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View Full Version : Is there any sense in using Dvorak?



chaosgeisterchen
November 27th, 2006, 10:23 PM
Good evening,

I have already read though several threads in this forum concerning the Dvorak keyboard layout and I regard it as the superior keyboard layout compared to the well-known QWERTY-layout. Well, I do not use it and I am not able to type Dvorak yet, so I just wanted to ask blindly:

If I am now used to QWERTY (or more accurately: QWERTZ, the German one), is there any noticable improvement my writing skills will encounter when changing typing mode from QWERTZ to Dvorak?

Thanks for your experiences and answers in advance, maybe it's time for some further alternative computing.

Regards,

cg

coder_
November 27th, 2006, 10:26 PM
For one thing, you'll type craploads faster.

In DVORAK, all the most used keys are in the home row, with next most used in the top row, and least used in the bottom row. This reduces RSI (and speed) because your hands are in the same spot.

It's kind of hard to begin with, but once you get the hang of it, it's great.

Also, QWERTY was designed not to jam typewriters, while DVORAK, designed later, was created for speeding up when electric typewriters came about that wouldn't jam.

I'm on my way to getting the hang of DVORAK ;)


I'd suggest practicing here: http://www.berryware.com/tutpages/dvorak_files/instr.html

cmorgan47
November 27th, 2006, 10:28 PM
dvorak keyboards are excellent....for making you seem like a nerdy eccentric. especially if you augment them by smoking a pipe, wearing a bowler's hat, and switching over to BSD cause linux is getting too mainstream.

they're also quite good for annoying the hell out of your coworkers when they need to type something at your computer....

at least, that's what they do for the one guy here that uses one.

chaosgeisterchen
November 27th, 2006, 10:29 PM
I seem to have forgotten something very important. Dvorak seems to be nice but if I have to help someone out using his QWERTZ-keyboard I am afraid that I wouldn't be capable of typing anymore, as the change will not go like some hot-plug-and-play device.

Or I am totally beside the point and ignoring the awesome reality of still being able to change from one to another?

coder_
November 27th, 2006, 10:31 PM
You don't buy Dvorak keyboards. You just change the keyboard layout on the computer. (Or am I misunderstanding what you are asking above?) (as the change will not go like some hot-plug-and-play device)

I've heard it is easy to type both qwerty and dvorak. But I'm still too slow at dvorak to lose any qwerty power I have :P

chaosgeisterchen
November 27th, 2006, 10:38 PM
Change between the layouts in terms of changing the patterns of thought inside my head I meant, sorry for the confusion I that may have occured.

Nice to hear that both at the same time can be possible. Looking forward to see that opinion underlined by further users.

Mihkal
November 27th, 2006, 10:39 PM
Dvorak is great, if you can use it.
If you are forced to use qwerty, like at work, just stick with qwerty.
otherwise, go for it. It's easier on the hands.

I can easily switch to qwerty when I need to, like switching languages. though, I wouldn't type a paper in qwerty.

http://dvzine.org/ -great site explaining dvorak
http://gigliwood.com/abcd/ -great place to practice dvorak

maagimies
November 27th, 2006, 10:39 PM
I'm not sure if I would want to reconfigure all the keyboard shortcuts :D (They may not all be at best possible places with DVORAK)
So I'm going with the mainstream with this one and use QWERTY.

dvorak keyboards are excellent....for making you seem like a nerdy eccentric. especially if you augment them by smoking a pipe, wearing a bowler's hat, and switching over to BSD cause linux is getting too mainstream.
they're also quite good for annoying the hell out of your coworkers when they need to type something at your computer....Funniest dvorak explanation ever.

shining
November 27th, 2006, 10:39 PM
Using a different keyboard layout than the keyboard's one has always highly annoyed me. All these times I had to use qwerty on my azerty keyboards, it was painful.
I would rather have a dvorak keyboard if I ever wanted to try this layout.
And cmorgan47 just convinced me to try it some day :)

total wormage
November 27th, 2006, 11:49 PM
if you switch to dvorak, the first few days are going to be HELL
especially on chatrooms, by the time you've finished typing your sentence everybody has left for a good night sleep, but that will pass faster than you'll think

the nice thing about dvorak is that you don't have to lift your hands very much, i find that typing on a qwerty keyboards is like typing on a bouncing castle. you are far more relaxed with dvorak :']

and ofcourse: "typing qwerty now is like driving 40 mph with a sportscar because the very first cars would fall apart driving harder" (can't remember the quote exactly :p)

good luck with the switch if you're going to :]]]]

chaosgeisterchen
November 28th, 2006, 12:30 AM
Thanks to all of you.

The next time I can take myself some time (some two or three days) I will surely thoroughly examine all the Dvorak typing course. Might be convincing me to fully change.

Anyways, I'll report after having it tried out. At the moment it's painfully to switch even a bit, but speaking English was also a pain at the very beginning and nowadays I love it.

videodrome
January 4th, 2007, 12:06 AM
I switched to Dvorak about 6 months ago.

At first it was nearly impossible to make the switch. I actually got carsick from it. When I'd type, the struggle to have to relearn where all of the keys moved to actually physically made me sick.

But slowly it began to take hold. Now, after practicing every day, and never using querty agian, I am up to 50wpm @ 97% accuracy.

And my wrist pain has gone away!

A good program for Linux to use is Klavaro, especially the random words exercise.

Loomis

Engnome
January 4th, 2007, 12:59 AM
Change between the layouts in terms of changing the patterns of thought inside my head I meant, sorry for the confusion I that may have occured.

Nice to hear that both at the same time can be possible. Looking forward to see that opinion underlined by further users.

I can confirm that switching between dvorak and qwerty is very easy.

If you are using Opera here's (http://widgets.opera.com/widget/4857) an interesting widget that will tell you how much distance your fingers will travel with dvorak versus qwerty.

der_joachim
January 4th, 2007, 01:40 PM
How good is Dvorak for say... C-type syntax programming languages? AFAIK, the curly braces are in the far corners of the keyboard layout, but did somebody actually try?

fuscia
January 4th, 2007, 04:41 PM
for someone who needs to look at the keys in qwerty, i can only imagine that one must live long enough to reap the benefits of such a learning investment.

odd fact: all the letters for "qwerty" are right in a row.

total wormage
January 4th, 2007, 05:13 PM
for someone who needs to look at the keys in qwerty, i can only imagine that one must live long enough to reap the benefits of such a learning investment.

odd fact: all the letters for "qwerty" are right in a row.

more odd facts: as a 'joke' the designer of the qwerty layout put all the keys needed to type the word 'typewriter' on the upper row :]

fuscia
January 4th, 2007, 05:27 PM
more odd facts: as a 'joke' the designer of the qwerty layout put all the keys needed to type the word 'typewriter' on the upper row :]

wait, are you sure that's how you spell 'typewriter'?

edit: nevermind, i got it.

chickengirl
January 4th, 2007, 06:28 PM
How good is Dvorak for say... C-type syntax programming languages? AFAIK, the curly braces are in the far corners of the keyboard layout, but did somebody actually try?

I'm not a programmer, but I wouldn't think it would be that bad because 1) they're now right next to the parentheses. One stop shopping for (almost) all your bracketing needs! 2) they're only one row higher than where they were, so it's not really like they're up in no-man's-land.

Aaaah, I love dvorak. I won't ever go back to that qwerty nonsense. :D

videodrome
January 16th, 2007, 07:55 AM
Yeah it's hard to say as far as the programming is concerned. The parenthesis and the brackets are now next to each other, top row right.

You can look into this alternate dvorak programming layout at this website and see what you think:

http://www.siteuri.ro/dvorak/ddvorak.php

ajifans
January 18th, 2007, 10:29 AM
Qwerty or dvorak is something I've been oohhing and aahhing about for the last six months.

Pro's - Once learnt I will be able to type faster.

Con's - I'll have to change the settings on all the PC's I work on.
- I'll have to configure shortcuts for the (Sterling) and (Euro) signs
- I'll have to change the shortcut keys on all the apps I work on.
- My speed will decrease when I have to use Qwerty, i.e. when I jump onto other PC's, or using my Blackberry.


The first two cons aren't biggies. The third will be a real pain, especially as my firms IT send mandatory IT updates that tend to mess with my apps settings. Which is a shame as I really want to make the change.

Engnome
January 18th, 2007, 11:42 AM
more odd facts: as a 'joke' the designer of the qwerty layout put all the keys needed to type the word 'typewriter' on the upper row :]

More odd facts. The creator of qwerty had a fetisch... try typing "stewardess" with qwerty and notice that your right hand is free for... :p

total wormage
January 18th, 2007, 02:06 PM
More odd facts. The creator of qwerty had a fetisch... try typing "stewardess" with qwerty and notice that your right hand is free for... :p

:O

for... scratching your head? :p
hihi
:KS :mrgreen:

helloyo
January 20th, 2007, 09:40 AM
after reading this thread i decided to give it a go. i rearranged all my keys and i am slowly getting quicker... i'll keep you all updated on my progress!

macogw
January 20th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Dvorak is great, if you can use it.
If you are forced to use qwerty, like at work, just stick with qwerty.
otherwise, go for it. It's easier on the hands.

I can easily switch to qwerty when I need to, like switching languages. though, I wouldn't type a paper in qwerty.

http://dvzine.org/ -great site explaining dvorak
http://gigliwood.com/abcd/ -great place to practice dvorak

Yeah, if I can touch-type on a standard Russian keyboard (and I can--well, slowly, I don't have the vocabulary to practice with!) then switch back to QWERTY for English, you can switch between Dvorak and Qwerty just fine.

macogw
January 20th, 2007, 09:46 AM
after reading this thread i decided to give it a go. i rearranged all my keys and i am slowly getting quicker... i'll keep you all updated on my progress!

No, no, don't do that. Just don't look at your hands, or you'll become stare-dependent. My mom has learned to touch type because I wore all the letters off first :D Blank keys are the best thing to teach you to type.

macogw
January 20th, 2007, 09:49 AM
odd fact: all the letters for "qwerty" are right in a row.
How do you think it got the name? :p

helloyo
January 20th, 2007, 10:57 AM
dont start dvorak if you plan on arguing with your gf...

must use program: dvorak 7 min.

have been using it for 2 day straight now, no issues changing back to qwerty so far...

happy-and-lost
January 20th, 2007, 11:47 AM
I switched to DVORAK about a month ago. I already type faster than QWERTY, and am fairly sure I haven't yet reached my optimum speed. It feels much more comfortable to type with. Qwerty just seems so all over the place and silly.

The hardest bit is getting used to having K and X next to eachother and M and W next to eachother. I'm always getting them confused.

Erik Trybom
January 20th, 2007, 11:52 AM
I made a totally unscientific test using the widget Engnome mentioned. When typing in English there was a huge improvement of 75.6 vs 148.4 cm in some random sentences. (That is, how much my fingers move in proportion to the default position). However, when writing in Swedish there was a considerably less improvement of 71.0 vs 89.6 (, and not counted in any of the layouts).

If you write a lot in other languages it might pay to check out language-specific layouts. There are German and Swedish versions for example, and special versions for programmers.

total wormage
January 20th, 2007, 12:18 PM
dont start dvorak if you plan on arguing with your gf...

must use program: dvorak 7 min.

have been using it for 2 day straight now, no issues changing back to qwerty so far...
awwww..!

but good job! :D
and about what magocw said, it's easier to have blank keys, i personally have a logitec keyboard, which let's you switch all keys except 2, so 4 keys are at a wrong place at the moment, very confusing :p

graigsmith
January 20th, 2007, 01:28 PM
For one thing, you'll type craploads faster.

i call bull on this. i switched to dvorak and i don't really type any faster. ok so mabey a little bit faster but not much. The main benefit for me is that my fingers never hurt from typing anymore.

videodrome
January 21st, 2007, 09:02 AM
Again, check out the Dvorak programming layout I linked to back a ways in this thread.

I am no faster thus far after 6 months. However, my hand and wrist pain have decreased considerably.

I have forgotten Qwerty.

If you add this to your xorg.conf file, you can switch back and forth between Dvorak and Qwerty by holding down both shift keys. This will also light the scroll lock light when in Qwerty mode:

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "kbd"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "dvorak,us"
Option "XkbOptions" "grp:shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll"
EndSection

helloyo
January 21st, 2007, 12:25 PM
Again, check out the Dvorak programming layout I linked to back a ways in this thread.

I am no faster thus far after 6 months. However, my hand and wrist pain have decreased considerably.

I have forgotten Qwerty.

If you add this to your xorg.conf file, you can switch back and forth between Dvorak and Qwerty by holding down both shift keys. This will also light the scroll lock light when in Qwerty mode:

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "kbd"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "dvorak,us"
Option "XkbOptions" "grp:shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll"
EndSection

great xorg.conf tip! i have since swapped my keys back but i am still using dvorak as much as possible. slow and steady progress so far...

cvmostert
January 28th, 2007, 10:46 PM
I have just read about this Dvorak thing, and i am also gonna try it... sounds good.

but seeing i am not a native english speaker... well i type quite a bit in english..

lets do it!

videodrome
February 7th, 2007, 08:22 AM
I'm up to about 53wpm in Dvorak now.

Spr0k3t
February 7th, 2007, 08:52 AM
This thread has given me the gusto to give it a go. Since we use a roaming profile at the places I work at, I'm going to switch all of my computer systems to dvorak at once. That should give me a good gut wrenching throw into the pool to make me type dvorak.

videodrome
February 12th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Another thing that I recommend, so long as you are using desktop PC's, is get yourself a vintage IBM Model M keyboard. They are usually at all the thrift stores and certainly on ebay cheap.

Many consider these to be the greatest keyboards ever built. But most importantly, the key tops pop off, so you can easily rearrange them into the Dvorak layout, and have yourself a ( albeit software controlled) inexpensive, well-built, and correct-tension Dvorak keyboard.

Loomis

Engnome
February 12th, 2007, 01:41 PM
Another thing that I recommend, so long as you are using desktop PC's, is get yourself a vintage IBM Model M keyboard. They are usually at all the thrift stores and certainly on ebay cheap.

Many consider these to be the greatest keyboards ever built. But most importantly, the key tops pop off, so you can easily rearrange them into the Dvorak layout, and have yourself a ( albeit software controlled) inexpensive, well-built, and correct-tension Dvorak keyboard.

Loomis

No keep the keys in the QWERTY configuration. That way you will learn dvorak by heart and not resort to the hunt and peck method.

The best way is to have a small printout of dvorak on a small piece of paper and looking at that while having your fingers in the home row. It's gonna be annoying the first few hours but trust me, it's worth it.

strabes
February 13th, 2007, 04:42 PM
5 years ago I learned dvorak on a non-dvorak keyboard in about a week, and was typing 40-50 wpm. It took me 8 years to get to that speed on qwerty with daily typing lessons in elementary school. Today I type at about 100 wpm without any real effort to increase my typing speed. I just keep getting faster. My hands don't hurt when I type, even for long sessions of paper writing or copying. I'll never switch back. The ONLY two problems I can think of are 1) when people use my computer, I have to switch it back which really isn't a problem since you can configure it to switch when you press both shift keys, etc, and 2) my qwerty skills took a slight hit, but I think that's mainly because I haven't regularly used qwerty in 5 years.

videodrome
February 14th, 2007, 03:21 AM
100 wpm! Wow!

I'm not sure if I mentioned this or not, but the program Klavaro was very helpful for me. There is a Debian package that easily installs and works great. Yes, it's not the most polished program in the world but it works great and was istrumental in helping me learn Dvorak.

http://klavaro.sourceforge.net/en/index.html

Thrashers7989
February 14th, 2007, 05:57 AM
Good evening,

I have already read though several threads in this forum concerning the Dvorak keyboard layout and I regard it as the superior keyboard layout compared to the well-known QWERTY-layout. Well, I do not use it and I am not able to type Dvorak yet, so I just wanted to ask blindly:

If I am now used to QWERTY (or more accurately: QWERTZ, the German one), is there any noticable improvement my writing skills will encounter when changing typing mode from QWERTZ to Dvorak?

Thanks for your experiences and answers in advance, maybe it's time for some further alternative computing.

Regards,

cg

Dvorak is used in the U.S. Navy. If you're experienced in QWERTY, then learn Dvorak and you'll type ridiculously fast. I learned it in high school and I'm fluent in both and I'm much faster in Dvorak.

Give it a try!

nanotube
February 15th, 2007, 08:05 AM
i switched to dvorak more than a year ago, maybe even two, and i'm not really sure if it made all that much of a difference. it seems that typing takes less effort, that's true, but i'm not sure just how objective that "measurement" is.

at the time of the switch, my qwerty typing speed was maybe about 80-90 wpm. within two-three weeks, my typing speed in dvorak was up to that range as well. i'm not sure if i've gotten any faster than that since then - but it doesn't feel like it. i haven't taken a speed-measurement test in a while, though, but i'm guessing that it's still no higher than 100 wpm.

the main benefit of the switch is that whenever someone tries to use my computer, they start typing, and go "wtf" :) and maybe in the long run, it will save my wrists.

so, just to give you some realistic pt of view, so that you don't jump into this expecting to double your typing speed (though if you are starting at 40wpm, you might).

and another thing, i basically have lost my ability to touch-type qwerty, but i haven't really practiced it at all, so that's not surprising.