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Is Workman off its rocker?!?

  • Started by DreymaR
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DreymaR said:

Obviously. And I'm a bit sad now.

I'm sorry. :( That really wasn't my intention. Not at all.

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DreymaR said:

Obviously. And I'm a bit sad now.

SteveP has made really nice web pages, escaping the forum format that I haven't been able to shirk so far. His pages are nice, clear, very hypertextual.

He has been concerned mainly with his own works, not with painting the big picture of things. I've tried to make a truly Big Bag to showcase my own contributions but also with a clear view on the works of the whole Colemak community in mind. Because where would we be without each other? The Big Bag is something I've put way too much effort into, but it contains so many contributions from the wonderful Colemak innovators and other contributors over the years, apart from the great Shai himself. Where would we be without Cevgar, Farkas Máté, Ghen, the Bépo gang, Karl Nordstrom,  ... and SteveP? Not the wonderful place we are today, that's for sure.

SteveP has been a Colemak contributor since 2014, and has done much good. But Colemak has been around since 2006 and I came in only a year after that. There's already quite a history to our favourite layout and its various bells and whistles!

But because SteveP has a snappier design and doesn't mention the rest of us much, people appear to forget or miss all that and think that all the bright minds that contributed are but a lemma to his part. That's disheartening. Ugh. :-(

On my Mod-DH/Colemak-DH pages, I'm not aiming to present a comprehensive guide to the Colemak ecosystem and the history of mods. Nor should I, the aim is to present a clear guide to that one mod. Of course, that doesn't mean I don't fully acknowledge the prior works on which it depends: Colemak itself, the angle mod, and yes, even Workman!

I think that azuvix's point is more that the wide mod and Extend are both complementary to *any* layout, and so are "add-ons" in the sense that you choose your base layout first, then you might investigate further what's out there, and end up adopting these also.

Last edited by stevep99 (10-Jul-2018 10:39:47)

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

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stevep99 said:

I think that azuvix's point is more that the wide mod and Extend are both complementary to *any* layout, and so are "add-ons" in the sense that you choose your base layout first, then you might investigate further what's out there, and end up adopting these also.

I completely agree to this point.

But, unfortunately, because of existence of ANSI and ISO boards and because ANSI is not friendly to angle mod, my opinion is that for the purpose of “common base” the angle mod should be treated as “add-on” as well.

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ckofy said:

But, unfortunately, because of existence of ANSI and ISO boards and because ANSI is not friendly to angle mod, my opinion is that for the purpose of “common base” the angle mod should be treated as “add-on” as well.

In a non-angle-mod "common base", how would that work if you are using Colemak-DH? Would you use traditional fingering, and have D in the Qwerty V position? To my mind, that would go against the mod's whole philosophy.

There is kind of a "common base" for ANSI already, it's the variant with Z in the Qwerty B position.

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

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stevep99 said:
ckofy said:

But, unfortunately, because of existence of ANSI and ISO boards and because ANSI is not friendly to angle mod, my opinion is that for the purpose of “common base” the angle mod should be treated as “add-on” as well.

In a non-angle-mod "common base", how would that work if you are using Colemak-DH? Would you use traditional fingering, and have D in the Qwerty V position? To my mind, that would go against the mod's whole philosophy.

There is kind of a "common base" for ANSI already, it's the variant with Z in the Qwerty B position.

Agree to that as well. Stupid ANSI board, it spoils everything! Having such nuances will not help in popularization of the mod. Ask the average computer's user what board is he using, ANSI or ISO, it many cases there are no understanding of that is different between them. Colemak is not intending to be ergonomic on the standard board, but has only one variant, and this is easy to grasp for everybody. Colemak-DH require more "geekiness" from the user to understand it.

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ckofy said:

[...] my opinion that the only way to come with one Colemak-DH similar to one Colemak is to stick to ANSI keyboard and call letters moving without applying Angle-Wide "THE" main mod, and anything else "extensions". Exactly the thing that DreymaR is arguing against.

Let me see if we understand each other correctly:
• You cannot apply Colemak-DH without an Angle mod, as they are intertwined. This is why I also call it Curl(DH)Angle.
• I do agree that the Angle mod is a kind of "add-on" or module in the sense that you can choose between different solutions.
• But it's still a necessary requirement for Colemak-DH!
• I would be strongly against choosing ANSI over ISO as "THE" standard! They both exist in large numbers, and I prefer ISO anyway.

• Whether to include the Wide mod in the standard package or not is indeed open to discussion.
• My choice to do so is based on the observation above that Colemak-DH requires more "geekiness" and dedication.
• Therefore, to avoid being overworked I've opted to primarily deliver the two main choices of Vanilla or Full Package (CAW).
• I'm probably going to still supply (A)Wide without DH and DH without (A)Wide because I'm a perfectionist... and overwork myself... ;-)
• I'm not arguing against providing Colemak-DH without the Wide mod as such! I'm merely making choices for my packages.
• In the presentation of Colemak-DH I think it shouldn't be mixed with WIde or other unessential mods, to keep things clear.

Last edited by DreymaR (10-Jul-2018 22:30:21)

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stevep99 said:

I'm not aiming to present a comprehensive guide to the Colemak ecosystem and the history of mods. Nor should I, the aim is to present a clear guide to that one mod.

I get that, and I think I said as much. I think your mission is clear and well-formed enough. However, as we know find that people may fail to see the bigger picture when they start out at your site, I personally would wish that you did include some kind of opening paragraph stating that there is indeed a bigger picture. Consider a little intro to put your mod into the wider (hehe) perspective. That may ease the understanding of the rest of your guide too I think? Or maybe I'm mistaken there.

At the very least, you could make it crystal clear that you didn't invent the various Angle or Wide mods (if you haven't already and I just missed it). I think you owe the rest of the community that much. If you like, you can simply point people who want to know more about details and history to my Big Bag where they'll find much more info than they ever wanted. ;-)

Last edited by DreymaR (10-Jul-2018 22:32:36)

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DreymaR said:

• You cannot apply Colemak-DH without an Angle mod, as they are intertwined. This is why I also call it Curl(DH)Angle.

Yes, they are intertwined, because otherwise D is not in the good position for the standard keyboard. But just as a side note, not pretending to be a mainstream, I'm using the split columnar staggered keyboard to which neither Angle nor Wide mods are applicable to, and changes of Colemak-DH for me are effectively just moving letters in the middle columns.   

DreymaR said:

• I do agree that the Angle mod is a kind of "add-on" or module in the sense that you can choose between different solutions.

Yes, and I myself started with just Angle mod applied to vanilla Colemak.

DreymaR said:

• But it's still a necessary requirement for Colemak-DH!

For the standard row-staggered keyboards, see my previous point.

DreymaR said:

• I would be strongly against choosing ANSI over ISO as "THE" standard! They both exist in large numbers, and I prefer ISO anyway.

I have the same feeling, ISO board is a perfect fit for Colemak-DH. But it is more rare than white unicorns in USA. Many people from ANSI side will just turn away as soon as they see that ISO board is required to use the mod.

DreymaR said:

• Whether to include the Wide mod in the standard package or not is indeed open to discussion.
• My choice to do so is based on the observation above that Colemak-DH requires more "geekiness" and dedication.
• Therefore, to avoid being overworked I've opted to primarily deliver the two main choices of Vanilla or Full Package (CAW).
• I'm probably going to still supply (A)Wide without DH and DH without (A)Wide because I'm a perfectionist... and overwork myself... ;-)
• I'm not arguing against providing Colemak-DH without the Wide mod as such! I'm merely making choices for my packages.
• In the presentation of Colemak-DH I think it shouldn't be mixed with WIde or other unessential mods, to keep things clear.

I vote for simplification and less number of options in the "introductory package". Just Angle mod and letters moved around looks good.

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Okay, I note your points. Good point about the columnar boards in which the Angle mod indeed doesn't really exist. But in the spirit of sanity... not sure what to present then.

On the light side, what a columnar board user needs in lieu of an Angle mod is a pure B-V swap then. And as luck would have it, I've made such a swap for my PKL files since I needed it for Extend with Curl anyway. :-)

I will have Cmk-CAW in my package! I promote it, as it's the layout I use and favor. And I will have vanilla Colemak, out of respect and sanity. So less number of options to me means cutting out something else. Your vote is noted but that's how I must think.

Last edited by DreymaR (10-Jul-2018 23:34:00)

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One more comment I have regarding the matrix/columnar boards. I think that in sake of unification we should not promote a special mode for matrix/ergonomic keyboard as it is mentioned at the bottom of the page at https://colemakmods.github.io/mod-dh/keyboards.html
M in the middle or M in the bottom row does not worth the schism, whoever want to do further custom modification of the layout can always do that themselves. M in the bottom row of the matrix board or even Ergodox is really not a huge inconvenience (and I'm using such boards exclusively for almost a year now). I used to use M in the middle for some time, and I'm not quite sure that it is for better though. This is something basically wrong about "qwerty H" position in Colemak because whatever you put there will create inconvenient to use bigram with E.  ME and MN bigrams happens more often than KE and even KN, this is my point that K in the middle is better. Also, with this version K and M remains in their qwerty rows, which is better for using sculptured keycaps for mechanical keyboards, Colemak version is possible to buy, Colemak-DH obviously not, but there are only 3 caps required for it in addition to Colemak, D and H in bottom row and B in top row, so I hope that one day I will be able to have Colemak-DH sculptured keycaps. :)

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I have to give my $0.02 on that point at least. For the matrix layouts that I've used that are either perfectly aligned or vertically staggered, you are absolutely correct and the "M in the middle" can be demoted to a footnote. For something like the Kinesis Advantage, however, the situation changed in my experience. The fact that it is a grid layout on a curved plane is different enough that the M key becomes a real nuisance when you're using it often.

Granted, that is where the QWERTY "N" was before and I don't remember it being uncomfortable there. But I find that once you're accustomed to better ergonomics, your level of sensitivity to what is sub-optimal tends to go up and the old way that you did things is pretty uncomfortable. It's kind of like having your foot in the wrong shoe. For cases like those, the M's repositioning does make sense.

I should also mention that, changing back and forth between both staggered and grid layouts daily until recently, I think that some may have a hard time using both keyboard types. It usually took a few minutes to get in the right mindset and stop making silly errors, and I eventually stuck with the less comfortable option of having boards with the exact same layout (whether they were grid or staggered) so that I didn't waste any time at work. Perhaps it's a good thing that not everyone owns and uses more than one keyboard with different staggering. Those that use only one kind don't have to deal with a weird issue like that.

So there's an example of an edge case who gave both possibilities a fair shot. :P

Last edited by azuvix (11-Jul-2018 13:18:03)
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Yeah. My stance on the M-in-the-middle variant (Colemak-DHm) is to make it available but not on the "front page". People who need it should have access to it, but I won't promote it (much) to avoid confusing newcomers.

Last edited by DreymaR (11-Jul-2018 09:53:19)

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Fair points, probably better to have a single "primary" standard, with the M-in-the-middle variant relegated to a footnote. I'll update it... at some point.

Last edited by stevep99 (11-Jul-2018 14:04:53)

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

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