My new keyboard layout

I’ve been trying different keyboard layouts for a long time, because I feel tension in my wrist after a long day spending it with programming. Change to something new is not easy when you have to keep your old habit in work to be productive. I’ve been using querty since my childhood and I have a lot of bad reflexes for words when I use wrong fingers (usually I use my middle finger when I should use my ring finger, and use my little finger only for shift, enter and backspace). As a programmer I have to use punctuation chars like []=-_ more times than other people do what breaks my typing, especially for = what is very used in a program code and I can reach it only with my little finger. Moreover I experienced many mistypes so I use backspace more as it would be normal. This is a 3-day-long weekend here in Ireland, so I decided to polish my layouts and practice a little bit.

Keyboard layouts designed for writing texts as I do now, but not for developing software. Usually the problem happens when we want to use key shortcuts like CMD-c, CMD-v and these are on a different place as we got used to it. The other problem is the culture, because every people use querty and you have to change back when working with somebody.

Now I’m trying Colemak because allegedly it’s faster than Dvorak (Dvorak uses the right hand more), and it’s closer than Querty. Q, W, Z, X, C, V are on the same place, so CMD-c, CMD-v, CMD-w, CMD-q work on Mac. I bought a Logitech board for 13€ to learn, and I swapped the keys as I bought it. I made some special changes, moved the = button closer to chars, ” is default without shift, but here is some shots:

I brought the = to qwerty P, – close to =, [] moved to up and ; to the left corner, because in Ruby we do not use {} and ;.

It’s on probe period, now I’m using this writing this post, I don’t say it’s easy, altough easier than change to Dvorak from Qwerty. The very important is to use right fingers and try to memorize the position of the buttons. Trying to play on the keyboard like on the piano, because I don’t want to make the same mistake as with Qwerty.

You can download my layout for OSX here.