Xah Keyboard Blog Archive 2017-07

Logitech G700s gaming mouse is discontinued

Do-It-Yourself Keyboards, New Index

Do-It-Yourself Keyboards

keyboard for life

Keyboardio Model 1 (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

Japanese Keyboard Layouts. Major update.

Chinese Typewriter 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.

2017-07-26 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)

The French Keyboard Layout is probably the suckest layout that exists, worse than QWERTY for English. See French Keyboard Layouts (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 Ergonomic 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 Happy Hacking Keyboard (HHKB)]

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 Character Frequency (Hiragana)

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 Character Frequency (Hiragana)

See also: Japanese Keyboard Layouts

μTRON Keyboard (major update)

This great keyboard is now discontinued, in March 2017.

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

Japanese Keyboard Layouts

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 Keyboard

Trackball Ball Replacement (updated. more choices)

Keyboard Key Switch Loudness Comparison

Optical Key Switch