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    A take/analysis on ASSET, please?

    • Started by DreymaR
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    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    The Asset layout (D. Piepgrass, 2006):
    |Q|W|J|F|G|  |Y|P|U|L|;|
    |A|S|E|T|D|  |H|N|I|O|R|'|
      |Z|X|C|V|B|  |K|M|,|.|/|

    http://millikeys.sourceforge.net/asset/

    This guy has worked from the Colemak, obviously; his page is an interesting read by the way. He admits to higher 1-hand and 1-finger digraph frequencies than the Colemak (how much higher he doesn't say). However:

    - I rather like keeping the S key in place for several reasons.
    - Optically, keeping the E in its Dvorak position (which also means no hand switching from QWERTY) looks nice.
    - He claims better right-hand use by moving the R key. The necessity of that in these mouse-using times is open to debate of course.

    I'm sceptical to his top row though:
    - The J position is too good.
    - The Y position looks wrong somehow. I think that keeping the old Y position is stretching it too far? It's a rare enough letter, but there are some important digraphs to consider.

    In sum, looks to me as if he may have some decent home row ideas but the Colemak top row looks better to me.

    Any other thoughts on this? I guess that the biggie is whether the home row changes screw up any statistics majorly. I think that the ringfinger is strong enough for the S key for instance (as mentioned before, I believe the ring fingers are really quite strong in their home positions - just horrible when stretching)? But what would happen to other important measures?

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

    ;)

    [Edit: And here I find another interesting page: http://qism.blogspot.com/2006/11/asset-vs-colemak.html

    Of course you guys will have duked it out extensively already. That page was instructive. I'd still like to hear your comments to the question of the S, E and R keys! I'm sure a lot has been said about this by you earlier, but I couldn't find much.]

    Last edited by DreymaR (25-Dec-2006 16:51:47)

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    • Shai
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    * E has been moved to the right hand because it would cause a very high same-finger ratio with the C key, and in order to increase a bit hand alternation.
    * I've explained my reasons for the S/R switch in the Asset entry for CapsOff.org competition. The ring finger which is the least dexterous finger should avoid as much as possible same-finger.
    * Colemak balances equally the effort between the hands. I don't believe that the right hand should do more work, because the right hand needs to use the mouse as well, and in fact it is more likely to be strained due to mouse use.

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    Thank you, Shai! It is ever so nice of you to take the time to explain these things over and over again. As I've said before, I'm the kind of guy who needs to know and understand (scientist that I am, hehe). By explaining this, you make me gradually see all the strengths of the Colemak as well as the amount of thought and work that has gone into it. It's so intriguing to learn by doing.

    On a side note: I suppose you'd like to write up a compendium of all these considerations at some point. Each time a stubborn n00b like myself comes along, we have to be shown and convinced all over again, and a thorough FAQ is the way to alleviate your workload. You've already got much here on your pages, but take note of the wrong turns each newcomer makes and you'll get a tip as to what could've been made even more clear and/or put more in our faces as we enter. The truth deserves to be out there... but not too far out!  ;)

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    If you're going to keep S in place, I'd make the home row go ASRT. First of all, this is good because you can leave C in place without same finger issues. Second of all, moving E to the other hand is better than moving R because E is more common, therefore easier to learn.

    Another problem with Asset is that the OY/YO digraph is a bit too common.

    P.S. Yes, I do enjoy looking for problems in layouts.

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    Here's a layout I made that's meant to keep QWERTY positions intact:

    q w l d b j f u k p
    a s r t g h n e o i
    z x c v ; y m , . /

    - 15 keys are in their original positions: Q W P A S G H Z X C V M , . /  This is more than ASSET or Colemak.
    - Only 4 keys change hands: E L F ;
    - Same finger is better than ASSET
    - Shortcuts Z, X, C, V, A, S, Q, W, P preserved (ctrl-P is seldom used, but it is still preserved)

    On a side note: I suppose you'd like to write up a compendium of all these considerations at some point. Each time a stubborn n00b like myself comes along, we have to be shown and convinced all over again, and a thorough FAQ is the way to alleviate your workload. You've already got much here on your pages, but take note of the wrong turns each newcomer makes and you'll get a tip as to what could've been made even more clear and/or put more in our faces as we enter. The truth deserves to be out there... but not too far out!  ;)

    I agree.

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    SpeedMorph said:

    This is more than ASSET or Colemak.

    Asset or Colemak didn't count punctuation keys!

    Last edited by PiotrGrochowski (20-Jun-2015 11:18:35)

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    SpeedMorph said:

    If you're going to keep S in place, I'd make the home row go ASRT. First of all, this is good because you can leave C in place without same finger issues. Second of all, moving E to the other hand is better than moving R because E is more common, therefore easier to learn.

    If home row goes ASRT, it is at cost of top row being QFWP. According to your arguments, it is better to keep W in place than to keep S and move W.

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    You know, Piotr, that is a somewhat interesting thought. How would it affect typing efficiency though?

    R and S have similar frequencies in English (≈6%), and so do W and F (≈2%). Thus, swapping R–S/W–F shouldn't matter frequencywise nor by number of moved keys (keeping S vs W in place) except if you're really into the idea that the more rarely used keys should stay out of harm's way or that the Ctrl+W shortcut is more disruptive than the Ctrl+S one (and neither of those arguments seem weighty to me).

    Both the SX/XS bigrams and the RX/XR ones are very rare, but RC/CR happens now and then (credit, circa, incredible...). Which bigram is more common, CR+RC or CS+SC, and by how much? None of them are among the 50 most common bigrams. I found a site that has (0.149+0.121)% vs (0.023+0.155)% so the CR/RC bigrams are 50% more common than SC/CS. So there's a worry, then, but how much does it matter all in all?

    On that site, however, the frequency of F (2.4%) is much higher than that of W (1.7%), as opposed to on Wikipedia where they're nearly the same. If that's true, I'd be quite loath to change QWFP/ARST for QFWP/ASRT!

    Last edited by DreymaR (17-Jun-2015 10:18:48)

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    DreymaR said:

    You know, Piotr, that is a somewhat interesting thought. How would it affect typing efficiency though?

    R and S have similar frequencies in English (≈6%), and so do W and F (≈2%). Thus, swapping R–S/W–F shouldn't matter frequencywise nor by number of moved keys (keeping S vs W in place) except if you're really into the idea that the more rarely used keys should stay out of harm's way or that the Ctrl+W shortcut is more disruptive than the Ctrl+S one (and neither of those arguments seem weighty to me).

    Both the SX/XS bigrams and the RX/XR ones are very rare, but RC/CR happens now and then (credit, circa, incredible...). Which bigram is more common, CR+RC or CS+SC, and by how much? None of them are among the 50 most common bigrams. I found a site that has (0.149+0.121)% vs (0.023+0.155)% so the CR/RC bigrams are 50% more common than SC/CS. So there's a worry, then, but how much does it matter all in all?

    On that site, however, the frequency of F (2.4%) is much higher than that of W (1.7%), as opposed to on Wikipedia where they're nearly the same. If that's true, I'd be quite loath to change QWFP/ARST for QFWP/ASRT!

    The old colemak was like this (Shai tried to keep Ctrl+S Save shortcut):
    562885060%20Old%20Colemak%20Keyboard%20Layout%20(OUTDATED).jpg
    Merged into this thread.

    Last edited by PiotrGrochowski (20-Jun-2015 11:34:12)

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    I guess the change to the final Colemak came about because of the sum of many little things. Many things speak for the current version, but they all seem small individually.

    I see that Shai listed some reasons in that old topic:

    shai said:

    * Lower same-finger ratio.
    * Slightly lower same hand row jumping.
    * Slightly better finger balance.
    * Keeps the W in the same place. It's more important to keep the Ctrl+W shortcut (Close Window under MS Windows) because Ctrl+W is a potentially destructive shortcut.
    * Less frequent keys take longer to learn, so it better to keep the W in the same place rather than keeping the S in the same place.

    The two last arguments aren't very compelling, but the three first ones are sound enough. Again, the sum of many little things.

    Also, what he says above here is interesting and addresses the S/R positions:

    Shai said:

    * E has been moved to the right hand because it would cause a very high same-finger ratio with the C key, and in order to increase a bit hand alternation.
    * I've explained my reasons for the S/R switch in the Asset entry for CapsOff.org competition. The ring finger which is the least dexterous finger should avoid as much as possible same-finger.
    * Colemak balances equally the effort between the hands. I don't believe that the right hand should do more work, because the right hand needs to use the mouse as well, and in fact it is more likely to be strained due to mouse use.

    Last edited by DreymaR (02-Jul-2015 08:54:20)

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    By "popular" request ;-)   I analysed the layouts that were mentioned in this thread. As always, I used the AdnW-algorithm. Remarks:
    - Totalscore (lower is better) is debatable, for it is based on AdnW's assumptions:
         - low distance is desirable (same as Colemak wants)
         - balance over fingers and hands (50/50) is desirable (same as Colemak wants) 
         - sameFinger % should be as low as possible (same as Colemak wants)
         - adjacent key use should be as low as possible (= no rolls), (Colemak wants the opposite, Colemak wants rolls)
         - alternation is good (no idea what Colemak wants, I'd say not as much as AdnW wants)

    However, the next metrics are more or less objective:
         - Distance (lower is better), based on location of keys, Qwerty Y and B are the "farthest away" whereas Qwerty asdf jkl; are the closest. 
         - SameFinger %
         - Adjacent Keys %
         - Alternation
         - Finger use
         - Hand use

    OK, here we go. Based on English text. Please ignore the symbols äöüß, they played to role in the analysis.  THE BLACK BLOCK IS SCROLLABLE. COLEMAK AND OLD COLEMAK ARE IN THERE
     

    Asset            336.804 TotalScore  187.904 Distance              left right
                       3.098 SameFinger    9.189 Shift-SameFinger   ob  5.9 10.1
      qwjfg ypulüä    55.754 Alternation  41.114 Shift-Alternation  mi 38.4 31.6
      asetd hniorß     1.072 In/Outward    8.072 IndirKollision     un  6.8  7.2
      zxcvb km,.ö     22.632 adjacent     12.644 Shift-adjacent    sum 51.2 48.8
                      9.2  8.4 14.8 18.8 --.- --.- 18.4 10.8 12.1  7.6 Sh  1.1  1.7
    
    
    AssetDreymaR     327.095 TotalScore  185.128 Distance              left right
                       2.509 SameFinger    9.734 Shift-SameFinger   ob  7.8  8.2
      qwfpg jluyüä    56.275 Alternation  40.442 Shift-Alternation  mi 38.4 31.6
      asetd hniorß     1.079 In/Outward    8.642 IndirKollision     un  6.8  7.3
      zxcvb km,.ö     22.752 adjacent     10.977 Shift-adjacent    sum 52.9 47.1
                      9.1  8.4 16.8 18.7 --.- --.- 18.8 10.8  9.9  7.7 Sh  1.1  1.7
    
    
    SpeedMorph       310.240 TotalScore  186.765 Distance             left right
                       1.835 SameFinger    9.977 Shift-SameFinger   ob 10.9  7.5
      qwldb jfukpß    57.116 Alternation  41.537 Shift-Alternation  mi 30.8 37.3
      asrtg hneoiö     1.212 In/Outward    8.590 IndirKollision     un  5.4  8.1
      zxcvü ym,.ä     16.808 adjacent     10.539 Shift-adjacent    sum 47.2 52.8
                      9.2  8.4 12.9 16.7 --.- --.- 17.9 15.4  8.9 10.6 Sh  1.2  1.6
    
    
    OldColemak       306.230 TotalScore  187.107 Distance             left right
                       1.372 SameFinger   14.424 Shift-SameFinger   ob 7.8  9.0
      qfwpg jluykü    58.143 Alternation  39.607 Shift-Alternation  mi32.7 37.3
      asrtd hneioß     1.058 In/Outward    8.725 IndirKollision     un 6.8  6.6
      zxcvb öm,.ä     16.502 adjacent      7.470 Shift-adjacent   sum 47.2 52.8
                      9.1  8.8 10.7 18.7 --.- --.- 18.1 15.4  9.8  9.5 Sh  1.1  1.7
    
    
    Colemak          307.722 TotalScore  186.227 Distance              left right
                       1.348 SameFinger   14.374 Shift-SameFinger   ob  7.8  8.2
      qwfpg jluyäö    58.143 Alternation  39.607 Shift-Alternation  mi 32.7 37.3
      arstd hneioü     1.041 In/Outward    8.772 IndirKollision     un  6.8  7.3
      zxcvb km,.ß     17.492 adjacent      9.009 Shift-adjacent    sum 47.2 52.8
                      9.1  7.8 11.6 18.7 --.- --.- 18.8 15.4  9.8  8.7 Sh  1.1  1.7

    Interpretation:
    - finger & hand use is about the same in all layouts
    - distance is about the same in all layouts
    - Colemak and OldColemak do best on SameFinger
    - The Asset layouts have a higher AdjacentKeys, meaning that words like in are typed with middle-index. in Colemak in is typed with ring-index. as is typed in Asset with pinky-ring; in Colemak it is typed with pinky-middle. Here you see the lower AdjacentKeys of the Colemak layouts.  (For the record: Dvorak and Dvorak-like layouts such as AdnW optimize for even much lower adjacent keys, in the order of around 9%, in contrast to Colemak's 17%. This goes at the expense of rolls of course) 
    - Both Colemak-versions are virtually the same, I do not see any significant improvement over (new) Colemak over OldColemak.

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