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    Introducing my modded layout - looking for opinions

    • Started by assassassin
    • 4 Replies:
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 24-May-2016
    • Posts: 11

    Hey everybody,

    I've used Colemak for nearly two weeks now and although it is so much better than qwerty I feel some keys are placed poorly and therefore I tried my hands at my very own mod:

    Tthe aim of this is to create a very customized layout for me, it is not intended to work for others, but nonetheless I would love to hear your opinions on this:

    Keyboard Layout Editor or
    https://i.imgur.com/iYyeeGh.png

    First of all, I am using an ANSI keyboard. I know, some mods like the angle mod recommend to use ISO but I prefer the longer left shift and enter keys. Also getting ISO keycaps is either really hard or way more expensive.
    Secondly, I am German and have to cramp in ÄÖÜ. Also I am going to change a few keys according to the differences in the letter frequency between English and German. (More info here: Wiki, Deutsch=German)

    At the first look, my layout is vastly different (14 keys remapped including ÄÖÜ), but my understanding is, that the 8 homerow keys (ARST NEIO) and the easily accessible shortcuts (Ctrl+A X C V W T N) are the core ideas of Colemak. Correct me, if I am wrong.

    Explanations of the keys:

    D H:
    These are from the Curl-DH mod.

    G K M:
    With H taking the place of old-M, I swapped K and M because I find pressing the M key easier and M is more frequent.
    I don't like the Colemak place of G not at all. It's actually the main reason I started this mod. With D gone into the lower row and G being way more frequent in German (+50%) this seems a good spot.

    Y V C X Z:
    I wanted to keep X C V on the bottom row for shortcuts, but I banned X to the old-B position. Y changed with Z as is tradition with German layouts. I changed C and V because C is more frequent. I am not quite happy with the V position, but V is less frequent in German (0.67% to 0.98%), so it's something I can live with. Changing Y and V is no option because I do write a lot in English and I actually like Y's position. However, I've thought about placing Y in the top row, but then typing "you" becomes awkward.

    Ä Ö Ü J:
    Those keys are frequent, but not too frequent in German (0.27% - 0.65%) so I've put them on the keys I find especially hard to reach. J is actually the least frequent of those 4 and thus in a worse position than Ö. I like the O position the most of those 4 keys and I have thought about putting Ä (0.65%) there, but because it's above O I went with Ö (0.3%) instead.

    B:
    I don't know whether I like this position or not, but the testing so far is good and anything is better than the old position.



    That's it. Tell me your thoughts, meanwhile I am going to test this layout. (Woohoo, back to 15WPM)

    Last edited by assassassin (03-Jun-2016 13:16:36)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    You should use the img tag (in [] brackets) to present images; I'm sure you could do that with the PNG. That way we won't have to follow your link.

    Sorry if I'm going to sound negative, but we get a bunch of those YAKL (Yet Another Keyboard Layout) newbs in, wanting to improve without having grasped the finer points or done the proper analyses yet. Heck, I was one of them myself, back in 2006. ;-)

    My advice would be to change as little as possible. So, your B sucks, you've moved the M and Y pretty pointlessly etc. Tradition with German layouts, well... maybe. I abandoned the stupid Norwegian "traditions" and have been happy about it, because it allows me to type better in a world very influenced by the US layout. But in my case, that only concerns the symbol keys and your choice is about a letter. Well, think it over at least. :-)

    For D and H, also consider my milder DH-mod if that's easier to fit in with the rest. I think it's every bit as good on a normal-stagger board but of course not on a matrix board (which I don't use anyway).

    If it were up to me, I'd do the DbgHk or DvbgHm DH-mod with the ANSI Angle-Z mod instead of all that milling around, banning Z to the old B position. Since you want to move the V, maybe SteveP's DvbgHm mod is best? Or you could go for the hybrid DvbgHk if you're so inclined; it's less supported but quite doable. I agree that the QWERTY-T/Cmk-G position is inferior, but it's plenty good enough for B – especially when you have the proper CurlAngle hand/wrist positions!

    Then, the rest reduces to äöü which I'd put in the middle using a Wide mod but if not then keep them in some of the symbol key positions anyway. That's very decent, and compatible with the rest of the world so you don't get confused when moving to other keyboards.

    As you've noticed, putting a key somewhere else will likely mess up some bigrams (as with the Y in 'you'). In fact, Colemak excels in bigram stats so it's hard to come up with something that improves this important measure. Hence, you're almost sure to mess up something that'll come back and bite you in time but you may not notice it before you've learned this so well that you don't feel like fixing it. Word of warning. ;-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (03-Jun-2016 09:43:13)

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

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    • Registered: 24-May-2016
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    mmh, good points. I've thought again about what I really want and came to the conclusion that I want to change Cmk-G/H/B. The rest is fine. So I've researched some mods and have settled on this for now:

    aaa

    I like this mod a bit better though: aaa

    and I'm seriously contemplating to ditch my ANSI keyboards and get an ISO, although that would make alot of work as I have quite a collection of mechanical keyboards. It would make life easier with other keyboards (friends, work) though... tough position.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    My position on ISO vs ANSI is well known. Furthermore, for us International users, I think it's a no-brainer really. We simply need that extra key to accommodate all our special letters.

    What you've got there is SteveP's DvbgHm mod; the upper one is with the ANSI-Angle-Z mod and the lower one the ISO/main variant. I agree, this is a solid option if you prefer the QWERTY C/M positions to the QWERTY V/N positions.

    Last edited by DreymaR (03-Jun-2016 14:12:51)

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

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    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    assassassin said:

    mmh, good points. I've thought again about what I really want and came to the conclusion that I want to change Cmk-G/H/B. The rest is fine. So I've researched some mods and have settled on this for now:

    https://colemakmods.github.io/mod-dh/gf … b_ansi.png

    Much better choice :)

    If want to stick with an ANSI keyboard but want to keep the Z in the usual place, you could try something like this...  as long as you are happy to relocate the shift key. The shift keys are poorly located IMO but not everyone is happy to move them. You could for example use the left Alt key for Shift instead, which is in a much better position (reachable with left thumb).

    Colemak Z Shift
    Obviously the above is with base Colemak, so you'd still need to apply the DH mod.

    Last edited by stevep99 (04-Jun-2016 16:44:55)

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

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