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I can't use qwerty! D:

  • Started by Fox
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  • From: Poland
  • Registered: 06-Jan-2015
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Really, I tried. My friend thought I was joking, but I was seriously struggling. Now it's a bit better.

But from the beginning:
I'm Eva, Polish girl interested in IT stuff.
I tried Dvorak, but it's US layout - it lacks Polish letters and some letters hardly used in English are just weirdly placed.
Normally I used Polish QWERTY (Polish (programmer), not Polish (214) which is typing machine layout and I believe almost no one uses it).

During Christmas break I read about Colemak, found Keybr.com... and started learning Dvorak again. XD Dec 19-22 was Dvorak typing for me, but only on Keybr. On 22nd I finally decided to try Colemak.
I must say: it was AWESOME. Maybe because I just used Dvorak, I quickly started getting used to Colemak.
I taped cheat to my keyboard keys (lol), and started using it for normal use too. - I use AutoHotkey script to remap my keys. It remaps keys, so my 'alt' characters are there, in their new place.
It was slow at the beginning (answering skype messages - ouch), but now it's easier. I can't say I type faster than on qwerty - I don't (yet?). But my fingers now can't use hunt keys (I was quite good at it - I could write without looking at my screen, and when I made a mistake, I automatically pressed backspace), I must touch-type.
And has to think if I use qwerty, oops.
I use Colemak all the time now - I've just written short essay...

One problem: Colemak is not in standard, I won't be able to use it on my final high school informatics exam in May...
(For tomorrow's informatics class I'll probably use portable AutoHotkey, but on exam we may only use what's on computers...)


tl;dr:
- Previously used qwerty.
- Switched to Colemak ~2 weeks ago, uses it all the time on personal laptop.
- Uses Keybr.com to learn touchtyping. Has re-labeled keyboard.
- Uses Windows with AutoHotkey.
~ Learning Colemak because has n things to do, but is too lazy to do them and finds other stuff to do.

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Hi, Eva, and welcome to the wonderful world of Colemak! (Can I say 'dobro' in Polish?)

I find QWERTY quite easy to use now, after years of Colemak typing. I no longer blind type it, but it doesn't bother me much either after a little bout of confusion.

Probably, you're extra super confused because you changed so recently. If you really need to use QWERTY, put your Colemak on the shelf completely until you have time to get back to it and just type a lot of QWERTY for a day or two. I bet it'll be back with you very quickly. You'll hate it because you now know there's something much better, hehe.

As a Polish user – have you seen the Colemak[eD]polish layouts in my Big Bag Of Tricks? Using Windows we'd have to specify it for PKL if you'd like to use that – but that's done quickly enough.

Last edited by DreymaR (07-Jan-2015 08:49:19)

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Fox said:

One problem: Colemak is not in standard, I won't be able to use it on my final high school informatics exam in May...

The tyranny of Qwerty!  Colemak users, let us rise up to fight our evil oppressors!

Seriously though, perhaps they might be open to making arrangements for you if you asked them? As an informatics student, you would get extra marks for showing the initiative to learn a superior layout in my book.

Using Colemak-DH with Seniply.

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After switching, I use hunt and peck on Qwerty keyboard. Luckily I have graduated.

In school and university tests you may be at disadvantage compared to Qwerty typists. You may relearn touch typing in Qwerty in a week just to pass the exam.

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DreymaR, hey!
'Dobro' would be literally 'goodness'. 'Good' as adj. is 'dobry' (in basic, singular male form). 'Dzień dobry' = literally 'good day', used as good morning/afternoon. :3

I haven't checked your layouts yet - I just discovered this forum 2 days ago (colemak.com stayed opened unread in different tab - I do that with way too many things XD).
I'm now looking (only looking, not analyzing too much*) what have you done with Polish Colemak... I think I'll stay with mine for now. ;P
Polish qwerty has all Polish characters accessible with only AltGr (there are no two letters with same 'base' but ż (AltGr+z) & ź (AltGr+x)) - with AutoHotkey & Polish qwerty set in my OS, I get normal Colemak with Polish characters accessible via AltGr, and I don't need all types of diacritic characters for now. :3
*I may later try to experiment with layouts and all that stuff, but now I should really be studying... but your extend level looks interesting... but I really should be studying. D:

As of practicing qwerty, I would need to learn touch type it. But it's very weird for me now. Too much finger movement... And I've already got used to second backspace.




@stevep99, final high school exam ~ maturity exam, called in Polish "matura". It's an external national exam. Formally we'll already graduate from high school in the end of April, matura is always in May.
We can't do much, specs are only that we choose OS and software/programming language beforehand. We can't bring any electronic devices in... Many formal procedures etc.
Impossible to negotiate something like Colemak, unless it would be required for me because of my health or something... Or maybe if I found more people writing the matura this year...

So unless Colemak is standardized by the time of my exam or you hack into Windows Update server and include Colemak in one of the updates, I won't be able to use it. ;P




@Tony_VN, I was normally blindly hunting qwerty keys, and was quite good at it. Now I just can't do that, my hands won't leave their touch typing positions - so I'll certainly need to learn touch typing on qwerty.




From random typing-related stuff I noticed while browsing forum as well as just thinking:
- I had never touch typed before, but always had some of the touch typing habits - like using right pinky for shift (I remember someone once said it was weird), using thumb for altgr...
- I never use left shift. And right ctrl.
- I use... left thumb to hit left control.
- Before my right hand automatically moved to backspace when I made mistake (even when blindly typing), now I use only former-caps for this.
- But for longer parts (at least word) I always use normal backspace/delete.

After yesterday's classes:
- I still have programming qwerty strokes, but at the same time want to use Colemak. (I.e. I had some trouble on both qwerty and Colemak today. Used mainly Colemak because second backspace. XD)

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In that case, dzień dobry! ^_^

Yes, Extend is completely awesome (and works for all layouts). I also like the Angle mod a lot and it's easy to do – even with the Wide mod. But every change removes you from a virgin QWERTY machine, so it's also a matter of taste.

Lately I'm trying yet another mod which I call the "Curl" mod (or the D-H mod as its creator stevep99 calls it), as it lets you curl your index fingers more naturally for D and H. That's for the advanced... maybe. I think I like it a lot too, but I'm still getting used to it.

The best habit for Shift is obviously(?) to use both. But I hear that Steve Wrona which is one of the fastest in the world uses a lot of sticky Shift instead! I'm not going to be that fast so...

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Sorry for late respond, I've been busy. ^^"

I browsed the forum a bit. You've done so much for the community - all those Colemak[eD] and Tarmak layouts, putting all characters on your Colemac version, all those mods... Are you a person or a robot? ;P

I think it may be a bit hard for me to switch to both shifts - I've learned typing from young age, old habits die hard. Left shift is only for wasd-controlled (or rather wars now) games... and ctrl+shift Windows keyboard switching (not used often now)/ctrl+shift+esc to open Task Manager.
I'm not aiming for being the fastest, so I don't have to use both, I think. I thought about making LShift my Extend key ('cause I won't sacrifice my second backspace, it's too comfy) if I ever try your Colemak layout. :3


About my qwerty usage - still using Colemak only on my laptop, but yesterday we had mock exam. As I said above - can't use any external apps/devices (we had to switch our normal places in computer labs, had to turn off and hand in phones)...
And I somehow used qwerty and it wasn't that hard like just after learning Colemak. :3 ... K, I didn't have to write much (typical spreadsheet task (calculations and graph); task which some people programmed but I solved it in a spreadsheet, lol; database), but still.

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I'm a robotnik! :-D Well, this is a nice hobby I think and I've been at it for nearly a decade if you count my Dvorak days. So I've had time to do stuff. But thanks!

About Shifts: Do what you feel is comfortable, of course. I like using both shifts as it feels balanced and relaxing but if one works for you then fine.

Last edited by DreymaR (15-Jan-2015 22:02:41)

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I usually find that I only use the left shift most of the time on my standard ANSI staggered keyboards, it's easier to reach than the right one is. The only times that I have used the right shift on the standard keyboards is when I'm trying to shift a key that is on my left pinky in which I would need to use the right shift.

On my Ergodox keyboard, I have the left shift in the standard position, but have the right one on one of the left thumb keys and have no right shift on the right hand side of the keyboard. (The backslash key has taken the standard placement of the right shift key in the layout that I'm using on it.) I still have yet to really get used the the new position of the right shift on the left hand, I pretty much only use it to start off a sentence and to shift the q,a,z keys on the layout. The thumb shift can be potentially faster with some shifting if you happen to master it, it can make starting off quoted sentences a little faster if the letter after the quote character is one of the left pinky letters, you wouldn't have to switch hands in the shift this way.

Last edited by cartman-2000 (16-Jan-2015 21:53:14)
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@DreymaR
Robotnik = (physical) worker. Robot = robot.* So... I don't know what you meant, my question still apply. ;P
Nearly a decade... just like my cat. Oh, so maybe you're a cat - some cats love keyboards. ;P

I know, I just need to learn how PKL works and I'll just experiment and find what is the best for me~.
I'm running PKL with your colemak-eD_ISO and just having fun with extend layer. I worked on untouched version for some time, but today I've remapped Polish diacritic characters to be under AltGr. :)

Funny/strange thing: Asus' Fn shortcuts produce what they should and 'h'.
(Fn+ F1-F12/space/c/v... every shortcut I'm aware of and didn't (and still don't know, 'cause I don't see any difference with Fn+g (probably killed the process earlier in this session or the program was uninstalled years ago)... but non-shortcuts produce proper character, e.g. Fn+a = a). Exceptions: Fn+Ins (num lock), Fn+Del (scroll lock).)
Also Shift+6 produce "^ " despite the fact there is no space in layout.ini.

*Unless you're trying to learn Polish, I would recommend not using it (or checking twice when using translators) - it has wicked grammar and word formation. ^^"
Making person out of 'robot' does not work here like with e.g. pracownik (employee) from praca (work; or rather from pracować (to work)). 'Robota' is informal(?) word for work, while 'robot' is just foreign word which is used normally in language nowadays.
...Theoretically I'm in Maths-Physics-IT class, so I shouldn't try to teach Polish... but I kinda like explaining only (not entirely) logical language stuff. You can skip parts like this one in my posts.



@cartman-2000
I think most people use LShift. For same-pinky shift... *looks at keyboard* Oops, I move my hands a bit. I haven't noticed this earlier. But the rest or my typing is more or less touch typing.

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I know that 'robotnik' is a menial worker/peasant – or rather, a serf. And also the origin of the word 'robot' from the Czech writer Carel Čapek. So what I was saying is that, yes, I can be a slave of my hobby and put in a lot of work for it. But now that you mention it, I'd like to be a keyboard cat too! :-D

I'm not learning Polish per se, but I'm very interested in languages in general. So I sometimes play with words. Bear with me.

Fn keys can be odd, but in theory they should only send a new scan code and so be invisible to the computer. That really shouldn't be producing any 'h's...

If Shift+6 makes a space, it's because there's a discrepancy between your PKL's dead key settings and your active OS layout. You can run a dead key detection routine from the menu of PKL or edit the pkl.ini dead key entry manually.

Back to the keyboard 'robota'...

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You can be a cat! *pets DreymaR* *thinks* Norwegian Forest cat?
I have small interest in learning languages myself, but I kinda like all that trivia and other fun stuff. (One of the reasons why I participate in Linguistics Olympiad~.)

OS layout is Polish programmer's. Shift+6 should give the same output ('^', not '^ '). Only deadkey detected is '~' (used as alternative to AltGr on Polish keyboard).
Polish typist's (Polish (214)) w/ PKL: '~ ' (w/o PKL there is '·' deadkey for ż), ^ is a deadkey (works only for âîô - checked manually; detected*).
Russian layout set w/ PKL: '~ ' as well, no deadkeys found*.
(^3 layouts I have set in one 'language' (Polish) on my Windows to switch between them with ctrl+shift... Actually 214 was there from the start, I just haven't removed it.)
...
And now after that changing layouts, ^ is normal... But PKL as program still has Russian layout set, while browser has Polish programmer's (~ is still a deadkey).
Just Windows and my laptop. - I'll never figure them out. XD
Probably switching to English as default would fix it. (It doesn't have any deadkeys, does it? And I have only one keyboard layout set within English 'language'...) I will try it after the weekend as I won't have my computer with me for two days~.

*I first manually searched for all spaces/deadkeys, and just then changed layouts with PKL selected and run deadkey search for each of them.
Of course no matter what Fn shortcuts still produce 'h'.

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Yes, your Shift+6 should give a straight '^'. But if PKL thinks that '^' is a dead key, problems arise. This is found in the pkl.ini file, in the 'systemsdeadkeys' key which lists which of the OS symbols are in fact dead keys in the OS layout. Also, in the PKL tray menu there's an option to 'Detect deadkeys' which is my suggestion for you to try. If you switch OS layout to ones with different dead key setups you'll have to adjust PKL each time I'm afraid.

Again, your Fn really shouldn't be doing that... :-p

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Okay, let's put this straightforward, as simply as I can. Because I did what you suggested. ;P

In Windows you can set >1 keyboard layouts for 'language'. In Polish I have 3 - Polish programmer's (qwerty, set as default), Polish typist's ("Polish (214)", qwertz) and Russian. (I have also a few different layouts but they are in different languages.)
New programs always have default layout set. OS layout can be changed individually for each program. (I set different icons for layouts so I can quickly recognize them. Useful when using ctrl+shift for changing them.)

My deadkey/wonky keys search was manual (i.e. PKL with Colemak + different layouts in the OS) - just writing in an editor.
Results from above:
Programmer's: "^ " (<- there's a space), deadkey ~.
Typist's: "~ ", deadkey ^.
Russian: "~ ", no deadkeys.
(PKL's OS layout = Programmer's... At least I think so.*)

PKL's deadkey search = changed default in OS (so newly run programs will have that layout set), changed it for PKL too, and just then run the deadkey search. (PKL's layout is Colemak.)
Results: Programmer's: ~; typist's: ^; Russian: none.

As I finished testing, PKL still had Russian as its OS layout, but default and browser's layout was set back to Programmer's: "^" (w/o space), ~ as deadkey.


(I hope it's understandable now. I use too many mental shortcuts when writing, especially when analyzing/testing something. ^^")



*From experimenting now:
anything -> Typist's... no characters with spaces, nor deadkeys...? (Normally (w/ suspended PKL) it has maaany deadkeys: ·˛ (~` key) ˇ^˘°˛ (altgr+ 2-6) ·´˝¨¸ (altgr+ 8-'=').)
anything -> Russian: "^ " (spaaaace~)
anything -> Programmer's: "^ ", ~ deadkey. (Normally ~ is a deadkey.)
Probably during previous tests I changed PKL's OS layout, oops.

So... OS default layout vs different OS layouts set in different programs vs how PKL handle it.
Just Windows.

As Typist's deadkeys are not inherited by PKL (probably because keys where they should be are redefined...? only ^ was inherited in 1st test - probably OS layout set in PKL was also typist's), I wouldn't assume Programmer's space issue it caused by it (the only deadkey behaves normally...).

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You could have only one OS layout and use several PKL layouts instead. I'd have Russian by OS and the rest by PKL if that works well, as it's easiest to set up with PKL (although there is a Russian layout on the PKL download page I think).

Not quite sure what you were saying with all that dead key stuff. :-)

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USA here, and I've noted that the AltGr combinations (on a non-altgr keyboard) aren't giving me what Wikipedia says they should be.

Under Windows Vista using the "proper" keyboard remapping at the OS level (not ahk etc).  At home, I'll attempt Win7.

I dunno if it's a Vista thing or the remap or what.

Annnnnd welcome Fox! I'm about 10 months into Colemak and can't imagine ever going back to Qwerty :D. Join the club!

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Unfy, that's really worthy of a new topic. And please explain what you mean by "proper" (which file you're using, where you got it etc), as well as what you should be getting vs what you get. :-)

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@DreymaR
(I would've replied earlier, but I left the post open in a tab and my browser crashed... If you get pid's >10k on Windows, it's probably time to finally restart your computer.)

Tbh I don't need that Russian nor Polish typist's - I just have them because... why not? E.g. I never used typist's, it was just there by default, so I left it. I got used to having them just under ctrl+shift (default shortcut to switch layouts in one 'language').
If I were to leave only one, I would choose Polish programmer's - I haven't messed up with registry, so I need qwerty to log in and do all administrative stuff (admin pass confirmation&processes run as admin). Or at least English qwerty - I don't have any Polish diacritics in my pass atm.

Okay, still too much mind shortcuts. Hope this time I can explain it. If not, nevermind:
- You said that maybe OS layout deadkeys can cause that space thing in some characters (I described them as wonky... 'cause they are wonky), so I wanted to check that.
- In Windows default OS layout is just for new processes - after that you can change layouts for each process respectively.
- In last post (from * onwards) I had PKL with Colemak, PKL process' OS layout as Polish programmer's, and just set different OS layouts in a text editor. Then tried to search for characters with space after them and for deadkeys. Manually.
- I messed up beginning of my post because I copied and rewrote previous one - but it seems I had different OS layout set for PKL at the time of testing or something, oops. That's why after * I had again my mind shortcuts - 'cause I got different results.
- Conclusion: Different PKL's OS layout and editor's OS layout sets may have different space issues and deadkeys.

I should make a 3x3 array, do more tests (being completely aware which layout is set where and all that stuff), and note them down. And just then analyze results...
As I'm testing 3x3 now, I have no idea how I got those results from Jan 23rd. - I can't by any means get typist's to have ^ deadkey and ~ w/ space... Different results again... I quit.
Basically my laptop and OS are messed up.



@unfy
Hey~! :3 For qwerty I hunt keys, but every time I have to use it, I just see how unoptimized it is. - I'm definitely staying with Colemak.
And it also serves as a security feature. - I live in a dorm and once I went to my best friend, who lives literally next to me. In a meantime my other friend went to my room and saw unlocked laptop... I ended up with a strange post on Facebook. (At least I have normal friends and it wasn't anything vulgar etc.)
Now even though I have letters taped to my keys, people have problems writing on my keyboard. :D

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Isn't it simply about the fact that whenever your OS layout and PKL disagree whether a key is a dead key or not, the extra space will occur?

That space occurs because when PKL takes over the key press of one of the OS dead keys, the OS will be in a dead key state which needs to be released by sending a space character. So for an actual OS dead key this makes sense and you won't see the extra space. But for a key that isn't a dead key but PKL thinks it is, there will be an extra space. And if a key is a dead key but PKL thinks it isn't... it'll be stuck for the next key press.

BTW: I love Norwegian Forest Cats! Even though they make my nose itch. They can climb not only up into a tree, but also down again – so they're a bit more clever than some other cats... ;-)

Last edited by DreymaR (05-Feb-2015 23:21:26)

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I'm afraid not.
Only Polish programmer's deadkey is ~ and it stills works as a deadkey. However, Polish typist's has many deadkeys, one of them being ^.
In my first post about spaces and deadkeys I thought that those two interfered (I got on programmer's: ~ dk, "^ "; typist's ^ dk, "~ "), but now every time I try I can't get typist's to produce character with space nor have shift deadkey...
That's why I have no idea what is the problem.
Maybe it interfered the first time (it was still the session I first run PKL - I tend to hibernate my laptop rather than turn it off) and just stayed like that...? But if so, it would be somewhere (files, registry, tmp?) to be found. And that would not explain Russian layout behavior.
That's why I said my laptop is just one big mess. In about half a year I'm getting a new one for uni, I hope there will be less problems with it.

I will get either Norwegian Forest or Maine Coon (or maybe both...) in the future - they are amazing. <3 As for climbing a tree, my 10-year-old cat can't even go up, lol. Not a matter of intelligence but rather that he didn't have anyone to teach him (cat orphan, raised with another male cat and a female dog till he was about... 2y/o?)... and he's just lazy - if he doesn't have to, he won't jump over a normal-height fence (about 2m high, he usually goes over its lover parts or through holes; though if chased by another cat, he sometimes grow a pair of wings, lol).




Okay, now some new experiences:
1. Started measuring my wpm and generally trying to improve my speed. But I don't know how fast I typed with qwerty, I measured it once or twice and just don't remember my wpm, oops.
Measuring on keyhero.com, my average for now is just below 50wpm. I get sometimes higher, sometimes lower results. - I still confuse some keys and my Z key is a bit broken (sometimes has to be pressed a few times before z appear)... and some quotes have strange words.
I've looked at 10fastfingest and probably will use it to learn how to 'fluently' type the most popular words (both in English and Polish). I've noticed some words with weird key combinations, e.g. zaraz, zawsze...
*checks letter frequency* Z is 5th most popular letter in Polish, that explains a lot.
I aim for 65wpm. - I think that could've been somewhere around my old qwerty speed.
2. I think I just yesterday converted my friend to Colemak. He has too much time right now, so he will give it a try. :3

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And, if you look in your pkl.ini, what is the setting for the systemsdeadkeys line? For instance:

systemsDeadkeys = `´¨^~

If you convert new friends, make sure they look at the menu! ;-) At my Big Bag topic there are some choices to make now, such as whether the Curl-DH mod seems good for you.

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It's set to auto.
PKL's deadkey detection sees ~ and it behaves like a deadkey, but as far as I understand, it shouldn't.
systemsDeadkeys = ~ Works as it should - no deadkeys, no additional spaces.

I shouldn't do that, I should be studying, but I'm browsing PKL's source code (I just remembered that it is opensource... I should've done it earlier). File "getDeadKeysOfSystemsActiveLayout.ahk" w/o comments:

getDeadKeysOfSystemsActiveLayout()
{
    l1033 = -1 ; USA
    l1038 = ^ ; Hungarian
    l1036 = ~^` ; French AZERTY

    WinGet, WinID,, A
    ThreadID := DllCall("GetWindowThreadProcessId", "Int", WinID, "Int", 0)
    Layout := DllCall("GetKeyboardLayout", "Int", ThreadID) 
    Layout := ( Layout & 0xFFFFFFFF )>>16
    if ( l%Layout% == "-1" )
        return ""
    else if ( l%Layout% == "" )
        return "^"
    else
        return l%Layout%
}

I... don't get it. Basically, if l%layoutnumber% doesn't have a value, it assumes ^ is a deadkey. That explains ^ with space.
Still doesn't explain why typist's and Russian behaved differently for the first time and for all the other times (and why its ^ actually was a deadkey the first time).
So ^ with space was just Máté's laziness, but all other issues are just my computer's...

Btw PKL source code: in your topic you said you don't have script to generate layout images like Máté did - that script is in PKL's source code (in utilities folder)...
It uses perl and Firefox. As I don't have perl installed, I can't test it, but from analyzing the code:
It seems to fetch layout.ini from layouts folder, then does some magic with perl (ini2html.pl, generates images in a html file), opens generated .html in Firefox (which saves dynamically generated .png's as files...? or something like that), then separates images (split_png.pl).



Yup, I gave him a link to your main topic and to your Tarmak topic. :3
I haven't logged in to Skype yesterday, so I don't know how he's doing.

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I know about his script. I don't like his images as well as my own though. Plus, I never got around to using perl. But if you make a set of images with that script, please share them. :-)

What I meant was to make a script that can generate my type of image based on a layout file. That'd save a lot of work for sure, as it's quite a drag to be making for instance a lot of dead key images for each combination of ANSI/ISO, AngleWide, Curl-DH etc. But there's still the issue of layout folder getting rather large with all my images in them so I'd like to recompile PKL with the possibility for multiple image layers! Then the images would only need to have the actual letters/symbols in them so the files would be small, and you could choose between different background images too.

One annoying thing is that the current compiled PKL is 'v0.4_beta' while the source trunk is 'v0.3_85'; I have no idea what that amounts to and Farkas Máté is nowhere to be found. :-(

What you should do is to specify the dead keys then? At least one of your OS layouts should behave correctly with PKL if you use the right systemsDeadkeys string.

Last edited by DreymaR (14-Feb-2015 09:17:23)

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Ah, that explains much. Overlaying characters on the background would be really cool, but surely hard to code. I don't know if that would be possible with only AHK functions... Especially since it should be quite fast and light when it comes to using ram and cpu...
As for the file size, <3MB is not bad, but surely can be when someone has many layouts. To reduce the size, it would be nice to have some system to share them easily, with the previews and option to download one layout at the time...
Though, new computers have such computing power and space that it shouldn't be a huge problem...
(I was more of optimization maniac before, but I left that thinking in favor of simple "if it works and isn't unreasonably heavy, it's good". ^^")


Yup, I had to specify them manually. As my default layout is Polish programmer's, I just specified its only deadkey - ~, so it no longer is a deadkey (but for other OS layouts, it gives ~ with space).
Though it would be nice if that 'systemsDeadkeys=auto' was integrated with "Detect deadkeys" option.

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I'm polish too and I have ąćęłńóśżźĄĆĘŁŃÓŚŻŹ€ in Altgr.

Banned from Colemak

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