colemak mod-xvcf

tuesday, 1 august 2017

the alternative layout Colemak significantly improves upon the widely used QWERTY. The Colemak community further refined the Colemak layout with..

colemak dh

addressing the DH placement, D for its letter frequency and H for the HE bigram, whilst retaining ZXCV on the bottom row..

Colemak Mod-DH

I subsequently optimized the layout by swapping the BV key pair, placing the more common letter B in the easier to reach index finger position..

Colemak Mod-BV

This was my default layout for quite some time and, as it felt a worthy modification, opened the door to explore other layout optimization possibilities..

colemak xv

further optimizes the layout placement of the higher frequency BMV for smaller hands, albeit sacrificing the QWERTY/Colemak ZXCV cluster..

Colemak Mod-XV

The MK swap places the significantly less common K in the more unfavourable index finger reach position.

Z and J, the least frequent English letters, now occupy the most difficult to reach key positions. V, more common than X, is placed in the more easily reached ring finger position. And B remains in the adjusted Mod-DH position described above.

The end result is the least common English letters are now placed in the outer corner reaches of each hand.

colemak cf

is a letter frequency optimization further violating the Colemak retention of the familiar bottom row keys, swapping the CF key pair for gains in finger travel and comfort..

Colemak Mod-CF

The significantly more common letter C now occupies easier middle finger top row placement. There are new finger rolls to learn but initial usage appears to bear this out despite the finger memory hurdle—a good sign.

The deviation (arrow legend) from the original Colemak layout will be too radical for most tastes but does illustrate the potential that programmable keyboards allow..

Colemak Deviation

As can be seen, this is far removed from the original Colemak specification (top legend) and the minor but effective Mod-DH variant (bottom legend—which I highly recommend, if none other). The B and K keys are returned to their original Colemak assignments from the Mod-DH layout—as a natural progression in the development of this layout.

Having arrived at the CF-Mod (for lack of a better name) in the search for the optimal layout for these hands, typing with it feels like a worthwhile improvement—plus, it is easily implemented across all my Planck keyboards which makes it an effortless transition.

Time will tell whether I stick with the CF-Mod or revert to the less radical XV-Mod. At the very least, it is exercising new neural pathways..

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