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    Colemak on ortholinear keyboad (Planck)

    • Started by binaryplease
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    Hello,

    I just ordered a Planck keyboard and am thinking about what layout to put on it. I have been on qwerty until now and finally to decided to make a switch and try something different. I don't like the Dvorak so my two options Colemak and Workman at the moment. I will be writing in different languages and programming on it.


    - Workman seems to be optimized for ortholinear keyboards, how does Colemak perform in that respect? Are there any disadvantages or problems with ortholinear keyboards?

    - How well does Colemak work for programming and are there any special programming variants of Colemak? (like Workman-P)

    - Any other selling points on Colemak vs Workman?

    Thanks for any hints that help me decide. I would like to get this decision right and not have to learn a third keyboard layout.

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    binaryplease said:

    - How well does Colemak work for programming and are there any special programming variants of Colemak? (like Workman-P)
    - Any other selling points on Colemak vs Workman?

    Workman only really has one selling point over Colemak - which is the avoidance of the centre column keys. In other respects, Colemak wins out.
    If you are concerned about the centre column issue, then look no further than Mod-DH, a Colemak mod which addresses this issue. It is particularly well suited to ortholinear keyboards, as it puts D and H on keys which are easy to reach on an matrix board.

    mod_dh_keyb_matrix.png

    There is also a Planck thread there, and also sdothum's posts on this topic are worth a read.

    For special programming variants, the best solution is to define a custom layer on your AltGr key with whichever symbols you use most often. You can do that whichever layout you pick.

    Last edited by stevep99 (27-Mar-2017 10:15:45)

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

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    I can heartily recommend Colemak-DH over Workman (and Steve's "DvbgHm" variant is indeed the one you want for an ortho keyboard). Workman's creator seems to think that same-finger bigrams are fun. They aren't.

    With Colemak-DH you get pretty much all the advantages of Colemak which is a well-proven layout that scores very well in almost all tests. It's excellently rounded with respect to a multitude of ergonomic parameters.

    Other selling points... where do I start...? Try browsing my sig topics to see how many options you have with Colemak and its community. That's a start. In particular, note that you can learn it gradually with the Tarmak (Incremental Colemak) layouts if you want, and that there's a set of those for Mod-DH too. Also, note that Extend is as cool as cool and readily available with Colemak (although Colemak is no requirement for it as such).

    As for special programming variants: There are some, but they're not really Colemak variants as such. Colemak's policy is to lay off the symbol keys so you can do pretty much what you want with them. It's also somewhat of a tradition that AltGr mappings are up for grabs. So some people have made "coder" variants within these paradigms.

    For some more IMNSHO, check out this topic: Is Workman off its rocker?!

    Also, I've noticed that the Workman site has been "temporarily" down for quite a while now. No idea what that means. But know that Colemak has a far more vibrant community, probably the most fun gang of all the alt-layouts these days? ;-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (27-Mar-2017 10:59:44)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    did you order it on that latest massdrop?

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    Thanks,

    this is exactly the kind of information I was looking for!

    I will check out Colemak-DH/ Mod-DH (they are the same, right?) and probably start with it as soon as my Planck arrives. Make the letter "D" easier to reach is particularly useful for me, as a lot of my typing is done in German, which uses it a lot.

    (and Steve's "DvbgHm" variant is indeed the one you want for an ortho keyboard).

    Isn't the Mod-DH already optimized for ortho keyboards?
    They are mentioned on the homepage under "matrix/ergonomic" explicitly, also where can I find that?
    If there is a ortho-optimized layout out there, it seems like a good idea to give it a go!

    Also, note that Extend is as cool as cool and readily available with Colemak

    What is Extend? (really bad name to google for ;) )

    did you order it on that latest massdrop?

    Yes, still waiting for it. I hope it doesn't take too long.

    Last edited by binaryplease (27-Mar-2017 12:54:22)
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    Haha, newcomers are often confused by all the jargon on this forum, you can take look at this guide I wrote which is intended to be a quick reference.

    Last edited by stevep99 (27-Mar-2017 13:08:17)

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

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    For answers to all your questions above, check out my signature topics (try the XKB one, even if you aren't using Linux, as it's the main one)!

    Unfortunately, SteveP tends to forget to mention more than fleetingly that there are other DH-mod variants than his own in play; when he says "Mod-DH" he means his own preferred variant (which I call Colemak-DH(DvbgHm). He did invent the first DH-mod so I'll give him that, at least, although I wish he'd be more informative in this matter. However, his is the one that suits ortho boards anyway, so rest assured you're on the right track.

    We both agree on Extend being excellent, by the way! Again, it's all found from my sig topics. ;-)

    Also, as a general tip: For Colemak-specific info, use the forum search function rather than Google.

    Last edited by DreymaR (27-Mar-2017 14:48:33)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    DreymaR said:

    Unfortunately, SteveP tends to forget to mention more than fleetingly that there are other DH-mod variants than his own in play;

    The page that describes the DH mod concept describes the various mods fairly I think.

    I grant you the main "Colemak Mod-DH" page only briefly mentions the other option, as this was created and named before other variants evolved.

    OP was asking about otholinear, so there was not much point mentioning DbgHk this time.

    Last edited by stevep99 (27-Mar-2017 16:17:30)

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

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    As the Planck keyboard is fully programmable, you can create as many additional layers as you want (and the Planck's controller has memory for). One of these layers may be what we call Extend here. Look to the Plank thread mentioned above, sdothum gave there a great example of what can be done in the area of programming layers in Planck.

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    Are there shareable resources for these programmable layers? If anyone makes a Planck file with my/our Extend solution, I'd love to share it! :-)

    stevep99 said:

    The page that describes the DH mod concept describes the various mods fairly I think.

    So it does, Steve, so it does. Sorry if I came across as crass there. It just seems hard to get all relevant info out to newcomers.

    By the way, since you now mention the Dpg... mod, what about the ...Lh(k/m) variants? Seems nice enough, especially for people with a first language that has more common L than H (French, Spanish, Nordic...). Although I'm in that category though, I won't be converting to it as I type a lot of English and don't want to move any more keys than necessary. But I've seen some people grumbling over the Colemak L position so it could be worth mentioning for them. I'd just give them a sentence, an image shouldn't be necessary I think.

    Last edited by DreymaR (28-Mar-2017 14:35:07)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    Hello, Thanks for the help!

    If I understood correctly what I want for my Plank when it arrives really is Colemak-DH (DvbgHm) which on a ortho means:
    mod_dh_keyb_matrix.png

    Since I ordered from massdrop it will take a while until it arrives. AIso I need a Iayout to use while on staggered keyboards.
    At the moment I'm using a ANSI keyboard (Das Keyboard). I set my system to default colemak (I'm going cold turkey and typing these lines at about 2wpm :) ) but would like to have a Colemak-DH (DvbgHm) on this keyboard too, as similar as possible to the "real thing" I will be using on the plank. My brain is already on fire being rewired to a new layout.

    There are a few options here https://colemakmods.github.io/ergonomic-mods/dh.html and here https://colemakmods.github.io/mod-dh/ but I cant decide which is best suited for me.

    Which will be the easiest transition and most compatible between ortho and staggered?

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    DreymaR said:

    By the way, since you now mention the Dpg... mod, what about the ...Lh(k/m) variants? Seems nice enough, especially for people with a first language that has more common L than H (French, Spanish, Nordic...). Although I'm in that category though, I won't be converting to it as I type a lot of English and don't want to move any more keys than necessary. But I've seen some people grumbling over the Colemak L position so it could be worth mentioning for them. I'd just give them a sentence, an image shouldn't be necessary I think.

    Yeah, I remember the L issue coming up previously, so is probably worth a mention. For languages where H is rare, maybe even a straight M-L would work, thus keeping H in Qwerty position. Mind you, if people get that far, they probably understand the basic idea of being free to move around those index finger keys, in which case it's not too much a stretch to customise their own.

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

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    binaryplease said:

    Hello, Thanks for the help!

    If I understood correctly what I want for my Plank when it arrives really is Colemak-DH (DvbgHm) which on a ortho means:
    https://colemakmods.github.io/mod-dh/gf … matrix.png

    Yes, you nailed it :P

    binaryplease said:

    There are a few options here https://colemakmods.github.io/ergonomic-mods/dh.html and here https://colemakmods.github.io/mod-dh/ but I cant decide which is best suited for me.

    Which will be the easiest transition and most compatible between ortho and staggered?

    Since you're planning to use Colemak-DH (DvbgHm) on your Planck, it would make sense to match as closely as you can to that layout on your staggered keyboard.
    In an ideal world, the best would be for you to apply "angle mod" style fingering, and use the Mod-DH ISO variant.

    However, you have an ANSI keyboard, which means you can't move the Z to the ideal location. If you can live with the Z being in a different place, you could go with the ANSI-Z option.

    Mind you, since your planck has lots of nice thumb keys on the bottom row, you could use one of these for Shift, instead of using the pinkies. If you are prepared to use non-standard Shift keys, it opens up new possibilities. I am using the right alt key for shift key on my staggered keyboard, and I find it better than using the default shift keys. I have ranted a little about this also. Although this option is a bit more radical, this gives you the option of something like this.

    I appreciate it's a lot to take in all at once, so you might want to take your time and take things in stages. But with the many keys on the Planck's bottom row though, you'll probably find it tempting to use them for useful modifiers, and it will be hard to replicate that on standard keyboards with their stupid long space bars.

    Last edited by stevep99 (30-Mar-2017 14:57:45)

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

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    Depending on your programming needs, the Planck, indeed, is very well suited for such. Layers is the name of the game. And with those, you can design layers which meet very specific programming needs -- even keys which can type out complex strings and place the cursor between tokens. In my case, my additional layers provide entering numeric expressions and regular expressions.

    I have implemented my version of the wide layout by pushing the home row to the edges of the keyboard and it is noticeably more comfortable to type with. My current layout may be found here.

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    Make sure you study my and Steve's Extend layers at least, for those juicy options. They're awesome. :-)

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

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