40 Percent Crap

By Xah Lee. Date: .
Tiny Keyboards: An Explanation
Aug 3, 2017
Troy Fletcher

@Ryan2 you asked me. i tell you. That vid is crap.

though, that guy is a friend. but his ideas, in that vid, is crap.

those 40% keyboards, is fastest way to reach rsi

that guy, troy fletcher, is the creator of this

Signum keyboard


and, he's also the one who got my lisp logo stickers

see pic



and one of his vid, some 4 years ago, mentioned me


now his ideas, about 40% keyboard, in that vid, is crap. i've watched half of it now.

i can go thru it point by point.

well, maybe i'll give a summary to benefit all.

bottom line is, if you are casual typer, like vast majority of programers, or , most here, it's fine.

sure, go 40%.

because, you do not type that much, at all.

now, if you are forced to type, continuously for just 1 hour on that keyboard, within 1 month, you'll got rsi.

in 3 months, it'll become very serious.

in 6 months, your hand is ruined. say goodbye to coding bread.

But, i understand, lots of keyboard idiots, on reddit, vimmers, hackernews, even emacers, will find wow 40% is so neat.

why? because , comparatively, they type little.

the key is, they all think they type a lot.

show me your key log.

i have several article on these. and livestream on 40% keyboards.

cobblepot 2020-07-12 at 7:44 PM

@XahLee where's your article on why 40% causes RSI? Or what's the thinking? Typing on a 40% is the exact same keys, how is typing on a 40% any different for RSI than typing more words on a full-size? You'll hit the same keys the same number of times.

@cobblepot are u gonna promise to read it carefully if i post the links? lol

cuz i know from experience, people'll just scan it, and come out insist on things i addressed in detail as if they didn't read a thing.

the reason you gave has lots logical holes.

if i respectfully, politely, type the few thousands words for the umpteenth time, hand holding, then, you might change your mind. but, if i just post url, or be terse, you will insist your views and think am a crackpot.

you see, i know, cuz i've done this a million times.

i learned the hard way.

all info, is found on my site. i'd say, not difficult to find.

those who look for truth, has already found them, not necessarily wholly agree with me.

you see, if i spend the next hour chatting with you about this. then, boom, tomorrow, someone else will come up, and say, xah, your views on 40% are shit. where is your articles? what's your reasons? the cycle repeats.

but, why not just love 40%? indeed. Love it. nothing wrong really.

cobblepot 2020-07-12 at 8:08 PM

@XahLee I went to your site, looked at the sitemap, couldn't find 40%, read the RSI page and saw nothing. Is there a site search? Easy to find how? And what's the point of writing the article if you even balk at posting links? I'll read it if it's not super-long. Or keep the links hidden and be satisfied that you don't have to deal with someone reading your work incompletely. I don't even use a 40% board, it just wasn't obvious to me why it would cause RSI. And man, it would have taken far less time to post the links than to write that long post about how awful I am for wasting your time before even giving me a chance to read your arguments.

@XahLee Someone else reading this exchange would say, "What's the point in asking XahLee whether he has evidence for his claims? He'll just tell you that he won't bother talking to you because you'll never change your mind."

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 8:15 PM

Planck Keyboard


Atreus Keyboard



call it, pre-clickbait

let me tell you the deal, @cobblepot

there's a issue with chord movement with 2 fingers, and single key movement but further, such as the key 8 on the num row.

exactly which is worse for ergonomics, i don't think we have solid scientific data. But, also, it depends on how you press them.

For example, if you are a hunt and pecker, on a flat normal pc keyboard such as imb model m, then, the single keystroke of 8, is ergonomically better than, chord of say alt+y on the imb model m.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:32 PM

just faaaking listen.

i'll type more if u willing.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:32 PM

so, first of all, there are 2 issues of concern already.

one is how you press them. example: hunt n peck vs standard touch-typing.

they have diff outcome on whether 1 key vs chord 2 key is better for ergonoomics.

Now, there's another issue, is the physical keyboard shape.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:34 PM

For example, on the planck, it has diff outcome compared to the ibm model m., because, on the planc, it has lots thumb keys, so when u do chord such as ctrl+t, it's easier to hold ctrl.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:35 PM

so, here, we are talking about, whether 1 single key press, vs 2 keys chord, such as number 8 vs Ctrl+t, which is more ergonomic, on the plack keyboard.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:36 PM

and don't forget, we still have the issue of 2 way to type the keys. hunt n peck, and standard touch type, on the plank, for deciding, 1 key vs 2-keys chord is ergonomically better.

Now, let's consider a another physical keyboard. say, ergodox.

now, on ergodox, and if you touch type, the situation is significantly more in favor, for touch typist pressing the chord. because now, it has 2 BIG thumb keys, each is positioned exactly for the thumb by human anatomy, and BIG, twice as large as normal key.

(and there's also the issue of tenting. but let's ignore that aspect for now)

@myrkraverk you are acting as if I claimed that 40% stopped RSI. I didn't. I just said that 40% doesn't necessarily cause RSI. I am assuming nothing about RSI being one thing. I just don't see an argument supporting the idea that 40% causes RSI.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:39 PM

So, let's for a summary of the above 2 paragraphs to enforce our logic lest the subject go astray. We are, trying to find out which of the following 2 is more ergonomic. 1 single key press, vs, a 2 keys chord. and the example we used is, number 8 key, vs Ctrl+t.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:39 PM

and we so far discovered, how you press them matters. hunt n peck, vs standard touch typing.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:40 PM

and we also noticed, the exact physical keyboard matters too, for the outcome. We thought about ibm model m, planc, and ergodox.

and we've kinda obtained a lose result, that for certain typing method (hunt n peck or standard touch type), it favors one or the other. and, for diff keyboards, it also favor one or the other with a specific key press method.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:41 PM

so, we can now draw a matrix. The rows will be, ibm model m, planc, ergodox.

and the columns will be, hunt n peck, standard touch type.

so, 3 by 2 matrix. we have 6 entries.

XahLee 2020-07-12 at 9:42 PM

in each, we can put down, whether it's more ergonomic to press 8, or Ctrl+t.

now, the above covered some of the issues, on the question, whether 40% is good or not for ergonomics.

of course, there's lots other details. For example, we picked key 8 vs Ctrl+t. but what about key $ vs Ctrl+shift+4? or any other key choices.

because , depending on the exact 40% keyboard, many symbols will need 2 modifiers, a total of 3 key presses.

and, also, note, we need to consider what text do you type.

for example, if you just type english for chat, then, numbers and symbols $ % @ & are not that significant, cuz u no really type them much at all.

but if u r a programer, you need to type those often.

and, this also depends on the programing language.

for eample, i have a page of statistics that tally what punctuations are used by how much in 10 most popular languages.

further, now, are you chinese, russian? or japanese, Korean?

or perhaps you are a arabic.

here, those people, few billion of them, daily, they need to use a input method to type.

and i have tutorial and explanation on them. How they work. Surely, chinese is also human, right? so when u consider 40%, u have to consider chinese, else, it's racism and nazi, right?

so, we need to start to study, how many letters r in russian. what punctuation russions use.

and et al.

hum, so i typed a lot. my left arm is sufferring pain, for helping my human fellow animals to unstand a thing or 2 about keyboarding.

the science and art of keyboarding.

and i need a break, or, intermission.

during this intermission, let me put in a ad.

because, we live in a capitalism world. Omg, what a joy. i can sit here and sip coffee and type and suffer from rsi for the pure joy of helping other human animal while somewhere in africa people r dying, of aids.

humm. trying to chose a url to spam here.

but i got a few hundred of them.

let's just put this one out

My Typing/RSI Experience http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/xah_keyboarding_RSI_experience.html

but i was gonna post this one

Xah Lee Emacs Pinky 2020


which is my current pain n suffering, for humanity. like jesus!