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Mod-DH for Colemak

  • Started by stevep99
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I'm a bit torn about ZXC. I considered marking them with bold but no color. But I'm not sure whether that makes anything clearer or not.

I'm a fan of marking the Angle-Z mod, but the Angle-ISO mod is almost a standard. Back when I promoted my Curl(DH) mod this was easy and logical, as you'd do the whole Angle(ZXCVB_) mod without really uprooting anything else than the rare <LSGT> key. So at the moment I feel like making the Angle-Z mod bold at least, but I'm unsure about ISO.

You can make the Angle switch before, with or after Tarmak1, although to me it makes the most sense to combine it with Tarmak2 unless that's too much to handle. So it's tricky to give it a color I feel. If it gets one, it should be orange as it belongs logically with Tarmak2.

I'll make some animations and stepwise images that illustrate this more clearly. For educational purposes I'll be separating the Angle step in between Tarmak1 and Tarmak2 proper.

Sooo... how does this look? I didn't want to mark the Wide mod too – I hope that's clear enough as it is.

    Tarmak-ETROI_Spectral_CAW-Z-Angle.png?dl=1
    Spectrally color-coded Tarmak-CAW-ANSI(Z)

Heh, there's so much to pay attention to! Like the homing nubs. Good thing I'm a thorough person...

Last edited by DreymaR (05-Jul-2017 16:20:08)

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steve, dreymar

i'm liking it fellas

good work!

(I'm talking about the layout itself, not the fancy graphics above (though they are nice too))

Last edited by bph (06-Jul-2017 17:07:59)
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bph said:

steve, dreymar

i'm liking it fellas

good work!

(I'm talking about the layout itself, not the fancy graphics above (though they are nice too))

Woohoo. Welcome to the exclusive unified DH club. Who knows, perhaps the number of users has by now entered double figures!?

Last edited by stevep99 (07-Jul-2017 16:07:24)

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

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See, I knew you'd like it. :-)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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Hi, I've been hitting over 100wpm with the new swaped k and m.
Comments: Right hand is amazing

Negatives: Now the left hand feels broken. Especially the ptdbgv parts.
Probably swap D for T or something, is worth trying.

Last edited by european (08-Jul-2017 10:44:13)
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Nice, European! Being a fast typist, your input is extra valuable.

european said:

Especially the ptdbgv parts.

That's not very specific. I don't know what's broken with those keys. P and B aren't super comfy, but they have to be somewhere and I think they're good enough. G and V are good enough (and back where they used to be, which is a small benefit in itself). T is very important so I think it needs to stay in the homing position. So... it's something about D? I think D is great in Curl(DH). What's the issue, please?

Swapping D and T sounds bad. The most common letters in English are ETAOIN SHRDLU or thereabouts, which means that there's a huge difference between those two letters as far as frequency is concerned. The curl position is good, but not good enough for that!

One change we considered briefly based on frequencies, is swapping B and V. But we didn't go for that as it'd put the Paste shortcut too far away from its siblings.

I'm not very happy about typing D and V in rapid succession, although I use alternative fingering for the bigram, in aDVanced aDVentures. In eViDence for instance, it feels awkward. Not sure whether others feel the same way or whether that problem is a very minor one in the large picture.

Last edited by DreymaR (08-Jul-2017 11:11:19)

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The right hand feels better now.
The left hand feels cramped. You are the theory crafters. Give me xmodmaps and I'll test something new.

EDIT:
It would be possible to record the video of the hands typing on the keyboard while on a typeracer.
Then you would see the angles of wrists, and also how left hand looks super chaotic compared to right one.

Last edited by european (08-Jul-2017 11:56:41)
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European, could you clarify, the right hand feels better compare to what? Stevep99 original Mod-DH or Colemak?
I never felt anything wrong about left hand, but my best speed is half of yours :). Taking video is a good idea. I was always amazed watching the Dvorak typing videos, how obviously the right hand is overloaded in Dvorak, left hand is barely moving anywhere from the home row, while the right hand is flying around.

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european said:

Hi, I've been hitting over 100wpm with the new swaped k and m.
Comments: Right hand is amazing

Negatives: Now the left hand feels broken. Especially the ptdbgv parts.
Probably swap D for T or something, is worth trying.

Excellent progress!

The left hand issue may be because T is so much more frequent compared to any other consonant, makes it seem like the left index finger has a lot of work. Obviously standard Colemak has the same problem of T and D being on the same finger too.

You know, a thought has occurred to me previously, that a case could be made for the home keys being (qwerty) ASDC MKL;.  If you buy that theory, that would suggest swapping both D/T and H/N, while keeping ARST NEIO as your "home" keys. It would probably require an exaggerated curl of the hand, in order to keep the index fingers on average over a lower position, and would surely made the upper row keys PBJL more difficult. It's an interesting alternative for those who like to experiment, but I don't think I'd particularly recommend it.

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

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Hey guys, thanks for your contributions!

I've done some research, initially Workman seemed the most attractive, as "it fixes colemak", but after looking into it, it seems Workman suffers from higher pinky finger usage and same finger usage. correct?

i'm typing this using plain old qwerty..
So I have decided to start using Colemak-DH with the Angle and Wide mods.
what do you think? and can you help me install it on my Windows 10 PC?

Last edited by wesam (08-Jul-2017 16:31:16)
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wesam said:

I've done some research, initially Workman seemed the most attractive, as "it fixes colemak", but after looking into it, it seems Workman suffers from higher pinky finger usage and same finger usage. correct?

i'm typing this using plain old qwerty..
So I have decided to start using Colemak-DH with the Angle and Wide mods.
what do you think? and can you help me install it on my Windows 10 PC?

An excellent choice, sir :P

You are right, Workman fixes some things but made other things worse, most notably same finger usage, of which the worst instance is P and O on the same finger. It also gives too much priority to the ring fingers I think, which are not particularly strong fingers compared to middle and index.

If you are looking for Windows installer files there are some here:
https://github.com/ColemakMods/mod-dh/tree/master/klc
If you want to make any custom modifications, eg depending on your region, you can install Microsoft keyboard Layout Creator, and load in one of the KLC files.

Or, for a quick trial, or more portable implementation, you could also go with PKL version  (... If DreymaR has updated it to the new unified DH...?)

Last edited by stevep99 (08-Jul-2017 16:43:28)

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

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stevep99 said:
european said:

Hi, I've been hitting over 100wpm with the new swaped k and m.
Comments: Right hand is amazing

Negatives: Now the left hand feels broken. Especially the ptdbgv parts.
Probably swap D for T or something, is worth trying.

Excellent progress!

The left hand issue may be because T is so much more frequent compared to any other consonant, makes it seem like the left index finger has a lot of work. Obviously standard Colemak has the same problem of T and D being on the same finger too.

You know, a thought has occurred to me previously, that a case could be made for the home keys being (qwerty) ASDC MKL;.  If you buy that theory, that would suggest swapping both D/T and H/N, while keeping ARST NEIO as your "home" keys. It would probably require an exaggerated curl of the hand, in order to keep the index fingers on average over a lower position, and would surely made the upper row keys PBJL more difficult. It's an interesting alternative for those who like to experiment, but I don't think I'd particularly recommend it.

Maybe the curl would be acceptable on tiny laptop keyboard.
But if you have an expensive 2 piece matrix keyboard or ergodox it makes no sense.
Either way if you make a xmodmap, il test it when i'll get some time.
Also maybe put P or B on where Q and W were, to help the "curved hand".

In short: The newest K and M swap was a good thing !

Last edited by european (08-Jul-2017 21:44:19)
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stevep99 said:

An excellent choice, sir :P

You are right, Workman fixes some things but made other things worse, most notably same finger usage, of which the worst instance is P and O on the same finger. It also gives too much priority to the ring fingers I think, which are not particularly strong fingers compared to middle and index.

If you are looking for Windows installer files there are some here:
https://github.com/ColemakMods/mod-dh/tree/master/klc
If you want to make any custom modifications, eg depending on your region, you can install Microsoft keyboard Layout Creator, and load in one of the KLC files.

Or, for a quick trial, or more portable implementation, you could also go with PKL version  (... If DreymaR has updated it to the new unified DH...?)

Thanks, and I really appreciate your help :)
I have an ANSI keyboard, (with 10 keys on bottom row). how would the Mod DH with both mods Angle and Wide look like? also how can I make it work with the Extended mod? I tried using this Extended AHK script it didn't work
I also tried using the shift key as a Z key with my edited ANSI mod DH AHK script, but it is too heavy, it will slow me down, it is uncomfortable because its a pinky key and it's a big shift key (c pic below).
AHK wouldn't be the permanent solution, I'll need to make a layout with the Windows Keyboard Layout Creator, right?

my Keyboard has same key sizes and layout but different model: 87458.jpg

Last edited by wesam (09-Jul-2017 02:03:29)
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wesam said:

how would the Mod DH with both mods Angle and Wide look like?

The Angle mod is built-in to Mod-DH, and in fact is an integral part of it.

The wide mod is an optional extra though. You are right, there was only a ISO-wide variant in the downloads section, not an ANSI-wide one, so I have added an ANSI-wide variant today:
moddh-ansi-us-wide.jpg
Not fully tested though. I don't know what would happen to backslash on your keyboard as you have a giant enter key, so you might need to edit it a bit.

wesam said:

also how can I make it work with the Extended mod? I tried using this Extended AHK script it didn't work

The AHK script you found there is indeed my script for when I'm using Windows. If you are trying to run that script in isolation, make sure you uncomment (remove semicolons) from this bit at the top:

; #InputLevel 1
; CapsLock::F22
; #InputLevel 0
Last edited by stevep99 (09-Jul-2017 15:50:03)

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

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wesam said:

I've done some research, initially Workman seemed the most attractive, as "it fixes colemak", but after looking into it, it seems Workman suffers from higher pinky finger usage and same finger usage. correct?

Damn straight, sir! My firm opinion is that Workman creates more problems than it fixes. And even the fixes don't seem optimal.

In the Wide mod, I recommend keeping = on the right hand and 6 on the left hand. YMMV.

I haven't finished the PKL files, but I'm in the process of making nice help images for it and all, including Tarmak progressions which I think are important. However, at the moment I'm on vacation in Rome for two weeks! The XKB and TMK files are all good I think, but that won't help your Windows. :-(

I do indeed use PKL myself, for both CurlAngleWide and Extend.

My graphic further up in this thread shows Colemak-CAW (CurlAngleWide) for an ANSI board (using the Angle-Z variant, and the Wide-Quote variant).

Last edited by DreymaR (09-Jul-2017 22:56:29)

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UPDATE:

I've finally published the PKL files with the unified Curl(DH) mod. Check it out at my GitHub repo (also linked to from the Big Bag PKL topic, of course).

As always, testing and feedback is welcome.

Last edited by DreymaR (08-Aug-2017 13:51:20)

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Just thought I'd chime in with a user story. I'm a primarily QWERTY typist (~105 wpm). My weapon of choice is the Kinesis Advantage, a contoured matrix board. I learned Colemak a while ago and got up to about 50 wpm. I come back to it periodically because it is completely unsubtle in its improved comfort over QWERTY. My QWERTY speed has been at a plateau for years (I hit ~90 wpm in 2000, and have only improved marginally since then), and I believe that if I went all in on Colemak I might be able to get to ~120 wpm in six months to a year. But retraining my Vim muscle memory and the vagaries of pair programming have stayed my hand. Still, I find myself coming back to Colemak for a few days every couple months.

This time I tried the new edition of Mod-DvbgHmk. My verdict: it is definitely, noticeably worse than Mod-DvbgHm. The extra diagonal reach for the M key on the Kinesis matrix keyboard is noticeable even after retraining my muscle memory. I'm sympathetic to DreymaR's argument that it's more comfortable on a staggered keyboard, but if "Colemak is the Future", so are matrix boards. So, I probably won't revisit this version.

Overall, the left hand on Mod-Dvbg feels perfected. I don't mind breaking up 'ZXCV' at all, and 'B' feels just dandy up on qwerty 'T'. The right hand on Mod-Hm is... just okay. I've always felt that 'L' is poorly positioned on Colemak. It deserve's 'W's superior ring-finger reach spot, but a swap is no good since that would ruin the 'wh' digraph. I might try an L->W->* rotation the next time I try tilting at this windmill.

Last edited by ril (20-Aug-2017 08:58:06)
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I have to agree I find L less than optimal, especially with the DH mod keeping my index fingers around the intersection of QWERTY MNJ. Every time I must reach up to L it feels miles away, often even must adjust my hand position. For whatever reason I don't feel this as much with P nor B, J is rare enough that it's not an issue, despite being so far away. More and more I'm considering breaking apart the zxcv group, seeing as programmable keyboards make it not matter anyway; I really hate those keys under the pinky/ring/index though.

Every time I think of a good rotation to try (e.g swapping L and something else), the keyboard layout analyzer politely informs me of how many terrible interactions will arise from that meager little change... Reinforces how great the positioning of almost every letter really is in Colemak for bigrams.

Last edited by engiwengi (20-Aug-2017 12:43:44)
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ril said:

Just thought I'd chime in with a user story. I'm a primarily QWERTY typist (~105 wpm). My weapon of choice is the Kinesis Advantage, a contoured matrix board. I learned Colemak a while ago and got up to about 50 wpm. I come back to it periodically because it is completely unsubtle in its improved comfort over QWERTY. My QWERTY speed has been at a plateau for years (I hit ~90 wpm in 2000, and have only improved marginally since then), and I believe that if I went all in on Colemak I might be able to get to ~120 wpm in six months to a year. But retraining my Vim muscle memory and the vagaries of pair programming have stayed my hand. Still, I find myself coming back to Colemak for a few days every couple months.

This time I tried the new edition of Mod-DvbgHmk. My verdict: it is definitely, noticeably worse than Mod-DvbgHm. The extra diagonal reach for the M key on the Kinesis matrix keyboard is noticeable even after retraining my muscle memory. I'm sympathetic to DreymaR's argument that it's more comfortable on a staggered keyboard, but if "Colemak is the Future", so are matrix boards. So, I probably won't revisit this versionl.

For a matrix board, there has been some feedback that the M on the diagonal is OK, but I appreciate that M, as an averagely-frequent key, ideally deserves a better location.

In fact, the Mod-DH page still specifies that M on the centre-row is may be the preferred option for users of matrix boards:

mod_dh_keyb_matrix.png

Last edited by stevep99 (21-Aug-2017 11:47:49)

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

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I agree that the M-in-the-middle variant looks good for matrices. I wouldn't know as I don't trust matrix boards. I want a correctly staggered board that fits the fingers, not another way to cramp the hands into a wrong geometrical pattern – I strongly disagree that matrix boards are the most likely future. In real life however, I want to be able to use my laptop without an extra keyboard so I do the best I can with what's available instead of searching for the physical grail of keyboards. My pipe dream is probably something like a DataHand anyway. ;-)

Meanwhile, I want to showcase one and one only Curl(DH) mod for the newcomers. And since the unified one is very very good for standard boards (which most people have), that's the one. I keep Steve's old DH-mod available, but not in the display window for the most part. I find some additional comfort about that position in reading that matrix board users may prefer one or the other.

I see the point of L and also B feels more bothersome than before. If you're frequently typing a language (like French?) where L is more common than in English, I recommend modding the L down to the QWERTY H or N position and K up instead. For English though, I feel okay with it. Something has to get worse so important things can get better.

Last edited by DreymaR (21-Aug-2017 10:08:57)

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DreymaR said:

…I don't trust matrix boards. I want a correctly staggered board that fits the fingers, not another way to cramp the hands into a wrong geometrical pattern

It sure sounds like you're describing a Kinesis Advantage…

advantage-above-hands-blk630x390.jpg

stevep99 said:

there has been some feedback that the M on the diagonal is OK

DreymaR said:

I find some additional comfort about that position in reading that matrix board users may prefer one or the other.

Mod-Hmk is "OK" feels just about right. Usable, but not a ringing endorsement. There are so few Mod-DH users in the world that I feel no benefit from conforming to any one standard, so whatever you do on the website is fine — I'm just here to chime in.

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Yes, the Advantage does look nice! But again, it's not on my laptop and I haven't found it in my to buy one. And I might want to go even further to something like a DataHand anyway.

Indeed, you don't have to conform to one mod. But I have to present my mods and I don't want a clutter. I want a newbie-friendly environment and we're not quite there. :-)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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I am still unable to score above 105wpm on the latest iteration of this layout on my ordinary keyboards.
I remember that before (pre k m swap) my right hand was kind of forced into 'bad/linear/straight' position a lot (which I feel felt faster to type on, but uncomfortable).
Now my palms lay on keyboard like animal paws, nice and round, and I feel that K and M swap is/was a huge improvement.

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I modified the Colemak layout definition for Type Fu and created the Colemak - Mod-DH layout. It was terribly easy, but why repeat the work if you are using, or plan to use Type Fu? It is not totally necessary, but it's nice to have the onscreen keyboard match real life. You can get it and instructions on installation from https://github.com/jcowgar/type-fu-mod-dh ...

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Nice! Maybe an image in the repo main page would've been "juicy"? ;-) If you don't want to make your own, feel free to snag one of mine (just give credit for it).

Oh, and: You wrote "they you learn the keys"; I think you meant "they teach you the keys"?

Last edited by DreymaR (16-Oct-2017 08:53:41)

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