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Shai's Colemak mod

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May I ask how is it going Shai, are you still using that latest updated version, how do you feel about it after a few months?

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baobaozi said:

May I ask how is it going Shai, are you still using that latest updated version, how do you feel about it after a few months?

So far, I've only used it for testing purposes.

I'm still using standard Colemak. Switching over is a bigger project (creating implementation in multiple operating systems, etc.), and it's pretty low on my priority list at the moment.

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EPKL has Shai's latest (D⇔P) mod as well as SteveP's D>P>G mod in the Remap file, described as a "poor man's DH" variant leaving the bottom left half row alone. To use one of those you may rename which variant bears the name "Colemak-Curl-DH" in the Remap file. The help images won't automatically update but it's possible to make new ones.

_eD_Remap.ini said:
Cmk-Curl-DH     = ^CurlDH_L_Std , ^CurlDH_R_DHm 	; The M-on-homerow original DH(m) mod was (re)installed as DH standard in Oct 2020
Cmk-Curl-DHk    = ^CurlDH_L_Std , ^CurlDH_R_DHk 	; The K-on-homerow DHk variant was the DH standard from 2017 to 2020
Cmk-Curl-DpgH   = ^CurlDH_L_Dpg , ^CurlDH_R_DHm		; The D>P>G loop is a "poor man's DH" variant leaving the bottom left half row alone
Cmk-Curl-DpH    = ^CurlDH_L_Dp  , ^CurlDH_R_DHm 	; The D>P swap is Shai's DH variant:  https://forum.colemak.com/topic/2644-shais-colemak-mod/

You could, e.g., rename Cmk-Curl-DH to DHm and the DpH one to Cmk-Curl-DH. Then select a Colemak Curl-modded layout and you'll get Shai's mod version.
[The last line will come in the next commit; for now you could paste it in there yourself if you wish.]

Q W F D G   J L U Y ;
A R S T P   M N E I O    Shai's 1st mod; Cmk-DpH [QU-SC swap not shown here]
Z X C V B   K H , . /

As for the other variant, I haven't put it in there. It plays with some of the same ideas as Nyfee's mods, such as P⇔M and V/B>K. I've yet to see a more thorough analysis of its merits.

Shai said:

If you don't care about ZXCV and you're not using a staggered keyboard, and looking for something that prioritises the QWERTY 'V' position like Mod-DH, you can use the following layout:

Q W F M V   J L U Y ;
A R S T G   P N E I O    Shai's 2nd mod
Z X C D K   B H , . /

These mods as analyzed by the Colemakmods analyzer in a 3×10 core matrix as above in this post, didn't fare so well:

  Cmk-DH+swaps/loops: bas.ef. sfb-ef. nfb-ef. tot.ef. SFB%      Δbas.e  Δsfb-e  Δtot.e
  =========================================================    ========================
  Cmk-DH            : 1.630   0.047   0.010   1.687   1.521      0       0       0
  ColemaQ           : 1.645   0.031   0.011   1.687   0.974     +0.015  -0.016   0.000 (VK      + /, + Q;)
  Colemak-QI   noQU : 1.624   0.040   0.017   1.681   1.275     -0.006  -0.007  -0.006 (PM + BK + WFL)
  Shai's Cmk-DpH    : 1.657   0.047   0.010   1.714   1.521     +0.027   0.000  +0.027 (DP instead of DvBG)
  Shai's 2nd mod    : 1.622   0.054   0.010   1.686   1.671     -0.008  +0.007  -0.001 (PM + VBK)
  Cmk-DH +VK only   : 1.630   0.041   0.009   1.679   1.311      0.000  -0.006  -0.008 !!!
  ISRT/IndyRad noQU : 1.625   0.024   0.010   1.659   0.777     -0.005  -0.023  -0.028 !!!
Q W F P B   J L U Y ;
A R S T G   M N E I O    Cmk-DH (3×10)
Z X C D V   K H , . /

It's a fairly simple analyzer, so maybe someone has more relevant analysis!

Last edited by DreymaR (26-Apr-2021 16:01:36)

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The mod also swaps the ; and the '

QWFDG JLUY'
ARSTP MNEIO;
ZXCVB KH,./
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Yes, I know. For the purpose of analysis, however, I didn't include the QU-SC swap since such a change would lead to really unfair comparisons the way I set it up. It may technically be considered a Sym-Qu mod anyway, separate from the rest of the layout. You could add the same swap to QWERTY or vanilla Colemak if you wanted to, just like it is with the rest of the Sym mod. Mod modularity, I love it.  ( のvの) c[_]

I should've shown that in the diagram text, however. Sorry about that oversight.

Last edited by DreymaR (11-Apr-2021 21:32:51)

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DreymaR said:

It's a fairly simple analyzer, so maybe someone has more relevant analysis!

These numbers are not final. Still busy. I've included a "known" layout above and below, as well as QWERTY for reference.
The English and code scores are from KLATest using short chained bigrams (tm) as input.
The word scores are calculated by programs I wrote, which I am revisiting now for the first time since 2017. Basically they count how many words can be typed on subsets of keys. The seesaw is a new test, which counts how many words can be typed with strict hand alternation.The last one counts 200 most common words on home keys only.
Average is a weighted average of the scores. Best score in each test is 100%, and others are percentage of that.

There is not much between Colemak and Shai. I used Shai 1 since he said he was still fiddling and Shai 2 was not final.

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This chart is not final either ... the relative positions jumped a bit in the last trial run. The dot for Shai is under the red one for Colemak.
(grabbed wrong image)

Last edited by iandoug (12-Apr-2021 00:15:25)
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Not sure what you're doing there, Iandoug. You should at the very least include Colemak-DH in your comparison since Shai's mod has major similarities to it to the degree that I technically consider it a DH variant. And the diagram shows Colemak in the legend but I could see no bright green dot in the chart.

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DreymaR said:

Not sure what you're doing there, Iandoug. You should at the very least include Colemak-DH in your comparison since Shai's mod has major similarities to it to the degree that I technically consider it a DH variant. And the diagram shows Colemak in the legend but I could see no bright green dot in the chart.

The discussion is about Colemak vs Shai, so I only included those two from the spreadsheet. There are 362 layouts currently analyzed, but I need to remove a few dups. There's a lot of Colemak flavours.

Colemak is one of the "defaults" on the chart, normally a different "layout of interest"  would be given the red dot. I need to modify the page to filter out the legends for the "defaults" if one of them is the "layout of interest". I meant to grab the chart for Shai, in which case it would have been the red not, with Colemak again invisible under it.

If I make the dots smaller then they become diamond-shaped. Currently drawn with PHP GD library, should maybe switch to making it an .svg image instead.

Job is currently rerunning, will post update later. It takes several hours.

Cheers, Ian

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Analyzing Shai's variant without including the standard Colemak-DH variant makes just about zero sense. Colemak-DH is more than enough of a "default" layout for this purpose, and the direct inspiration for Shai's current mod(s) as he clearly stated.

Colemak-DH also has far more of a following than most of your other default layouts, so I'd suggest you include it anyway. You don't have to include every possible mod, but Colemak vanilla and Colemak-DH are both big.

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Apr-2021 09:49:10)

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Variants and scores.

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Mod-DH.

Shai would still be under Colemak.

The defaults are either "well known" or current best at Fingers and Words. If you were looking at an ergo layout then the defauts would be ergo layouts.

hieaqmtsrn.en.ansi is a variant of hieamtsrn.en.ansi but gets better average score.

There is method in my madness :-)

Cheers, Ian

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There's also madness in your method!  ( ͡~  ͜ʖ ͡°) Thanks for the update.

Out of interest: How does your Colemak-mod-Ian-2 look?

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Apr-2021 13:25:34)

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I don't understand what I'm looking at here, but judging by that chart, there are two seemingly magical layouts called "nirvana-opt" and "heiagqtsrn" that hitherto I've never heard of :/

What is this analysis that we've suddenly started talking about based on? Why is Colemak-DH virtually the same as Colemak? Have you implemented it correctly (with angle mod and correct finger assignments?)

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

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I think it's this, looks messy but maybe there's a clear explanation in it:
https://www.keyboard-design.com/index.html

I'd love to see your comments on these analyses, Steve and Shai!

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Apr-2021 13:53:11)

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Note: Analyses here are from 2017, am busy with update.

Mod-DH : https://www.keyboard-design.com/letterl … ll.en.ansi

my mod-2: https://www.keyboard-design.com/letterl … -2.en.ansi

Mod DH as shown came either from Patrick or I found it here, I suppose.

If it's not correct then please point me to correct version ...

I don't have angle mod version.. seems like there are two last time I looked?

hieaqmtsrn.en.ansi is by Sasha (not Michael) Viminitz, modded by lalop

https://www.keyboard-design.com/letterl … rn.en.ansi

FWIW, after the latest run, my mod of Engram 1 just beats it on word scores. Engram 2 scores worse than Engram 1.

Nirvana-opt is my current little baby. It changes more than just the 30 keys so you can't really compare directly with Colemak. Attached.

Trace of ANSI x/y best scores:

Y nirvana-words-opt.en.ansi 79.01
X nirvana-words-opt.en.ansi 56.85
Y nirvana-opt.en.ansi 79.06
X nirvana2_more.en.ansi 57.8
X shz.en.ansi 58.42
X hieaqmtsrn.en.ansi 58.54
X engram-mod-ian.en.ansi 58.7


Cheers, Ian

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OK, yes that rings a bell, I have looked at iandoug's pages before. So basically it's based on the patorjk analyzer, which itself is based largely on finger movement distance, but there are also some changes by "Den".

Looking at "Best layouts" section, I notice it says something about taking account of vertical vs horizontal movement, which is something I've done in my fork too, so that's good. Judging by this page though, the "Colemak Mod-DH" layout isn't right as the angle mod is missing!  I don't know whether this analyzer distinguishes between the Qwerty N/M positions for example, as both are equally distant from the respective home key (J), but obviously in reality the M spot is better than the N.

I also don't understand this section:
For a given input text, we assume that a finger would need to move one key width (plus down and up and back) for each character in the text. So the distance is calculated as (number of characters * (19 + 4 + 4 + 19) mm). This is then compared to the actual distance measured, and turned into a percentage.

I'd question the usefulness of the word-based metrics, as it's just a count of how many words you can type with a specific subset of keys. It's an interesting side effect to note, but not really that useful as a comparison tool IMO, which is acknowledged to be fair.

Would be nice if the algorithm being used was defined more clearly.

Last edited by stevep99 (12-Apr-2021 14:52:34)

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

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stevep99 said:

Judging by this page though, the "Colemak Mod-DH" layout isn't right as the angle mod is missing!  I don't know whether this analyzer distinguishes between the Qwerty N/M positions for example, as both are equally distant from the respective home key (J), but obviously in reality the M spot is better than the N.

I also don't understand this section:
For a given input text, we assume that a finger would need to move one key width (plus down and up and back) for each character in the text. So the distance is calculated as (number of characters * (19 + 4 + 4 + 19) mm). This is then compared to the actual distance measured, and turned into a percentage.

I'd question the usefulness of the word-based metrics, as it's just a count of how many words you can type with a specific subset of keys. It's an interesting side effect to note, but not really that useful as a comparison tool IMO, which is acknowledged to be fair.

Would be nice if the algorithm being used was defined more clearly.

1. It I remember correctly the original DH mod did not include angle mod. Personally I find all the Colemak mods required to deal with the idiotcy of ANSI akin to shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic ... ditch the format and use ortholinear ... :-)

2. Den version 1 was basically same as Patrick's except for vertical distance. There may have been alterations to finger weighting, can't remember.

3. That formula was an attempt to calculate theoretical minimum distance needed for a given text, assuming you would only ever need to move your finger one key.
I've dropped it from the current analysis.

Finger-based metrics are open to a lot of debate.... what do you measure, and how? Your version of KLA gives different scores to Patrick's, and to Den's various versions, and Opt says something else. And each author thinks theirs is correct.

I got the idea of using words from Maltron, who used to brag about how many words you could type on their home keys. Having 9 home keys including E helped ...
But I've extended the idea beyond just home keys.

I've dropped several of the tests from 2017, and replaced Fraser Street with the seesaw. Fraser Street was always a bit QWERTY-Dvorak specific.

Cheers, Ian

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DreymaR said:

There's also madness in your method!  ( ͡~  ͜ʖ ͡°)
Out of interest: How does your Colemak-mod-Ian-2 look?

Picture worth 1000.

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Is this correct?

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Yes, that's Colemak-DH with the Angle-Z mod which is the most common one for ANSI boards. Cmk-DH-ANSI, if you wish.

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DreymaR said:

Yes, that's Colemak-DH with the Angle-Z mod which is the most common one for ANSI boards. Cmk-DH-ANSI, if you wish.

Should be this then. It didn't really make much difference. Some scores up, some down.

I've included the ergo variants and some others which may or may not be variations or "inspired by".

Cheers, Ian

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Please ignore spreadsheets and graphs posted so far... current results rather different.

Previous Finger-based metrics (ie the scores from KLATest) were based on a short 5k English and 10k code input. I did this just to filter out dups and dev versions etc.

I have now rerun the tests with proper 1 MB input for each, Colemak score looking better. Even better than mod-DH ...

I need to double-check everything before posting results.

I also changed how I did the word metrics (twice!). Was initially just counting "words" but clearly "verylongword" should count for more than "short". So I tried counting letters instead. However, since the word source is the Linux word list (from a few years ago), there are many words that have things like -nesses at the end which bump up the length but use the same letters. So I switched to counting unique letters per word instead.

Cheers, Ian

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At this junction, I'm quite tempted to try out the V-K swap! I don't mind the KN/NK same-finger bigrams but I see that LK/KL are somewhat uncomfortable. SteveP's Colemakmods analyzer likes the V-K swap from Colemak-DH well enough. As he pointed out earlier the CK bigram doesn't seem too good but it may be alt-fingerable? I feel that the ring finger slides down naturally for CK (Colemak-DH CV) already.

I think the most logical thing to do if using it, is to map Extend Paste to D as if it were V, keeping ZXCV together again.

A fun name for it would be the Kurl(DH) mod, I think.

 Q W F P B [ J L U Y ' - 
 A R S T G ] M N E I O ;    Cmk-KAWS
Z X C D K _ / V H , .

It'll be a frustrating experiment I'm sure, but I'll try out the feeling of it a little just for fun.  ( のvの) c[_]

Last edited by DreymaR (27-Apr-2021 15:24:38)

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Personally I don't think the V-K swap is anywhere close to being worthwhile. V and K are both rare so we are talking about very minor benefits, if any. It avoids same-finger LK, but at a cost of doubling the number of keys that swap hands (from 2 to 4), and it moves V which (assuming angle mod), is unchanged from Qwerty. And it also splits up XCV even more, so that paste is now on the other hand. Even if analyzers rate it as slightly better, the non-algorithmic drawbacks cause me to be highly skeptical.

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

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