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A Gallery of Weird Keyboard Layouts: From Colemak to C'HWERTY

By dkpope
Dec 1, 2016 at 1:38 AM
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  1. There’s no place like home row, am I right? “ASDF" and "JKL:” aren’t just the keys our fingers rest upon, they’re our friends. That may be a bit much, but we have all undoubtedly come a long way from typing our very first letters. In my earliest days of typing, the keyboard setup was confusing and random despite all the fun games on my Typing Instructor CD-ROM.

    Eventually, navigating the layout became second nature, and here I am today, typing at reckless speeds without so much as needing to look down. Seven-year-old Devin would be quite impressed. It’s probably safe to say that many of us don’t know much about what lies beyond the standard QWERTY keyboard. But there’s so much more. So much.

    Let’s take a look at some popular and regional keyboard layouts. They probably won’t have you switching anytime soon, but it’s worth a peek. The more you know, and all that.

    Read the complete article.

     
  2. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 296   +78

    Interesting about the rumour of Apple offering touch keyboards in the near future. For users with limited hand function this will be excellent. Ipads in particular (but touch as a whole) made a huge step for high level spinal injured users with limited hand function. However the gap between this and desktop ot laptop computers hasn't been bridged.

    Interesting article as a whole.
     
  3. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Booster Posts: 167   +48

    Typical French bs
     
    H3llion and MonsterZero like this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,150   +1,424

    Wasn't there like a 10-button Apple keyboard?

    They have been convincing the world for 15 years that a mouse needs only one button, so no surprise there.
     
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,606   +287

    It's funny how things become the standard because of the past. We only have qwerty inherited from typewriters as it arranged the keys so that the hammer parts of the typewriter had less chance of jamming when the more common keys were used.

    I tried a Microsoft Sculpt keyboard for a while which was quite comfortable to type on but in essence was just an ergonomic split Qwerty layout. If I was starting from scratch I'd maybe want to train myself to type on Dvorak or another more modern layout.
     
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,491   +2,043

    Some interesting layouts here. I used a DVORAK keyboard while in intelligence in the military in the 80's for a while and it wasn't that difficult to get used to, in fact it was easier than QWERTY that we all use today.
     
  7. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Proof that no 'Standard' is ever a standard regardless of the product
     
  8. CortyDK

    CortyDK TS Booster Posts: 74   +36

    I know this is a bit OT, but anyway. My Peugeot 208 has a multimedia headunit with navigation, and the software keyboard used for entering adresses are a-b-c-d-e arranged and the numbers are at the bottom. Good car, but it is sometimes a real pain to use the navigation.
     
  9. Godel

    Godel TS Rookie Posts: 21

    According to an article I read years ago, Dvorak gives about an 8 per cent speed improvement and about a 15 per cent reduction in finger travel for a trained typist.
     
  10. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Booster Posts: 100   +48

    I don't think there is a "keyboard of the future". Speech to text is the future. Maybe not even that, speech is a lot of work, and you have to learn to talk.... Too much work there, so the future will be implants that read your thoughts.... Well, thinking is too much work to, so we will need something to think for us, so we can vegetate!
     
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    If you're going to vegetate, why would you need to interact with a computer in the first place? :)
     
    cliffordcooley and namesrejected like this.
  12. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Booster Posts: 100   +48

    We will need the computers to inject us with nutrients, breath for us, and wash our a$$es. That way we can spend all day taking worthless pictures of ourselves, and watching untalented people win millions on TV :confused:
     
    hopgop1, hk2000 and Raoul Duke like this.
  13. Anton Skryaga

    Anton Skryaga TS Rookie

  14. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,902   +528

    Programmable keyboards is the future.
     
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,491   +2,043

    Any keyboard is the future, just as long as it has RGB lighting.
     
    hopgop1 likes this.
  16. Junio

    Junio TS Rookie

    Sorry to point it out but the following is not correct: "If I want to type 2, I’d have to hold down the shift key, but if I want the @ symbol, I just hit the key." (written about the AZERTY layout).

    Actually we have to press alt gr to type the @ and if we just hit the number 2 button we get the "é".

    this is considered to be a good layout for french typing because you have some common letters available this way being é è ç & à. However this is one of the worst things to have as keyboard when your on a smaller size laptop that does not include the numerical part on the right side of it's integrated keyboard.

    I myself am from Flanders, Belgium and we have the French azerty as standard (even if Flanders accounts for +60% of the total population of Belgium and is (Flemish) Dutch speaking).

    Actually another mistake: the keyboard picture you linked is a Belgian AZERTY and differs from the French AZERTY.
     
  17. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    I ... just noticed. Is that a Macross themed keyboard on the article thumbnail ?
     
  18. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 335   +132

    Except for the two-in-ones and convertibles/laptops with touch screens. You're also going to start seeing more companies experiment with eye tracking as a way to interact with computers, now that Windows 10 supports facial recognition logon (both use the same stereoscopic IR camera systems).

    Eye tracking makes more sense imo. Covers a wider usage base among those with limit ranges of motion and mobility, while also conforming better the physical layout of a desktop system.
     
  19. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,058   +645

    Yes, both are correct. In english they call the Cyrillic layout "JCUKEN" but I've made some wording changes in the article to better reflect this.

    You are correct, I've removed that reference and made it clearer how AZERTY has more than one version as you point out.

    If you refer to the keyboard with the red "Eject" button, that'd be the "Skull Squadron DSA" keycap set:
    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/skull-squadron-keycap-set
     
  20. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    How cute. Macross inspired for sure though as "U.N. Spacy" and "001/VF-1S" on the capslock key are direct references to the show (and to a particular pilot/plane) as is the color scheme with the white/yellow/black.

    edit: found some more pictures that don't require signing up: http://keypuller.com/skull-squadron/
     
  21. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 296   +78

    Those laptops still have physical keyboards though.
    I personally don't like eye tracking as it gives me a headache lol, and low light conditions or overly bright lights can interfere with it. Also varifocal lenses and people with certain eye problems like cataracts will have trouble using it. Its also obscenely expensive over a easier to use headmouse. But you're right it is becoming more commonplace.
     
  22. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    Innovative designs came a dime a dozen. but only very few designs were useful that everybody could use.
     
  23. DianeFP

    DianeFP TS Rookie

    How could you forget the PLUM keyboard?? Used words to help remember where the keys are.
     
  24. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 335   +132

    I use it on my computer and never ran into any lighting issues; it'll log me in when the room is pitch black. I haven't been able to try it with really bright lights though, and wouldn't know about cataracts or using it with any kind of glasses. I've also never used a head mouse, not do I know how much they cost - most eye tracking hardware seems to be running around or below the $200 mark these days, and it was up around $300 a year ago.
     
  25. Wizwill

    Wizwill TS Rookie Posts: 23   +7

    For many years I've wondered if the folks holding keyboard patents didn't have some sort of blackmail they were holding over the folks with speech recognition patents. If only 10% of the development costs of all these different keyboards had been spent on discrete speech recognition (DSR) , we'd all be using it today.

    DSR (not the current spoken word>server translation>back to handheld device text box method) is performed entirely onboard a mid-powered or higher PC, is intuitive (remember Scotty talking into a mouse in the Star Trek movie "Coming Home" about the whales?) and much less subject to surveillance and/or data-mining than something running thorough AI in a cloud. Long-term use of a microphone also doesn't cause wrist and/or hand problems either.

    Nuance, formerly Dragon Naturally Speaking is the only reliable DSR I'm aware of.
    I do NOT work for them or sell thire product; I'm just a long-term and enthusiastic power user.
     

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