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Colemak is the best – but the world is stubborn

  • Started by 王凯
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  • From: Oslo, Norway
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So in sum, Karabiner Elements does not work just fine. Oy vey.

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No, because scripting like Karabiner is not available. Only swaps and included sequences.

It sucks but is a really niche problem considering the overall support of the layout itself.

ColemakDH typist

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The keyboard is also a bit restrictive. I type on Mac and I can just hold down on any vowel that'll prompt me for an accent I'd like to choose. Colemak can't do that

For what it's worth, this functionality works for me on my Mac using Colemak, at least typing in English? I do sympathize with not installing or plugging around extra stuff. I stopped relying on Karabiner because it introduced an additional layer of potential bugs or eventual breakage. In the end of the day, I don't want extra 3rd party alterations or processes running on my system.

Probably an unpopular opinion here, but I actually recommend learning how to type better in Qwerty. I can type equally well in both layouts (with equivalent form), and I don't actually feel a significant comfort advantage.

(edit: it kind of blows my mind that I've been a colemak typist for about 4 years now)

Last edited by Zorg (25-Mar-2018 00:48:19)
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My partner doesn't touch type 'properly', but is pretty fast on a keyboard.  They also picked up touch keyboards on both Android and Apple devices without much effort.  They are zippy.

Sure I can type faster using Dvorak.  But, I made an effort to learn it, they did not.

Anyway I can just about type English using Dvorak.  I'd struggle with any funny characters, let alone another language.

When I was in France, I went to a cyber cafe, and was faced with Azerty.  I got by.  It's not all Qwerty everywhere!  Chinese is the most spoken language, that's not much use to me where I live.

Back in school we only had about 12 computers and got rare access to them.  So it's interesting for me to hear that they are used, and how much they are used, and in what country that is?

After walking around a large techno-superstore in the UK looking for a laptop the other day, I was very disappointed with the selection on offer.  To me it looked as a tablet was better value for money.  And I would have thought that manual finger typing would become less and less of a necessity.  I said that five years back - and yet the keyboard still exists.

I know others don't agree with me on this, but typing aids - like predictive text - are, and could be so much more of a boon.  And I'd have thought the aids more likely to occur and advance on touch based keyboards than the classic switch/button ones.  Or it might be that people can bypass finger entry by dictating.

In short: I want to say don't waste your time.  But if you imagine keyboards will be here for the foreseeable future, and you think it will be good for you then go for it.

Bad posture and habits caught up with me under my bastardised hunt and peck style on Qwerty, and that's the reason I sought an alternative keyboard layout in the first place.  Not that I'm totally fixed.  Do take care of yourself.

As the science behind these alternative layouts is a bit lightweight to say the least.  You might be the best judge of comfort.

I should add, that I rarely if ever use Qwerty at all these days.

Last edited by pinkyache (25-Mar-2018 16:43:14)

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I think if you are a producer rather than a consumer then the switch based keyboard has still yet to be beaten

I couldn't work with a touch screen or some alexa type device

Its painfully inaccurate and slow in comparison

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bph said:

I think if you are a producer rather than a consumer then the switch based keyboard has still yet to be beaten

I couldn't work with a touch screen or some alexa type device

Its painfully inaccurate and slow in comparison

Yeah, and not to mention the feel, the tactical feeling of typing is just so much better than all of the alternatives.

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sotolf said:

the tactical feeling of typing is just so much better

Oh, the tactical feeling of typing! Sneaking up on a word unnoticed, and then quickly and silently disabling it before it can alert the others. ^_^

Of course, it wouldn't be possible to be such a deadly word assassin without utilizing the many weapons in our typing arsenal. Not the least of which is the tactile feeling of a good keyboard. ;-)

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DreymaR said:
sotolf said:

the tactical feeling of typing is just so much better

Oh, the tactical feeling of typing! Sneaking up on a word unnoticed, and then quickly and silently disabling it before it can alert the others. ^_^

Of course, it wouldn't be possible to be such a deadly word assassin without utilizing the many weapons in our typing arsenal. Not the least of which is the tactile feeling of a good keyboard. ;-)

Dammit, I need more coffee :p

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could someone remind me what the keyboard of choice is these days?

I guess it has to be mechanical and fully programmable, but the jurys out on how many keys it needs?

Interestingly though (well to me anyway) there is a use-case where the programmable keyboard falls down over the software remapping of qwerty keycodes, thats when you work with a laptop - occasionally on its own keyboard but also with it docked with a separate keyboard

otherwise the programmable keyboard is a nice way of never having to dick around with OS key re-mapping which *always* bites you in the ass at some point, and when it does go wrong its really horrible to fix as you can't type anything in a sensible way anymore - cue lots of slow and prolonged pain..

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bph said:

could someone remind me what the keyboard of choice is these days?

I don't think there is one definitive, as you say it depends on your size preference, also whether you think split is important, etc.

- Perhaps UHK has the potential to be that, as it is fully programmable and split. Not exactly cheap mind.
- For non-programmable but split, I think my current KB - Ergo Pro - is hard to beat.
- For matrix, I guess ErgoDox or Planck, depending on size/split requirements.
- For traditional layout, non-split, there always seem to be plenty of options around, but most not fully programmable.

bph said:

when you work with a laptop - occasionally on its own keyboard but also with it docked with a separate keyboard

Yeah, having a lightweight, robust, portable keyboard that's fully programmable would be ideal for these situations. There is the Planck I suppose if you are willing to go matrix. I'd quite a like there to be a similarly-sized unit but staggered ISO and split, that I could just carry around and use instead of the built-in laptop keyboard.

Last edited by stevep99 (29-Mar-2018 10:13:38)

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

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no - i think carrying a separate keyboard when your out and about with a laptop doesn't really make any sense

but I'm aware some people do do that, but to me thats jamming a round peg into a square hole

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For that I'd get a Colemak marked TextBlade! But what I do instead is carry a TMK QUICKIE with me.

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Is a TMK Quickie the teensy man-in-the-middle device sitting between keyboard and computer?

In which case that doesn't work as you're using your laptop keyboard occasionally so you *have* to sort out the layout from the OS

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Yeah, sorry, I read the "out and about..." but missed the "...with a laptop" part. My bad.

Indeed, no point in carrying extra hardware with the laptop. Many laptop chiclet keyboards aren't bad actually. And I actually have both a MSKLC Cmk-CAW[eD] install and PKL on mine, for robustness.

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bph said:

otherwise the programmable keyboard is a nice way of never having to dick around with OS key re-mapping which *always* bites you in the ass at some point

I'm completely agree to you in that. Programmable keyboards is my choice. Letting the OS know that some other options exists other than qwerty is calling for troubles. Out of software solutions only PKL (or similar) works fine, any messing with layouts in the system will bite sooner or later.

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I use my own programmable keyboards whenever I can. I've develop my own layout which I keep across my keyboards and left the standard row-staggered keyboard together with qwerty behind, use them only for hunt-and-pecking like I did before starting Colemak.
Planck is very attractive keyboard, even though I do not consider its ergonomic. I'm using it now at work in rotation with Ergodox. I carry Planck with me to use with computers of other people if I need to type long time on them.
But using external keyboard with laptop is not always convenient, even for small size Planck, mostly because it require extra space and it also good to use external mouse when using external keyboard. Planck is quite high profile, while new low profile models of Planck and other programmable keyboards exists, so they may be better to use with laptop, especially if put them on the top of laptop's keyboard.

Last edited by ckofy (30-Mar-2018 19:25:22)
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