Xah Keyboard Blog 2017-07

Addison Reveal keyboard 02889 s311x201
PC Reveal keyboard

Logitech G700s gaming mouse is discontinued

Logitech G700s mouse 07225
Logitech G700s

Do-It-Yourself Keyboards, New Index

diy keyboards 80533
Do-It-Yourself Keyboards

keyboard for life

eucalyptus keyboard 45186
Eucalyptus Keyboard

Keyboardio Review (Watch a video of typing on it.)

be my first patreon

now i have a patreon account. be my first patreon. see first post at https://www.patreon.com/xahlee

New. Kailh BOX Switches. Water Proof, Dust Proof

Kailh BOX Switches Overview

Japanese Keyboard Layouts. Major update.

Key Label Evolution Atari

Book: The Chinese Typewriter: A History

What questions would you like answered about typing/keyboard?

Marcin Wichary, is writing a book about typing/keyboard.

He asked: “What keyboards should I definitely mention? What questions would you like answered?”

and, there are some 100 replies. I trolled thru. Lots of interesting info.

see, https://twitter.com/mwichary/status/889898972462030848

and here's the questions i asked:

German Keyboard Layout (major update)

Russian Keyboard Layout and Programing (major update)

Russian Keyboard Layout (major update)

marquardt mini ergo keyboard s316x198
Marquardt Mini-Ergo keyboard
Omnikey Evolution ergonomic keyboard 05187 s279x224
Northgate Omnikey Evolution Ergonomic Keyboard

The French Keyboard Layout is probably the suckest layout that exists, worse than QWERTY for English. See French Keyboard Layout (major update. Thanks to Max P for the detail)

Chinese Input Methods (updated. added detail.)

Japanese input methods and layouts and what i learned

spent some 2 days studying Japanese input methods and layouts.

Japanese Keyboard Layouts

it seems to me, the Japanese JIS X6004 Layout is the best. (this is just first impression random guess.)

The thumb-shift ones, Nicola and TRON, have the one hand thumb+shift+key strain problem. Though, it can be fixed trivially by using pre-fix shift. (that is, press shift first but not hold)

M-Type look cool before studying it, but is actually the worst, because its romaji based input. But better than QWERTY JIS of course.

was rather surprised, that most people in Japan, use the most inefficient system, the QWERTY JIS. Basically directly borrowed from USA keyboard with least learning required. This is the same situation as with Chinese input, and also English using stupid qwerty and non-ergo keyboard.

[see Chinese Input Methods]

[see Alternative Keyboard Layouts]

also surprised to learn, that the Happy Hacking Keyboard, is not only the most idiotic for English, it is also the most idiotic for typing Japanese.

All the other Japanese keyboards have fancy input methods and or fancy thumb keys, competing for efficiency, yet the HHKB sticks with the QWERTY JIS.

[see The Idiocy of Happy Hacking Keyboard]

sometimes, the elite goes for the most idiotic things. e.g. emacs fanatics swear by emacs keybinding, hacker type of coders swear by certain programing language idioms, and keyboard fans with HHKB.

i think the reason is cult factor. Once a cult is formed, some identity elements will not be open to challenge, because it risks disruption of the cult.

Japanese Hiragana Frequency Table

Evaluating Japanese keyboard layout efficiency is very complicated. You have to convert kanji to hiragana, then get frequency table. And, get the ease-of-press scores of left/right thumb combinations with each and every key. (this part is particularly hard, because it's subjective, yet, the score is critical, as many Japanese input methods rely on the left/right thumb combination heavily.)

After that, you multiply each hiragana to the key-ease score of how to type it, sum them. Then, you have the score of that particular input method.

But, that's only the beginning. As there are lots other complications, such as typing kana with diacritic signs, romaji input system, whether they have special keys such as 变换.

Japanese Hiragana Frequency Table

See also: Japanese Keyboard Layouts

μTRON Keyboard (major update)

This great keyboard is now discontinued, in March 2017.

MTGAP layout

apparently, some nerds are still designing keyboard letter layouts.

see http://mtgap.bilfo.com/completed_keyboard.html

it's like, is x++ faster or x=x+1? Like, keep hacking a dead horse.

it's by Michael Dickens

His layout is called MTGAP layout. Apparently based on evolutionary algorithm.

I haven't looked into detail what he's doing, but he seems to have spent significant effort, for like 10 years.

he's got a list of layouts, more than that i know. But lots of it is now dead link. See http://mdickens.me/typing/alternative_layouts.html

See also:

New photo. μTRON vs Cherry Ergoplus. Cherry G80-5000 Ergoplus keyboard


Japan Thumb-Shift Keyboard

Japanese Keyboard Layouts

DecaTxt one handed typing

Quiz of the day. Look at your keyboard. Each row are shifted, but not all by the same distance. What's the pattern? (there is)

see pic at Evolution of Laptop Keyboards, No More Page Up/Down Keys!

Trackball Ball Sizes and Replacement (updated. more choices)


Frogpad Keyboard
Cherry G80 5000 Ergoplus keyboard 98410 s288x217
Cherry G80-5000 (Cherry Ergoplus) keyboard

WEY Multifunctional Keyboard MK06
Elecom HUGE Trackball bq2x6 s244x256
Elecom HUGE Trackball
ELECOM DUX mouse 46568 s314x199
ELECOM DUX Mouse

Mechanical Keyboard Noise Comparison

Optical Key Switch Keyboard

Did i $save$ you from getting a brick?

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If you have a question, put $5 at patreon and message me.