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    Caps Locks to Backspace in Other Layouts

    • Started by Chupo
    • 8 Replies:
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    • Registered: 15-Feb-2016
    • Posts: 12

    I'm a Dvorak user and was seriously considering switching to Colemak just for the Caps locks to backspace feature as I'm always having to reposition my hand on the home row after correcting a mistake. After a couple of days of my brain hurting, I figured it wasn't worth it. As someone once said, going from Dvorak to Colemak is like moving next door to reduce your commute.  :D 

    Anyway, I found what I was looking for in my Plasma system preferences. I had no idea it was even there myself so I figured I'd share in case anyone else was unaware of how easy it is to get this. I don't know if it's available in other desktop environments or OSes.

    In KDE Plasma, look under the advanced tab in the keyboard settings. Was this option inspired by Colemak?

    Screenshot_20170819_154228.png

    Last edited by Chupo (19-Aug-2017 20:44:55)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    It most likely was, yes. However, Linux does the right thing and tries to keep improvements modular. I try to follow the same philosophy. Hence, I separate the CapsLock mapping from the letter block layout (and furthermore, lvl3–4 mappings and symbol key mappings as well).

    My suggestion is using the CapsLock key for Extend. But unfortunately it's not well implemented for this MacOS version ttbomk. On Linux one may use my Big Bag of Tricks for XKB.

    Last edited by DreymaR (17-Aug-2017 08:53:05)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    Extend and the mirrored keyboard look great! Linux FTW! 

    I've still been practicing Colemak. I've never touch typed on QWERTY. I used all my fingers but still had to look at the keyboard. I first learned to touch type on Dvorak in 2002. I bought cheezy little stickers for my keyboard, which I now know were unnecessary. :)  Colemak is quite a different experience. Some of the rolls are nice. I could type "nine" all day long but some aren't. Words with "a" in them like "bat" seem very awkward as well as strings with more than two or three letters on the same hand. That might be because I've been used to high hand alternation for 15 years. People coming from qwerty probably wouldn't even notice. I'd probably get used to it eventually though.

    Most of my mistakes come from substituting Dvorak vowels. TH is another. I want to hit T with my left hand but middle finger and H I want to hit with my right hand but in the Dvorak position. I probably will stick with Dvorak and maybe learn how to touch type on qwerty. It'd be more practical. I do look like an idiot whenever I have to use someone else's keyboard! :lol:

    Last edited by Chupo (19-Aug-2017 02:22:11)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    I agree, 'bat' isn't the best word on Colemak! :-)

    TH is tricky, and THE is not only tricky but extremely common. I think it works much better with the Curl(DH) mod.

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    "Th" doesn't really bother me unless it's capitalized. Then, moving from shift to H feels like I'm stretching. It's the same reason I don't like "bat" or "baggage" . I think this is why it *feels* like I'm moving my fingers more under Colemak than under Dvorak. There seems to be more hurdles too, which gives the illusion of more movement even though my fingers are actually traveling less.

    I was really surprised how quickly I memorized all the keys - in an afternoon. I hadn't even finished Klavaro before I was able to start practicing on the speed test sites. It took a lot longer for me to memorize all the keys when I started Dvorak. Then again, I had those stupid silly little stickers on my keyboard, which no doubt impeded my progress.

    What are the differences in stats (same finger, hurdles, alternation, etc) between vanilla Colemak and the DH mod?

    One thing that surprised me is how many people seem to use keyboard shortcuts. I've never used them. I've always just used the mouse to select and then right clicked to cut copy or paste.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    For capitalized Th, the correct technique would be using the right-hand Shift key. Other than that, you may consider Sticky Shift, in which you don't have to hold the Shift key down if you type the next letter shortly after tapping a Shift.

    With Extend, I use the mouse less. It's also made me aware of further shortcuts such as window commands (maximize/minimize etc).

    The problem with stats is that they're very dependent on the modeler! And some of the modeling preferences are fairly individual. A feature of the Curl(DH) mod however, is that it doesn't change any key-to-finger mappings! So all same-finger and suchlike are as excellent as in vanilla Colemak, which is a great boon and a point where Workman fails, for instance. (Its maker even says that same-finger bigrams aren't really bad... yeah, right...!) Travel is affected only slightly, which leaves key weightings and n-gram goodness – the latter is difficult to model well.

    Check out stevep99's colemakmods page. His Layout Analyzer shows the stats from a DH-modder's perspective. If you agree with his premises, his answers will be valid for you too. :-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (22-Aug-2017 08:53:40)

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

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    Yeah, I use right shift. I'm already used to it now though. I can type The without thinking.   The thing about mod D-H is that it moves more common letters from the center column to the bottom. I don't like the bottom row. I think it's easier to hit the center column.

    As I typed "D-H" I realized how much I miss my Dvorak hyphen!  :(

    Sticky Shift sounds awesome!  :) That should be the way keyboards work these days. There is no need to physically move the carriage anymore.

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    Chupo said:

    I don't like the bottom row. I think it's easier to hit the center column.

    As I typed "D-H" I realized how much I miss my Dvorak hyphen!  :(

    The Dvorak hyphen is obviously better than the Qwerty/Colemak hyphen, but then any keys on the top-far right corner are terrible. That's why my hyphen is mapped to to AltGr+O instead.

    But regarding the bottom row, it depends which keys you are talking about. Since you come from Dvorak background, you are used to prioritising centre-row keys, including the I and D, which are the Dvorak equivalent of D and H. There is a certain amount of conventional wisdom knocking around that all centre-row keys are automatically better. But considering the matter objectively, it's hard to maintain this argument. Especially when comparing to the angle-mod index-finger bottom row keys (Qwerty C and M).

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

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    It may be that I'm just more used to hitting the center than the bottom. Dvorak has ruined me! lol.

    Last edited by Chupo (27-Aug-2017 18:25:53)
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