Is anyone (specifically looking at you people) using Colemak or Workman layouts? More specifically did anyone switch from one to the other? What are your thoughts, opinions, and advice?

@shom for me personally colemak wins, I just used workman shortly, but it has some strange decision like higher same finger percentages and more vertical movement, I use the curl angle and wide modifications and I think that sorts out most of colemaks shortcomings.

@sotolf I'm on an ortholinear keyboard, I wonder how that interacts with vertical movement. I found this Halmak video pretty interesting for stats across the different layouts:

@shom for ortholinear the angle and wide mods don't make sense, but colemak with the dh (curl) modification would be my recommendation :)

@sotolf Thanks for the dh recommendation (just learned that's what curl is!) I'm also seeing a good bit of enthusiasm for the dhm mod too!

@shom an ortholiniar keyboard does not make vertical movement any better, just straightens it out, yes, easier to reach, but not faster, so it migh make the error rate go down a bit,but it's still harder than not moving your fingers vertically when you can avoid it.

@shom someone on irc convinced me to try colemak one day. So that's just what I use now. It took me maybe a week using gnu typist to get comfortable with it, and it was probably good for me since I had never formally learned how to type. I wasn't a slow typer before, but my posture after training was a tad better. I think I've lost some of my discipline now though. I type on a WASDv2 with Cherry MX Blues.

@Piejacker875 I'm in the same boat on not learning to type formally, even though I touch typed. I finally learned to type properly once I got a split ergo and slowly gaining back my speed. Figured since I'm putting in effort towards being more ergonomic might as well get to a more ergonomic layout.

@shom not using mechanical keyboards but I switched from dvorak to workman and kinda like it better. Not a huge noticable difference, but it's still theoretically better iirc.

@karmanyaahm you're the first person I "know" to use workman. There seems to be a lot of support for Colemak (dh/dhm). This video has analysis that shows that workman distributes more even: which is appealing to me.
Did you ever try Colemak or did you jump straight to workman?

@shom I just jumped straight to workman. Unlike the jump from qwerty, most alternative layouts are relatively similar from what I know so I didn't think too much about it.
I just picked workman because it's newer and has (potentially) had time to learn from the problems with colemak.

@shom No one has proven that any alternative layout is better, so I stick with the good old qwerty and don't bother with anything else. And considering I'm a heavy Neovim user, I don't feel like messing with it anyway.

@hund from an ergonomic perspective there's evidence for "better" layout but definitely not a speed perspective. Touch typing with proper technique is much more influential than layout on any layout it seems (and intuitively makes sense). I am concerned in switching away from qwerty since I don't want to struggle when using a shared computer (conference rooms, working with colleagues, etc.) but given the infrequency of those scenarios maybe it's not big of a deal 🤷🏽‍♂️

@shom There's no scientific evidence for it, there's only users who claim it to be more ergonomic.

@hund the analysis done here on bigrams and frequency is pretty factual While I personally agree with the effort calculation criteria, it's subjective. However, it's clear that for English, QWERTY uses more upper than home row. Accepting the premise that home row is more ergonomic than movement, then some QWERTY alternatives are objectively ergonomic.
This video and their repo also has some great analysis: /

@shom Switched to Colemak about two years ago. Still use Qwerty often.
Basically Colemak on my ergo/split keyboards and qwerty on any regular keyboard.

I'm a programmer by trade. And 2 years after the fact I don't think this was a good investment of my time (and nerves, the learning curve is very frustrating as you can imagine).

Maybe if your job/hobby is to type english for very long streches it might be worth it....

@shom (this was typed using Colemak btw, I'm not switching back to qwerty, but retrospectively it's just a cool party trick) (to me at least)

@shom also colemak does not play well with vim-style bindings, well mostly "hjkl".

@pyrho thanks for sharing your experience. I do type a lot of prose and I've switched to a split ergo mechanical keyboard, which has been a good investment.

@shom this. A keyboard you’re confortable with is better than any alternative layout imo.

I have a kinesis advantage and i couldn’t live without it.

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