward to Lion even more now.  I wonder if Colemak will show up in iOS 5.0 this summer too? (Although it would make preserving my QWERTY skills that much harder if it did!)

Doubt it, perhaps they'll add a hardware layout to iOS like they have for Dvorak (used for Bluetooth keyboards) but the on screen will be QWERTY, QWERTZ or AZERTY.

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Agiel said:

What about Caps Lock? :)

Look at the first picture in the first post.

I doubt Apple will change Caps Lock any time soon, because aluminum keyboards even have a small activation delay for Caps Lock built-in, preventing the Caps Lock key to be pressed accidentally. This means that it's not ideal (annoying even) to use the Caps Lock key for anything other than Caps Lock.
Update: Reportedly it can be disabled with third-party software. Some also reported there that with newer firmware they keyboards no longer have the delay. I don't know, as I'm using a Kinesis. ;)

Last edited by boli (10-Mar-2011 10:15:03)
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Actually, in my experience the delay is only a problem under Windows.

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Agiel said:

Actually, in my experience the delay is only a problem under Windows

Even after the firmware update? I'd think the delay would be handled in the keyboard itself. :-/

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boli said:

Update: Reportedly it can be disabled with third-party software. Some also reported there that with newer firmware they keyboards no longer have the delay. I don't know, as I'm using a Kinesis. ;)

My MacBook Pro, bought in September 2010, has the caps lock delay.

The firmware fix for this issue seems to have been released in January 2010, but only for wireless aluminium keyboards.

So... it seems like there's no fix for laptops? :'( How sad.

I am using a hack that keeps the LED on all the time, which does prevent the delay, but this requires having that LED always lit, and a service running in the background the whole time which has some serious memory leak issues.

It'd be nice to fix this at the hardware level.

I'm very glad see Colemak in Lion though. Now, Windows is the only major OS to not support Colemak. Come on, Microsoft!

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As I mention in the thread I linked earlier, you don't need the LED hack. Just go into System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys... and set Caps Lock to "No Action".

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Agiel said:

As I mention in the thread I linked earlier, you don't need the LED hack. Just go into System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys... and set Caps Lock to "No Action".

So setting Caps Lock to "No Action" disables the Caps Lock delay? Excellent.
And to map Caps Lock to Backspace you used PCKeyboardHack?

You might want to notify Shai about the Caps Lock delay so he can update the Colemak for Mac page. :)

Last edited by boli (15-Mar-2011 19:59:53)
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Agiel said:

As I mention in the thread I linked earlier, you don't need the LED hack. Just go into System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys... and set Caps Lock to "No Action".

Oh wow, that actually works. Ok, so that allows me to get rid of KeyRemapForMacbook. But I still have PCKeyboardHack running to remap Caps Lock to Backspace. Is it at all possible to avoid this as well?

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boli said:

You might want to notify Shai about the Caps Lock delay so he can update the Colemak for Mac page. :)

I just notified Shai.

Thanks to Agiel for pointing out setting Caps Lock to "No Action".

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  • From: Bærum, Norway
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Oh, I so very much wish that Shai would at this point acknowledge the Colemak layout and the CapsLock-as-Backspace mod as two brilliant but separate entities! Mixing them up is bad for understanding, bad for compliance (some want one but not the other and get pissed off!) and therefore bad for "business"! [/rant]

I, for instance, use Colemak but map the CapsLock to be an Extend key. Or, do I use Colemak then? Hmmm...   :(

Last edited by DreymaR (16-Mar-2011 15:21:24)
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DreymaR said:

Oh, I so very much wish that Shai would at this point acknowledge the Colemak layout and the CapsLock-as-Backspace mod as two brilliant but separate entities! Mixing them up is bad for understanding, bad for compliance (some want one but not the other and get pissed off!) and therefore bad for "business"! [/rant]

I, for instance, use Colemak but map the CapsLock to be an Extend key. Or, do I use Colemak then? Hmmm...   :(

I agree. CapsLock-as-Backspace is a good idea for casual users, but many programmers and power users want Control to be closer. The idea of the Truly Ergonomic to have Shift to the left of A is pretty useful too.

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  • Shai
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The standard Colemak will always have Capslock mapped as backspace. People can always customize the keyboard to their needs. Creating different variants for each customization is confusing and unmaintainable (unless there is some elegant implementation like PKL with configurable options). Capslock mapped as backspace is already offered as option for people who want it.

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DanJacobs said:
Agiel said:

As I mention in the thread I linked earlier, you don't need the LED hack. Just go into System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys... and set Caps Lock to "No Action".

Oh wow, that actually works. Ok, so that allows me to get rid of KeyRemapForMacbook. But I still have PCKeyboardHack running to remap Caps Lock to Backspace. Is it at all possible to avoid this as well?


So this is some kind of delay on newer Mac's ?   I don't notice any delay on my old Macbook  and  setting Caps Lock to "No Action" disables the backspace function for me.  Would have been nice to get rid of the light popping on and off.

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My main point though, is that several ideas are presented as one. I agree that the standard Colemak doesn't have to be a hard-to-maintain plethora of options, but in my opinion this is about names and not about files. My wish is that the distinction should be made very clear between the Colemak letter-block layout (which is what actually makes any implementation a Colemak layout implementation in my opinion) and all the other nice stuff (3rd level mappings, CapsLock and what-have-you).

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Colemak in OSX Lion...Yaaay!!!!
I use windows sometimes for a couple proprietary programs that don't run on Mac.

I use Colemak and Kinesis Contoured Advantage keyboards. I think they are an excellent combination. I am not a programmer or other IT person, so my typing is "standard" and in English. I personally use the CAPS LOCK...

1) Because I use a Kinesis keyboard which has a very different physical layout
2) I oddly make many lists, titles, emphasis type of documents and use all caps way too much :)

On Apple support forums I asked a year ago if there is a way to put Colmak on my iPhone...no one ever responded :(

Last edited by Input Nirvana (12-Jun-2011 22:56:42)

An Evil Screaming Flying Door Monkey From Hell typing with Colemak saved my life!

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Colemak is also available in the iOS 5 beta, although only for physical (Bluetooth / Keyboard Dock) keyboards and for English (US).

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stupid question but if you rdp to a pc using a mac will the connection revert to qwerty on the pc or can you force to stay in colemak?

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dante said:

stupid question but if you rdp to a pc using a mac will the connection revert to qwerty on the pc or can you force to stay in colemak?

They keyboard layout does stay Colemak when connecting to a linux box with VNC (using the Chicken app) on my Mac.

I don't remember what it's like connecting to a Windows VM with RDC (or CoRD), I'll have to try at work.

Last edited by boli (09-Jul-2011 11:07:07)
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boli said:

I don't remember what it's like connecting to a Windows VM with RDC (or CoRD), I'll have to try at work.

Tried it out: with either client the keyboard layout of the Windows instance is used, and not the keyboard layout of the Mac used to control it. If Windows has Colemak installed, you can switch to it.

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