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'[OT] English - Dvorak'
2005\03\14@054934 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Jinx wrote:

>> Look at the dreadful arrangement of keyboards that we're stuck
>> with, designed to slow down typists so they couldn't go faster than
>> early typewriter mechanisms could handle

> A secretarial school here used to teach Dvorak, don't know if they still
> do. The only snag is the overlay, and although keys can be swapped
> around they're really designed to be in the tiers as made originally. If
> you use the same k/b all the time it's worth the effort to re-arrange it
> how you want, and get used to the new feel, but a touch-typing temp is
> probably going to find QWERTY most places

After some signs of an RSI, one of the measures I took was to switch to
Dvorak. I didn't switch keyboards or swapped keys; just used the new layout
and learned touch-typing it. Didn't take too long; for a couple weeks I was
slower, but soon I was faster than before. (Didn't touch-type before,
though.) I still type Dvorak on standard keyboards; Dvorak keyboards are
simply too expensive. I got encouraged by a co-worker, who had done the
same a year before.

In general it's much better. But there are a few drawbacks I see:
- One is of course that you have less practice when you have to type on a
different computer, which generally will have a qwerty layout. But at least
with a standard Windows computer, it's a matter of a few seconds to add the
Dvorak layout to the keyboard/language selections and off you go with

- The Ctrl-z/x/c/v combinations (as well as a few others) that are very
handy on a qwerty keyboard are not so convenient anymore. (This is what I
hate most.)

- If you need "international" characters, things are not quite so simple.
There is no "International Dvorak" layout provided in Windows, and I
couldn't find an easy way to create a keyboard layout DLL. So I don't use
the Dvorak layout DLL provided with Windows, I use scan code exchanging
before the keyboard DLL. This way, I can switch between "US" and
"International US" layouts (which gives me access to accented characters
when I need it -- and the "µ" character :), but I can't quickly switch back
to qwerty anymore (needs running a regedit script and a reboot, so I just
don't do it).

Since we're at it: Does anybody have instructions (and an example, maybe)
for a quick generation of a keyboard layout DLL for Windows 2k/XP? I'd like
to create a "Dvorak International" layout, so that I don't have to go
through the scan code exchanges anymore.


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