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Re: Keyboard Layout: Dvorak vs Colemak: is it Worthwhile to Improvethe Dvorak Layout?

 
 
Rustom Mody
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      06-13-2011
On Jun 13, 6:19 pm, Steven D'Aprano
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Even if we accept that Dvorak is an optimization, it's a micro-
> optimization.


+1

Dvorak -- like qwerty and any other keyboard layout -- assumes the
computer is a typewriter.
This means in effect at least two constraints, necessary for the
typewriter but not for the computer:

a. The typist can type only 1 key at a time
b. One (key)stroke generates exactly 1 letter

Exceptions to <a> are Shift (Ctrl) etc but clearly in running use they
are the exception not the rule.

> Where speed really is vital, such as for court stenographers, special mechanical
> shorthand machines such as stenotypes are used, costing thousands of dollars but allowing
> the typist to reach speeds of over 300 wpm.


Yes, instruments like stenotypes speed up typing by unassuming <a>
Likewise pianists can be said (and seen) to do more at the piano than
typists at a computer because chords are part of the 'allowed
language'.

Assumption <b> likewise is unnecessarily restrictive on a computer.
Think of all the 'abbrev/snippet/shortform/template' systems like
yasnippet, textmate-snippets, emacs/vi abbrevs etc.

For ordinary English there are things like keyscript
http://www.freewebs.com/cassyjanek

For example the most common words (estimated to be around 40% of
English) are shortformed as:
b = but
c = with
d = had
e = this
f = of
g = that
h = the
j = which
n = and
....etc etc upto
z = was

then common phrases
able to = cb
had been = dn
do not = dx
did not = ex
does not = dsx

etc

Clearly, for programmers this is unlikely to be much use --
programming languages are not English.

But but it is certainly an open question whether if the repeating
patterns in programming languages are captured into some system, the
resulting benefit would be a mere micro-optimization or something more
significant. I have seen some good programmers swear by
emacs-yasnippets, textmate-snippets etc.
 
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Xah Lee
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      06-14-2011


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Knu
 
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Xah Lee
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-14-2011
for some reason, was unable to post the previous message. (but can
post others) So, the message is rot13'd and it works. Not sure what's
up with Google groups. (this happened a few years back once.
Apparantly, the message content might have something to do with it
because rot13 clearly works. Yet, the problem doesnt seem to be my
name or embedded url, since it only happens with the previous message)
 
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