My new keyboard layout

User avatar
Shifty

04 Nov 2018, 19:31

Hey all, for a few months now I have been working on a new keyboard layout, and I think it's now complete! I got sucked into the layout wormhole after I started learning Colemak and just wasn't finding it comfortable. I created a scoring system that favoured movements I found to be comfortable, and used randomisation and a simple genetic algorithm to find high scoring layouts. There was also a long period of trialing and tweaking to get it just right.

The qualities I considered important are - low single finger bigrams (of course), a high inwards roll : outwards roll ratio (I don't like outwards rolls that much), avoiding particularly bad rolls like pinky -> middle finger and keeping particularly good rolls such as adjacent finger rolls and pinky -> index finger rolls. Low travel distance was favoured, but not too highly - it's trivial to beat qwerty by almost 50% on this metric, but it's not worth a lot of attention due to diminishing returns.

Without further ado, here it is -
Image

and for comparison,
Colemak -
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and QWERTY -
Image

Patrick Gillespie's popular web based analyser rates my layout pretty highly -
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I've been using this layout full time for almost a month, and though I'm not back up to my old speeds yet, it is no longer frustrating to type. It's definitely easier to learn to touch type the first time than to learn a new layout.
I plan to write a more detailed rundown on my blog at some point, but I do not yet have a name for this layout. If you have any name ideas, I would love to hear them! I'm trying to find something that's both catchy and reflects the focus on comfort.

I just got an F AT, and first thing I had to do was see what this layout looks like in the flesh!
Image
Last edited by Shifty on 22 Nov 2018, 12:51, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

04 Nov 2018, 22:33

I’d call it Kaehi because I’m kind of simple that way and was disappointed to see neither Dvorak nor Colemak contain their own names! But Shifty is a pretty good name, too.

Homebrew layouts are a part of the keyboard game you don’t often see around here, despite the fact many classic boards we like are well suited to them. I think popular adoption is always the problem. Competing with ubiquity is like, well I was about to say peeing into the wind, but tears in rain is a little more poetic!

Do my disdain, I still use Qwerty. Colemak is half decent, but I forever struggle with the position of S. That bottom row ZXCV is just right for my strong keyboard shortcut muscle memory. But I also use PTR and others quite heavily. When they jump, I tumble.

User avatar
chuckdee

04 Nov 2018, 23:12

I use QUERTY because I have to use a lot of keyboards that I have no control over the layout. So I figured why try and be frustrated in those cases. It's already bad enough just changing to split backspace (\ and `) and backspace on R2. Control instead of Caps I can shift between very easily.

User avatar
Shifty

05 Nov 2018, 07:56

Muirium wrote: I’d call it Kaehi because I’m kind of simple that way and was disappointed to see neither Dvorak nor Colemak contain their own names!
I was thinking the same, and the kaehi section of the layout is definitely the most distinctive, but it's also super ambiguous as to how it should be pronounced, which is not a good quality for a name imo. Maybe a slight variation on it like Kaehill, pronounced like the surname "Cahill" ?

I understand the reluctance towards using alternative layouts, especially around here where people tend to own collections of keyboards, not all of which can be altered. It made sense for me to make the change as I almost never use anyone else's keyboard and I'm really just happy to stick to my daily driver.

User avatar
Muirium
µ

05 Nov 2018, 10:18

Kaehi only reads as Kay-Hee to me. But I know what you mean. Some people can’t see a word and not choose to butcher it! Kee-ahi-ah-alayalayalay-hai?

I like to reward such people with snooty prejudice and ignore their complaints. But that’s just my own choice.

User avatar
Shifty

22 Nov 2018, 06:11

I couldn't think of a better name, so Kaehi it is! I wrote a detailed article on my blog about the process of creating this layout for those interested - https://elliotgeorge.net/2018/11/22/the ... rd-layout/

mcmaxmcmc

22 Nov 2018, 10:21

けーひ。 Sounds pretty nifty, if I do say so myself! 1st time I've seen these types of posts.

User avatar
Elrick

22 Nov 2018, 11:09

Shifty wrote: Maybe a slight variation on it like Kaehill, pronounced like the surname "Cahill" ?
Certainly easy to pronounce. Like it indeed.
Shifty wrote: I understand the reluctance towards using alternative layouts, especially around here where people tend to own collections of keyboards, not all of which can be altered.
This can be applied to any layout using similar profiles that are Flat or Chiclet in style.

It may also be my future daily driver as well. Don't be too negative about your selection here, it looks far better than most other proposals.

Remember only one thing about DT, it's all about freedom of choice. Very rare in this cookie-cutter world that continues to promote failing and inefficient systems.

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