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Some statistics about layouts (comparisons, charts)

  • Started by BvoFRak
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  • Registered: 27-Apr-2011
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Hello,

Lot of people is looking for the perfect layout for his own language.
I have already worked on french layout upgrade (and I still working on it) and I have tested my results with programming languagues which are mostly in english.

To Improve my work, I analyse the existing english layouts as well. Colemak, Dvorak, Workman, Capewell, Arensito, Carpalx and of course Qwerty!

Take a look at the statistics. Nothing new. The corpus used is a mix of all. Novels, blogs, wikipédia, programming.
I just add my "home made" english layout called BvoFRak EN.

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I forget to mention that the bottom left spreadsheet represents the bigram management by hand (L:left hand R:right hand). So [RR] means you use the same hand to type two successive letters like "HE" ; [LR] means you use alternatively both hands like "TH", etc.
The bottom right table represents the bigram management of fingers. In line is the first letter typed, in row the second. The diagonal shows bigrams typed with the same finger ex: "NK" in Colemak.
The sum of the 6 cells (triangle) above or below the diagonal represents the "roll" of fingers (same hand) pinky to index ex: "AT" in Colemak and "invert roll" index to pinky ex:"HE" in Colemak.
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Colemak
Stat+Colemak.PNG

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Dvorak
Stat+Dvorak.PNG

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Workman
Stat+Workman.PNG

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Capewell
Stat+Capewell.PNG

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Arensito
Stat+Arensito.PNG

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Carpalx
Stat+Carpalx.PNG

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Qwerty
Stat+Qwerty.PNG

****
BvoFrak EN
Stat+BvoFrak+EN.PNG

****
BvoFRak EN V0.2
Stat+BvoFRak+EN+V0.2.PNG

Last edited by BvoFRak (30-Sep-2011 07:45:23)
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Nice Work! I have already seen your post on workman layout, and it seems that you have almost discovered the recipe for a very fast and comfortable layout. It seems that you and I share some common thoughts cuz I have designed my own layout that has the same "keys" as you on the right hand side except the "b" key and I have preserved ",./'[]" in there original position, also my layout have different arrangement on the home key that focus on inward rolls for common bigrams, for example, I put ae.. instead of ea.. because the bigram  "ea" is more common than "ae" as you already know, and it is easier to type it inwardly. I have done some  test on a repetition sequence of "ea ea ea ...." and "ae ae ae ae" using my layout and found that inwardly I type the sequence at a max of 137 WPM and outward 117 WPM, and it is more comfortable to type it inwardly.

Same as you, I have been doing research regarding keyboard layouts for the last 4 months. This research has been driven by a left hand injury where the oil sac that lubricates the joint between the wrist had slight poped up to the surface of my skin and I have had this problem for almost a year and a half. I have tried several thing to return it to its original place, but all my attempts have failed until a month ago when I have slightly changed my touch typing technique in my left hand and modified the Colemak layout to suit my wrists. After analyzing my typing patter over the last 4 months I discovered what is the most damaging thing on the wrist, and I was able to cure my injury within only 6 days "Amazing". I have modified the colemak layout so much that almost only the home row keys were still in position and I reached a conclusion that too much weird hand rolls was putting a lot of pressure on my right hand at high speed, and this was evident by the fact that I have brazed my "oie" keys on the keyboard since I started using Colemak. Although, the Colemak layout is much more comfortable and faster that QWERTY, I was still sure that there is a better and more comfortable solution, so I started to modify the layout, until I reach a conclusion that I should focus on hand alternation than hand rolls. I did a simple test, I typed a paragraph in Colemak and in a layout that I was working in and that had  slightly higher alteration ratio than Dvorák. I simply mapped the letters  from the Colemak layout to my layout and typed the text in Colemak, and after a few trials I reached 115 WPM for the text that has its letters mapped to an alternating layout similar to dvork, although I was typing it in Colemak. for the unmapped text on colemak, I reached a max of 75 WPM, and I kept doing this experiment for a while, until I became convened that alteration is batter on my wrist. And from that point I started to try out different layouts and I became to appreciate, why "Dvorak" did what he did... long story. I ended up trying around 10 layouts, at some point I even reached 50 WPM and then changed the complele key mapping of the right hand to start again from around 20 wpm, and it really takes time and effort to come with a layout and test it, so I really appreciate your work. At the end of the day I designed two layouts

1-Imak
2-Rizk

Imak takes advantage of my slightly different touch typing technique for the left hand, while risk is for people who still want to use the old touch typing technique, and both of them are extremely comfortable on the wrist especially Imak. I have tested Rizk first and reached 50 WPW within 7 days and then I modified it to Imak, and jumped from 20 WPM to 47 WPM within 4 days " today in my forth day trying out Imak". I plan to test the layout for at least 1-2 months before giving my final judgement, but I am confident, or at least I hope so, that this is the missing layout that I was looking for, especially after I have learned from my mistakes.

For comparison reasons, you had "dhc" but I had "dtc" in Rizk layout since "ch" is common, and I did not want to access it with the same finger, but than doesn't mean that accessing common bigrams using the same finger is slow. In fact for the index finger, I have typed the QWRTY sequeunec "ws s ws s ws s ws ......" at 115 WPM, and I found that accessing a bigram with the same  ring, index, or middle can be done at +110 WPW. Finally, I am sure that your layout with be faster than QWRTY, and probably Colemak, but every layout has its own flaws, and the flaws that I can see in the left hand side you will have slightly high row jumps if you type "could , would, should, lord...etc" and on the right had side I do not see that you have properly taken advantage of the strong middle finger.

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Thank you.
English is not my mother language so my small work is cleary perfectible, especially on "finger rolls".

The conception of French version of BvoFRak is not different from the english one.
But the EU keyboard (105 keys) let me the possibility to move the "reference" keys (F,J) from one key to the right.
recentrage-du-clavier.gif
I don't know if it's relevant in US keyboard but with this method, you have the same amout of keys on left hand and right hand.
Split the keyboard in its real center permit to adapt a more ergonomic layout with an easier access to "return" or backspace" keys.
Have you already try this method?

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  • From: Aalborg, Denmark
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What about the keys from Tab to Left Ctrl? They will be much harder to reach this way. I think it might be better to actually move just your right hand one key to the right if you want it closer to the enter/backspace. And then move some of the less often used keys to the middle of the keyboard. But this has already been discussed in the forum.

@nimbostratue:
"I started to modify the layout, until I reach a conclusion that I should focus on hand alternation than hand rolls...
...and I became to appreciate, why "Dvorak" did what he did..."

I hear what you're saying. I also find hand alternation more important than finger rolls. That's what I miss about Dvorak (I'm a former user). But I'm with Colemak now, and I'm happy. At the end of the day it's all about compromises. You can't have it all :)

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BvoFRak said:

.......Have you already try this method?

I have a swedish keyboard on my laptop, which allows me to do what u have mentioned. I actually thought of 3 things the first one is to replace the CapsLock with a key like "f" and the second one is to shift the right hand one key to the right, and the third is to shift both hands one key to the right, but the problem with the 2nd and 3rd options is that my thump would be barely reaching the space-bar  (may be this would be easier on the standard PC keyboard) and the experience made me uncomfortable, also I was wanted my touch typing technique to be portable across all keyboards especially that in my home country they only use US keyboards and you can't shift one key to he right. The third problem I saw with the 3rd technique is that some keys become difficult to access on the left hand like the "Shift" Key and I this could be stressful on my left hand wrist which was already suffering. However, I do think that widening the distance between the two hands is much more healthier and this could be done by using an ergonomic keyboard such as the Freestyle Adjustable Split Keyboard, for example.

freestyle-solo_690x375.jpg

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pafkata90 said:

I hear what you're saying. I also find hand alternation more important than finger rolls. That's what I miss about Dvorak (I'm a former user). But I'm with Colemak now, and I'm happy. At the end of the day it's all about compromises. You can't have it all :)

When I have started my experience thread I wrote https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=997
"  2- I personally think that hand alternation is usually faster than rolls but it takes longer time to achieve high speeds in alternation because one must memorize words and how to switch hands without thinking, and if properly mastered, one can type almost two characters at the same time using both hands, but at this point I do not care too much about hand alternation (Dvorak), as much as I care about reducing the typing effort, and keeping important short cuts in the same place as Qwerty.
"

I was convinced from the beginning, but I did not know exactly if alteration reduces the effort more than rolls or not and how accurate is it compared to hand rolls. I generally thought that typing a roll with the same hand should be more accurate and honestly my accuracy on colemak was like shit in the beginning 96% but after I reached 66WPM, and started to focus on accuracy my speed jumped to 69WPM and I was enjoying typing, with an excellent accuracy 98-100% and it was really much better than QWERTY. Now, I am surprised that using alteration layout and even with slow speed 47WPM, I am typing much more accurately than I started with Colemak, and I no longer think that alteration is less accurate. Effort wise it seems to me much less effort, but to be fair I should judge when I reach 60+ because at this point my hands usually started to suffer, at least for Colemak.

If you gave me the option between Colemak and dvorak, I would still choose colemak because of the "L {} ./<>" keys on dvorak, but I think I have solved these problem with Imak + slightly modified typing technique, and now I have a layout that has alternation as well as some strong rolls. Also, I wanted to test the concept that some people can type the same language using different layouts so I preserved my modified colemak while I was doing testing, and I was able to type using two different layouts around 40 WPM. I used to practice all the day using my own test layouts and before I sleep, I switch to colemak and type, but it would take my mind  around 40 minute to switch and I usually start from around 9 WPM and after 40 minutes I reach 45 minutes, and then I stop typing and sleep.  So, in principle it is possible to type the same language using different layouts, but it is not instant, and the speed and accuracy would decrease on both layouts. Now I haven't touch type colemak for couple of days because I need to progress faster on my final layout version, Imak. BTW, do you still touch typed "Dvorak"?

Last edited by nimbostratue (27-Apr-2011 20:13:05)
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I was using Dvorak for just two months but I got to the point where I feel very comfortable typing on the layout. The L wasn't that troublesome for me, nor the characters you mentioned. I switched mainly because Dvorak isn't shortcut friendly. It keeps the vowels and the punctuation on the left side. Still prefer Dvorak for plain text typing though. I can't type Dv anymore. I like to go cold turkey with new layouts.
I'm going to stick with Colemak for now. I don't really have the time to change it again, cause of my studies.

Here I shared my experience with Colemak compared to the one with Dvorak. https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=1074

The interesting thing is that I topped my QWERTY speed with Colemak now by about 5 wpm and I'm still going up. But I suppose that's cause I was touch typing on QWERTY for just ½ a year without a whole lot of training after I got decent speed for my needs. So probably I haven't reached my potential.

Ah well, I got a bit out of topic :) Good luck with practice to all of you ;)
@nimbostratue: Could you share with me the layout you made for the "classical" touch typing. I'm curious to see it :)

Last edited by pafkata90 (27-Apr-2011 21:31:05)
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pafkata90 said:

I was using Dvorak for just two months but I got to the point where I feel very comfortable typing on the layout. The L wasn't that troublesome for me, nor the characters you mentioned. I switched mainly because Dvorak isn't shortcut friendly. It keeps the vowels and the punctuation on the left side. Still prefer Dvorak for plain text typing though. I can't type Dv anymore. I like to go cold turkey with new layouts.
I'm going to stick with Colemak for now. I don't really have the time to change it again, cause of my studies.

Here I shared my experience with Colemak compared to the one with Dvorak. https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=1074

The interesting thing is that I topped my QWERTY speed with Colemak now by about 5 wpm and I'm still going up. But I suppose that's cause I was touch typing on QWERTY for just ½ a year without a whole lot of training after I got decent speed for my needs. So probably I haven't reached my potential.

Ah well, I got a bit out of topic :) Good luck with practice to all of you ;)
@nimbostratue: Could you share with me the layout you made for the "classical" touch typing. I'm curious to see it :)

I have already seen your thread the first day you posted it, and you should expect to reach your previous typing speed at QWRTY +10 WPM using Colemak especially if you were typing 60 WPM, and below.

Concerning your request, my Rizk layout looks very much similar to "BvoFRak EN layout", with the punctuation kept in the same place as QWERTY, and I will make it available publicly with Imak after I finish the testing of Imak and reach +60 WPM, and if you look at "BvoFRak EN layout", you would have seen almost 80% of my layout. I will make notice, though, to leave a comment in your thread when it is ready so that you can satisfy your curiosity :).

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Thanks, nimbo. And also, I don't think I said thanks to you, BvoFRak, for posting. :) It looks like you've put a lot of work in this.

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  • From: Bærum, Norway
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Just move the right hand. It's known as the Wide Ergonomic mod. At the same time, fix the left-hand wrist angle like the Wide ISO mod does.

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Humm…‽ Wide ergonomic could be nice… I 'll think about it.
Actually, for me an real ergonomic keyboard must look like this:
clavier+BvoFrak.png
Clavier+gamergo.png

You seem to be interested in BvoFRak EN?
If the time is with me, I'll make a PKL/MSKLC with the similar dead keys of the FR version.

Last edited by BvoFRak (08-Aug-2011 08:16:10)
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Is the IJ ligature really in common use anymore? In my opinion, it shouldn't be. There are too many idiosyncrasies about as there is.

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DreymaR said:

Is the IJ ligature really in common use anymore? In my opinion, it shouldn't be. There are too many idiosyncrasies about as there is.

FWIW, it is very common in Dutch/Flemish, representing the diphthong /ɛi/.
eg. jij (you), hij (he), zijn (to be), mijn (my), vrijdag (friday), ...

It is only considered a ligature in handwriting though, in typing it is always i+j separately.

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Yes, that's my point: I know that the constellation is common but it's very easily typed with the two letters I and J and I don't think people react negatively to that (anymore)? A single letter shouldn't really represent a diphthong in the best of worlds at any rate.  :)

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I did this and publish it on wikimedia: 3D keyboard with frequencies of french letters.
Fr%C3%A9quence_des_caract%C3%A8res_sur_une_disposition_AZERTY.png

Does something similar exist for english and particulalry on COLEMAK?

Last edited by BvoFRak (08-Aug-2011 11:48:13)
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I don't know, but it's not that hard to make with a 3D modelling program. If you need it, tell me what keyboard you want, and give me some stats for each key. I'll kill some time and see what I can make :) I've got some free time on my hands now.

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Now THAT is a nice idea.

There are colored 2D images in this thread https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=128 which might be fine for us aficionados, but a 3D image will be much better for explaining "normal" people why Colemak > QWERTY. And that thread has the useful data as well.

Do want :-)

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@BvoFRak Oh! You said "I did this...". I'd misread. I thought you saw is somewhere and are asking for something similar :)

Last edited by pafkata90 (08-Aug-2011 17:13:03)
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Sorry Pafkata90,
I change my comment, I saw my mistake.
But my question still remains...
I wouldn't do it again if someone did it already.

And look closely, I show the shift keys and enter key (unfortunatly I have no data about the average rate of mistake during typing. Thus, no representation of backspace).

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Well I think the Enter, Space and Shift could be left out of this statistic for the sake of comparison. I can make it in a way, so it's easy to change the "height" of the keys, and... somewhat easy to relocate them. It's not all that hard to make it, but may be a little time consuming. It may be just a bit harder if I try to make it pretty, cause I'm not sure how pretty I can make it :) But hey, if you think it will help people understand easier the advantages of Colemak, I suppose I could start working on it tomorrow. And once it's done, it shouldn't take that long to relocate the keys so we have Qwerty, Dvorak and so on. I'll just ask someone to provide me some stats about the frequency of usage of the letters. And no worries - that'll be the easiest thing to change when it's done in case one decides so.

Last edited by pafkata90 (08-Aug-2011 20:41:16)
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If it turns out no one else knows of it being done, it would be awesome if you could do it for English with QWERTY and Colemak.

EDIT: Either of you :-)  There are stats in the thread I linked above.

Unlike the letter distribution in a language, the amount of errors varies a lot by person. You could assume a specific error rate but then you would also have to add extra keys for the erroneous letters. Typing 100 chars with an error rate of 3% would result in 106 keypresses, assuming errors are discovered and corrected before anything else is typed. And that's not even a very good assumption. But you could just assume something reasonable to illustrate the advantage of moving the backspace key to caps lock.

Last edited by erw (08-Aug-2011 20:49:15)
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Okay, this is what I've done so far. I'll just add the actual 3D stats and some colours, as well as Qwerty keyboard for comparison. I'm waiting for any suggestions and tips :)
13913987.th.png

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Wooow, is that rendered with perspective? It looks a bit weird. Can you make it isometric? And maybe antialiased? :-)

Otherwise it looks nice. Edible. Like it was chocolate. Or liquorice :-P

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It's just the environment I'm working in :) It's not rendered, just shaded. And it is in fact isometric. That's why it may look a bit weird to you :)
There it is in perspective and antialiased: 6gdlco_th.png
PS: I meant orthogonal, not isometric. You can't see very well the letters in isometric view.
So how's this: 2gtc38l_th.jpg        2nk3scx_th.png
The colours don't match on both of them but I'll fix that :)
The question is what do you think are the best angles to make the views from?
Here's a 3D PDF if you want to play with the 3d shape: http://www.mediafire.com/?z9kw386e9bjo6k3

Last edited by pafkata90 (09-Aug-2011 17:45:18)
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I don't know how orthogonal works, but the new ones look better :-)

What about the second colored pic you put in but seen a bit more from the end of the board so you can seemore of the bottom row. Or the same thing with the first colored one.

What kind of software do you need to get that pdf to work? I just see a dark grey bg with an even darker keyboard but nothing that moves.

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