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    Anybody here maintaining Colemak, Dvorak, and QWERTY?

    • Started by Nikk
    • 9 Replies:
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    • Registered: 18-Feb-2017
    • Posts: 13

    I just started learning Colemak about a week ago, and I'm finally past the painful initial part and can maintain 30-40 wpm.

    I picked up Dvorak about 8 years ago, and have maintained speed in both Dvorak and QWERTY at a sustained 100+ WPM.  I spent about my first 6 months exclusively on Dvorak, but at that point I recall it being very easy to jump back into QWERTY.  Once I was comfortable enough with both, I did drills where I would switch layouts every other sentence or word, and I've used different layouts by default on different computers.

    I don't know how feasible it'll be to maintain three layouts, though.  One of my bigger concerns is how similar Colemak and QWERTY are; I feel like that's going to make it harder to mentally distinguish those two layouts.  Have you tried this?  Even if you're just maintaining QWERTY and Colemak, are the similarities an issue ever?

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    • Registered: 14-Dec-2012
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    That is quite a challenge. I wish you all the best.

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    • Registered: 11-Jan-2017
    • Posts: 45

    1 Week to 30-40 WPM, Wow!!!

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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
    • Posts: 711

    30-40 wpm is very fast after only a week. Which makes me wonder if it becomes easier to learn a new layout if you've gone through the process before. Perhaps the process of learning can itself be learned!?

    I am curious though: Why would you want to maintain three different layouts?

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

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,742

    Like Steve said, why would you want to retain two optimized layouts? Dvorak and Colemak have quite similar performance, so I suggest selecting one (no points for guessing which one I chose!) and forgetting about the other!

    I have a fairly good QWERTY experience although I'm not blind-typing it anymore, but I just let my Dvorak slip away into oblivion as I didn't need it anymore.

    *** 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: 18-Feb-2017
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    I may end up dropping one or the other, but I feel like I'm not going to be able to determine which one I like best until I've gotten up to speed with Colemak.  That won't be a fair comparison unless I'm also active with Dvorak, and maintaining QWERTY is practical since it's the default.  I also really like the mental challenge of switching and maintaining them; I do similar things by training myself to write with my non-dominant hand.

    It may be that learning it is faster because I already have two layouts that I know, so I don't have as strong of an association of "this key is always this."  I've also been practicing quite a lot so that I can be competent at work with it.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,742

    It'll never be a fair comparison, basically. I don't think it can be, because of history and ingraining.

    The fact that you've elected to learn Colemak at all suggests that you want to switch. Come to the Colemak side, we have WARS and rolls! ;-)

    *** 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: 18-Feb-2017
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    Actually, I'm learning it because my coworker started learning Dvorak (why not suffer along with him?), and I was curious about the implications of three layouts.  I love Dvorak, but I'm a very "why not both?" kind of girl.

    Last edited by Nikk (20-Feb-2017 06:59:57)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,742

    If you're that adventurous, I certainly wish you godspeed and the best of luck! It'll be an interesting experiment for sure, so keep us posted.

    If you haven't already, then check out my signature topics. There's far more to these woods than just the basic layout! :-)

    *** 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: 18-Feb-2017
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    Will do!  I've been logging my speeds on the default 10fastfingers.com basic English speed test just about every day since I started.  I'll probably compile the screenshots somewhere.

    At the moment I can't go back into my other layouts anymore, but the same thing happened with my QWERTY when I learned Dvorak, so I'm not too concerned about it.  Once I'm up to at least 60wpm and am not making constant mistakes, I think I'll be comfortable sorting out the different mappings in my brain.

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