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    Russian Colemak

    • Started by vilem
    • 10 Replies:
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    • From: Köln, Germany
    • Registered: 01-Apr-2007
    • Posts: 264

    I made a phonetic russian keyboard yesterday, based on colemak and the apple phonetic russian keyboard. I changed some things around a bit to suit my taste and i added several other cyrillic characters on alt functions to type Ukranian, Belarusian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, etc, however some of these positions might not make 100% sense. Having Щ as alt + Ш might not be considered that great (it is a seperate letter), but the apple phonetic russian does that and it works very well for me. I saw the rulemak attempt here on the forum as well and i am making no claims whatsoever that my layout is better, i just happen to prefer it. You're welcome to make any suggestions, as long as they aren't too pedantic about nitty-gritty alt-character details, because i don't really care about those, i just included them for the sake of completness. Otherwise, i must say it feels as though the force were with me when i can type russian without even looking at the keys! And that after just 1 day! :D
    If you want to download this, go to http://www.2shared.com/file/9515287/b13 … lemak.html. You're free to genetically manipulate it.

    russiancolemak1.png
    russiancolemak2.png
    russiancolemak3.png
    russiancolemak4.png
    russiancolemak5.png
    russiancolemak6.png

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    Nice work!

    Could you point out the differences between this and Rulemak please? I haven't an actual need for it, but I'm curious. It's interesting to know about the design choices necessary.

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

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    • From: Belgium
    • Registered: 26-Feb-2008
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    For Rulemak, I decided to give each Russian Cyrillic characters its own key (not through AltGr).  I thought about adding other Cyrillic characters (Ukrainian, ...) but I have no need for those myself and had no idea about letter frequencies etc.

    To accomodate typing short pieces of Latin text (eg. URL's, e-mail addresses) without switching layouts, I mapped original (Latin) Colemak to the AltGr plane, as well as missing punctuation characters.  Thinking about that now, layout "shifting" (rather than switching) in X11 could easily be done with a dedicated key (eg. Menu), saving AltGr for other combinations.  Maybe I should still put non-Russian characters there.  Even Russians may need them sometimes, eg. to type foreign names?

    PS: And Rulemak has «№» on Shift-3 like native Russian typewriters! :-)

    rulemak.png

    Last edited by ghen (11-Nov-2017 20:30:03)
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    ghen said:

    PS: And Rulemak has «№» on Shift-3 like native Russian typewriters!

    Myself, I'd put that on AltGr-3 instead. I hate all that fiddling with the symbol chars in various national layouts, such as quotes being on shift-2 and the '@' on AltGr-2 (Norwegian) or AltGr-q (German) or somewhere else instead - or <> on one key (and I kept making mistakes about which one was the shifted one even after years of use!). Makes transitions hard and is a pain for coders.

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

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    • From: Köln, Germany
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    DreymaR said:

    Could you point out the differences between this and Rulemak please? I haven't an actual need for it, but I'm curious. It's interesting to know about the design choices necessary.

    My Russian Colemak has the letters arranged in a way that i personally (and probably most english-speaking folks) find more logical. eg в /v/ is on the colemak v position, whereas Rulemak has ж /ʒ/ on the colemak v position, moving в /v/ to colemak w. I suppose it's based on a difference in transcription, in German or Dutch в /v/ would be transcribed as w. Then, for my part, i put ш /ʃ/ onto Colemak w, merely for the visual resemblance. Nonetheless, the entire home row is identical between the two layouts, which is a coincidence as i didn't see Rulemak until after i had finished making my Russian Colemak.

    Russian Colemak (what a wicked name!) has kept the alt mappings for keys the same as in Colemak, provided that the key is not occupied by a Cyrillic letter in the base layout, conserving € and ¢, although i have to say that i'd be more than surprised if you honestly need ¡ or ª in Russian. Hmm, maybe i will map "LAЦИСН ИЦСLEАЯ МISSILЕ" to one of the alt functions ... Gosh, i'm a nörd.

    Yeah, also i think it's quite useful to have some other Cyrillic letters mapped to the alt key because it lets you type other languages that use a wider array of Cyrillic letters. In case i ever want to learn Ukrainian.

    Last edited by vilem (30-Nov-2009 21:02:54)
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    • From: Belgium
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    I based the letter placement mostly on the KOI8-R to ASCII mapping (what you get when stripping the 8th bit of KOI8-R).  This maps ш to [, щ to ], э to \, в to w and ж to v.  For some other letters I deviated from this though, but it served as a basis.

    The home row being identical is no coincidence, these letters are the most straight-forward to map (apart from ч/h maybe).

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    • From: Köln, Germany
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    ghen said:

    The home row being identical is no coincidence, these letters are the most straight-forward to map (apart from ч/h maybe).

    Jeez, you're so right.

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    DreymaR said:

    Myself, I'd put that on AltGr-3 instead. I hate all that fiddling with the symbol chars in various national layouts, such as quotes being on shift-2 and the '@' on AltGr-2 (Norwegian) or AltGr-q (German) or somewhere else instead - or <> on one key (and I kept making mistakes about which one was the shifted one even after years of use!). Makes transitions hard and is a pain for coders.

    Shift-3 is what Russians are used to for №, please don't look at it only from a US Qwerty perspective. ;-)
    And as # is often used as a number symbol, it's only natural to translate that character into what Russians use as their number symbol.  I don't think they ever use # in normal text.

    Also, I'm not aware of any programming language using the Cyrillic alphabet, so the coding argument is moot. :-)

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    It's not a US QWERTY perspective, it's an annoyance at the plethora of national layouts. I've abandoned my own country's layout (Norwegian) and I don't miss it.

    The thing is, punctuation that used to sit around not doing a lot has been put to good use by code makers. So to code successfully you'll want, say, the dollar sign to be somewhere reachable. Not on an AltGr mapping of an obscure key. And you'll want the accents to be reachable even as non-deadkeys.

    This may be a moot point for Cyrillic as you say, but the point of international compliance is not. Maybe pride precludes making the 'US' layout a standard, but it is the de facto damn-closest-thing-to-a-standard-there-is and it's fine (enough for me at least). Don't kick it because it started in the US - that'd be like refusing to learn latin in the middle ages because you didn't like Italians. Meh.

    But your points are valid too. It comes down to preference I guess.

    Last edited by DreymaR (01-Dec-2009 09:07:10)

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

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    • From: Belgium
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    Don't worry - I have also abandoned Belgian Azerty a long time ago (>10 years) in favour of a US Qwerty board, for exactly the reasons you stated - until I started using Colemak of course. :-)

    But I don't think AltGr+<key> is that much "harder" than Shift+<key> (esp. for left hand keys).  And it can be pressed with the thumb instead of the pinky...

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    It feels a bit harder unless you happen to use one of those boards that sport a really long space bar in which case it's a lot harder, but another problem is its implementation. Sometimes it doesn't play well with scripted input boxes (can't remember whether it's usually java or flash or something else but it's too frequent). Not being able to input an email address in such a box because the implementer didn't consider that your @ symbol might be AltGr-mapped is a pain.

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

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