a new keymap

I think I made the switch by now, so I'll write what all this here is about in the first place. The usually used QWERTY-keymap (or QWERTZ, in Germany) is more than a century old and has according to a lot of texts on the web many deficiences: It has been created with old typewriters in mind where letters crammed together if pressed in fast sucession. So combinations which used often in common english were placed apart. On today's computers however this should no longer be of any concern, so a guy named Dvorak invented the Dvorak-layout. His Idea was to place the frequently used keys in the middle row directly below your fingers and the least frequently used in the bottom row where access with the fingers is rather slow. Some studies showed typing is faster on this layout, while other studies said exactly the opposite. I decided to give it a try - and well, to me typing on a dvorak keyboard was easier, however not faster at the beginning. Now however I can type unknown texts a bit faster on Dvorak and find it far friendlier than typing on Qwertz. Took quite some time to reach this level however. I recently finished typing approximately 600 pages of Latex as a job at the university, all done in Dvorak, I now can even write blindfolded very well :) Actually it's easier to write without looking at the text, but don't ask why, it's just that way.

By now (year 2008), I also switched the position of all special keys to something more suited to the work of a programmer. There is a handy ready-made layout called programmer dvorak which I implemented for my X11 system. The typical programm source characters like parens and braces are now all available without awkward shift and meta keys. The tradeof is that all numbers are now only reachable my using shift. This is clearly overall win as my source contains nearly no numbers compared to the innumerable parens everywhere.

At work I still use QWERTZ because I don't want to loose my typing skills on that keyboard. They are worldwide accepted standart so where would be the point in refusing to use them?

During 2014 I mapped the greek alphabet as well (to letters + right alt), because I needed it more and more while writing papers and formal proofs. Simultaneously, I also finally switched esc and capslock.

When I started switching to dvorak, I wrote down the timeline to give people an idea of how long it takes to learn a new layout.

24.04.: I am currently trying to switch to the dvorak keymap. Once my writing speed is up again, I'll write more.

28.04.: I can already write again, without having to think where each key lies. It's still far slower than I do on qwertz-keymaps, but it is improving every day.

11.05.: Indeed it is :) I use irc again and am no slower than the others. Still I make a lot of errors, some because I keep pressing qwertz-keys, others mainly because I press the wrong vowel. Using VIm is possible again, I am making more correct keystrokes in a row than I need to repair errors. Of course the nice hjkl-layout is gone but well, I memorized the new locations already. However I'm still far slower on dvorak than on qwertz.

01.06.: Reached 166 correct chars per minute in typespeed (DOS-Commands) This is nothing compared to the 500 I get on qwertz, but well it took me a long time to reach those so I'll just keep training. BTW: I use qwertz at work, so I don't forget it a bit, just adding dvorak

14.06.: Reached 185 correct chars per minute, above still applies...

16.06.: Reached 200 correct chars per minute...

31.07.: Reached 300 correct chars per minute... (in typespeed that is - it's a nice linux console game)

14.02.: Reached 450 correct chars per minute... (as before, you know, whereelse do you happen to type so fast).