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    Q > ; > ' rotation

    • Started by snth
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    So I've noticed that punctuation characters seem to generally not be considered part of the optimisation process here and I found this old post by Shai that explains some of the reasons for this. However I think it might be worth treating '  differently as it is an integral part of standard English prose.

    I admit I started down this road because while coding I was picking up a lot of contention on my right pinky around strings in JSON and value assignments:

    {'key':'value'}
    
    var='value'

    ' " [ { + - = _ ; : } ] are all on the right pinky so that's a lot of same finger bigrams. Moving the ' to another position would be the easiest way to provide some relief. Coming from Dvorak the Q was a natural position to consider. Q > ; > ' is a simple rotation that achieves this. After trying this out I think it actually provides a number of benefits.

    Some benefits of this rotation are:

    • QU becomes a nice inward roll on the right hand (eg quick).

    • 't, 's, 'd and 're also become inward rolls on the left hand (eg don't, he's, she'd, we're).

    • Provides hand alternation in many programming languages where string quoting is likely to be mixed with other punctuation symbols (c='a'+'b').

    • :q also becomes an inward roll for vim users with using alternative ring-finger fingering on the Q.

    • O' is also no longer a same finger bigram which should help the Irish and their descendants.

    The AQ same finger bigram (eg aquarium) is replaced by OQ (soliloquy) but I would guess that these are both pretty rare and this is a neutral change.

    All characters stay on the same finger with Q and ' only swapping hands.

    I've been using this for a couple of days now and the most uncomfortable sequence I've found is 're and while it's not technically a same finger bigram, I find it a bit too close to hit comfortably but perhaps that will improve with practice.

    I know this is two additional switches from QWERTY but other than that I don't see much downside. Is there anything I am missing? While the benefit will be greatest for programmers, there still seem to be plenty of other benefits for normal English prose to make it worth considering.

    Last edited by snth (17-Aug-2019 06:29:44)
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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    It's a very interesting thought! Let us know how it works out if you do try it out over time.

    I actually think it also has a slight aesthetic benefit: As you say, the apostrophe is almost a letter in actual usage, and moving the semicolon off the letter block in favor of an actual letter looks nice to me. Neat.

    Last edited by DreymaR (19-Aug-2019 14:18:14)

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    Sounds interesting. One more good point that there is no need for a new keycaps in Colevrak kits of custom keycaps sets because of this change, Q keeps the top row, ; in the middle row is available in qwerty, and ' in the top row is available in Dvorak.

    Last edited by ckofy (20-Aug-2019 16:28:44)
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    snth, did you consider only swapping q and ; instead ? It seems to achieve the same results by only changing two keys. I myself am on tarmak atm, but already thinking about the idea of moving ' and ; to different hands. So I wonder if there's any reason to move all three?

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    For ease of reference, some of us on the Colemak Discord have started calling this mod Colemaq since that makes it easy to combine it with other mods such as Colemaq-DH (which I personally use).

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    SYM – a symbol key mod for the enthusiasts!

        Cmk-ISO-CurlAWideSym_90d-FShui_EPKL.png?raw=1
        Colemak-CAWS: The Sym symbol rotation together with the CurlAngleWide ergo mods on an ISO board.

    Yeah, so... This got me (over-)thinking, as you can see...   ̄(=⌒ᆺ⌒=) ̄

    [edit 2020-05:]
    Looking at my post here it's completely grown out of the topic it started in. The topic doesn't deserve to be bothered by the post and the post deserves to stand on its own.

    Therefore I've moved my Sym post to a new SYMbol key modding topic. There you'll find the long post I had here. We apologize for the interruption and inconvenience!  ∩(●'‿'●)∩

    Last edited by DreymaR (20-May-2020 19:32:59)

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    DreymaR said:

    Any insights and thoughts?

    I think both the effort of the keys involved and the frequencies of the symbols are hard to assess and there can be no universal solution.

    On the right pinky I prefer the keys in this order (nomenclature after ISO/IEC 9995): C11, B11, C12, D12 and D11. Maybe that’s because I’m a lazy typer and don’t let my hands float. D11 requires a hand movement instead of just the finger movement that’s sufficient for the other keys.

    The frequencies of the symbols can vary dramatically between different people. For instance, outside of coding I never use ' or ". And coding covers a multitude of very different languages. There is no common ground as far as most non-alphanumerics are concerned.

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    That ISO nomenclature is too opaque. Please speak in a human readable format, you big non-Turing-test-compliant thing, you!  ♪~└[∵┌]└[・▥・]┘[┐∵]┘~♪

    Torben said:

    Maybe that’s because I’m a lazy typer and don’t let my hands float.
    ...
    For instance, outside of coding I never use ' or ".

    Hmmm... Am I misunderstanding something or did you just disprove your own statement by using three apostrophes in one sentence? Or did you manually enter typographically proper quote marks?  ( のvの)

    For if the latter is the case, then surely you know that most people just plonk down the apostrophe key for their contractions. So it's quite common for nearly all typists.

    Again, I fear you may have failed the Turing test...  (✿◠‿◠)

    Last edited by DreymaR (16-Dec-2019 13:28:15)

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    That would be oO, /?, '", [{ and ;: in standard Colemak nomenclature.

    I manually enter typographically correct quotation marks and apostrophe. Sure, nearly all typists don’t do that. They have no easy access to these characters. I thought we were different.

    Maybe I am a robot. I do tend to fail at CAPTCHAs.

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    Torben said:

    Maybe I am a robot. I do tend to fail at CAPTCHAs.

    ヽ( ⌒o⌒)人(⌒-⌒ )/

    Interesting preferences then. So your fave key after Oo is gone with the Wide mod, or rather, Right Shift becomes nice with it. But your reply does indeed highlight the differences in personal preferences.

    On the other hand, if you don't like the Colemak ;: position much and don't use the '" key much then my proposal might work out well for you after all!
    ฅʕ •ᴥ•ʔฅ

    Last edited by DreymaR (16-Dec-2019 15:24:05)

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    It would work out for me in that case. But I don’t use Colemak, anyway. I was just giving general thoughts on your idea. I’m using my own dvorakoid layout and have letters on all those keys. Being terribly right-handed I took some load from the left hand and put it on the right one. I’m not using a wide mod and left shift is my main shift key. It’s used for 70 to 80 percent of the uppercase letters.

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    Nope, didn't find any time (or, rather, energy) to try out the Colemak-CAWS mod combo yet. Argh. Does anyone else use something like it?

    1   2   3   4   5   6   /   7   8   9   0   =
      Q   W   F   P   B   [   J   L   U   Y   '   -
       A   R   S   T   G   ]   K   N   E   I   O   ;
     Z   X   C   D   V   _   \   M   H   ,   .
    Last edited by DreymaR (07-Jan-2020 11:02:04)

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    Or...? Is my first proposal (QU > SC / MN > SL > EQ) silly in that it gives Backslash a better position than Slash? On ANSI boards the argument for not involving Backslash is that it's on its own fat key so it's just as well to leave it alone there. However, on ISO and matrix boards one should take advantage of the fact that Slash/Question is a lot more common.

    So let's include BS in the loop then:

    QU > SC
    MN > SL > BS > EQ

    Using vanilla Colemak, on an ortho board:

    6   7   8   9   0   =   \
    j   l   u   y   '   [   ]
    h   n   e   i   o   ;   /
    k   m   ,   .   -   _____

    With the Wide(ISO) mod, on a staggered board:

      \   7   8   9   0   =
    [   j   l   u   y   '   -
     ]   h   n   e   i   o   ;
       /   k   m   ,   .   _____

    I don't know, better? Looks better. And as a side effect it puts Slash in the same position it has in the Wide-ANSI mod.

    I'm still not convinced I'll bother doing this at all though...  ¯\(º_o)/¯

    On the other hand, this got me thinking that maybe I should try out just the first cycle! The very simple QU <> SC swap will take care of the most pressing business of the common quote versus the less common semicolon, and that may be enough for even the enthusiastic modders that dare to touch their symbol key placements. It has the further advantage of keeping everything quite close to both standard QWERTY and standard Colemak and like the DH mod it changes no fingering so at the moment I'm thinking it looks rather good...?

    Last edited by DreymaR (29-Apr-2020 13:30:49)

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    The biggest strain on the pinky for me was jumping 2 keys to hit the enter key all the time. I rotated {/}, {'}, and {enter} counterclockwise and alt finger roll colon/semicolon to enter when programming.

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