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    Thoughts about the classic Dvorak numbers row

    • Started by ckofy
    • 8 Replies:
    • Reputation: 20
    • From: Chicago
    • Registered: 27-Apr-2016
    • Posts: 214

    I found that idea at reddit and it seemed to be interesting. The classic Dvorak's number row is not 12345 67890 but 75319 02468. The idea behind it is to balance hands usage when typing numbers. Also, statistically the numbers 1,2 are typed more often then say 67. But not only that attracted me in that idea. Dvorak for sure proposed to change position of symbols and do not use the qwerty binding of number-symbol on the same key. That works with Dvorak only, because it assumes that other symbols are positioned the Dvorak way. But the guy at reddit proposed to do not change number-symbol combinations. Then for the symbols we have &%#!( )@$^*. That is what attracted me much. Personally I use () and !@ a way more often than say &%^. So then why I have & under index finger and ! under pinkie? Also, I always fish out  for 1 in the corner and mistype it with 2 quite often, with these two numbers under different index fingers this will not happen again.
    Long story short, I've reprogrammed my Planck and Let's Split for that new number row and going to give it a try at work. BTW, I started to use Let's Split at work exclusively, one week it passed so far.
    This is the reddit post I told about. https://www.reddit.com/r/dvorak/comment … ic_dvorak/

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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    I can see the logic behind Dvorak's suggestion, but if you are up for moving numbers at all, I think there are better options still. For example, in numeric keypad style:

      7 8 9
      4 5 6
    0 1 2 3

    Having these in a conveniently accessible layer under the right hand is better still, because the pattern of numbers is already familiar, and they are closer to your home position than the number row.

    I also have the most common symbols, like () {}, in the same layer under my left hand, so in practice, I rarely need to reach for the number row at all.

    Last edited by stevep99 (24-Sep-2017 13:43:25)

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

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    • From: Chicago
    • Registered: 27-Apr-2016
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    I have common brackets, dashes and so on in layer as well. Regarding numpad, the pattern is familiar, but it is still visual for me, I can not touch-type on it. And did you think about that at numpad you can use maximum three fingers, while in number's row you can use eight? In Planck and Let's Split there is no number's row above the letters, I have numbers in layer as well, and I programmed them in home row, with symbols above in top row, so they can be accessed without shift.

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    • From: Chicago
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    Here is my modification of Let's Split for learning alternative number's row. People at work tend to look strange to you if you struggle with the keyboard, so I need some cheat sheet. ;)

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    Yeah, the numpad-layout does have the downside that despite the familiar pattern, it's not automatic to touch-type with it. Most people are used to using one or two fingers only on a keypad. But it's still quite easily to adapt to though. The fact that you are only using three fingers doesn't matter too much I find, except for the common 10 bigram which is frequent enough to be noticeable.

    At least with the Planck, you have more options for layers, so you can easily have numbers and symbols in separate layers!

    But with the Dvorak scheme, the 0 seems a bit under-optimized, being on a diagonal (like J!). A better right-hand side might be 8 0 2 4 6...  that would put the 8 and 9 on the two inner diagonals, which should be the least frequent according to Benford's Law.

    Last edited by stevep99 (25-Sep-2017 16:25:11)

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

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    • From: Belgium
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    stevep99 said:

    [...] except for the common 10 bigram which is frequent enough to be noticeable.

    I use index/middle/ring finger for the numpad and thumb for zero.  That way the 10 bigram is excellent. :-)

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    NumPad touch typing is a thing! Just not common for people who don't work with number entry a lot. Good NumPad form is using 4–5 fingers, actually: Pinky for Enter and +. Even thumb for 0, if it's comfy for you. I can imagine that being helpful for long strings of zeros, rolling thumb and middle finger on the fat zero key.

    The main-block NumPad of laptop Fn and our (second) Extend layers has stagger on normal-staggered keyboards, which will be a bit... well... staggering... at first. ;-) But I got used to it soon enough.

    Caveats for NumPad Extend, which I have mentioned elsewhere: Do map 0 to two keys to emulate the fat 0 on physical NumPads! This'll allow proper form in which 10/01/20/02 bigrams are typed with two fingers to avoid same-finger fatigue. The latter is a very real problem because of the prevalence of '10'.

    I also put comma to the left of 0, so I could write '1,000,000,000' with rolls over three adjacent keys. ;-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (25-Sep-2017 14:16:49)

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

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    • From: Chicago
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    Steve, thank you for the advice! I had unclear feeling regarding the 0 position, as it is obviously quite frequent digit, this shift making it much better.
    So as I see, Dvorak's number row started from 1 at left hand and then jumped left-right with last two digits in the middle columns, but now the number row starts with 0 at right hand and jumps right-left, and again the last two digits are in the middle. That perfectly make sense for me.
    It breaks a little the beauty of () on two adjacent keys, but (*) looks good as well.

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    Arydigital said:

    I also have the most common symbols, like () {}, in the same layer under my left hand, so in practice, I rarely need to reach for the number row at all.

    +1

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

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