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- From: North Carolina
- Registered: 04-Jul-2017
- Posts: 3
I've looked at Colemak and all of the other keyboard layout options publicly available on the internet, and I've noticed that nearly all of them have at least one set of keys that switched hands. There are 0 popular layouts without such keys. Even minimak and qwpr have keys that switch hands.
Most commonly, there is an E-K switch (and then the K is rotated somewhere else) or there is an E-P switch, and bizarrely in the case of Asset there is a J-R switch.
I realize a lot of people say that adjusting to a new layout just takes time and practice, but even though almost any other key switch has been fine for me, swapping a right-hand key with a left-hand key almost seems like a mental block for me. I just can't do it. When I make the swaps that are independent of those hand-swapped keys, I can type at 60 wpm with no typos, and then as soon as I make the adjustment everything just crashes and burns down to 20 wpm.
It could be an issue of perseverance, it could be something about the way I learn, it could be just me imagining things are this bad and the placebo "psychs me out".
But I guess I've got a thought experiment I'd like to pose to designers far more experienced than me - if you were to apply Colemak's design principles to the keyboard, but 0 hand-swapped keys were allowed as a rule...what would your keyboard look like? Because currently, I'm basically just making something customized for myself, with swapped keys but no hand-swapped keys.
I have no real experience in this. What I've got so far, using AutoHotKey, is:
QWDG F J UKL; ASET R Y NIOH ZXCV B P M,.?
And yes, I do know that swapping E over to the right hand is a huge load of irreplaceable goodness - it balances the typing load on both hands and it assigns E to a strong finger plus you've got more alternation between hands when typing English words.
But that's off the table. What is the best-case scenario when that's off the table?
EDIT: I've seen folks talk about "when you make one change, it's tempting to make more, so why not go all the way" elsewhere in the forums. I'm familiar with that mindset - and honestly I'm happy to do a larger amount of changes or less, that's not the issue. The issue is for whatever reason I can't abide hand-swapped keys.