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Asking Microsoft to add Colemak to Windows ?

  • Started by wjames
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  • From: Buenos Aires
  • Registered: 01-Apr-2013
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Hello. I'm sorry if a topic like this one already exists, I didn't find it with the forum search.

I wanted to ask if is there some strategy for advocating colemak and promoting it's inclusion on Windows. Now that most linux and mac os include it, what is required for it to be added by Microsoft?

Do you consider it useful to ask on microsoft forums for the addidion of the layout on windows?

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  • Registered: 27-Jun-2013
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Asking won't hurt anyone, but I wonder if you'll get a serious reply. It doesn't take a lot to install it, and if you have no admin-privileges you can just use the portable edition. I'm guessing that the people who are 'hardcore' enough to learn colemak won't mind the 2 minutes of their lives wasted.

Also: how many people use colemak? How many does microsoft need to bother adding another layout to their OS?

Last edited by koekjestrommel1 (11-Feb-2015 00:43:14)
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  • From: Oslo, Norway
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Yes, it's been asked now and again. But I don't blame you for not finding it in the forum clutter. ;-)

MS have a policy of implementing keyboard layouts based on requests from nations. This has been a problem for people without a nation that are oppressed by the nation in control of the areas they live in, such as the Uighurs and Kurds. So the chances for getting Colemak in unless MS change that policy somewhat are hinging on the US government (or ANSI) becoming interested enough to include it in their recommendations as they did with the dvorak layout eventually – if I've understood this right. I may well not have. At any rate, no they're not very interested it seems.

We've had some chats with Michael Kaplan in MS who is deeply into the keyboard stuff, but I think we got off on the wrong foot. Not sure what he thinks of Colemak these days, but it's probably just a dust speck on his horizon like all the other alternative layouts. And he doesn't decide which layouts are accepted either (I think). He does however mention that for Colemak to be included in Windows there would at the very least have to be Colemak hardware. Well, there is now – don't know whether that matters though.

It is a real concern to some, like user Fox who might not be able to type Colemak on her exam because of IT limitations. So the MSKLC install or PKL don't solve everything.

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Feb-2015 17:27:12)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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  • From: Buenos Aires
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I solved my problem by using PKL where I work. I don't know if they would allow me installing the layout in windows, pkl was the quickest option.

Still, I would be willing to mail or write a request in some MS website if it could help Colemaks addition to windows. If the politic you mention is still true, it's complicated.

I found a topic in the forum with a link where we can add votes to ask new windows characteristics, with a post about adding colemak. I don't know if it counts but I added a vote.

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Can you share that link?

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While snoping around, I found this sad post from said Michael Kaplan. Seems he still has a grudge against the layout because he felt pestered about it at some point and turned defensive. Ugh.

http://www.siao2.com/2013/03/21/10404051.aspx

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Feb-2015 17:25:35)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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That is rather bizarre. His only legitimate point is about the user being called "asdf" :-P

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

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It's bizarre mostly because you don't have the backstory I guess. He met with some rather intense and somewhat misguided proselytizing on his blog which pissed him off, and around the same time there was an attempt at making a Colemak page on Wikipedia that failed rather spectacularly and somewhat noisily due to the "no new research" policy or something (that's passed now, right – please tell me there's a good Colemak page on Wikipedia now...?!? ... oh wait, there still isn't but just a crappy passage under new layouts along with obscure contestants like Colman – wtf...).

Besides, he can have a colorful temperament from what I've read of him. ;-)

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Feb-2015 18:34:00)

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

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Wow, his reasoning to exclude it is that people are asking for it. Sound logic, sir.

I thought it was weird that there is no Colemak article on Wikipedia. What's the issue with that? It's not "original research" to say "this thing exists and here is some stuff about it."

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There you go. Comments like that one was what made him tired of the Colemak community in the first place and I can't say I blame him for it. Down, boy.

Or didn't you read the part about "misguided"?

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Feb-2015 22:24:35)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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I don't like the fact that this developer bases a lot of this blog entry on a single user..


And I never knew the colemak-article kept getting added and removed. Why would you keep on removing such an article?
There even is a article about colemak on the Dutch wikipedia!
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colemak

EDIT: just read the discussion about the deletion of the page, which was documented in 2008(!), over 7 years ago. It basicly comes down to: because there isn't any peer reviewed scientific research on this layout, it shouldn't be a wikepedia page. Not the best argument I've ever heard.

EDIT2: it's mildy ironic how a keyboard layout with several thousand users (how many exactly?) is not worth to be mentioned on wikepedia, but the guy who is making blogs about how stupid colemak is, IS mentioned on wikepedia. Only because he is a 'blogger' and 'guru', which are, in my humble opinion, not the most scientificly chosen titles.

RaTUqzZ.png

Last edited by koekjestrommel1 (13-Feb-2015 01:14:22)
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jonhines said:

Can you share that link?

here https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=1967

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Why do so many develop an acute and horrible case of aggressive stupidity when it comes to Kaplan? Think, people! You sound like religious bigots or something.

Kaplan works for Microsoft, among other things having made the Keyboard Layout Creator (but not being in charge of what layouts MS chooses to include by a long shot). He has a private blog (which isn't a MS blog by any definition). He's a Unicode guru, has a disability that he's written about, writes well and from the heart and does lots of really cool stuff (if you're a massive nerd who likes that brand of really cool stuff of course) so he's rightly famous in some circles for that; people do get on Wikipedia for that sort of thing. And thanks to some aggressive Colemak nuts bombing his private blog a few years back (sounding pretty much like you guys do now, a la "you're in charge (but he's not), you have to do what we want (but he doesn't) blah blah!" he's wary of aggressive Colemak nuts.

Pipe down guys. Honestly. And do your research properly before spewing swill, or just don't. Think about that you're sullying the name of what you love and making everything a lot more difficult. It's in fact people like you who made Kaplan take an unnecessarily negative stance towards the thing you love – and he is in fact fully entitled to that stance as a person! If you wish to convert him for some reason it certainly won't be by confirming his worst suspicions.

But yeah, it's sad that Colemak doesn't have an entry on Wikipedia. The first attempts ran afoul of some misunderstandings about the "new research rule" or whatever it's called. I'm no expert but it's about posting articles about a new product that isn't established yet, and making new claims. Maybe a new article could succeed now that Colemak is more of an established entity, but it'd have to be made according to the Wikipedia fine print by someone who can keep a level head and not throw out too much evangelizing. Definitely not by shouting and clashing.

Last edited by DreymaR (13-Feb-2015 06:27:03)

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

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On Wikipedia, Colemak pages also seem to exist in Spanish, French, Dutch, Korean, Russian, Swedish and ... Esperanto!
Ah, of course, those millions of Esperanto speakers are well-known for their use of Colemak! :-P

Kind of ironic when you consider Colemak is most optimized for English. It does suggest that the case for an English page would succeed, if as DreymaR says it was handled sensibly.

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

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That's not the other way around, that's exactly the way I too think it is. On the other hand, it kinda makes me want to make an Esperanto "locale" layout in return. ;-)

Anyone up for the challenge of publishing a sensible article without too tall claims? From what I gather, one needs to point to the fact that Colemak has been around for a while and is in use. Not to its proposed benefits, except where sources can be found. Those sources need not be better than, say, the ones in the Keyboard Layout article (and those should be included too).

Last edited by DreymaR (13-Feb-2015 13:32:32)

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

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DreymaR said:

Anyone up for the challenge of publishing a sensible article without too tall claims?

Probably that's the tricky part - finding someone willing to write it. Ideally someone who has written stuff on Wikipedia before.

DreymaR said:

From what I gather, one needs to point to the fact that Colemak has been around for a while and is in use. Not to its proposed benefits, except where sources can be found.

It should also be pointed out that it is available as standard on many OS's, to help counter any claims of obscurity - MacOS, Android, and Linux... others..?

Not wanting to give you yet more work Drey, but your good self would be a very good candidate for this task!?!

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

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Sorry, my friend, but I'm not up to it. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to use GitHub and that's all I can do. The last big challenge I tackled was learning your Curl-DH mod, you rascal you! ;-) Then I learnt and compiled a list of some new Extend shortcuts (I like that new trick of "Ext+6, ?<search string>, Ext+A+Spc"!). After GitHub hopefully gets conquered, I'll see what I can do about PKL...

Sure, ideally it should be someone with a publishing history on the Wikipedia, but it isn't witchcraft either. Getting an account there, reading up a bit on the rules and being generally well-behaved should get anyone a long way I hope. And not putting too much stock in how the last article fared – that's past history now. One should read up on that article's edit history of course!

Last edited by DreymaR (13-Feb-2015 15:59:18)

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

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The Carpalx article is probably a good source for a wikipedia article. Seems to use (gasp) science.

http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/carpalx/?colemak

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Yes, well, seems. It's a long shot from hard science! And that's my point: The claims shouldn't be any taller than their backing allows. Enthusiastic pro-/diagnoses will be blown out of the waters.

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

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Somebody has already written on Wikipedia a pretty good description of the Colemak layout - this is as part of the Keyboard Layouts page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout#Colemak

The Colamk layout is also mentioned by name along with the Dvorak layout in the main Qwerty Article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY


Having said that - I do think the Colemak is pretty damn awesome.

I recently tried out the Dvorak layout - for a week (by popping the keycaps and relocating them) - decided I had to go back to Qwerty because of ctrl Z, C & V

I am currently waiting for a set of Colemak stickers to put on my kbd - I share my home kbd with my daughter so it's a bit challenging to switch cold turkey.

(As I found when I was using the Dvorak...)

I will come back and post again once I've made the switch.  I plan to switch both my work PC AND my home...

Last edited by kiltannen (23-Apr-2015 01:09:56)
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Welcome Kiltannen! I made the switch last November-December and I will never go back. I had also tried Dvorak in the past, but found the transition too difficult. I highly recommend the Tarmak transition steps (https://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?id=1858). It changes a few keys at a time to allow you to easily transition in steps. Also, DON'T change your keyboard caps. It's easier to learn by training your fingers and not your eyes.

Above we were talking about a dedicated article about Colemak on wikipedia.

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Kiltannen is right though – one should start out the Colemak article by basically copying over the nice descriptions from those other places. Since they're already on Wikipedia, that should be safe I'd think? And then the article would be an established fact at long last, and further improvements should happen over time.

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

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  • From: Poland, birthday 8 №v 2004
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Windows is not for learning! Colemak is similar to QWERTY, and there is no reason to include minimak, colemak, asset, norman, etc...
And, they split language layouts.

Last edited by PiotrGrochowski (14-May-2015 07:16:10)
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I for one would love to see Colemak in Windows. At this point they are the only major operating system to NOT support it. Apple supports it, Linux supports it. Heck, even most of the BSD's support it! Times have changed too - there are hardware versions of the keyboard available. Most of the time installing Colemak is easy on windows, but in corporate environments that tightly control the software installed on a computer, this can be very problematic.

From a constructive perspective... what ideas are out there? It seems that there are enough of us around that we should be asking for Colemak's inclusion in Windows. How do we ask Microsoft to include the layout? Should we be submitting articles to sites like reddit and slashdot, lwn, or (name your favorite site here)? Should we be asking folks that we know who work for Microsoft? What ideas are out there?

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This has been mentioned before, but the dilemma is that nations apply to Microsoft for layouts, or rather, 'locales'. This has been a problem for ethnic groups without their own countries and under non-acceptant governments, such as the Uighurs (but it seems that Turkey did speak up for its Kurd populace?). So here in Norway, the Norwegian government has decided which Sápmi groups to apply for.

I think that ANSI at some point after deciding on a standard Dvorak layout, applied and got it accepted. But it's a bit of a mess since Dvorak isn't really a locale! So there's a bit of shoehorning involved.

This said, I agree that Microsoft should've included Colemak by now as it is a fair bit larger than any of its contestants and I should think not much smaller than Dvorak in practice now? (Hard to say though!) But I guess they're loath to do so as then the next twenty contestants will start clamoring. Linux includes just about everything and the kitchen sink so it's a right mess of personal peeves. Apple look to Linux with a critical eye but they're trying to be avantgarde and cool and Colemak is just that. ;-)

Last edited by DreymaR (20-May-2015 06:26:41)

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

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