Does anyone else think that standard advice about finger positioning is designed for people with far longer pinkies than humans actually have?

For example, I'm starting to think that a QWERTY layout (with the normal asdf home row) would be more comfortable if the outer keys were shifted down like in the picture.

Do you feel the same? Or do I just have freakishly short pinkies? Or am I just somehow holding it wrong?

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> Does anyone else think that standard advice about finger positioning is designed for people with far longer pinkies than humans actually have?

For example, the image below (from the "touch typing" Wikipedia article) clearly seems to depict some sort of humanoid alien with fingers of exactly equal length.

I may not know what a natural typing position is, but I know it's not *that*

@codesections i do think most of my fundamental issues with keyboard layouts boil down not to the order of keys - qwerty is fine, whatever, i'm sure as fuck not going to learn anything else at this stage in my brain's inevitable decline - but how much work is expected of the pinky and how little the stronger fingers can easily reach ctrl/alt/shift/etc.

@codesections, I’d say that picture doesn’t show how highly the middle fingers arch up to go back to where the pinky can rest.

@codesections
My fingers are not like on the picture. But I learned at school to write with all 10 fingers 😉 On the beginning it was not easy, but now I don't have problem with that.

@codesections what this image doesn't really show, is that the index, middle and ring finger have more of a curve than the pinky, or at least they do in my case. For me, the pinky touches the A at 30-ish °, while the middle finger hits the D nearly straight on.

@codesections My "home row" on this coroporate HP Elitebook laptop appears to be ASDV NKL; – the arms come in at an angle so that the pinky is on the home row but my index finger is too short.

@kensanata @codesections For me it's QWEF JIO[ with both thumbs on SPC.

The standard ziggy zaggy layout is that of typewriters where you move whole forearm to type, just moving fingers is to weak for a mechanical typewriter. It's a bit more comfy that way, just moving fingers around is pretty hard on my palms. But usual keyboards are too squishy to type accurately like that. Also we need to use control keys more often and that's tough unless you strictly hit mod w/ one hand and key w/ other.

@cadadr @codesections Ah, yes. My thumbs are also too short, resting somewhere between space and trackpad...

I guess that's why @technomancy is using staggered columns for the Atreus. Makes sense to me. I never bothered to check whether I'd use a different staggering based on my own finger lengths.

@kensanata @codesections @technomancy Atreus' layout looks very comfy, tho didn't get to try yet.

I wonder how it'd be like with a thinkpad "nipple" in the middle and 3 clicks under thumbs.

@cadadr @kensanata @technomancy

> Atreus' layout looks very comfy, tho didn't get to try yet.

It *is* really comfy. I'm working on a long review post right now, but the short version is that I love it!

> I wonder how it'd be like with a thinkpad "nipple" in the middle and 3 clicks under thumbs.

This wouldn't get you the TrackPoint™ Style Pointer (related m.xkcd.com/243/ ), but you actually *can* program the keys to send mouse clicks.

@kensanata @cadadr @codesections yeah on the Atreus the topmost outer pinky column keys are typically hit by the next finger over. you could certainly move the Q down a row if you wanted to use your pinky on it but there's nothing wrong with using a different finger.

@technomancy @kensanata @cadadr

> yeah on the Atreus the topmost outer pinky column keys are typically hit by the next finger over.

Wait, really? I'm very supprised by that – I thought that a big goal of the Atreus layout was to *avoid* diagonal finger movements?

@codesections @kensanata @cadadr
> I thought that a big goal of the Atreus layout was to *avoid* diagonal finger movements?

well yes, but within the limits of human physiology! we can't get rid of the TGB / YHN columns entirely either; all we can do is minimize awkward movements.

@technomancy @kensanata @cadadr

> well yes, but within the limits of human physiology! we can't get rid of the TGB / YHN columns entirely either; all we can do is minimize awkward movements.

Yeah, I get that.

But the Q and Y keys (in a QWERTY layout) are typically hit with a vertical movement of the pinky – at least the way most touch typing is taught. So saying to hit those keys with the ring finger is actually *increasing* diagonal motion from the baseline (hence my surprise)

@codesections @kensanata @cadadr if you hold your hands straight on a conventional keyboard, you can't hit Q with your pinky; you can barely hit A with your pinky.

it's only once you angle your hands that you can reach that key. once your hands are angled like that, reaching for Q is a diagonal movement, as is every top-row left-side key.

@technomancy @kensanata @cadadr

> if you hold your hands straight on a conventional keyboard, you can't hit Q with your pinky; you can barely hit A with your pinky.

That's a good point, and gives me something to think about as I customize my Atreus layout.

Just for clarity, what keys do you view as the "home row" on the Atreus/where do you rest your fingers?

I'd thought it was ASDF BkSp Space (thumbs) JKL;

But it sounds like you keep the pinky one row down from there?

@codesections no, for me the pinky rests on the A key. it's just resting in its fully extended position and only reaches downwards.

at least, that's how I use it. I wouldn't say there's only one right way, and maybe shifting the outer columns down by 1 is better for you; try it out and see for yourself!

@technomancy

> no, for me [when using the ] the pinky rests on the A key. it's just resting in its fully extended position and only reaches downwards.

That makes sense, thanks!

> at least, that's how I use it. I wouldn't say there's only one right way, and maybe shifting the outer columns down by 1 is better for you; try it out and see for yourself!

Oh, I definitely have been experimenting and will keep doing so! I'm really loving this keyboard

@technomancy @kensanata @cadadr @codesections Am I a mutant, because I press both Esc/Tab and Backspace/Enter with my little fingers, not just Q and P?

@codesections Yes, I never learned to type on a keyboard (I was put in front of a computer without explanations as a child and so I learned to type with two fingers instinctively). So now When I try learning properly, I have two problems. First, I have to overcome the frustration of typing the "proper" way being so much slower until I get good at it. But second, *why are my finger so &?"¤$£@ twisted, does anywone really do that???* How do I seriously reach this key with my pinky???

@codesections Who is responsible for this layout, IBM? It surely came from typewriters.

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