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    Equating Hand Distribution (Mod-DH+Angle) Discussion

    • Started by drujd3ka
    • 6 Replies:
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    • Registered: 03-Jan-2018
    • Posts: 23

    Hello guys,

    I've been looking more and more into Colemak's (Colemak-CAW) hand distribution/alteration and based on stevep99's layout analyser, I see that the right hand works more—which, to be honest, I also feel: My right hand fingers seem to all over the place compared to the left hand fingers where a little pluck here and there gets the job done:
    5VrjhH0.png

    I've been trying to think of ways to get those numbers closer to each other as much as I can, something like 0.49:0.50, with very little luck. “The best” (personal, I guess) change I've come up so far is switching the L and P keys. It brings the numbers closer—0.47:0.52—but it's still not what I'm aiming for:
    kO3lwj5.png

    However, the good thing (in my opinion), it doesn't mess around with other values. I mean, The frequency of finger 3 (left hand index finger) only went up by 0.3, thus finger 6 (right hand index finger) received the same amount reduction, meanwhile slightly, by 0.4 increasing the finger bigram frequency—which could actually be an issue(?).

    Are there any way to bring the left and right hand finger frequency ratio closer to each other? I've been trying to think of this for a few days now and I've arrived at a wall, because the way I'm looking at it, it cannot be done without also moving some keys on the home row as well as the bottom row—which I'm strongly against, I don't won't to move the keys on the home row and the angle-mod keys (X C D V Z).

    Are there any way to achieve what I want, keeping in mind the rules above (not moving the home row and angle-mod keys)? Or is it the best that the current layout has to offer?

    I'm open to anything you guys have got to say.

    Last edited by drujd3ka (05-Mar-2018 19:03:24)
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    The issue at heart is that default Colemak has this same slight imbalance. A key design consideration of Mod-DH / Colemak-CA(W) is to keep keys on the same fingers, so of course it inherits favouring the right-hand side.

    I think it will be difficult to do anything about without having a lot of unintended knock-on effects.

    As you found, with your L/P switch, it might be not very good for same-finger bigrams. As well as MP and LT, I also worry about PH.

    It reminds me though, I also once played around with the idea of a layout that would move L to the left-hand-side:

    Q W L P G J F U Y ;
    A S R T D H N E I O
     Z X C V B K M , . /

    It's based on default Colemak, the idea is to return S to its Qwerty location, and have R and L on the same column, since RL/LR are fairly uncommon bigrams.
    The bottom row returns to default Qwerty too, but you'd type C with index finger to avoid the CR and CL bigrams (so called "alternative" fingering in my analyzer).
    Obviously it doesn't fix the DH centre column issue, but you could introduce a D>P>G and H>M>K rotations to fix that.

    It gives you a hand-balance closer to 50:50, but at a cost of slightly worse same-finger ratio and more keys switching sides, and D and B positions are not so nice.

    So all in all, you're probably better off leaving things as they are.

    Last edited by stevep99 (05-Mar-2018 18:55:37)

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

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    What I do not understand in your layout pictures is why the bottom row is shifted one key extra to the left? X is supposed to be pressed with ring finger and D with index finger. In ANSI board with Mod-DH the left pinkie is only responsible for Q and A letters.
    Talking about balance, do you count space bar? Space is more frequent than E, taking thumbs into account and pressing space with left thumb may greatly change the hands percentage distribution.

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    stevep99 said:

    So all in all, you're probably better off leaving things as they are.

    Yes, that's the end I arrive at each time I try to modify something on the layout. It would take more than just moving a few keys around on the upper row to achive a hand distribution close to 50:50.

    I would already be content with 0.49:0.51. I just really want to bring that 0.45 higher.

    ckofy said:

    What I do not understand in your layout pictures is why the bottom row is shifted one key extra to the left?

    Yup, it's indeed odd. I used the ergonomic configuration and it shifts X by one key to the left. However, it doesn't matter which configuration you use, finger frequency is going stay the same, which I ultimately would like to fix.

    ckofy said:

    X is supposed to be pressed with ring finger and D with index finger. In ANSI board with Mod-DH the left pinkie is only responsible for Q and A letters.

    That's true. Altough I do type X with my pinky on ANSI as it feels more comfortable. For me to be able to hit it with my ring finger, I have to curl my finger in an awkward way which feels unnatural. I also have to slightly raise my pinky off of the keyboard to be able to achive this.

    Perhaps it could also be beceause of the fact that I used to type on ISO keyboards, but I moved to Poland where ANSI dominates on the market.

    ckofy said:

    Talking about balance, do you count space bar? Space is more frequent than E, taking thumbs into account and pressing space with left thumb may greatly change the hands percentage distribution.

    No, I didn't count the space bar. Although I believe, you're right as pressing space with the left thumb could ease the feeling of ‘over working’ my right hand (as well as change the hands percentage distribution on paper) as I do press the space bar with my right thumb by reflex.

    I guess I'll have to work on getting my left thumb used to ‘spacing’.

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    drujd3ka said:

    Yup, it's indeed odd. I used the ergonomic configuration and it shifts X by one key to the left.

    Oh yes, I didn't notice that in your original post. The reason is, the ergonomic configuration currently assumes an ISO keyboard, and so will move the bottom-left key (Z) to the special ISO key.

    If you want to see a representation of an ANSI keyboard, you could set it to alternative configuration and use this input:

    q w f p b j l u y ;
    a r s t g k n e i o
    x c d v z m h , . /
    Last edited by stevep99 (06-Mar-2018 11:08:47)

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

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    stevep99 said:

    Oh yes, I didn't notice that in your original post. The reason is, the ergonomic configuration currently assumes an ISO keyboard, and so will move the bottom-left key (Z) to the special ISO key.

    If you want to see a representation of an ANSI keyboard, you could set it to alternative configuration and use this input:

    q w f p b j l u y ;
    a r s t g k n e i o
    x c d v z m h , . /

    Ah, okay, that makes sense. Yeah, I've been manually modifying the configuration for the tests I'm running today.

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    It stems in part from the QWERTY right-hand dominance. The fact that E is moved to the right hand doesn't help... ;-)

    Dvorak, iirc, has a left hand domination because all the vowels are there. Fans like that since you also use the right hand for the mouse.

    But I feel that the right hand is, after all, stronger. And lefties like me have more even hand balance so I don't mind for sure.

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