Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Mar 2013 16:49 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The Minuum keyboard, through its simplicity, improves your touchscreen typing. Existing keyboards leave you barely enough screen to interact with your apps, and you can't enjoy typing on them. Minuum eliminates the visual clutter of archaic mobile keyboards by adapting the keyboard to a single dimension." You have to watch the video. This is yet another example of a strength of more open platforms - like Android - that often gets overlooked: the ability to experiment with core aspects of the operating system. Whenever someone says there are no Android-exclusive applications, they conveniently overlook things like this. No other platform has stuff like this, and I certainly miss this experimentation on my 8X.
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RE[2]: Oooh, yay...
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 18th Mar 2013 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Oooh, yay..."
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

There is plenty of controversy over the layout, mostly baseless. As a user of the layout and previously a QWERTY user my entire life, I can confidently call bullshit on the vast majority of them. The Dvorak layout really is a pleasure to type on.

Three or four weeks in you get an optimistic glimpse of what's to come. By a month and a half you're really starting to get a feel for it. By two or two and a half months, you'll never want to go back.

The efficiency gained by the greatly reduced workload of the fingers is real. The difference can be felt in the form of a reduction or even complete elimination of hand/wrist/arm fatigue and/or pain. You feel as if you're typing slower than you actually are because your hands aren't flying all over the place, yet the speeds are comparable.

I still need some practice on it, I have only been using it since early December and had to abruptly stop due to real life getting in the way earlier this month. I had already reached my old average for shorter bursts by that time and could tell there was plenty of improvement to be made. That's about three months, vs. well over a decade I've been touchtyping QWERTY.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Oooh, yay...
by No it isnt on Mon 18th Mar 2013 22:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Oooh, yay..."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I'm sure I've heard the exact same argument made before, but then in favour of homeopathy. Your confident call of bullshit is nothing but anecdotal ... well, calling it evidence would be an exaggeration, as you only have your subjective experience with no objective metrics. But anecdote it is.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: Oooh, yay...
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 18th Mar 2013 23:40 in reply to "RE[3]: Oooh, yay..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

A bhut jolokia is hotter than a banana pepper. I know, because I tried them both. Is that purely anecdotal? If you answer yes, then how about you look it up and read all the scientific stats and findings that back it up, or better yet, try them both yourself?

Similarly with Dvorak, all the information is out there--you just have to look it up. I did, and it is quite fascinating. If you want a site with a more scientific background and analysis of the various keyboard layouts, look up CarpalX.

Martin Krzywinski, the guy behind CarpalX, is a scientist who specializes in bioinformatics and has written a program to assist in making keyboard layouts and testing the efficiency of existing layouts. So I think It's safe to say that this guy takes things seriously and looks at things from as scientific a standpoint as you could possibly get.

Edited 2013-03-18 23:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Oooh, yay...
by ssokolow on Mon 18th Mar 2013 22:11 in reply to "RE[2]: Oooh, yay..."
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Hmm. Maybe something for me to consider experimenting with, then, if/when I can ever spare time to temporarily drop my typing speed. I have noticed it taking effort to limit my use of my wrists in typing due to the awkward distances from home row for many common keys.

Looking at the layout diagram on Wikipedia, it looks easy to set up using nothing more than a keycap puller and the OS keyboard layout dialog.

Edited 2013-03-18 22:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Oooh, yay...
by Lobotomik on Tue 19th Mar 2013 14:04 in reply to "RE[2]: Oooh, yay..."
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Are they good only for English, or are they as good in any language? Lots of people need to type regularly in two or more languages: is this OK on a Dvorak layout?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Oooh, yay...
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 19th Mar 2013 18:47 in reply to "RE[3]: Oooh, yay..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

It was designed and optimized for the English language based on things like letter frequencies and common bigraphs, etc., but if you speak French I've heard of a version adapted to that language called Bepo. It may work well in some other languages, who knows. I have heard of some completely unique layout designed and optimized for the German language as well, but I can't remember its name.

QWERTY wasn't optimized for any written language, it was the successor to a plain old alphabetical layout (just look at the home row: ASDFGHJKL, and the most common letters are pretty much everywhere but the home row). It was designed so primitive typewriters wouldn't jam, by placing keys that were commonly struck in quick succession (and as a result, their typebars) far away from each other. That just solves a long-obsolete problem; it does absolutely nothing for optimizing text entry in English or any other language.

So really, the argument that Dvorak better support multiple languages perfectly because QWERTY somehow does... doesn't really make any sense. That's assuming that QWERTY was even optimized for the English language in the first place. But it wasn't... creating a layout that didn't jam and created a usable typewriter to sell was top priority. It was only 'optimized' to reduce and get around an antique machine's mechanical problems.

Edited 2013-03-19 18:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Oooh, yay...
by darknexus on Wed 20th Mar 2013 00:05 in reply to "RE[3]: Oooh, yay..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Are they good only for English, or are they as good in any language? Lots of people need to type regularly in two or more languages: is this OK on a Dvorak layout?

In my experience, no. Dvorak was created and optimized specifically for the spelling patterns of English, to enable the least strain on the hands when typing English. One could, of course, optimize a keyboard layout for any alphabetic language in the same way, but it would be completely different on a per-language (or at minimum a per-language family) basis.

Reply Parent Score: 3