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    New user with a few problems.

    • Started by lovnir
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    • Registered: 12-Feb-2024
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    Hey all I am a new user I came across layouts this week and settled on colemak(with dreymar's big bag), TL;DR at the end.

    I have an ANSI staggered keyboard I was averaging 100wpm comfortably on qwerty(but painfully) in a hybrid style but it was my upper limit due to bad technique(major left hand usage) I'm not used to typing with my right hand(uh) and I also started feeling fatigue after a few hours of typing, so switching to a new layout is the way to correctly learn touch-type I thought.

    I doubted the angle mod at first because I thought angling the keyboard instead was good(like in counter-strike) but I figured it out that it was intended for hand separation in different angles and accepted it, I settled on Colemak-CAWS at first but I ran into a few problems on windows and linux-wayland not having support for "xkd?" which made me go back to Colemak-CurlAngle which is available on both windows and linux which is slightly less comfortable but more adaptable in case I buy an ergo keyboard.

    Another problem is I also can't switch the layout for some reason on EPKL when I first ran the app I could but after switching to CurlAngle my qwerty layout change with shift-CTRL-2 disappeared and It's seems pretty complicated to turn it back on I have no clue how to do that, the reason I want qwerty is for quick typing when necessary and I don't want to change my arabic layout to Colemak switching to qwerty fixes it and returns the default layout of arabic(101).

    I no longer want the wide mod only the CurlAngle but the Sym mod seems cool if I could make it work on linux but my keyboard software doesn't work on linux unfortunately.

    If there is a way to add Arabic101 to Colemak-CurlAngle ANS myself please let me know, thanks.


    TL;DR Linux wayland doesn't work on xkb?, can't switch layout to qwerty from EPKL, can't use arabic101 from EPKL.

    Last edited by lovnir (12-Feb-2024 09:40:58)
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    • From: Viken, Norway
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    Wayland doesn't have XKB. This should be covered in the BigBag4XKB README?

    To use an underlying OS layout with EPKL, select a VK type layout. That way, EPKL sends key presses which the OS layout translates to input.

    To use and switch between several layouts in EPKL, put them on one definition line in the settings file with a comma between them. See for instance how the Tarmak layouts are done in the EPKL_Layouts_Default.ini file.

    On a side note, people use CAWS on their row-staggered boards and Curl only on their matrix/col-stag boards. And they tend to map symbols to layers and/or their preferred positions on ergo boards. Therefore, I don't think that not using Wide or Sym mods will be more compatible with getting an ergo board.

    Last edited by DreymaR (12-Feb-2024 10:13:57)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    DreymaR said:

    Wayland doesn't have XKB. This should be covered in the BigBag4XKB README?

    I know I just mentioned it to see if there are other solutions, I don't want to use CAWS and extend on windows and only CA on linux, I really thought I was somewhat intelligent but trying to figure this out is making feel extremely stupid, also you don't need to rewrite the solution if it's mentioned in the docs or readme.md just point it out I will try to figure it out

    To use an underlying OS layout with EPKL, select a VK type layout. That way, EPKL sends key presses which the OS layout translates to input.

    So I won't try to pretend to understand this, VK is used for underlying OS layout but Colemak comes as VK by default alongside QWERTY but it's not an Underlying OS layout? idk honestly this part is too complicated for me, my guess is that it sends F if I click F on qwerty but it sends the colemak equivalent by intercepting the key press before windows translates it to input.


    To use and switch between several layouts in EPKL, put them on one definition line in the settings file with a comma between them. See for instance how the Tarmak layouts are done in the EPKL_Layouts_Default.ini file.

    what is the settings file? where do I place the comma(,) and "layout ="  and what are the layouts named in the system like vanilla qwerty and colemak-CurlAngle, I guess this is somewhere in the docs but I missed it.

    The EPKL_Settings_Override_Example or EPKL_Settings_Default seems to be for app settings not layouts so I guess not this one, maybe you mean the windows "EPKL settings" app Settings-submit this to the Settings_Override [pkl] section:

    In the EPKL settings app under layout in the bottom it says
    * To get multiple layouts, submit twice then join the entries in the Overdrive file on one "layout =" line with a comma.

    Which one is the questions there are two one with EPKL_Layouts_Overdrive_Example one with Layouts_Overdrive_Example I'm guessing none since they both have the word example at the end? or maybe the EPKL one since the default file has EPKL.
    the only Layout = lines i found are for Tarmak it seems, I'm not sure.

    On a side note, people use CAWS on their row-staggered boards and Curl only on their matrix/col-stag boards. And they tend to map symbols to layers and/or their preferred positions on ergo boards. Therefore, I don't think that not using Wide or Sym mods will be more compatible with getting an ergo board.

    Yes I get this one, symbols aren't that useful if you map them to right-alt you won't need to reach, but I could do that already on my keyboard IFI manage to figure it out.

    Extra notes: I really like the extend mod it's pretty cool but won't be useful since I don't have it on linux I don't like having inconsistent setups.
    Regarding the angle mod why not move QWF keys to the right and move P somewhere else wouldn't that make it a perfect 60 degree angle and more of an angle mod to avoid awkward finger benders similar to the right side?

    Thanks for responding anyway, I think It's too much of a headache for me right now, but I will continue training with colemak-DH and hopefully I figure it out within a month's time, again if what I mentioned is in the docs or I am being stupid redirect there or feel free to ignore it.

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    Sorry, I don't have the time and energy for really comprehensive answers today.

    EPKL settings files usually have a Default and an Override. The Default is version controlled and the Override is not, so you can keep your settings across repository updates.

    VK vs state mapping is a bit complex, but it's about whether your program sends key presses (like a keyboard does) or input events (like a OS layout does after intercepting your key presses). So what I'm saying is that if you have, say, an Arabic layout active as your system layout then EPKL can remap that without changing what output it generates. It can move a key around without changing what the key does. With state maps, EPKL will decide exactly what characters or whatever to send for each shift state for each key.

    I think I didn't quite understand what you meant regarding Wayland. But in the BigBag4XKB, the "hard" ergo mods are implemented as models. So you have to set your model to for instance pc105awide to get an AngleWide modded layout, while other layout features are rules by the layout component. Model, layout and option components all play together. This is true both for XKB and for the Wayland compositors.

    Last edited by DreymaR (12-Feb-2024 16:35:18)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    DreymaR said:

    Sorry, I don't have the time and energy for really comprehensive answers today.

    EPKL settings files usually have a Default and an Override. The Default is version controlled and the Override is not, so you can keep your settings across repository updates.

    Okay that's alright, I get it.

    VK vs state mapping is a bit complex, but it's about whether your program sends key presses (like a keyboard does) or input events (like a OS layout does after intercepting your key presses). So what I'm saying is that if you have, say, an Arabic layout active as your system layout then EPKL can remap that without changing what output it generates. It can move a key around without changing what the key does. With state maps, EPKL will decide exactly what characters or whatever to send for each shift state for each key.

    Ok now I understand somewhat VK can't change the shiftstates or modifiers but moves them around and statemaps can, I still don't know which files to write "layout = QWERTY, Colemak_DH" in , never mind I found it, sorry for annoying you it was just there in the readme.md I didn't notice it.

    I think I didn't quite understand what you meant regarding Wayland. But in the BigBag4XKB, the "hard" ergo mods are implemented as models. So you have to set your model to for instance pc105awide to get an AngleWide modded layout, while other layout features are rules by the layout component. Model, layout and option components all play together. This is true both for XKB and for the Wayland compositors.

    Yes I know that but I'm not using XKB on wayland I know that it doesn't work there I just mentioned it to see if there was a solution, or are you saying that I can code my own layout component there?

    I thought there was no solution for wayland or lots of headaches before one so I wanted to choose the layout that comes with linux it's called Colemak_DH and I can have the same one on windows with caps lock as delete since extend is not available on linux-wayland, that's what I meant

    I might just switch to Xorg and see if it's not as buggy anymore that might just fix half my problems, the rest I will figure out eventually.

    I can also simply work with the current layout with few problems and learn the hard way, but it's just that suspend doesn't always work and you have to restart the app constantly when switching back to qwerty.

    P.S what do you think about what I said of moving QWF to the right and P somewhere else? wouldn't that align the keys perfectly(~60 degrees) to have a truly ergonomic hand positioning with (CurlAngle ANS)

    Note:stats of my Colemak-DH SuperAngle-Z vs Colemak-DH

    Super-Angle-VDH.png

    Colemak DH Angle
    q w f p b  j l u y ;
    a r s t g  m n e i o '
    x c d v z  k h , . /
    Rolls (l): 18.09%
        Inward: 11.51%
        Outward: 6.58%
    Rolls (r): 28.64%
        Inward: 13.75%
        Outward: 14.89%
    Alternates: 30.81%
    Onehands: 2.51%
    Redirects: 10.77%
    Finger Speed (weighted): [0.12 0.53 1.74 4.21 4.90 1.79 1.44 0.60]
    Finger Speed (unweighted): [0.18 1.91 8.36 23.13 26.95 8.59 5.18 0.90]
    Highest Speed (weighted): 4.90 (RI)
    Highest Speed (unweighted): 26.95 (RI)
    Index Usage: 19.3% 18.9%
    SFBs: 1.066%
    DSFBs: 7.932%
    LSBs: 1.13%
    Top SFBs:
        e, 0.183%    sc 0.138%    ue 0.129%    y. 0.087%
        nk 0.079%    pt 0.078%    nl 0.068%    kn 0.055%

    Worst Bigrams:
        lh 15.644    sc 14.593    ue 13.868    y. 12.940
        fc 9.853    e, 9.753    mn 9.623    mh 9.123

    Score: 47.24

    Colemak DH SuperAngle-Z
    z q w f b  j l u y ;
    a r s t g  m n e i o '
    x c d v p  k h , . /
    Rolls (l): 18.04%
        Inward: 11.48%
        Outward: 6.57%
    Rolls (r): 28.64%
        Inward: 13.75%
        Outward: 14.89%
    Alternates: 30.81%
    Onehands: 2.51%
    Redirects: 10.74%
    Finger Speed (weighted): [0.42 0.83 2.17 5.16 4.90 1.79 1.44 0.60]
    Finger Speed (unweighted): [0.63 2.97 10.41 28.37 26.95 8.59 5.18 0.90]
    Highest Speed (weighted): 5.16 (LI)
    Highest Speed (unweighted): 28.37 (LI)
    Index Usage: 19.2% 18.9%
    SFBs: 1.092%
    DSFBs: 7.903%
    LSBs: 1.32%
    Top SFBs:
        e, 0.183%    sc 0.138%    ue 0.129%    y. 0.087%
        nk 0.079%    pt 0.078%    nl 0.068%    kn 0.055%

    Worst Bigrams:
        tp 22.647    lh 15.644    fc 14.891    sc 14.593
        ue 13.868    y. 12.940    wr 11.892    e, 9.753

    Score: 53.33

    Thanks to RUSdoomer on discord for helping me calculate this but it looks like it's worse than the original unfortunately.

    Last edited by lovnir (13-Feb-2024 16:12:09)
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    The upper-row angle mod has been discussed a lot earlier. It's generally considered a bad idea since the upper row stagger is too aggressive. I wouldn't recommend it.

    Also, as I think I've mentioned in the BigBag somewhere, the hand readily spreads out upwards so not having the row stagger right on the upper row isn't a problem. It's downwards it gets cramped without the ergo mod.

    What mainly gives your super-angled variant a bad analyzer score is probably the worse position of P. You want something more rare in that bad position down there. But the analyzer doesn't really pick up on everything.

    As I said, Wayland uses xkb-data files so it can run the BigBag layouts. You just have to write the right composer settings for your Wayland composer. In the readme for the repo there are a few examples for Sway and others.

    Last edited by DreymaR (15-Feb-2024 16:19:01)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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