I am Sean. Since people are talking about this, I thought I'd clarify what I meant about some things.
I have read very little touch typing literature so I'm not very familiar with the scholastic study of typing and don't know what floating means in a touch-typing context (and searching for the term on the forum here didn't help me understand very well). It sounds like floating means typing with one's hands in the air without leaning the wrists against the keyboard. That's not what I'm talking about at all. In fact, some people would certainly find my posture appalling. I have typed from ridiculous positions including slouching, with my feet leaning up against the computer table (or even sitting on top of it), and sitting on the floor with my arms leaning at basically a 45° angle between the floor and the keyboard. There's no excuse for any of these postures but they rarely slow me down much.
In this thread (https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=1123), Jin's second post on June 6 stated "But proper touch-typing technique (using the right fingers to hit the right keys) is a must if you want to achieve that". This is what I am challenging...the idea that there is A, and only one, right finger for each key. A lot of typists (probably mainly QWERTY typists) insist upon typing the same key with the same finger every single time. I don't do that. I type on QWERTY and am not interested in switching to Colemak in the near future, but I just randomly thought of two words containing the letter l as an example: to type hyperbole, I type the l with my index finger, while to type inconsequential, I type the l with my ring finger, based on the other letters of the word. Since the letters before the l in hyperbole using the right hand are p and o and those are on the very right side of the top row of the QWERTY keyboard, I would center my hand at around that part of the keyboard, so that when typing the l, I would use my index finger. However, with a word like inconsequential where the other letters in the word on the right-hand side of the keyboard are all to the left of l, then I would type the l with one of my rightmost fingers (usually the ring finger). I have a good enough map of the QWERTY keyboard in my head that I type certain keys with different letters based on the other letters in the given word and the surrounding words so I don't have to move my hands as much to (for instance) always type the l with my right ring finger according to the home-row key dictum, and I don't do this with just l's. My guess is this is my primary advantage over a lot of other typists who insist on returning their fingers to the bumps on the f and j and try to type each key with the same finger every single time. I think that's wrong and you should base it on whatever the surrounding letters you have to type are (centering your hands around the part of the keyboard where most of the letters in the word you are typing are located). I think I learned how to develop this particular talent so that for me it's automatic just like typing the same letters with the same fingers is automatic for others. Like I said, I haven't read much scholarship on typing at all, so it wouldn't surprise me if this is some established technique I developed independently, but it still surprises me that most touch typing advice doesn't discuss differential typing of the same character based on the context of whatever you're typing. To me, it seems obvious, and I don't think this has much to do with "advanced floating", although I'm sure you guys do have a specific term for it.
With regard to caps lock vs. shift, I meant exactly what I said there. When typing capital letters, I virtually always use caps lock, not shift (occasionally there are exceptions). I infinitely prefer caps lock to shift for a variety of reasons. I am considerably more accurate with caps lock because when you are holding down the shift key, there are a variety of other things you have to think about that makes typing a capital letter considerably more complicated. Did I press the key hard enough for it to register? Did I make sure to release it immediately before typing the next character? This can be very hard at around 200 wpm (where the vast majority of typos I find are me hitting the space bar one character too early or one character too late). You have to release the shift key at the exact right moment which at my speed can be very difficult since that would be within a tenth of a second or less, and not making an error there is by no means guaranteed (in fact, I frequently do whenever I have to use shift, i.e. characters such as !@#$%^...) Furthermore, I don't like shift because it locks my left pinky into place and therefore forces my left hand to be locked into place. Given my main typing strategy which I detailed above, I like to NOT have a fixed location for either my left or right hand and slightly vary it according to the context of the words. My left hand is not usually fixed near the shift key when I am typing, so holding down the shift key and locking my left hand into a place I would not normally put it would mess me up. For these main reasons, I am much more comfortable using caps lock than shift for any capital letters, but obviously I do use shift for the characters I need to. However, if you're a traditional home-row typist who for the most part does not vary the finger you use based on the other letters in the word, Shift is probably preferable.
I haven't even read much about what the mainstream typing rules are, but I don't think I follow them. Nonetheless, the way I type is much more comfortable (to me) than the way you're "supposed" to type.
To be sure, I probably only use at most two or three different fingers to type a specific key (and one of them WILL always be the finger you are supposed to type it with based on the home-row method), but considering it seems like the vast majority of people who know about touch-typing believe that you never deviate from the home-row method (presumably, the people on this site know about and have discussed 15-20 other methods including mine), it's worth discussing.
Perhaps I need to make what I have written on my website a little less vague...
Last edited by arenasnow (03-Dec-2011 22:13:07)