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  • 6-7 years loving Colemak, but please end the Capslock thing already!

    6-7 years loving Colemak, but please end the Capslock thing already!

    • Started by vjustin
    • 7 Replies:
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 16-Dec-2012
    • Posts: 75

    Loving Colemak. It's the best for the fingers (I have tried other layouts like Carpalx, and others that shall not be named here, and they made my fingers hurt)

    * Been a user on these forums already.
    * Coming from qwerty
    * Been using Colemak since 2012, some 6-7 years of using it 1-4 hours a day.
    * Learned it cold-turkey.
    * Linux, Android
    * 65-70 wpm (according to www.keyhero.com)
    * Recommendations: learn it cold turkey, you can buy stickers that fit the keys, write the new keys, stick them to the keys, and cover them with scotch tape. Also remap capslock to normal, and maybe remap AltGr to winkeys and Alt keys to Alt keys.

    Now, the criticism:

    1. It's a shame that I can't recommend Colemak to anyone, because I know how impractical it is not having a normal capslock key, and not everyone can, or want to,  spend time remapping capslock every time they buy a new computer or, reinstall linux,...
    2. In my opinion, having to write all caps text without the capslock is anti-ergonomical, I'm not an expert in ergonomics, but if you don't have the capslock key you have to make more hand, and finger movements (and wasn't the whole point of Colemak reducing finger movement?, ironic, isn't it?)
    3. The way Colemak was created apparently involved optimization through a computer program. But, as far as I recall, that isn't explained to people. And the problem with this is, that people don't realize Colemak is a very well thought and very well designed layout, and they end up, like I did, buying into nonsense like the Workman layout design rationale, that involved manually switching keys, just because workman's author believed it was an improvement. You can't compare some manual key switching with an optimization by a computer program. And Carpalx, many people believe that it is a more optimized layout than Colemak, but is that even true? WE DON'T KNOW, BECAUSE IT ISN'T MENTIONED ANYWHERE THAT COLEMAK WAS CREATED ALSO THROUGH A SOPHISTICATED OPTIMIZATION BY A COMPUTER PROGRAM (I don't even know where I read about it, and if I even read about it!!)  (and I happily typed this in a more ergonomical way using the normal capslock functionality)
    2. I think there should be a Colemak version that has the Alt keys on the Alt keys. I mean, most of the US doesn't use the Alt Gr, do they? THIS IS ALIENATING PEOPLE FROM USING COLEMAK.
    3. I know that I am not paying for using Colemak, and I love Colemak, and I wouldn't type in any other layout that I know. But I think feedback is useful, If I was Shai Coleman I'd like to get this type of feedback.
    4. Sorry if I was harsh, and ungrateful, it's just my opinion.
    Edit: Removed the South Park reference, because it was unnecessary
    Edit: Striked a point because I was wrong. (I started reading the first posts in the general subforum... it was all in there!)

    Last edited by vjustin (16-Nov-2017 06:25:02)
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    • From: UK
    • Registered: 14-Apr-2014
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    vjustin said:

    Loving Colemak.

    Glad you are enjoying it so far :P

    vjustin said:

    1. It's a shame that I can't recommend Colemak to anyone, because I know how impractical it is not having a normal capslock key, and not everyone can, or want to,  spend time remapping capslock every time they buy a new computer or, reinstall linux,...

    This is a non-issue. No-one is forcing anyone to remap Capslock. If you want to use Colemak without remapping Capslcok, you can. This is such a minor deal anyway. There are plenty of reasons why people choose not to switch to Colemak, but the Capslock issue must be about last on the list. Some people even remap capslock on Qwerty.

    vjustin said:

    2. In my opinion, having to write all caps text without the capslock is anti-ergonomical, I'm not an expert in ergonomics, but if you don't have the capslock key you have to make more hand, and finger movements (and wasn't the whole point of Colemak reducing finger movement?, ironic, isn't it?)

    Well, "official" Colemak puts backspace there. Are you suggesting you use CapsLock more than Backspace? There is no way that Capslock is more common than backspace, so this change *does* lead to less finger movement. But anyway, if you really want capslock in place, then keep it. It's your system, you can do what you want. Anyway there are better solutions than Backspace or Capslock which are more ergonomic. I refer you to DreymaR's Extend layer.

    vjustin said:

    3. The way Colemak was created apparently involved optimization through a computer program.

    What evidence do you have for this claim?

    vjustin said:

    WE DON'T KNOW, BECAUSE IT ISN'T MENTIONED ANYWHERE THAT COLEMAK WAS CREATED ALSO THROUGH A SOPHISTICATED OPTIMIZATION BY A COMPUTER PROGRAM

    I take back what I said above about caplock. For heavens sake, get rid of your capslock.

    vjustin said:

    I think there should be a Colemak version that has the Alt keys on the Alt keys. I mean, most of the US doesn't use the Alt Gr, do they?

    What are you talking about?? Colemak doesn't say anything about remapping Alt keys.

    Last edited by stevep99 (15-Nov-2017 17:57:43)

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

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    First of all, I'm sorry for some toxic things I said in my post, like calling workman nonsense. Toxic is bad.

    >> Are you suggesting you use CapsLock more than Backspace??
    Yeah. I suggest that the ideal typist that many of us aspire to be doesn't use much backspace, because he doesn't make many mistakes anymore. However all caps is, very appropriate, and very expressive in some situations SEE?

    >>What are you talking about?? Colemak doesn't say anything about remapping Alt keys.
    Last time I checked the right alt key is Alt Gr under colemak, or maybe I'm wrong, If I am wrong I apologize, but I remember different. I'll check it later.

    >>What evidence do you have for this claim?
    Yeah, I haven't any. I think I read a post by Shai suggesting that, but I'm not sure. Maybe someone like Dreymar knows?

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    Workman is not nonsense, but nor is it a very good layout IMNSHO. Also, in the same opinion you're allowed to call Norman nonsense because it is. ;-)

    Yes, Shai used computer algorithms to help him create Colemak, but not exclusively. There was a pretty solid thousand hours' work load in optimizing and testing the various possibilities, as computer programs couldn't quite tell you what would actually work best – at least not at the time (and IMNSHO not now either). Unfortunately, he never got around to writing the book on Colemak, so we have but scanty evidence for the exact methodology.

    If you use my XKB solution, the CapsLock thing is entirely optional. But I strongly recommend Extend!!! :-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (17-Nov-2017 09:39:22)

    *** 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
    • Registered: 27-Apr-2016
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    Regarding Caps Lock. The layout is not a dogma (unless it is qwerty :) ). Look to the Colemak as to recommendation of proven optimal layout, you are free to place the Caps Lock wherever you willing to. I have Caps Lock at my board, but in layer. Also I have total of 4 Backspace keys at one of my keyboards (Ergodox) and 3 at other (Let's Split) , 3/2 in the main layer and one in the additional (inspired by Extend). I'm still experimenting with these Backspaces to see which of those are redundant for me.
    Not the absence of Caps Lock is the problem that prevents to recommend Colemak to everyone. The average everyone will never invest his/her own time into non-mainstream knowledge (unless get payed for that :) )

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    DreymaR said:

    you're allowed to call Norman nonsense because it is. ;-)

    Hi DreymaR.  I tried Norman once, it felt good, I even liked it, until my fingers started to hurt a bit... Good intentions. It's designer should have read these forums beginning from the oldest posts. It never occurred to me read the forums starting from those oldest posts until just yesterday. There are a lot of replies from Shai there! and he explains a lot!  I recommend everyone to start reading the oldest posts in these forums if they want to learn more about Colemak!

    Yes, Shai used computer algorithms to help him create Colemak, but not exclusively. There was a pretty sold thousand hours' work load in optimizing and testing the various possibilities, as computer programs couldn't quite tell you what would actually work best – at least not at the time (and IMNSHO not now either). Unfortunately, he never got around to writing the book on Colemak, so we have but scanty evidence for the exact methodology.

    Yeah, I suspected you knew about the subject!  Thanks for clarifying a bit. Shai should really write a book about Colemak!

    If you use my XKB solution, the CapsLock thing is entirely optional. But I strongly recommend Extend!!! :-)

    The QUICKIE seems very practical! About youx XKB solution and Extend, I need to download it and check it out again to see if it can give me unmodded coleman layout with extra layers?

    ckofy said:

    Look to the Colemak as to recommendation of proven optimal layout, you are free to place the Caps Lock wherever you willing to.

    I like that phrase. So if we see Colemak as just the main layout then somebody could make an installer that installs a vanilla Colemak version with right alt as alt and capslock as capslock!. No questions asked. Download, run, enjoy! Wait! Isn't that almost what DreymaR's installer does? I need to check it out.

    So, ckofy, what do you use to do what you mention, DreymaR solution?, programmable keyboards?, do you modify the layouts yourself? or how do you do it?

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    My XKB solution can give you nearly unmodded Colemak (I suppose that's what you meant?) but modded ones are nicer. ;-)

    What it doesn't do is give you vanilla Colemak as far as AltGr mappings is concerned, as it's centered around my Colemak[eD] mappings. I really don't like the vanilla AltGr setup, and consider that too entirely user configurable just like CapsLock mappings.

    But the main layout is doable. However, if all you want is the standard Colemak without CapsLock mayhem then just go into the symbols/us file and comment out the Caps mapping. Since the layout is based on US that'll mean the old functionality now shines through again. You can even set CapsLock options if you want to make it something else!

    In your X11/xkb/symbols/us, comment out like this in Colemak, around line 785 or so (need sudo access to edit the system file):

    // key <CAPS> { [ BackSpace, BackSpace, BackSpace, BackSpace ] };

    I shouldn't be mean to Norman or any attempt at a better layout than Ye Olde QWERTY, I know. I'm just frustrated that there's such a jungle of suboptimal options and it obviously confuses newcomers. I hope we can devise a way to steer newcomers clear of the poorer attempts, but they keep bumping into them like you did. Seems some of them have active and vocal followers – as does Colemak of course. ;-)

    Last edited by DreymaR (17-Nov-2017 13:05:02)

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

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    vjustin said:
    ckofy said:

    Look to the Colemak as to recommendation of proven optimal layout, you are free to place the Caps Lock wherever you willing to.

    I like that phrase. So if we see Colemak as just the main layout then somebody could make an installer that installs a vanilla Colemak version with right alt as alt and capslock as capslock!. No questions asked. Download, run, enjoy! Wait! Isn't that almost what DreymaR's installer does? I need to check it out.

    So, ckofy, what do you use to do what you mention, DreymaR solution?, programmable keyboards?, do you modify the layouts yourself? or how do you do it?

    I've used different approaches. Need to say, I'm using Windows only, have some use of linux, but it is so minor that I never bothered with reconfiguring it. So, at first I just installed vanilla Colemak as another layout in Windows. Then, after some experimenting, I went to angle-wide mod and eventually to Colemak Mod-DH, so using PKL is way more convenient for these. And finally, I switched to programmable keyboards exclusively, my Windows live happily in QWERTY world and knows not about the alternative layouts. I found that approach more healthy, at least for Windows. Strange things happens with this OS sometimes. Say, I still have qwerty as one of the layers in my keyboards, not that I use it, but couple times my desktop where only qwerty exists suddenly switched to vanilla Colemak  in login window (Colemak was uninstalled long ago, so no switching options provided!). Imagine applying Colemak on the top of Colemak? That is when having qwerty may be handy, so I can at least enter login in Colemak.

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