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Optimizing the Maltron layout - please help me!

  • Started by symphonic
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For some reason I didn't received notification* that there'd been a reply on this thread, but as luck would have it just yesterday I received a communication from Martin (O'Donovan) in the UK (Maltron) and we were discussing whether or not to add the Colemak to the list of optional dual-keyboard layouts, so I thought I'd drop in here to see if anything was happening, and lo and behold, here I am again. ;)

Firstly, thanks for the kind words.  Quite glad to help stimulate debate.


In looking around the Maltron website I came across this page:

http://www.maltron.com/keyboard-info/ke … grams.html

which in part contains the little statement of philosophy:


At Maltron, we enthusiastically plug the Maltron key layout over QWERTY for reasons explained in detail here. Did you know that we offer the Dvorak letter layout on most of our ergonomic two-hand keyboards? Far from seeing Dvorak as a competitor to the Maltron layout, we see it as a massive improvement over QWERTY and as such we are pleased to offer the Dvorak letter layout as an option.

So perhaps the same philosophy could be applied to Colemak.

Which brings to mind the question is there a copyright on the Colemak layout?

When I asked Martin about the Colemak option he replied:

No talk about offering Colema[k], happy to spread the word and see what Stephen and Peter think about offering a wider range. Do you have any numbers I could go to them both with?

So perhaps if any of you are interested in having Maltron offer the Colemak option, here's his email address

"Maltron Sales" <sales@maltron.co.uk>

and he could have some figures to take to his colleagues.

All the best for Christmas and 2012.

Joe

*Aha.  I have a new email address and forgot to tell the board.

Last edited by proword (11-Dec-2011 10:59:49)
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As it states on the main page for Colemak, there's no copyright claims on it and it's Public Domain. See the Colemak License page if you wish. However, do mention Shai Coleman (2006) for his great work! :)

Last edited by DreymaR (11-Dec-2011 17:46:15)

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Found this old thread and couldn't help resurrecting it. :) Dunno why I didn't bite the first time around, it's so fascinating!

proword said:

I think it odd that people are more obsessed with an optimised layout on the standard keyboard rather than creating an optimised ergonomic keyboard.

erw said:

Weird, I didn't think about this before. But now that I do, ... [snip]

I think I know where this ended, fellow Kinesis user. :D

But back on topic. Proword got me looking at the Maltron site again (Lilian Malt's paper in particular), and when someone at geekhack posted a keyboard idea sporting the MTGAP layout the idea for a Colemak-Maltification came to mind again.

===============================================
Colemak
-----------------------------------------------
qwfp g  j luy;
arst d  h neio
zxcv b  k m,./
        Space
===============================================
Step 1: Moving "e" to thumb
-----------------------------------------------
qwfp g  j luy;
arst d  h n*io
zxcv b  k m,./
     e  Space

This is where the fun starts, with loads of possibilities. Such as:
a) Of the letters that aren't in a home position yet, the most frequent letter "h" gets the home key spot. It's ideal to optimize distance, possibly less ideal otherwise (frequent di- and trigraphs etc). Note "h" and "u" are in the exact same spot as on Malt.
c) The second most frequent letter "d" gets the home key spot. In case the first option has unwanted drawbacks.
b) "u" moves down. This should not worsen Colemak's rolls, so might be a "safe" choice.

===============================================
Step 2: Many possibilities...
-----------------------------------------------
a)              |   b)              |   c)
                |                   |
qwfp g  j luy;  |   qwfp g  j luy;  |   qwfp g  j l*y;
arst d  * nhio  |   arst *  h ndio  |   arst d  h nuio
zxcv b  k m,./  |   zxcv b  k m,./  |   zxcv b  k m,./
                |                   |   
     e  Space   |        e  Space   |       e  Space 

This is obviously where it opens up completely, so I didn't go much further. Just a follow-up or two on the options above.

The two spots that are in the home row but not a home key are left alone, of the four remaining spots g is the most frequent, so it's mostly g that gets moved around. The last option is another take on u and h on the right middle finger, but the other way around this time.

This leaves the original spot of the g key unused, which could be used for something like Tab. Having recently tried the TrulyErgonomic keyboard, which has a central Tab key, I learned to like a Tab key operated by the index finger.

===============================================
Step 3: Many follow-up possibilities...
-----------------------------------------------
a->d)           |   b->e)           |   c->f)           |   c->->g)
                |                   |                   |
qwfp *  j luy;  |   qwfp *  j luy;  |   qwfp *  j lgy;  |   qwfp *  j lhy;
arst d  g nhio  |   arst g  h ndio  |   arst d  h nuio  |   arst d  g nuio
zxcv b  k m,./  |   zxcv b  k m,./  |   zxcv b  k m,./  |   zxcv b  k m,./
                |                   |                   |
     e  Space   |        e  Space   |        e  Space   |        e  Space

Where to go from here might also depend on one's preferences. For example I like having the ZXCV keys in the original position, C and V particularly for copy paste.

I'm looking forward to future versions of Michael Dickens' keyboard layout optimizer, maybe it can help. :)

He added support for the right thumb keys recently, which are dedicated to Enter and Space. The left thumb keys can't be optimized yet, but one can hope... ^_^

proword said:

Perhaps the Colemak community might approach Maltron and see if there's any chance of a Colemak/Maltron dual keyboard possible.  Would be interesting.    Then you'd be able to shuffle the keys around to suit yourself.

I think I asked months/years ago, and again today and got a "We do not offer Colemak at the moment."

Last edited by boli (29-Feb-2012 02:19:47)
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I think the reason I don't want to get me a new piece of more radical hardware is that I want to stay fully compatible with the many keyboards I have to use out there! I can always (well, nearly) get a Colemak option running on those but obviously a thumb button is missing.

Given that, the challenge is to make as much out of the standard hardware as possible. And with Extend layer(s) and various other tricks I do in fact feel that I now have a really good keyboard! Maybe I'm tricking myself out of the last bit of goodness there, but as mentioned - no extra worries at work (where I have several desk places).

Maybe if there were a really light-weight, compact, driverless DataHand I'd consider lugging it around with me! :)

Last edited by DreymaR (29-Feb-2012 07:50:49)

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I tested the straightforward ColeMalt variants above at this layout tester

The best of the 3 first steps was b), and thus the best second step was e) (just slightly worse than cole-e)

I then created a variant of e) with Shift, E and Space (and optionally Enter) on the thumbs. The version without thumb-Enter scored slightly worse than cole-e-shift, but better than Maltron; the version with thumb-Enter scored best of all. Please note: I don't feel confident about the corpus of text I used, so take this with a grain of salt!

ColeMalt-E-Shift

qwfp *  j luy;
arst g  h ndio
zxcv b  k m,./
              
Shift e Space Shift

Layout for this layout tester

`1234567890-=
#qwfp#jluy;[]\
#arstghndio'*N
#zxcvbkm,./
*Le*S*R
*L
#######&**()_+
######JLUY:{}|
######HNDIO"
######KM<>?
#
*R
~!@*#$%^
#QWFP#
#ARSTG
#ZXCVB
#E

ColeMalt-E-Shift-Enter
Layout:

qwfp *  j luy;
arst g  h ndio
zxcv b  k m,./
              
Shift e Space Enter

Layout for this layout tester

`1234567890-=
#qwfp#jluy;[]\
#arstghndio'
#zxcvbkm,./
*Le*S*N
*L
~!@*#$%^#&**()_+
#QWFP#JLUY:{}|
#ARSTGHNDIO"
#ZXCVBKM<>?
#E

Cole-e:
For convenience I post symphonic's cole-e here, maybe I made a mistake with the layout for the tester...

qwfp b    j luy;[]\
arst g    m nhio'
*zxd k    v c,./

Enter e  Space

Layout for this layout tester

`1234567890-=
#qwfpbjluy;[]\
#arstgmnhio'#
*L#zxdkvc,./*R
*Ne*S#
*L
#######&**()_+
######JLUY:{}|
######MNHIO"
######VC<>?
#
*R
~!@*#$%^
#QWFPB
#ARSTG
##ZXDK
#E

Cole-e-Shift:
For convenience I post symphonic's cole-e-Shift here, maybe I made a mistake with the layout for the tester...

qwfp j    l uy;[]\
arst g    m nhio'
zxbd k    v c,./

Shift e  Space Shift

Layout for this layout tester

`1234567890-=
#qwfpj#luy;[]\
#arstgmnhio'*N
#zxbdkvc,./#
*Le*S*R
*L
#######&**()_+
#######LUY:{}|
######MNHIO"
######VC<>?
#
*R
~!@*#$%^
#QWFPJ
#ARSTG
#ZXBDK
#E
Last edited by boli (29-Feb-2012 10:13:33)
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I was able to improve the Cole-e-Shift with the same thing as the ColeMalt: by using just one thumb as shift (for whatever reason that's seen as a slight improvement), and especially adding Enter instead of the right shift.

This depends a lot on the corpus though: With a list of words or triads, which had a newline after each word/triad, KinesisColemak turned out to be the best (that's regular Colemak with a thumb Space and Enter) from all the layouts. Obviously this isn't a very meaningful corpus for most people.

With part of a book text (Alice in Wonderland, which had a newline after up to 70 characters) on the other hand, other layouts fared better:
analyzer_books.png

ColeMalt1 is KinesisColemak (thumb Space and Enter) plus "e" on left thumb, and nothing in the original "e" spot. ColeMalt-A to G are the earlier variants a) to g) with a thumb Enter.

I wonder what a typical day's use of keys is. There's writing mail, IMs, forum posts, web browsing/searching/..., using CLIs, IDEs with various programming languages and so forth. Could be interesting to see the key frequencies averaged over some time of computer use... :)

Last edited by boli (01-Mar-2012 00:04:20)
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Later I noticed that with the books corpus the variant a) with H in E's original place is a tiny bit better than b) with D in E's original place, and the same holds for their respective follow-ups d) and e).

Adding the thumb Shift and thumb Enter to the d) variant makes it slightly better than ColeMalt-E-Shift-Enter.

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Alice may be a poor corpus: When typing Through The Looking-Glass, I noticed an astounding number of oddities. Fancy stuff.

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Thanks, I tried with parts of shakespeare instead (tokenized though). Found it here.

shakespeare_analysis.png

Untokenized version:
analysis_shakespeare_untokenized.png

Interesting that KinesisColemak (just a thumb Enter and thumb Space) scores just slightly worse in effort than Maltron, which in addition to Enter and Space has the letter E on a thumb.

Last edited by boli (02-Mar-2012 01:02:33)
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I finally got carPalx to run on my machine and played around a bit. Mostly I generated keyboard statistics for layouts of my choice.

Unmodified Colemak:

b                       0.344  18.7  18.7
p                       0.763  41.4 145.1
s                       0.735  39.9 100.0
all                     1.842 100.0 100.0

Details how to read these numbers can be found at carPalx: keyboard statistics.

Kinda off-topic, but I also tested MTGAP layouts because I was curious. Here are their total efforts (compare to the all row above):

  • Fully optimized standard keyboard: 2.007 source

  • Fully optimized shifted layout: 1.980 source

  • Main 30: 2.077 source

CarPalx seems not well suited to analyse layouts that use thumb on a letter. I kinda faked it by adding an extra key in the home row (to avoid penalty of moving away from the home row) which has a base effort of 0 - so essentially an extra home key.

Colemak with e on thumb:

b                       0.344  18.3  18.3
p                       0.763  40.5 145.1
s                       0.776  41.2 100.0
all                     1.883 100.0 100.0

For some reason moving e to that spot increased the stroke component a little. I don't know how to fix this ATM so we'll have to use the layout with e on the left thumb - and no other change - to compare to...

Now let's compare the overall effort (the line starting with all) to the basic ColeMalt permutations:

  • DLH: 1.779

  • GHD: 1.793 e)

  • GDH: 1.795

  • Malt: 1.796

  • LDH: 1.801

  • DGH: 1.804 d)

  • LHD: 1.805

  • DHU: 1.806 f)

  • DHG: 1.837

  • HLD: 1.851

  • DGU: 1.871 g)

Update: Added Malt layout for comparison.
Update 2: Added DLH and its permutations LHD, HLD and LDH. DLH is this:

qwfp *  j guy;
arst d  l nhio
zxcv b  k m,./
     e  Space
Last edited by boli (07-Mar-2012 00:27:02)
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I finally got around to doing a short video showing the single hand Maltron in action (using my shorthand).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxfdPgl … ature=plcp

maltron_rh_black_keyboard_2.jpg

Obviously I'm not (and probably never will be) as fast as when I'm using a dual-hand 3D but considering how little effort I had to put in to achieve this level of audio-transcription performance I'm very impressed with the thing.  If push came to shove and I HAD to use just a single hand, I think it would be eminently do-able.  I'm particularly impressed with how little "gross" hand/arm movement there is, as the layout design puts the more commonly used keys in the most accessible positions, just needing the fingers to be extended/ retracted.  There are a couple of changes I'd like to see in regard to having the "Ctrl" and "Alt" keys being changeable to single-action, like the Shift key.  But those are almost exclusive to my shorthand use, so I wouldn't press too hard.

Joe

Last edited by proword (16-Aug-2012 03:16:42)
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I use a modified Maltron keyboard with a layout I call Dlyz, based on Malt's layout:
43218  90567
=-pucb  kdlyz+
(anisw  gthor)
“'.,f_  qmv/x”
[?;*    j:\]
In case you're reading this with a variable-width font and the layout is visually misaligned, note that underscore and Q are on Qwerty's B and N positions. Space and E are on the right and left thumb home keys, the same as on Malt's layout, and adjacent to space and E are enter and tab. I use a palm key for shift.
Dlyz is more comfortable to type on than Malt's layout. Unfortunately, Dlyz has more same-finger digraphs (including UI, and most annoyingly YO), but also has more laterally adjacent digraphs, more comfortable diagonals (Malt's worst is LO), less index finger stretches to the center columns, less ring finger jumps (e.g. AD or EA on Qwerty), and better finger loading.

I would love to solve the YO problem, but don't know how, without creating something even worse than the YO. With Y over I and U over H like on Malt's layout, there'd be no good place to put L. If there weren't this problem, I would be happy with Dlyz, and would recommend that other people use it too. The UI problem isn't bad, despite Malt's warning not to put vowels on the same finger; I mix up S and C (which are the same on Malt's layout and Dlyz) at least as often as I mix up U and I.

http://www.codesharp.co.uk/dvorak/ appears to be down, so I can't check what it would say about how Dlyz compares to Cole-e and Cole-e-shift, but keep in mind that the numbers that symphonic posted don't show ring finger jumps, which is an important metric. Colemak has a lot of them, mostly from AS, AC, and OU.

I originally posted part of this message to http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=281 … #msg749462 but this is a more relevant thread.

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Some month ago I also tried to improve the Malt keyboard layout using a open source layout optimizer. I never tried the result, but I realized that it was hard to beat Malt which is very balanced (left/right) and has very few same finger movements.

Please check my results with your testing algorithms. Probably it has fewer same finger digraphs as DLYZ.

Oviously the proposed 'betterMalt' has similarities with malt90, I preserved the positions of all vocals! While repositioning the consonats I tried to fullfill malt ideas and give some additional influences space:

  • minimize adjacent keystrokes with other fingers than middle finger/index finger. This avoids physiologically difficult movements.

  • favor, of inwardly directed movements while typing bigramms. This supports faster touch typing.

  • favor, change of hands for bigramms. This supports faster touch typing.

All in all betterMalt is a result that meets all the above requirements and takes only two slight degradations compared with the malt90:

  • the number of useage of the same finger twice in succession was increased by 18%. From 0.583 percent to 0.689 percent.

  • the two index fingers got more load moving from 12.5% to 15.8% and 14.7%  to 15.5%.

BetterMalt compared with the malt90 shows better:

  • adjacent keystrokes with other fingers than middle finger/index finger were reduced by 35%.

  • inwardly directed movements while typing bigramms were increased by 52%.

  • change of hands for bigramms was increased by 11%.

  • the load on the pinky fingers is reduced by 18%.

  • the percentage of characters typed on the home row was increased by 2%.

Here are the protagonists with rating for english corpus

malt90en         250.033 total costs    139.289 layout costs           left  right
                   0.583 same finger     12.373 Shift-same finger      up  6.8  8.3
  qpycb vmuzl     54.056 change of hands 46.374 Shift-change of hands  mi 25.2 25.2
  anisf dthor      0.935 in-/outward      5.675 IndirSame finger       dw  4.8  3.9
  ,.jg/ ;wk-x     24.922 adjacent        11.062 Shift-adjacent        sum 46.6 53.4
     e              8.7  8.3  7.3 12.5  9.7 | 16.1 14.7  6.7  6.2  9.7 Sh  1.0  1.4
  same finger        0.02 0.00 0.01 0.23 0.00 0.00 0.10 0.10 0.01 0.10 Sh 5.69 6.69
  ""line switch.>=2  0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00 Sh 0.00 2.29
  adjacent              2.93 3.29 3.89 4.79 0.00 0.00 5.48 1.70 2.85   Sh 1.72 9.34
  ""line switchig>=2    0.00 0.00 0.02 4.26 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00   Sh 0.10 0.06
betterMaltEn     215.639 total costs    142.600 layout costs           left  right
                   0.689 same finger      5.644 Shift-same finger      up  6.4  6.5
  ;fymb qlu./     60.334 change of hands 36.710 Shift-change of hands  mi 25.3 25.9
  acitd rnhos      1.427 in-/outward      7.539 IndirSame finger       dw  5.0  5.1
  -pjgk xwv,z     19.470 adjacent        10.417 Shift-adjacent        sum 46.4 53.6
     e              7.7  5.9  7.3 15.8  9.7 | 16.1 15.5  6.9  7.9  7.1 Sh  0.8  1.6
  same finger        0.01 0.00 0.01 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.48 0.09 0.00 0.01 Sh 4.27 1.38
  ""line switch.>=2  0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 Sh 0.00 0.00
  adjacent              1.68 1.66 4.76 6.40 0.00 0.00 2.41 1.85 0.71   Sh 0.96 9.46
  ""line switching>=2   0.00 0.02 0.03 5.52 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.00 0.00   Sh 0.23 0.00
Last edited by ksweber (03-Jul-2013 20:45:47)
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I use Maltron keyboard for about 14 months. I am a programmer and for programming environment I use Unix shell (bash) and vim editor (almost exclusively) with some other shell utils.

Immediately after buy this keyboard (qwerty 90 model) I slightly modified it layout to be more vim friendly. Modification consist of change electrical connections between some keys. There is modified keyboard below:

maltron qwerty90 modified

As you can see ESC key was moved to be accessed by left thumb. CapsLock was moved to usual place, and blank key was moved to thumb group and mapped as secondary Enter (Del key on left thumb group). PgUp, PgDown were moved to numpad (where CapsLock and ESC used to be). This wasn't easy to do this swap (patience and some soldering experience are need).

Finally (after some research described below) I swapped left Space and Backspace (two blank keys in left thumb group) because it was very uncomfortable to press small Backspace in original place. So now I have big Space on right, big Backspace and small Space on left. The small left Space I use occasionally when my right hand is on mouse (the same with left Enter).

I known about Colemak layout when I start to use this Maltron keyboard, but at start I try learn its original Qwerty layout. It wasn't easy task and I began to wonder why not learn Colemak layout if I can't start to use this keyboard without any learning effort, even in Qwerty layout.

So I configured Colemak layout in X11 and in Linux console and start to learn it. I realized that Colemak isn't well suited for vim. Furthermore, I discovered that I can't press keys on right side of keyboard using left hand, when my right hand is on mouse. I started to think about moving some mouse related keys from the right to the left.

Obviously I've tried some keyboard optimizers/raters to see if my choice is good. At last I found that such optimizers and especially they sample sources aren't well suited for programming. I write my own key statistic application (https://github.com/ziutek/kbdstat) and use it on all places where I work, to see what is the real key frequency, including all keys (ESC, Backspace, arrows, ...).

Bellow you can see the final layout, attached to my monitor (I still use it sometimes when I enter passwords):

modified colemak layout

It is based on Colemak (home row is identical) with some keys swapped. I use it in this form for about last 6-7 months. During the previous 5-6 months it was slightly modified based on my writing experiences (mainly bottom row). You can easily see which keys have not been changed since the initial layout and which keys are changed more often.

I don't recommend this layout to anybody, but if you plan to buy a Maltron keyboard and you are shell, vim (with mouse) user you can treat this layout as initial start for your modification. In current form it is very comfortable to me, with one exception: sometime I need to use 'Y' key with mouse and I can't because it is still on right side. But I have no good place for it on left side without modify the home row.

Last edited by ziutek (03-Apr-2013 20:01:26)
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After write previous post I decided to swap 'Y' with 'W' and try this modification for some period.

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For linux users, there is a definition of my current layout for X:

    key <TLDE> { [        grave,   asciitilde,      dead_tilde,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AE01> { [            1,       exclam,      exclamdown,      onesuperior ] };
    key <AE02> { [            2,           at,       masculine,      twosuperior ] };
    key <AE03> { [            3,   numbersign,     ordfeminine,    threesuperior ] };
    key <AE04> { [            4,       dollar,            cent,         sterling ] };
    key <AE05> { [            5,      percent,        EuroSign,              yen ] };
    key <AE06> { [            6,  asciicircum,         hstroke,          Hstroke ] };
    key <AE07> { [            7,    ampersand,             eth,              ETH ] };
    key <AE08> { [            8,     asterisk,           thorn,            THORN ] };
    key <AE09> { [            9,    parenleft,  leftsinglequotemark,  leftdoublequotemark ] };
    key <AE10> { [            0,   parenright, rightsinglequotemark,  rightdoublequotemark ] };
    key <AE11> { [        minus,   underscore,          endash,           emdash ] };
    key <AE12> { [        equal,         plus,        multiply,         division ] };

    key <AD01> { [            q,            Q,      adiaeresis,       Adiaeresis ] };
    key <AD02> { [            y,            Y,      udiaeresis,       Udiaeresis ] };
    key <AD03> { [            u,            U,          uacute,           Uacute ] };
    key <AD04> { [            p,            P,          oslash,         Ooblique ] };
    key <AD05> { [            g,            G,     dead_ogonek,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AD06> { [            j,            J,         dstroke,          Dstroke ] };
    key <AD07> { [            m,            M,     dead_macron,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AD08> { [            f,            F,          atilde,           Atilde ] };
    key <AD09> { [            w,            W,           aring,            Aring ] };
    key <AD10> { [            b,            B,      dead_breve,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AD11> { [  bracketleft,    braceleft,   guillemotleft,        0x1002039 ] };
    key <AD12> { [ bracketright,   braceright,  guillemotright,        0x100203a ] };
    key <BKSL> { [    backslash,          bar,      asciitilde,       asciitilde ] };

    key <AC01> { [            a,            A,         aogonek,          Aogonek ] };
    key <AC02> { [            r,            R,      dead_grave,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AC03> { [            s,            S,          sacute,           Sacute ] };
    key <AC04> { [            t,            T,      dead_acute, dead_doubleacute ] };
    key <AC05> { [            d,            D,  dead_diaeresis,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AC06> { [            h,            H,      dead_caron,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AC07> { [            n,            N,          nacute,           Nacute ] };
    key <AC08> { [            e,            E,          eogonek,         Eogonek ] };
    key <AC09> { [            i,            I,          iacute,           Iacute ] };
    key <AC10> { [            o,            O,          oacute,           Oacute ] };
    key <AC11> { [   apostrophe,     quotedbl,          otilde,           Otilde ] };

    key <AB01> { [            z,            Z,       zabovedot,        Zabovedot ] };
    key <AB02> { [            x,            X,          zacute,           Zacute ] };
    key <AB03> { [       period,      greater,   dead_abovedot,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AB04> { [            c,            C,          cacute,           Cacute ] };
    key <AB05> { [            v,            V,              oe,               Oe ] };
    key <AB06> { [            k,            K,  dead_abovering,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AB07> { [            l,            L,         lstroke,          Lstroke ] };
    key <AB08> { [        comma,         less,    dead_cedilla,       asciitilde ] };
    key <AB09> { [    semicolon,        colon,      odiaeresis,       Odiaeresis ] };
    key <AB10> { [        slash,     question,    questiondown,       asciitilde ] };

    key <LSGT> { [        minus,   underscore,          endash,           emdash ] };
    key <SPCE> { [        space,        space,           space,     nobreakspace ] };

and for console:

keycode  86 =    Return
keycode  83 =    KP_Period


keycode  16 = q
keycode  17 = y
keycode  18 = u
keycode  19 = p
keycode  20 = g

keycode  21 = j
keycode  22 = m
keycode  23 = f
keycode  24 = w
keycode  25 = b


keycode  30 = a
keycode  31 = r
keycode  32 = s
keycode  33 = t
keycode  34 = d

keycode  35 = h
keycode  36 = n
keycode  37 = e
keycode  38 = i
keycode  39 = o


keycode  44 = z
keycode  45 = x
keycode  46 = period           greater
keycode  47 = c
keycode  48 = v

keycode  49 = k
keycode  50 = l
keycode  51 = comma            less
keycode  52 = semicolon        colon
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  • From: Oslo, Norway
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Question: Why do you swap U, W, Y and F between hands? Colemak was designed to keep almost all keys on the same hand as their QWERTY counterpart so only P and E have to change hands which is a good idea I believe.

I suppose you may have good reasons but if so it'd be interesting to hear them. :)

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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As I wrote in a post #66 i use vim editor with mouse. There is no problem on conventional keyboard to press some keys on its right side using left hand (when right is on mouse). With Maltron keyboard this is very uncomfortable because of its shape.  For example, I very often want to repeat some action using '.' key in places pointed by mouse.  Another example is the case when you make a mistake (eg. you paste something in wrong place), so you need to press 'u' key to undo. '.' and 'u' are on the right side of qwerty/colemak layout, so to press them on Maltron keyboard you need to move right hand from mouse.

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Post #64. Indeed, there it is. Thanks. I do see the problem there.

What I do is try to use the mouse less, but that's no cure-all of course. The Extend mappings help quite a bit with that, extending(!) some of the functionality of Vim to all applications.

*** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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Mouse is always there and I try to use it more if it really helps, a specially in programming. See
http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/m … _keyboard/

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Finally, (after 22 days) I can say that changing W and Y wasn't a good idea. I'm really missing the 'cw' sequence on left hand which is very useful when combined with middle mouse button. I went back to the previous layout.

Last edited by ziutek (25-Apr-2013 12:23:51)
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  • Optimizing the Maltron layout - please help me!