• You are not logged in.

Mod-DH for Colemak

  • Started by stevep99
  • 261 Replies:
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 14-Mar-2017
  • Posts: 12

Oh, now that you mention it, I just realized there is a version with K and M swapped, what's the rationale behind that? So far I've been using M in it's original position until yesterday when it moved to the corner - and so far it is the most mistyped key among the DVMH.
Maybe I'll swap it with K and see if it feels any better...
I really need to just declare what I'm currently using the best in the world, and stop coming to this forum anymore, it'll keep driving me crazy for days to come otherwise:D

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007

The current Curl mod has M in the corner, next to H. The first DH-mod (DvbgHm) had it on the home row. I think the main rationale for that was to not move more than two right-hand keys from their Colemak positions.

I think M-in-the-corner is a lot better than M-in-the-middle for standard stagger keyboards! The full Hmk switch was the solution that sold me on the down-in positions for D and H instead of DbgHk's down-out positions; the worse position for M was one of the no-go issues I had with the original DH-mod.

V and M would be the most mistyped keys since they're the much less common than D and H. Common keys are learnt quickly, especially when they move to better positions. For me, V has been the worst key after swapping DH/VM. But it's cool now.

I'm hoping that the corner position proves good enough on matrix boards that we can focus on the one Curl(DH) mod from now on, so everything will be clear and nice. ckofy thinks it's good, while stevep99 still thinks that M-in-the-middle is better for matrix boards. So please give your opinion, it's valuable to us! :-)

Sorry for the confusion, you just came in one of those periods of slight upheaval you know. There were such periods before the final main Colemak layout settled in 2006, and also after the creation of Tarmak, the Wide mod, Extend etc. I have a very good feeling about this iteration of the Curl(DH) mod, so I'm going for it and I believe it'll make everything easier once the dust settles a bit.

Last edited by DreymaR (17-May-2017 19:48:31)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 21
  • From: Chicago
  • Registered: 27-Apr-2016
  • Posts: 218
n3p3nth3 said:

On a side note, before I switched, to avoid the stretch of index for D and H, I was THUMBING the D and H on my ErgoDox, it feels fun and less straining. But it is harder to do on a normal keyboard so I sacrifice even more the ability to use a normal keyboard (even with the right layout), any thoughts on this?

What I've told! Even not been a regular ErgoDox user, I saw that thumbing possibility for inner corners letters. It can be used for V and M now in the new layout to relieve the strain.
On the standard keyboard new V and M are easier to access, if you guys had D and H there before, V and M should not be a problem know.
Ability to switch between staggered and columnar keyboard is another story, I found it possible, and usage of these may be different (dual purpose keys or thumb cluster). In this case tumbling can be used for V and M on ErgoDox, but not used on standard. This is kind of keep proficiency in two layouts, some people go for it, some not.
Personally I found it easier to switch between staggered keyboard and splitted columnar like ErgoDox than between staggered and truly ortholinear like Planck.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 14-Mar-2017
  • Posts: 12

OK got it, I've been using M in the middle since last night, so far it feels a slight bit more ergonomic, as M is way more frequent than K, and on the ErgoDox the stretch to M is much less than K. So in theory at least, this mod makes sense.
BUT, thanks to ckofy's comment, I know now that I'm not crazy in thumbing those corner keys:D
With the thumb in mind, corner would still be the better position for M I guess!
So, now back to the corner with M!
It's funny that my team keep hearing me swear "This is the last time I'm gonna change my layout, promise!" for days now:D

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007

That's an excellent point about using different keyboards! Even though some people seem to be able to switch complete setups between different keyboards, most will benefit a lot from having the same layout on staggered and matrix boards. And many do have to type on other boards from time to time (I do it a lot!). With USB-2-USB converters and PKL, you may easily get your layout setup on other computers without bringing your physical keyboard with you.

There shall be one, and our swearing days shall come to a middle.* ;-)

Selling points for the new DH-mod vs the old one for matrix board users:
• M in a significantly better position on staggered boards; acceptable also on matrix boards
• Thus, the gain on staggered boards is much bigger than the slight loss on matrix boards
• On some matrix boards like the ErgoDox, you can thumb the corner positions anyway (even better)
• Useful for many matrix board users to be able to type efficiently also on staggered boards
• K and M kept on their QWERTY rows (matters when moving caps on some boards)

____________________________________________
*: Yes, I'll keep making the old Curl(DHm) mod possible. Just not on the front page.

Last edited by DreymaR (18-May-2017 14:17:46)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 0
  • 163
  • New member
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 31-Mar-2017
  • Posts: 3

Can someone explain the reason for swapping K and M now?

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007

Yes indeed!

When Steve made the first DH-mod he considered giving M the current placement because it's better for normal-staggered boards, but he opted for the M-in-the-middle variant with fewer swaps. I didn't like that so I made my variant in which M didn't move at all. Now however, we've agreed that H should have that position but M the next-best position, so K has to go to the middle trench (as in my old variant).

Clear now? ^_^

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 1
  • Registered: 12-Jun-2017
  • Posts: 11

Greetings, thanks for all the work that has gone into this project.

My hardware: x220 ISO german qwertz layout.

Critiques:
1) In the new layout, the m and k are swapped. I am having a pain time trying to adjust to it (after using old xmodmap iso-angle-mod for year or more). I would love to try if the new one is better, but why remove the old ones?
2) I'd like to have a "coder's" xmodmap for iso keyboards, essentially an ansi just with iso-angle ALPHAS, the problem now is that some letters like # should be shift 3, etc.
3) The old xmodmaps that I have have broken left-arrow, and the new ones have it also broken. Sometimes I use the arrows, and I am forced to revert to stock US layout just to have access to the left arrow.

:)

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007

European: The reason for clearing out the old mods (or rather, putting them in the attic) is so that newcomers won't meet a profusion of old debris. Same as the old Tarmak variants. It's very nice to be able to agree on something better and move on, although we do of course realize that it's a bit of a hassle to our old users who have to readjust. I, and I think others with me, feel that we have the right mod now, the one version most of us can agree on. I'll keep some of the old code in my files but won't have the old variants on my front pages anymore.

For me, SteveP's old mod was a no-go and the bad M placement was a big part of that. So I made my own, but that didn't take off either although some of us used it happily. Now we've merged and I think the end result is so much better than the old ones that it's almost a no-brainer. ;-)

If you made one DH swap earlier, I'm sure you'll be fine with this one too after a little while.

Last edited by DreymaR (13-Jun-2017 08:57:58)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 1
  • Reputation: 88
  • From: UK
  • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
  • Posts: 837
european said:

Greetings, thanks for all the work that has gone into this project.

My hardware: x220 ISO german qwertz layout.

Critiques:
1) In the new layout, the m and k are swapped. I am having a pain time trying to adjust to it (after using old xmodmap iso-angle-mod for year or more). I would love to try if the new one is better, but why remove the old ones?
2) I'd like to have a "coder's" xmodmap for iso keyboards, essentially an ansi just with iso-angle ALPHAS, the problem now is that some letters like # should be shift 3, etc.
3) The old xmodmaps that I have have broken left-arrow, and the new ones have it also broken. Sometimes I use the arrows, and I am forced to revert to stock US layout just to have access to the left arrow.

:)

Don't worry, I had a pain trying to adjust to it also - especially the K!  There's nothing wrong with keeping the original M and K if you prefer it that way. There are some old files KLC files around in the rev1 folder, but not xmodmap for some reason. Mind you, it's pretty easy to switch the M and K in those files if needs be. Do you mean these xmodmap files cause the left arrow to break?

Yes, it would be good to have US-ANSI style mappings for an ISO keyboard. Currently the ISO files are based on UK layout, and so have shift-3 is pound sign. I'll see if I can add these at the weekend.

Last edited by stevep99 (13-Jun-2017 12:42:40)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

Offline
  • 1
  • Reputation: 1
  • Registered: 12-Jun-2017
  • Posts: 11

Ok, I replaced the old xmodmap with a fresh one
iso-uk-colemak-dh-full.xmodmap
iso-uk-colemak-dh.xmodmap

The shift + numbers seems to be fixed they do !@#$%^&*()_+ as I would expect.
No more nasty pound sign.
What is still not working is the left arrow key. Up down and right work fine.

Last edited by european (13-Jun-2017 13:05:13)
Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007

Oh! I just realized a cute thing: With the new Curl(DH) mod, JK are nicely placed for Vim! Up/Down just like that (pilot-style), with Right nearby – to the right as a matter of fact. As I messed about with that, I started thumbing H to navigate. So all in all I think that Vim users may get to like this! :-)

I'll still use Extend arrows for the most part, but it's nice to know there's a decent setup for non-Extend too.

Oh. Oh! And another: On my physically unmodded laptop, not only are both the V and M keys in their right places using Colemak-CurlAngleWide but my Extend mapping for Click Mouse (main button) which I thought would feel clunky in between the Cut and Paste keys, is placed on the C key! C for Click, so nice. :-)

Last edited by DreymaR (14-Jun-2017 09:29:20)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 0
  • JdH
  • New member
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 14-Jun-2017
  • Posts: 2

Thanks everyone for these contributions. I just wanted to post my brief experience with Colemak and a DH mod. I am an academic and a writer, so I am mostly interested in ergonomics and efficiency. I got interested in Colemak a month ago, and I navigated away from this thread to stevep99's mod-dh page. As I was having difficulty with stretching for the Colemak dh keys, I tried to replicate his solution.

I am using a Mac with an external Ansi keyboard. I now understand that to not be ideal, but here has been my solution. Since I created my keyboard layout using Ukelele, I was able to leave all of my cmd shortcuts alone (i.e., my keyboard behaves as if it is QWERTY when I hold down cmd). I was free to alter the block of zxcv keys without impacting my workflow. Since my keyboard was lacking a place for the new Z key, I could have moved Z to the middle of my third row (location of QWERTY's B). Instead, I elected to leave B in its QWERTY location (still next to the V key) and place my Z above in the QWERTY T location. This kept one more key familiar as I made a cold-turkey change. Maybe in the future I'll swap my Z and B, but I am happy for now, typing 70+ WPM after one month. That probably is not far off from my previous typing speed, and I feel like I can type more effortlessly than before.

It appears that I looked at stevep99's updated layout suggestions where M was moved back to the third row in its angular position. I report this to be fine for my staggered layout, but if I get a new columnar-style keyboard someday, I'll be interested if we have all come to a resolution on this.

My wife thinks I am crazy, but I like feeling as if my keyboard layout is on the cutting edge.     :-)

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007

Several columnar-keyboard typists have reported that the new Curl mod is okay. So as far as "a resolution to this" goes, that's as far as we'll get I guess. We've managed to get from two "main" variants to one which is an accomplishment in itself, and I guess we'll just have to live with some people wanting one of the old variants still. :-)

Your approach may work for you. But I worry about the bad placement of B in its original position! I think it's much better to sacrifice Z than B. One possible candidate for the upper-row position judging from frequencies is V, but we didn't go for that as it'd break up the copy/cut/paste block too much. Since you kept all your shortcuts in their old QWERTY positions though, that should be no issue to you!

A dab of craziness makes for more interesting people. ;-)

Last edited by DreymaR (15-Jun-2017 08:48:43)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 88
  • From: UK
  • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
  • Posts: 837

The question of how to handle Z is a perennial issue for ANSI users. I wish there were a definitive solution. I agree with DreymaR that putting it in the Qwerty B is probably the best option for most people. Even though B is fairly uncommon, the Qwerty position for it is so terrible that I think no useful key deserves to be there! There are other wild and crazy options for Z, like putting it on your Left Shift or CapsLock key, but that's a bit unconventional.

There are some contributed Mac downloads here, which might be of interest.

Having your wife think you are crazy is normal - I'd take is as confirmation that you have risen to an advanced level of keyboard geekdom.

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 21
  • From: Chicago
  • Registered: 27-Apr-2016
  • Posts: 218

There are probably a comparable low number of users who use either of Mod DH variants. I strongly believe that the latest unified version must be the "official" Mod DH for newcomers. A lot of variations just confuse people and may turn away from Mod DH and from Colemak at all (remember Workman!).
I may testify one more time that M in the bottom row work fine for Planck and ErgoDox I have. For Ergodox I went further and started to use thumbs for pressing V and M. 
Here is my current ErgoDox setup
The keycaps donor was WYSE terminal keyboard with German layout, so it is qwertz. B and N keycaps are turned over for easy usage with thumbs. You may also see my "ghetto" tenting for ErgoDox Infinity with some cheap stuff from hardware store. :)

Using thumb M in ErgoDox

Last edited by ckofy (16-Jun-2017 00:14:36)
Offline
  • 1
  • Reputation: 1
  • Registered: 12-Jun-2017
  • Posts: 11

The problem with this forum is that people like to type.
So the problems and bugs are lost between the lines.
I should really submit the xmodmap bugs to github, but I'd need an github account to do so.

What is broken:
1) LEFT ARROW button does nothing

What I'd like to argue about:
2) Caps acts as backspace. Since this is not "colemak" It would be nice if you kept caps there. And then provided few 'swapcaps' terminal commands people could use to swap their caps with (backspace, ctrl, even esc). I have seen many of these -options in the past, but they all require a stock modifier keys. Or atleast offer more than 2 xmodmaps for ISO keyboards...

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007
european said:

The problem with this forum is that people like to type.

:-D

And here I thought that was the strength of this forum! Silly me... ;-)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 88
  • From: UK
  • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
  • Posts: 837

Nice demonstration of thumb technique :P
Makes me think the Qwerty B key would actually be a potentially acceptable thumb key, were it not for the huge spacebar getting in the way.

Last edited by stevep99 (16-Jun-2017 11:13:49)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 15
  • Registered: 12-Sep-2016
  • Posts: 45
european said:

The problem with this forum is that people like to type.
So the problems and bugs are lost between the lines.
I should really submit the xmodmap bugs to github, but I'd need an github account to do so.

What is broken:
1) LEFT ARROW button does nothing

What I'd like to argue about:
2) Caps acts as backspace. Since this is not "colemak" It would be nice if you kept caps there. And then provided few 'swapcaps' terminal commands people could use to swap their caps with (backspace, ctrl, even esc). I have seen many of these -options in the past, but they all require a stock modifier keys. Or atleast offer more than 2 xmodmaps for ISO keyboards...

1) I tested the xmodmap files, and the left arrow key is indeed not working. I have created a pull request which should fix it.
2) The goal of Mod-DH is AFAIK to only swap some letters around without changing the rest of Colemak. So caps should stay as backspace. However, it is still possible to use -options. They don't require stock modifier keys. You can even use '-option caps:capslock' to re-enable caps as caps.

Create advanced keyboard layouts in various formats using my Keyboard Layout Files Creator!

Offline
  • 1
  • JdH
  • New member
  • Reputation: 0
  • Registered: 14-Jun-2017
  • Posts: 2

Thanks for the comments. I've now corrected my layout to reflect the "correct" B/Z locations. This is the height of keyboard geekdom, and I love it. Glad to be rocking the newly consolidated DH mod.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 88
  • From: UK
  • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
  • Posts: 837
39aldo39 said:

I tested the xmodmap files, and the left arrow key is indeed not working. I have created a pull request which should fix it.

This is now merged. I also added a change so that there are separate ISO layouts for US and UK, as these seemed to have gotten mixed up before.

The US version puts @,#, etc in the usual US ANSI locations, whereas the UK one has pound sign £ and a couple of other differences. I imagine there is more demand for US-like layout even on an ISO board, despite the importance of having a lovely pound sign (...to me anyway :P )

Last edited by stevep99 (17-Jun-2017 18:47:47)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 1
  • Registered: 12-Jun-2017
  • Posts: 11

The left arrow is fixed.
Great work.

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 149
  • From: Oslo, Norway
  • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
  • Posts: 5,007

Let me just say that I'm L U R V I N G the new Curl(DH) mod! <3

I'm working on updated documentation, along the lines of this:

Tarmak-ETROI_Spectral_CAW.png?dl=1
    Spectrally color-coded Tarmak-CAW-ISO

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
*** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

Offline
  • 0
  • Reputation: 88
  • From: UK
  • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
  • Posts: 837

Pretty!

It occurred to me... what about the ZXC change?  Although it's ‘only’ an angle-mod style change, I imagine for most newcomers, the question arises of at what point in the transition they should switch them.

Last edited by stevep99 (04-Jul-2017 15:54:51)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

Offline
  • 0