Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Nov 2013 22:50 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I bought a Droid 4 twenty-one months ago.

As a devout user of physical QWERTY keyboards, I'm pretty sure I'm screwed.

Great article by Sean Hollister on the demise of the QWERTY slider. In the article, Hollister speaks with Doug Kaufman, manager of handset strategy for Sprint, and his revelations are intriguing - it's not so much that people do not want hardware keyboards; it's that people want iconic, flagship phones - like the S4, like the 5S - with huge marketing pushes. Since nobody is pushing a flagship QWERTY slider... Nobody buys them. However, when you ask consumers what they want, physical keyboards are very, very popular.

And so, Kaufman admits: if there was an HTC One or Galaxy S4, a top-of-the-line phone, but with a keyboard - it would sell.

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“Faster Dvorak” is a myth
by theosib on Sat 16th Nov 2013 13:56 UTC in reply to "dvorak"
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

It couldn’t have been better if the mythbusters busted it. Some years ago, Dvorak was given finally a good, objective analysis. Dvorak is not, in any practical way, faster than Qwerty. Basically, the analysis was that (a) Qwerty is random, which is a close enough approximation to an optimized layout, (b) Dvorak isn’t really all that optimized, (c) people “have heard” that it’s superior because of folklore descended from Dvorak marketing materials, and (d) the people who were way way faster on Dvorak were enthusiasts who would also have had superior performance on Qwerty, because they're just smarter and had way more practice.

This reminds me of all the stuff Paul Graham said about how superior Lisp is. I agree that Lisp’s macros are a very powerful feature. (Pretty amazing when you realize what you can do with it.) But you can do some very similar stuff in C++, Haskell, etc. The primary advantage Paul and his friends had over others was not the language. It was that they were just way better programmers.

It tells you nothing objective about a technology if the only people who get more out of it are the ones who understand it better than everyone else.

It also shows you that smart people are often not introspective enough to realize that it isn’t necessarily the tool that gives them the advantage. Like other human beings, they like to latch on to something external to explain what they observe. People with high IQs often have some surprising blind spots.

Edited 2013-11-16 13:58 UTC

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