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(BBC-US)   In the Northern Hemisphere the trees are blossoming. The squirrels are emerging from their winter sleep. And some journalist has once again discovered the QWERTY keyboard is not the most efficient design possible   (bbc.com) divider line 68
    More: Unlikely, QWERTY keyboard, northern hemispheres, fundamental interactions, drawing rooms, pasty, Rory Cellan-Jones, inertia  
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3176 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Mar 2013 at 11:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-17 07:05:08 AM
"We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com."

/English.
//Lived in England all my life.
///BBC becoming even less useful to me than my commenting on the Fark headline implies.
////So unpatriotic I don't even care it's Saint Patrick's Day.
//Preparing for imminent Fark account termination.
 
2013-03-17 07:23:34 AM

bazbt3: "We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com."

/English.
//Lived in England all my life.
///BBC becoming even less useful to me than my commenting on the Fark headline implies.
////So unpatriotic I don't even care it's Saint Patrick's Day.
//Preparing for imminent Fark account termination.


You're patriotic enough to not care about a Papist saint from Wales and claimed by Ireland, and a million fake Irish Americans, for one day only. We're English, we don't need an excuse to drink.

It's annoying we can't see BBC International but it's because of the way everything they do in England is funded by the license payer supplemented with income from side ventures abroad, so I think if they allowed us to see this site then they wouldn't be able to make money off it. Or something. Anyway, using a proxy I see that the article is pointless, so you're not missing out.
 
2013-03-17 08:24:41 AM

Slaxl: bazbt3: "We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com."

/English.
//Lived in England all my life.
///BBC becoming even less useful to me than my commenting on the Fark headline implies.
////So unpatriotic I don't even care it's Saint Patrick's Day.
//Preparing for imminent Fark account termination.

You're patriotic enough to not care about a Papist saint from Wales and claimed by Ireland, and a million fake Irish Americans, for one day only. We're English, we don't need an excuse to drink.

It's annoying we can't see BBC International but it's because of the way everything they do in England is funded by the license payer supplemented with income from side ventures abroad, so I think if they allowed us to see this site then they wouldn't be able to make money off it. Or something. Anyway, using a proxy I see that the article is pointless, so you're not missing out.


Thanks. Couldn't have put it better myself. Are you having a Guinness later?

/Having a Guinness later.
//Commenting via Fark's iOS app, apologies if you have to scroll to see this.
 
2013-03-17 08:26:56 AM
I don't know about efficient, but the typical keyboard layout sure suits me. I've logged some serious time as a keyboard jockey. I can type... fast.
 
2013-03-17 10:58:10 AM

Slaxl: bazbt3: "We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com."

/English.
//Lived in England all my life.
///BBC becoming even less useful to me than my commenting on the Fark headline implies.
////So unpatriotic I don't even care it's Saint Patrick's Day.
//Preparing for imminent Fark account termination.

You're patriotic enough to not care about a Papist saint from Wales and claimed by Ireland, and a million fake Irish Americans, for one day only. We're English, we don't need an excuse to drink.

It's annoying we can't see BBC International but it's because of the way everything they do in England is funded by the license payer supplemented with income from side ventures abroad, so I think if they allowed us to see this site then they wouldn't be able to make money off it. Or something. Anyway, using a proxy I see that the article is pointless, so you're not missing out.


Oh wow, this is hugely amusing to me. PBS may cut pieces of Downton Abbey out when it airs it, if we pay our cable overlords vast sums of money we can see Top Gear late and also similarly edited for time and we utterly fail at making US versions of BBC shows but the fact that people in Britain cannot even access all of BBC's content just makes my day. (of course, I haven't even been up for a whole hour yet).

I'm sure someone could probably copy/pasta this article to you if you really wanted it. I read a few paragraphs just not really caring because QWERTY keyboards work for me - probably because I'm used to them. Transitioning away even by teaching kids with a different keyboard is not practical because unless a better (or at least different) layout was available wherever keyboards are found, kids would still have to use QWERTY.

And I was also thinking let's ditch the decimal system too. The only reason I can think of to use a decimal system is because we only have 10 fingers. Hexadecimal makes a hell of a lot more sense. We just aren't used to it.

But trust me, this is not one of the BBC's finer pieces of work. I have a great deal of respect for the BBC. It does some fine journalism and makes some great entertainment. Don't feel like you're missing much by not being able to view this article.
 
2013-03-17 11:24:39 AM
I didn't know squirrels go into winter hibernation.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-03-17 11:33:10 AM
I didn't know squirrels go into winter hibernation.

Ground squirrels including chipmunks and marmots generally hibernate. Tree squirrels do not.
I use hibernate in the sense as understood by normal people. Biologists (real biologists, not molecular biologists) may act offended if you call the winter rest of ground squirrels hibernation.
 
2013-03-17 11:52:48 AM
There is a problem with path dependence. The people who already touch-type with QWERTY don't want to waste time learning a new system that will take them months or years to become proficient with. Those who don't touch-type (or haven't even been born yet) and who might benefit from such an improvement aren't buying keyboards right now, which means most keyboard makers aren't going to bother manufacturing them. And those who are actually in the market to learn how to use a keyboard have to buy what's available, which typically means QWERTY.

Of course, there are some that flip back and forth between formats, and Windows includes key mapping software even for those that don't, but the keys are already in place, and on many keyboards have different profiles depending where they are on the keyboard, so swapping them around is not an option. Once we get cheap Optimus-style keyboards that may change, but that's quite a ways out.

Still, the theory that goes behind it is kind of interesting. Here is a layout optimized for a Kinesis Advantage Pro from this site:
http://mathematicalmulticore.wordpress.com/the-keyboard-layout-proje ct /

(Shifted)
    `  %  /  +  #   ^  <  >  {  }  Q
 |  \  P  O  U  [   ]  D  L  C  W  @
    I  N  E  A  *   M  H  T  S  R  X
    &  K  =  Y  !   B  F  V  G  $
    ~ \t                     J  Z
                               \n SP

(Unshifted)
    1  2  3  4  5   6  7  8  9  0  q
 ;  .  p  o  u  -   "  d  l  c  w  :
    i  n  e  a  ,   m  h  t  s  r  x
    (  k  '  y  _   b  f  v  g  )
    ? \t                     j  z

The website also talks about the Colemak and Carpalx keyboard setups.
 
2013-03-17 11:54:16 AM
This guy seemed more impressed by the musical instrument he was allowed to screw around on than he was interested in improving the mechanical computer interface. Maybe he should have decided to write about the instrument OR computer keyboards and stuck to topic.
 
2013-03-17 12:03:35 PM

ZAZ: I didn't know squirrels go into winter hibernation.

Ground squirrels including chipmunks and marmots generally hibernate. Tree squirrels do not.
I use hibernate in the sense as understood by normal people. Biologists (real biologists, not molecular biologists) may act offended if you call the winter rest of ground squirrels hibernation.


Hey, nice marmot.
 
2013-03-17 12:07:35 PM
It's the most efficient if that's what you know.  It's the industry standard.
 
2013-03-17 12:08:14 PM
The vultures are flocking back to Michigan. Ahh Spring!
 
2013-03-17 12:16:37 PM

Snarfangel: The website also talks about the Colemak and Carpalx keyboard setups.


Interesting link; thank you.
 
2013-03-17 12:21:38 PM
I touch type pretty well on qwerty, but use dvorak on my phone. Supposedly better for two-thumbing. Well, that's my supposition, anyway.
 
2013-03-17 12:23:24 PM
Q-W-E-R-T-Y. Six letters that define so much of our waking lives

Ahhh, No.
 
2013-03-17 12:26:42 PM

Honest Bender: I don't know about efficient, but the typical keyboard layout sure suits me. I've logged some serious time as a keyboard jockey. I can type... fast.


Yep, me too.  Suggesting that I change now is as ridiculous as telling me, "English is not as efficient as it could be. You should give it up and learn a language that would allow you to express your thoughts marginally faster."
 
2013-03-17 12:30:44 PM
How long before this turns into a typing/keyboard snob thread? Because I really enjoyed the last one, it was fascinating.
 
2013-03-17 12:40:12 PM
Does anyone have an aquarium they keep for cat entertainment? I have been considering one but I'm worried about it being stressful on the fish, and I would need a very low maintenance aquarium.  Any thoughts?


....

loadpaper.com
 
2013-03-17 12:43:37 PM
haha wrong thread.

Idiot.
 
2013-03-17 12:43:48 PM

JerkyMeat: Q-W-E-R-T-Y. Six letters that define so much of our waking lives

Ahhh, No.


POIUYT!
 
2013-03-17 12:55:21 PM
Didn't the Apple IIe have a switch to change the keyboard layout?  The thinking at the time was computers would make the QWERTY layout obsolete and schools could teach either layout.  That was 30 years ago, get over it all ready.
 
2013-03-17 12:56:17 PM
Just be glad we got qwerty instead of Linotype Compositor.
 
2013-03-17 12:57:19 PM
Problem with keyboard perfection is that different languages have different needs so it's a pointless effort unless you make the world go monolingual.

QWERTY is an accepted standard all around the world* in all languages. It may not be the best for each language, but it's certainly the most convenient for every one.

*Except in Germany, where they use the QWERTZ abortion... Why make such a meaningless change? Just to claim you're different? fark the Germans.
 
2013-03-17 12:59:02 PM
It makes sense to keep QWERTY for physical keyboard where millions of people have muscle memory built up, but it makes little sense to keep it around for tablets and smartphones where you are typically typing with your thumbs. There's got to be a better layout for these devices.
 
2013-03-17 01:04:21 PM
Well, for once the article wasn't about the purposely inefficient layout of the QWERTY keyboard, and was more concerned with the entire idea of improving the depth of interaction with touch-input machines in general.

The jelly-piano-thing mentioned actually sounds kind of interesting in practice.  (Not as a replacement for a traditional piano, though.  Nothing beats the tactile response of a mechanical grand piano keyboard.)

Some kind of highly-sensitive tactile-responsive gel interface that you stick your (ahem)hand into might actually be a workable alternative to the arm-fatiguing air-mouse crap that gets tossed around nowadays.
 
2013-03-17 01:10:40 PM

rocky_howard: Problem with keyboard perfection is that different languages have different needs so it's a pointless effort unless you make the world go monolingual.

QWERTY is an accepted standard all around the world* in all languages. It may not be the best for each language, but it's certainly the most convenient for every one.

*Except in Germany, where they use the QWERTZ abortion... Why make such a meaningless change? Just to claim you're different? fark the Germans.


France uses AZERTY, and Portugal used a really weird layout until fairly recently.
 
2013-03-17 01:15:45 PM
Dvorak is the Esperanto of typing.
 
2013-03-17 01:16:03 PM
Came for:

prelectur.stanford.edu

/left dissapointed
 
2013-03-17 01:23:53 PM

Snarfangel: Still, the theory that goes behind it is kind of interesting. Here is a layout optimized for a Kinesis Advantage Pro from this site:
http://mathematicalmulticore.wordpress.com/the-keyboard-layout-proje ct /

(Shifted)
` % / + # ^ < > { } Q
| \ P O U [ ] D L C W @
I N E A * M H T S R X
& K = Y ! B F V G $
~ \t J Z
\n SP

(Unshifted)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 q
; . p o u - " d l c w :
i n e a , m h t s r x
( k ' y _ b f v g )
? \t j z

The website also talks about the Colemak and Carpalx keyboard setups.


I am by no means a good typist (modified hunt and peck, 4 fingers and thumb).  Other than here, and some paperwork, I don't type enough to need to be...  So maybe not the best qualified to judge, but a quick look at the layout above tells me it favours righties.  Qwerty probably slightly favours the left hand in English. Unless you are spelling e n g l i s h.
So no perfect layout for everybody... and deferent languages throw that even further away...
 
2013-03-17 01:30:03 PM
Ric Romero not reporting?
 
2013-03-17 01:37:48 PM
IIRC the qwerty keyboard was designed to be as inefficient *as* possible.

People typing too fast would jam the machine, making the inventor look bad.
 
2013-03-17 01:47:46 PM

Snarfangel: Still, the theory that goes behind it is kind of interesting. Here is a layout optimized for a Kinesis Advantage Pro from this site:
http://mathematicalmulticore.wordpress.com/the-keyboard-layout-proje ct /

(Shifted)
    `  %  /  +  #   ^  <  >  {  }  Q
 |  \  P  O  U  [   ]  D  L  C  W  @
    I  N  E  A  *   M  H  T  S  R  X
    &  K  =  Y  !   B  F  V  G  $
    ~ \t                     J  Z
                               \n SP

(Unshifted)
    1  2  3  4  5   6  7  8  9  0  q
 ;  .  p  o  u  -   "  d  l  c  w  :
    i  n  e  a  ,   m  h  t  s  r  x
    (  k  '  y  _   b  f  v  g  )
    ? \t                     j  z

The website also talks about the Colemak and Carpalx keyboard setups.


There are only two standards: QWERTY and Dvorak.  Quit trying to invent more, when we can't even get out of the former.

Also, that design looks dumb and ineffective.  Way too many symbols in the middle of the keyboard.
 
2013-03-17 01:52:18 PM
images.fastcompany.com
The real future.
/hot.
 
2013-03-17 01:56:38 PM

Alpo 3000: Does anyone have an aquarium they keep for cat entertainment? I have been considering one but I'm worried about it being stressful on the fish, and I would need a very low maintenance aquarium.  Any thoughts?


The real ones all require regular maintenance. Run an aquarium screensaver on a spare LCD monitor instead. And be sure to install PawSense on that computer to make sure that the cat doesn't accidentally interrupt the program by typing something.

/he said, in a weak attempt to tie the accidental fish theme back into this rather dull keyboard thread.
 
2013-03-17 01:58:08 PM
Qwerty is arbitrary, idiot.
Get over it.
 
2013-03-17 01:59:37 PM
Not just Dvorak, but Dvorak left handed.  Since 2001 for me.

www.snakelegs.org
 
2013-03-17 02:00:13 PM

Mad_Radhu: It makes sense to keep QWERTY for physical keyboard where millions of people have muscle memory built up, but it makes little sense to keep it around for tablets and smartphones where you are typically typing with your thumbs. There's got to be a better layout for these devices.


If someone can't touch type on QWERTY & her/she has to hunt for every key, what's the point in optimizing anything for that kind of person?
 
2013-03-17 02:00:43 PM

teto85: Not just Dvorak, but Dvorak left handed.  Since 2001 for me.

[www.snakelegs.org image 850x403]


fark you and your PSYCHOTIC KEYB OARD
GIVE ME ROSETTA STONE ANYDAY

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-03-17 02:03:54 PM

teto85: Not just Dvorak, but Dvorak left handed.  Since 2001 for me.

[www.snakelegs.org image 850x403]


It... it has no space bar.
 
2013-03-17 02:07:28 PM
Changing keyboard layouts is roughly like what having a stroke must feel like. I went from QWERTY to Dvorak, and during the transition, I felt like I had suffered brain damage. I didn't understand where anything was, or how it worked, and tasks that were once simple become herculean.

I'm glad I did it.
 
2013-03-17 02:09:19 PM
That being said, I've never met a dvorak advocate who wouldn't be qualified as clinically insane..
 
2013-03-17 02:09:33 PM

Snarfangel: There is a problem with path dependence. The people who already touch-type with QWERTY don't want to waste time learning a new system that will take them months or years to become proficient with.


In all fairness, Dvorak was designed to cut the learning curve.  And it does, rather well.  Keyboard layout doesn't seem to significantly affect top speeds for proficient typists, but you can learn to touch type on Dvorak MUCH faster than on QWERTY.

/I know, it's pointless. Nobody is going to switch.

neuroflare: It... it has no space bar.


LOL
 
2013-03-17 02:15:55 PM

t3knomanser: Changing keyboard layouts is roughly like what having a stroke must feel like. I went from QWERTY to Dvorak, and during the transition, I felt like I had suffered brain damage. I didn't understand where anything was, or how it worked, and tasks that were once simple become herculean.

I'm glad I did it.


CSB:
When I first started taking my motorcycle to the track, and switched from standard to GP-style shift... yeah.  Same deal, only at 120mph.  Missed a bunch of shifts for the first couple of weeks, and almost killed myself once or twice.  Downshifting from 4th to 3rd at the redline on a liter bike is an eye-opener.

I too, am now glad I did it.
/CSB
 
2013-03-17 02:29:33 PM
www.blvd.com

I'll just leave this here..
 
2013-03-17 02:33:14 PM

neuroflare: teto85: Not just Dvorak, but Dvorak left handed.  Since 2001 for me.

[www.snakelegs.org image 850x403]

It... it has no space bar.


It is where it usually is.  The image is mistaken.
 
2013-03-17 02:41:47 PM
The article is quite an interesting one about a new type of Musical instrument, while it references Qwerty keyboards, they is not really it's main drive.
 
2013-03-17 02:45:51 PM

studebaker hoch: IIRC the qwerty keyboard was designed to be as inefficient *as* possible.

People typing too fast would jam the machine, making the inventor look bad.


Huh.  I'd learned that the QUERTY keyboard was designed to have all of the letters of typewriter arranged in one row, and typing "typewriter" was used to demonstrate how fast the machines could be used.

/Was probably lied to
//Think I'll let it slide in this case
 
2013-03-17 02:47:22 PM

Z-clipped: Snarfangel: There is a problem with path dependence. The people who already touch-type with QWERTY don't want to waste time learning a new system that will take them months or years to become proficient with.

In all fairness, Dvorak was designed to cut the learning curve.  And it does, rather well.  Keyboard layout doesn't seem to significantly affect top speeds for proficient typists, but you can learn to touch type on Dvorak MUCH faster than on QWERTY.

/I know, it's pointless. Nobody is going to switch.

neuroflare: It... it has no space bar.

LOL


QWERTY was designed to slow things down.  In the olden days typists were faster than the typewriter.  The strikers would get entangled on their way to the paper.  Dvorak allowed the typist to use the stronger fingers for the more popular keys, using less finger motion and essentially type faster, while reducing repetitive stress injuries to the fingers.   All I know is that is works for me, especially the left-handed variant. (Also makes a great security device.)   I do use an iPad, but type on it with my thumbs, index, and middle fingers.
 
2013-03-17 02:56:28 PM

teto85: QWERTY was designed to slow things down.


Not exactly. The goal wasn't to slow things down, it was to make sure frequently used characters weren't near each other on the keyboard so that the hammers wouldn't get tied up. It  wasn't about slowing typists down, but it was designed because of physical constraints of the typing system, not because there was anything inherent about QWERTY which made it a better choice.
 
2013-03-17 03:00:20 PM

teto85: Z-clipped: Snarfangel: There is a problem with path dependence. The people who already touch-type with QWERTY don't want to waste time learning a new system that will take them months or years to become proficient with.

In all fairness, Dvorak was designed to cut the learning curve.  And it does, rather well.  Keyboard layout doesn't seem to significantly affect top speeds for proficient typists, but you can learn to touch type on Dvorak MUCH faster than on QWERTY.

/I know, it's pointless. Nobody is going to switch.

neuroflare: It... it has no space bar.

LOL

QWERTY was designed to slow things down


Nope. QWERTY was designed to speed things up by preventing jams caused by typing too quickly.
 
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