• You are not logged in.

    Critics

    • Started by Golden_Hammer
    • 4 Replies:
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 17-Nov-2006
    • Posts: 68

    As you might know, I've already switched to Colemak (it's been 14 days now), and I'm very satisfied with it.

    I was browsing the net, and I stumbled on this site that speaks of Colemak. It says, "I mention this because I have gotten tons of mail from people who have patents on the layout that they believe will change the world if only Microsoft wanted to buy it to supporters of the Colemak keyboard layout (which used to have a Wikipedia link here which went away since it was deleted in accordance with their deletion policy) who think I'll jump on and support the notions of supporting those who are re-inventing the most intuitive keyboard layout." Read More.

    I want to know what you think of this Shai.

    Last edited by Golden_Hammer (01-Dec-2006 04:05:51)
    Offline
    • 0
    • Shai
    • Administrator
    • Reputation: 11
    • Registered: 11-Dec-2005
    • Posts: 387

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win..." —Mahatma Gandhi
    I'm not sure if they're ignoring me or laughing at me, but we're definitely making progress :) . Actually there's no reason we should fight because we're not even competing.

    This comes for Michael Kaplan's blog. Michael Kaplan is the guy in charge of the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator and the tech lead for internationalization in Microsoft. Microsoft has released 64 bit versions of Windows XP/2003 in April 2003. We're now in December 2006, over three and a half years have passed, and there's _still_ no way to create keyboard layouts for these operating systems, although Michael blames Microsoft's management for this, and it will be released hopefully in the next few months. It doesn't seem Microsoft is taking keyboard layouts very seriously.

    He doesn't criticize the layout, he criticizes ALL alternative keyboard layouts. Frankly, I don't expect Microsoft to include Colemak in their operating system before it gains more mainstream acceptance. Although I'm really hoping Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator will add an option to remap Caps Lock to Backspace.

    Of course, Microsoft is a huge organization and while some people might not like the idea of Colemak, other people will. Jensen Harris, the guy in charge of designing the Microsoft Office User Interface and a user of the Dvorak keyboard layout, was very excited when he heard about Asetion (the predecessor to Colemak) "Oh man, this is the first I heard of Asetion. I want to try that out now!".

    In the future I'm sure there'll be more and more people working in Microsoft who'll use the Colemak keyboard layout, and they'll perhaps be able to change things from the inside.

    Last edited by Shai (02-Dec-2006 03:35:30)
    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 17-Nov-2006
    • Posts: 68
    Shai said:

    In the future I'm sure there'll be more and more people working in Microsoft who'll use the Colemak keyboard layout, and they'll perhaps be able to change things from the inside.

    I definitely hope so.

    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 0
    • Registered: 18-Nov-2006
    • Posts: 14

    Wow, based on that one discussion on that one blog entry, Mr. Kaplan seems to be a bit of a jerk (although, it should be noted, not enough of a jerk to delete Shai's posts without warning.) How surprising that the guy in charge of MSKLC has no interest in improved layouts or the possibility of reassigning Caps Lock and other "special" keys. I mean yeah it's great to have support for lots of languages, but supporting languages that are not built into the OS must be a very small niche for Microsoft. Surely the /potential/ market for efficiency-focused layouts is much bigger than the market for layouts for obscure languages that MS doesn't support. Then again, Mike would know better.

    BTW, Shai, you mentioned speaking five languages which is very cool. I don't want to downplay the importance of MSKLC for unusual languages since I speak Esperanto (and besides I often have use for math symbols), so I know how annoying it is when you can't type the characters you need.

    But personally I don't see how either market makes any significant profit for MS, so I'm simultaneously very glad that MSKLC exists at all, and disappointed that the high-efficiency layout market gets the short end of the stick.

    Shai said:
    'If you receive "tons of mail" about alternative keyboard layouts, it shows that there's a lot of interest in that area. I'm a bit disappointed to see a "this isn't my department" and "a big customer isn't paying us to do this" mentality, instead of a "getting things done _right_" and a "thinking out of the box" mentality. If we're talking about perceptions of Microsoft, you're not setting a very good example.'

    I completely agree.

    Offline
    • 0
    • Reputation: 136
    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 4,897

    Hi there, David! Mi estas ?ojanta, vin vidi! (Espero vi komprenas min - mi parolas tre malbone Esperanton nuntempe...)

    To me, Mike didn't seem as much of a jerk as he seemed generally grumpy. I don't know why he used the Colemak as an example - that was a bad call I guess. Maybe he'd received some overenthusiatic nagging recently and needed to blow off steam at that, who knows?

    But I think that a bit of the problem is that to us, he's a clerk behind the massive Microsoft counter. To himself, he's just a private blogger on those pages. And it looks to me as if he's probably more frustrated with MS management than we are, if anything. He's got a difficult and complex job to do, and they aren't providing him with the tools he needs to do it optimally.

    The CapsLock thing, for instance, is out of his hands. OTTOMH, I believe he's actually asked MS for better functionality in that area (albeit for different reasons) but nothing's come out of it yet - no wonder he gets grumpy.

    That much said, I agree with Shai and you that it's a pity for us all that he doesn't take an interest in our pet cause(s). And he'd be better off taking Shai's example of patient informative posting instead of being choleric about things. But I can't blame him much - I get pretty net-nasty myself sometimes. Just see those pages as his personal blogspace, not as MS representative pages.

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

    Online
    • 0