OT: keyboard layouts

Taavi Burns taavi-LbuTpDkqzNzXI80/IeQp7B2eb7JE58TQ at public.gmane.org
Sun Dec 14 05:44:05 UTC 2003

On Sat, Dec 13, 2003 at 06:57:47PM -0500, Henry Spencer wrote:
> > Indeed, I see that point.  Given that Maltron uses the basic qwerty
> > letter layout...
> Uh, come again?  It most certainly doesn't.  The home row, for example,
> is ANISF DTHOR, with E on the left thumb and space on the right thumb.

OH.  You see, the picture that you linked to was of a Maltron-qwerty
hybrid, so I assumed that it was the physical thing only.  Wrong
picture, and a poor assumption.  :)

> Why would you bother?  Use the Maltron shape with the Maltron layout.

Indeed, I wholeheartedly agree (now that I have it straight).  :)

> Correct, but that's backwards from what I was suggesting, which is
> adapting the Maltron layout to the standard physical shape.  I'm not sure
> it is reasonably possible, mind you, because of the thumb problem. 

Yeah, it's all the fault of that fat-ass spacebar...

> True, but so what?  The human issue is a large one, actually a bigger
> barrier than a hardware issue would be.

This tends to depend who you talk to.  For a large organisation the
people-training costs do tend to outstrip the cost of new keyboards.
To the hobbyist, though, the time spent learning something is more
than half the fun, and hardware costs real money.

> Basically, because the Qwerty layout is not a bad one (for an electronic
> keyboard -- some of its problems, like the assignment of A and the shifts
> to the little fingers, loom larger on manual typewriters), and the
> improvements to be had by rearranging it simply aren't huge. 

I wonder if any proper studies have been done regarding the incidence
of RSS relative to use of the different layouts.  From the sounds of
it the Maltron would be the culmination of such research.  Too bad it's
not more publicised.

The ergonomics of the chair, desk, and monitor probably play a much
larger role anyway for most people, and are really easy to fix.

I'm glad we got that all sorted out.  :)

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