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    I developed a new one handed layout: STREAK.

    • Started by konomu
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    • Registered: 09-Dec-2019
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    Hey everybody. I've been a user of colemak for several years now, and I absolutely love it. Recently I've been looking into one handed layouts, cause I thought it'd be cool (and in some cases practical) to be able to type with just one hand. After messing around with dvorak for left hand for a couple of days I was kind of disappointed with it, and I thought "I could totally do better than this". My new keyboard layout is based off of DFLH, but I made several changes that I believe are more intuitive to a colemak user and make typing with one hand easier.

    Some important things to note:
    1. This layout preserves the ZXCV cluster (like colemak) that makes it easy to do common shortcuts.
    2. Dvorak's original left handed layout places the left parenthesis on the 9 key and the right parenthesis on the 0 key, but this layout preserves the parenthesis read order.
    3. Right alt is pushed by the thumb and and acts as a shift key. I found it too bothersome to use sticky shift.
    4. Colemak users will be familiar with the "ST" roll. Pushing "S" with my index finger was the hardest part of getting used to DFLH, so I opted to place these two keys together in my layout.
    5. "ING" ending can be stroked in one roll. Hooray!
    6. I tried to keep the keys on the colemak layout in the same position relative to the home row (ie. F, P, L, and J are all above the home row) for this layout. In fact, the only consonants that violate this rule in are M, H, B, G, and N.
    7. Like Colemak, the layout uses Caps Lock as a Backspace key.

    I use an autohotkey hotkey (with RCTRL + Space) to switch between my colemak layout and STREAK. It actually used to be RALT and space, but I found that created problems with Colemak getting stuck with shift pressed when switching.

    Here is a download to my AHK script to change layouts.

    Make sure to compile the script and put the .exe file in your startup folder if you want it to run on startup. You may want to change the call value in the fourth line of this script if it doesn't match your layout. By default, I've put the call value for Colemak at "a0000409", and the call value for STREAK at "a0010409", which are the default values my system used when I installed the two layouts. If you're not sure, go to regedit, "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts\" and find the layout that you're using and use the key name that comes with it. You can also change the hotkey that you use to switch layouts by editing the 7th line. See https://www.autohotkey.com/docs/KeyList.htm.

    If you have any suggestions for any improvements to the layout, I'll be happy to hear them!

    Last edited by konomu (12-Dec-2019 02:40:22)
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    Wow, that's a lot of effort and an interesting proposal. Grats! However...

    I believe the best way for most people of typing one-handed to be mirroring; see the Big Bag. Mirroring avoids long stretches/jumps, and I've used it with hardly any adaptation because the brain is inherently good at mirroring things. I doubt that many users will see the benefit in learning both two-handed and one-handed layouts, and a one-handed layout isn't efficient enough for most typing. It's nice to know that if I break an arm I'll be able to type one-handed the next day. Mirroring can in principle be used with any layout you're familiar with, not just Colemak of course. There are mirrored QWERTY layouts available from what I gather.

    The catch about using a mirrored layout is that you'll need a mirroring modifier of course. Whether it's a foot or thumb switch or something else, you'll need a fast way to switch between the mirrored and base layers. My tests were mostly done with the thumb on the opposite hand operating the mirror modifier. If you can't use the other hand because of a finger injury or a broken arm, you may be able to still operate a single switch with that hand or the arm itself.

    For a fun addition, you can use the "ghetto pedal" idea of stripping a spare keyboard you may have around of all keys except, say, ScrollLock and then mapping that key to the mirror modifier so you can use it as a switch – for instance a foot switch. It works fairly well and is dirt cheap.

    Last edited by DreymaR (09-Dec-2019 13:37:48)

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    I did know about mirroring before making this layout. For some reason, it just didn't come so naturally to me as I would expect it to. I don't really like using a thumb modifier key either, as hand alternation is a frequent thing in colemak, I find it tiresome. I never learned to touch type on QWERTY (and frankly I hate using the layout), so mirrored QWERTY is out of the question for me.

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    Hmmm, if you don't like the amount of hand alternation in Colemak I guess mirrored Dvorak would be troublesome indeed...  (ʘ言ʘ╬)

    Last edited by DreymaR (10-Dec-2019 10:32:36)

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    No, the hand alternation in colemak is nice. I'm just saying it makes it more difficult to type on mirrored colemak cause of all the modifier pressing you have to do.

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    And I'm just saying that Dvorak focuses a lot more on hand alternation since Colemak also uses rolls more actively, so a mirrored Dvorak probably wouldn't be much fun.  ¯\(º_o)/¯

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    Huge update to STREAK!

    Instead of going off of intuition, this time I did my research, looked through corpus data, and I've made a much more efficient layout. You could call this one STREAQ.

    6Z5UBIB.png

    Things I had in mind when revising the layout:

    1. Reading through an old article, I realized that Dvorak's original one handed layouts didn't follow the conventional row-by-row finger stroke map, like it appeared in my last layout—the problem with that was that original typewriters that Dvorak's layout was intended to work with had a different degree of stagger than conventional computer keyboards, so it didn't work well in this aspect. I decided to make my own system, which you see in the image above. Blended colors mean that the key can be stroked with either finger. K can be stroked with either the ring or pinky, G can be stroked with either the middle or ring, and N, B or O can be stroked with either the index or middle finger. This makes certain combinations much easier to stroke, such as the ending "-tion", which is stroked by the ring, index, middle, then index again.
    2. I wanted to avoid common single finger letter combinations as much as possible. This meant placing consonants most unused with vowels at the right hand side of the keyboard. Q was moved to the index finger cluster because it doesn't usually come before any of the vowels stroked by the index finger. B was moved to the index finger cluster in place of P, so that P could be stroked with a vowel without hurdling past a single row with one finger. Another reason I moved B there was so a common word, "by", could be stroked without successive pinky strokes. B is a much less common letter, and in cases where it does come stroked with a vowel (like the word "be"), it can be stroked with the middle finger, leaving the index finger to stroke any vowel in succession.
    3. D is placed to the bottom left of the S key, instead of to the immediate left. This should reduce leftward horizontal stretching of the left hand, which is awkward.
    4. Instead of keeping the ZXCV cluster, this time I tried to make the layout as efficient as possible, so it needed to go.
    5. I wanted to make "CK" easy to type, since this is a very common digraph for both letters. This is the reason I placed K at the right of the keyboard in my original layout. The problem is that the letters themselves are not very common. The solution above is what I decided on, keeping the keys to relatively comfortable comfortable roll while not having them displace key positions that would be reserved for more common letters.
    6. Originally, P was going to be put in place of K, so that the "SP" digraph could be comfortably typed. However, I found out through corpus data that the potential digraph with the ring finger and pinky that could result if K was placed there (CK, KY, SK, and their reverses) outweigh the digraphs that would result if P was placed there (SP, PY, and their reverses). I had to make a sacrifice that meant typing the common digraph SP would be a little awkward, with a hurdle. Moving P to another position outside of the pinky cluster would either relegate a more common letter to a position disproportionately hard to reach, or screw up its rolls.
    7. F's position was moved to a position easier to type. This was much needed, as F is more common than P (although only by half a percentage point), the key position where it used to be. I thought about placing it where W was, but I realized it would make typing common words with F like "for", "after", "first", and "if" require a hurdle or successive single finger stroke.

    Some things I feel iffy about, that I wasnt able to address:
    1. The digraph "RL" and "RN", which requires a middle finger hurdle and successive single finger stroke respectively.
    2. Letter combination "TU", "MU" and their reverses, which requires a successive single finger stroke of the ring finger.
    3. Digraphs "PY", "FY", "DY", "CY" and "SY", which require a successive single finger stroke of the pinky finger.
    4. Dipthongs "EA", "IE", "IA", and their reverses, although successive single finger strokes are much easier if it's the index finger.
    5. How hard the apostrophe key is to reach.

    Here is a download to the layout (MEGA)

    I welcome you to suggest changes I should make to the layout, or try revising it yourself.

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    And here's a download for the right handed version (MEGA)

    unYWk6a.png

    Last edited by konomu (12-Dec-2019 02:37:11)
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