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Is It Time To End Our Love Affair With the QWERTY Keyboard?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the just-need-a-little-spacebar dept.

Input Devices 557

Master Moose writes "Brisbane-based entrepreneur John Lambie currently has in beta an alternative to what he calls the 'dysfunctional' QWERTY keyboard. Given the way the world is abandoning their keyboards for smartphones he sees now as the perfect time to introduce a new layout. He calls his new keyboard Dextr and believes it is the natural progression from using a number pad to enter text — This is especially so in developing countries where users have not grown up with QWERTYs on thier phones. While he is not the first to ever propose an alternate or alphabetical keyboard — Are we locked into QWERTY for familiarity's sake, or as we shift to smaller, more mobile and new devices, is Mr. Lambie's project coming at the right time?"

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No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612981)

No. That is all.

Inertia (4, Insightful)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613017)

It didn't change at the transition to the PC from typewriters and it's not going to change now (in any significant way).

Re:Inertia (5, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613095)

    It may change in time, but just because someone invents a better keyboard layout, or a more innovative way to type, doesn't mean it will meet common acceptance.

    It would have made sense if people adopted the abcdef keyboard (alphabetical), but as most devices are qwerty (or whatever your region uses), they'll remain. People aren't going to flock to buying new keyboards, for home and work, and swap out their cell phones with keypads for newer ones.

    Even the shift from regular keyboards to ergonomic never happened, because it was difficult for people to switch back and forth quickly. I got used to it, switching when I'd get on a client's computer. A lot of people had problems trying. If they really stuck with it, they'd buy new keyboards for their home and office, usually out of pocket for the employer.

    The biggest migration of keyboard style I can think of is from the old mechanical typewriters, which didn't have the zero or one keys (redundant for "o" and "l") That was an obvious one, since the newer mechanical typewriters did have the full set of numbers, and distinguishing marks on the numerals.

Re:Inertia (5, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613371)

It would have made sense if people adopted the abcdef keyboard (alphabetical)

Why? Just because it's the most obvious layout, doesn't mean it's the optimal one for typing. At most it's going to make it slightly easier for complete beginners to find keys before they've learned where they are.

I'm not claiming that QWERTY is the best layout for typing- in fact, it's generally accepted that it almost certainly isn't.

But as you say, there have been countless attempts to do alternate layouts, and few have gained much traction. If we're talking about mobile devices (where, after all, people learned to "type" on a non-QWERTY 12-digit keyboard (*)) perhaps sticking with a full keyboard- albeit with different layout- isn't thinking far enough (**), and we should be considering something like Microwriter [wikipedia.org] - which first appeared 30 years ago!

(*) And showed no inclination do use that on a computer
(**) I was going to say "not thinking far enough outside the box" but I really loathe that stupid cliche even though I can't think of anything better. Always found it ironic that "thinking outside the box" is such a cliched, unoriginal, unimaginative, corporate, stuck inside the damn box phrase(!!)

Re:Inertia (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613443)

If you want the Microwriter, I think there is something called CyKey that is pretty much the same thing, I looked on their site and although the site hadn't been updated for a few years it appears you still can order a CyKey with a USB connection for around $100.

Re:Inertia (5, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613445)

No kidding. Dextr is just alphabetic with the vowels in a column. It's stupid. A Qwerty style keyboard in a Dvorak layout (slide-out wide keyboard) would actually work great on a phone--because your thumbs would alternate, just like you alternate hands on Dvorak. Of course that's biased to English, but the principle stands: give me a reason to use a different layout, don't just throw something stupid but pretty in front of me and claim the old thing is outdated and the new hotness is new. We know it's new. Getting herpes would also be a refreshing change, but I think I'm better off with the mundane life of being STD free.

Re:Inertia (5, Insightful)

fearofcarpet (654438) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613255)

I learned to type on a typewriter. Now I use this keyboard [daskeyboard.com] at work (I do a lot of writing for my job). Since there are no labels on the keys, I can see the wear patterns and they are concentrated around the home row (and space bar) exactly as intended. I suppose the home row makes no sense on virtual keyboards, but then again virtual keyboards make no sense, which is why there are a zillion "swipe" and "predictive" keyboards on the Android market... so, yah, as you say, interta; I already have to deal with f***ing French keyboards, why would I want to complicate my life even more by adding another non-QWERTY keyboard to the mix?

Re:Inertia (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613315)

I generally have way more wear on the top row (particularly the left site with E, R, and T) than on most of the home row.

I mean, it's not that big a deal; like the old joke goes, when your programmers are saying "hey, I'm almost up to my old typing speed in Dvorak!" it means they don't have enough work to do. But you've got a weird letter distribution if you're getting more wear on F and J than on E.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

Slashbots (2681871) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613025)

And don't get me even started with countries that have other character sets like Russia, Germany or Thailand. Come on Slashdot, how hard it is to know anything outside US?

Re:No (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613203)

Come on Slashdot, how hard it is to know anything outside US?

Pretty hard, apparently.

Even now, in the 21st Century, with our flying cars and Mr. Fusions, /. still doesn't allow the full Latin-1 character set. I can't type a Euro Sign, or a cent or an AE ligature.

WTF /. Get with the times.

Re:No (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613379)

That's a US site. Americans like to live in their own bubble.

Re:No (5, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613043)

That's a compelling argument. I would add to it but TFA seems to be blatant slashvertizing. Dextr is some shitty app they are trying to promote.

Re:No (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613113)

That's a compelling argument

The fact is that nobody gives a damn about their keyboard layout. Once you're used to yours it works and that's all there is to know about it.

Are there people out there that really think they can invent a new layout and popularize it by posting it to slashdot? Some dudes are just living in their very own universe...

Re:No (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613297)

dextr should be called the abc layout.

it looks like it uses more of the screen too, so there's that.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613061)

No. That is all.

How the hell did this get insightful?

the problem with texting on smartphones isn't the keyboard layout, it's that big fat thumbs sometimes hit the button next to the intended one. While qwerty is no better than any other layout on a smartphone, it IS a great layout on pc keyboards which is where I do most of my typing, so why should I learn two layouts when the one I use most often is at worst equally bad as any other?

Re:No (-1, Offtopic)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613153)

I browse at -1 for reasons like this. There is absolutely no reason that this should have been modded down. Since I never get mod points despite a solid posting records and metamodding, all I can do is appeal to someone else to mod this back up.

Re:No (-1, Offtopic)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613333)

"Since I never get mod points despite a solid posting records and metamodding"

I think the system is fucked, has been for years, and has never been fixed, about 2 years ago I too had had none in about a year or more, then all of a sudden the system started shitting 15 mod points at me multiple times a day for a good week or two, I was granted more mod points than I ever knew what to do with in this period, but have never had mod points in the 2 years since.

Thought I don't even bother meta-moderating now, the whole moderation system here is so broken it's not even worth paying any attention to it. Just use the site as you prefer to use it and ignore the whole moderation system, it's basically a big fat trollfest used to silence legitimate speech far more than it's used to moderate up good comments (and plenty of good comments get modded up, so that should kinda hit how many good comments get modded down).

There's an absolute wealth of information available here if you're willing to browse at -1, or 0 and just scroll past the actual troll posts and spam. It's just a shame the moderation system no longer works to reasonably consistently bring it above the rest anymore.

Re:No (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613183)

You and me, fat fingered folk ... need to push for chorded keyboards.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613259)

No. That is all.

How the hell did this get insightful?

Raw natural talent. Some of us are just born with insight.

Re:No (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613275)

How the hell did this get insightful?

the problem with texting on smartphones isn't the keyboard layout, it's that big fat thumbs sometimes hit the button next to the intended one. While qwerty is no better than any other layout on a smartphone, it IS a great layout on pc keyboards which is where I do most of my typing, so why should I learn two layouts when the one I use most often is at worst equally bad as any other?

No.

QWERTY is a HORRIBLE layout and was designed to BE horrible, to slow down typists writing on mechanical typewriters.

DVORAK is a keyboard layout designed to be fast (though focused on the English language if I'm not mistaken). If we should switch to anything, it's dvorak.

Re:No (5, Informative)

agallagh42 (301559) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613429)

...QWERTY is a HORRIBLE layout and was designed to BE horrible, to slow down typists writing on mechanical typewriters.

From Wikipedia:
"A popular myth is that QWERTY was designed to "slow down" typists though this is incorrect – it was designed to prevent jams while typing at speed, allowing typists to type faster."

Re:No (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613299)

Hm ... you could cut off your thumbs and replace them with something smaller?

Re:No (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613309)

well you just said the same thing a bit longer.

you want to know what sucks about dextr? o and u are next to each other.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613373)

Well, and the problem with keyboard layouts is that optimizing them results in dependency of the language. Which makes it annoying for people typing in multiple languages. Even QWERTY has modifications for Spanish and French, which makes bothersome sometimes to find the ñ or the Ã, and even the backslash or the pipe.

Re:No (5, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613383)

How the hell did this get insightful?

Because it references Betteridge's Law of Headlines [wikipedia.org] which states any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no. The rest was just filler to get passed the lameness filter.

Re:No (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613101)

I've been using a custom keyboard layout for years, and I do find it better than QWERTY's default.

For the curious, top left to bottom right:
`12345@67890#
jwertqkylp[]
asdfghuio-'
\zxcvbnm,./

Familiar enough to be able to swap between the two, but much more comfortable to type on.

Re:No (3, Informative)

DeathToBill (601486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613135)

Betteridge's law in action.

Re:No (5, Funny)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613237)

Is it time to stop ending titles with question marks?

Leave my keyboard alone! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612991)

For the love of all that is holy, stop wasting time trying to 'fix' something that is not broken!

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (2, Insightful)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613023)

They Qwerty keyboard layout was specifically designed to prevent jamming in typewriters while at full typing speed.It optimized the usage of the levers to prevent those jams. This functionality is useless in the modern world, and there are in fact better alternatives. It may not be broken, but it's not necessarily the best tool for the job.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613085)

However, the problem was as people learned how to use QWERTY keyboards, their typing speed increased to a point where it doesn't matter how the keys are located. Typing speed remains nearly unaffected, just as long as people know where the keys are.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613125)

there are in fact better alternatives

Sure, but alphabetical order isn't one of them.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613171)

[citation needed]

Indeed, I would very much expect an alphabetically ordered layout to be technically slightly superior to QWERTY.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (2)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613133)

Change the keyboard layout and it sure as hell WILL be broken.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613147)

For ten-fingered input, the maximum gains in typing performance brought on by a new keyboard layout are minimal; one or two percent at best. As long as your hands can reach the whole keyboard, the difference in time it takes for any given keystroke is negligible. The real benefit that comes from, for example, Dvorak vs. QWERTY, is a reduction in stress on the hands, and hence RSI. Saying that QWERTY "optimized" typewriter jamming would be overly generous; the improvement over the traditional alphabetical key ordering was only performed to a modest extent, and the typists of the day were not proficient touch-typists as we are now.

In the case of thumb-typing, however, great improvement is possible. The Metropolis keyboard [psu.edu] , for example, was generated stochastically by optimising an energy function based on letter pair frequency, and provides a 40% typing speed increase over QWERTY.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613191)

And yet outside of a few nerds, no one cares. Plenty of people are proficient at QWERTY and will see nothing but a step back from changing it on them.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (3, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613351)

"They Qwerty keyboard layout was specifically designed to prevent jamming in typewriters while at full typing speed.It optimized the usage of the levers to prevent those jams. This functionality is useless in the modern world [...]" and as with a lot of things in computing, it reached a point where it is totally pointless to compare the current situation to the origins (e.g. think about the endless debates about changing de facto standard icons like floppy disk for save and so on and so forth). It doesn't matter now why it was done so. But it matters that the current majority of computer users are accustomed to it to a point where changing it wouldn't be worth the hassle. Now, providing options for other layouts, that's a different story, there's nothing wrong with that. But this dextr (or what) thing should stay on the touchscreens and be done with it, in the big family of gazillion+1 versions of touchscreen keyboard variants. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. Too much fuss again about some piece of crap.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613273)

I for one disagree, honestly the QWERTY layout, is a relic of the past. We have dvorak and colemak that are drastically better for the job of typing faster with fewer typos. They aren't adopted because for people already familiar with QWERTY it is hard to learn something new, and we don't insist on having our teachers teach the next generation what is best. Honestly if we started teaching dvorak at the age we start teaching typing, we would have a huge improvement in typing efficiancy for the next generation of kids. Just like we would have drastically easier time in math and sciences, if we started teaching with the metric system. Now as far as the actual topic, I don't see how comparing QWERTY or any keyboard to a system for typing on a celphone has any merit whatsoever. Keyboards aren't going to go away. No matter how efficiant or well designed a system designed for compactness instead of raw speed and ease of use is, it will never compare to a keyboard, and thus never be the ideal choice for anything involving dealing with more than a paragraph at a time. Well that is until we master reading of brain waves and can just think our words onto a screen, but that is probably at least a decade off.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613355)

I for one disagree, honestly the QWERTY layout, is a relic of the past.

And how many keyboard users even care? .01%? .1%? There are plenty of "relics of the past" that we still use today because, get this, there is nothing wrong with them. Changing things to change them is not a valid reason.

Re:Leave my keyboard alone! (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613381)

For the love of all that is holy, stop wasting time trying to 'fix' something that is not broken!

I for one support our new non qwerty overlords :)

Amazing how he has the only solution! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40612993)

It's not like there already are better keyboard options out there. Dvorak, I weep for your absence in everyday life.

Re:Amazing how he has the only solution! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613063)

I would recommend Colemak. It is easier to learn for those that know qwerty already, about as efficient as dvorak with respect to hand movement and it is not as annoying with the placement of the L and the S key, which is sort of fundamental when you work with UNIX-like systems.

Re:Amazing how he has the only solution! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613169)

Have you a broken pinkie? 'ls' is really easy to enter so I'm not sure what you mean by 'annoying'.

Re:Amazing how he has the only solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613245)

Good point. While Dvorak is really quite comfortable for typing English, it is less than perfect for other things such as foreign languages, UNIX commands, QWERTY-inspired shortcuts (Ctrl+V, Ctrl+C is one thing but wasd or ijkl direction keys are quite another) and of course programming (too many important pieces of syntax are stuck in the upper-right corner). However, in most cases these are not showstoppers and overall I find Dvorak is an upgrade from QWERTY if you have the patience to learn a new layout and you are almost always using your own computer.

Re:Amazing how he has the only solution! (5, Informative)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613155)

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/221/was-the-qwerty-keyboard-purposely-designed-to-slow-typists [straightdope.com]
"Baloney, say the authors of the article you enclose, S.J. Liebowitz and Stephen Margolis. They point out that (1) the research demonstrating the superiority of the Dvorak keyboard is sparse and methodologically suspect; (2) a sizable body of work suggests that in fact the Dvorak offers little practical advantage over the QWERTY; (3) at least one study indicates that placing commonly used keys far apart, as with the QWERTY, actually speeds typing, since you frequently alternate hands; and (4) the QWERTY keyboard did not become a standard overnight but beat out several competing keyboards over a period of years. Thus it may be fairly said to represent the considered choice of the marketplace. It saddens me to know I helped to perpetuate the myth of Dvorak superiority, but I will sleep better at night knowing I have rectified matters at last."

Totally agree on spreading the keys apart. Easier on the fingers.
Kinda like in gaming where if you repeatedly press keys in almost the same location, repeatedly, you start getting RSI.

First post (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613001)

Thanks Dextr!

Betteridge's Law of Headlines (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613013)

No. [wikipedia.org]

cold dead hands! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613015)

You can have my query when you take it from my cold dead hands!

Re:cold dead hands! (3, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613175)

You can have my query when you take it from my cold dead hands!

But how do you feel about your keyboard?

For soft keyboards? Why not? (3, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613021)

I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be able to "plug in" any text input widget you choose with a decently designed device. It would make supporting languages other than English a hell of a lot easier, and it would let people opt for things like stylus/printing interfaces instead of virtual keyboards.

Frankly I'd be shocked if the Qwerty soft keyboards were hard coded -- companies would be locking themselves out of non-English markets, and that's not good global thinking or marketing.

Myself, I hate virtual keyboards of all kinds. I'd much rather use a stylus with handwriting recognition.

Re:For soft keyboards? Why not? (1)

Mr. Shiny And New (525071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613077)

I don't know about iPhone, but on Android it's trivial to install a new input method and there are lots available, many which don't resemble keyboards at all.

Re:For soft keyboards? Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613179)

iPhone does not allow you to replace the system keyboard, which was one of the neat features that impressed me when I moved to Android.

What's the deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613031)

I switched between QWERTY US International, QWERTY UK, QWERTZ (German) and AZERTY Belgian several times. Every time it will take me like 2 to 5 days to get used to it, it takes about the same time to get used to the layout of your phone. So, who cares about the next big new keyboard layout?

Re:What's the deal? (2)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613413)

I am currently switching from QWERTY to QWERTZ and can't stand QWERTZ for programming.
Stuff like {} and [] needs ALTGR + 7,8,9 or 0 and a SHIFT + , for a line endings (;). It is an unnecessary strain on my poor fingers and it shows that QWERTZ was intended to write letters, nothing more.

It took me an hour to get used to the changed position of some of the letters but I am still cursing the keyboard when I write code. Unfortunately I could only get my new laptop with QWERTZ so I am forced to adapt now.

Have you ever tried programming on an iPhone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613035)

Just because qwerty may not be the best fit for a phone, does not automatically imply it's terrible for all tasks.

Change for changes' sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613037)

Make sure the unity/gnomeshell devs don't hear about this or were all doomed.

OCD. (1)

craznar (710808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613045)

Looks like an exercise in OCD, not in design.

Getting the vowels to line up has little use in written language, but it might make an OCD a touch less stressed.

Re:OCD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613277)

Not really, putting them in a row on one side means that with thumb-typing you alter between thumbs. It's Dvorak-inspired.

Why do we need an advertisment for Dextr? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613055)

Android has been a literal playground for new keyboard designs. QWERTY is winning so far, but there's no reason to push one standard over another because we aren't tied to a physical keyboard anymore. I have 8 keyboards installed on my phone. Most QWERTY, but some, like 8pen, are radically different and focus on actual typing speed.

The keyboard in the article is

1) not made for speed
2) fucking ugly
3) takes up a crazy amount of screen real-estate

Re:Why do we need an advertisment for Dextr? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613163)

I posted a similar comment which instantly disappeared..

Re:Why do we need an advertisment for Dextr? (3)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613397)

I worked on one of those keyboards you probably used for about 2 years (Swype). To quote my CEO when asked about some new competitor who bought some talk in the Android press- "non-qwerty non-starty". Nobody is even going to try a non-qwerty keyboard. Even most techies won't.

probably less relevant (2)

awollabe (464677) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613075)

as more robust, built-in voice-to-text is disseminating so rapidly now on phones and tablets, and Dextr appears to target those devices. For those of us who already type quickly, I can't see why we'd want to learn a new format. For those just learning to type, I could see wanting to do something better than QWERTY (Dvorak).

just an advertisment? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613083)

Isn't this just an advertisment? Am I missing the point of this post.

Re:just an advertisment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613119)

Isn't this just an advertisment?

Yes.

Am I missing the point of this post.

No. It's just a slashvertisement.

He will follow in the footsteps of (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613091)

He will follow in the footsteps of Dvorak [wikipedia.org] , colemak [colemak.com] (oh how I wish this was used everywhere), and the the many other layouts [assistivetech.net] into either oblivion or a small number of dedicated users who cannot understand why everyone else doesn't want to switch to their layout.

How about a real "benefit"... (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613127)

This sort of keyboard is change for the sake of change. Any improvements in keyboard technology ... for me, anyways ... must improve, not merely change.

chorded keyboard that allow sight-free touchscreen typing? That's an improvement. Changing the keyboard layout to something better? That's called Dvorak.

whad"s thi fuss? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613143)

I, fir one, don"f cee whad thi fuss es apout.

I'n abendonned QWERTY wonks ago amd I'n doung jist fane.

What's the point? (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613173)

Even if you do find a better way to type on a keyboard, do you think 99.999999% of the people in the world are going to follow you? Any job that requires typing skill is not going to ask if you know how to use a Dvork or Dextr keyboard. The keyboard will change when we no longer need them, after A.I. provides us a better means of communicating with computers.

Wrong.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613181)

Wrong wrong... usual argument, layout is for type writers, blah blah. That someone yet again has come out with a new keyboard layout, qwerty is dead.. blah blah.

Why do smart phones have qwerty layout? There is still no real proof that other keyboard layouts are better.

Bored, move along.

AZERTY (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613197)

There are also people using AZERTY!

this is like all this "the PC is dead" crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613201)

Not everyone uses their computers to watch Youtube videos and dick about with friends.

Those who actually work - a surprising if dwindling proportion of the population - and those take one of many modern hobbies seriously need a full-size screen and keyboard. And a powerful local machine for processing, and possibly storage.

So, people who never really had a use for a computer in the first place can enjoy their iConsumables. That's fine and cool, and I'm not going to be a dick and say Apple are lame just because their shit doesn't suit me. But AOL failed to AOLify the Internet (indeed, as people got more Internet-savvy, AOL lost its edge), so why the hell do we think it would be a good idea for Apple to Applify the computer?

swype and slideit (2)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613207)

... wow. This new keyboard is so much faster than typing with swype. NOT.

Need to change the software not the keyboard (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613213)

Don't worry about changing the $5 disposable mush-board hardware. Worry about changing software. I would imagine cursor movement in VI or nethack is pretty agonizing on dvorak layout.

I've been hearing this stuff since I saw ads for dvorak replacement keyboards in 1982. Probably has been around longer. Nothing WRT this argument has really changed since then. Unimpressed.

Nice going (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613217)

you had the perfect oppurtonity to put all the vowels on the leftmost column but nooooooooo typing speed is irrelevant when you can use an indoctrinated sequence. Also, it won't scale well on horizontal layouts.

Chorded Keyboards (5, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613227)

If there's one thing that deserves to make a comeback in this mobile world, it's chorded keyboards. QWERTY sucks on mobile devices because it takes up too much space, especially a physical board. On the other hand, you could probably put enough keys (say, three for each hand) on the back of a mobile device to make them practical physical keyboards without taking up valuable real estate that could be used for the screen.

Fingertip sized? (3, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613229)

Who's fingertip? a four year old girl's fingers or a my sausage sized fingers? Finger tip size varies a lot.

Change the Order of the Alphabet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613235)

If the problem is the QWERTY keyboard isn't in alphabetical order, why not just change the order of the alphabet? Its purely arbitrary to begin with. He is right, there are currently two keyboards in general usage. I don't think we need a third one.

Can we instead end.. (1)

Harald Paulsen (621759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613239)

..imperial units in the US
..left sided driving in the UK

And what about the germans and their QWERTZ?
(That was a problem for me while visiting a german friend, as my password at the time had an Y in it)

Re:Can we instead end.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613335)

imperial units - a real problem

left-sided driving? no logical reason it is worse than right other than it's the minority, and costs a minimal extra in development and manufacturing costs and other moaning things you'll say. But it's nowhere near as bad as imperial units which are horrific

Re:Can we instead end.. (1)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613361)

...imperial units in the US

Easily done. The US never adopted imperial units.

Starting my own religion... (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613251)

Who wants to join the First United Church of the Fonz?
And so it is with new keyboard layouts. Fonzie be Praised.

Maybe (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613263)

But you'd need to get most people to agree on the new standard all at the same time. Or otherwise push some must have hot product that everyone ultimately adopts.

I just don't see it happening short of that.

The question is wrong (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613265)

"Have you stopped beating your wife?"

We don't "love" qwerty. It's what we use. Little more than that. The learning curve is horrible, but once you got it, learning anything after that would be more painful than it would be worth.

There is nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613269)

Did anyone actually go look at the keyboard? Some idiot just took the alphabet. Put it in a grid, gave it a cute name and reaped profits. Swype is innovative. This is not.

Did you say metric? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613279)

I look at it the same way as american standard measurements. american should convert to metric, but we have a system that 'works'... so getting people to change from what they are used to will be tough.

We could also learn Esperanto (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613285)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto [wikipedia.org]

The English language has all sorts of grammar, spelling, and pronunciation problems. It's a nasty difficult to learn mix of germanic and romance language pronounciation and word derivations. Take the word "Sure". Where is the "H" in "sure"? Speaking of "where", why is it not "ware"? And what the bleep is up with "cough", "dough", and "plough"? Ridiculous nonsense, horrible language with too many idiosyncratic oddities to learn.

And yet it remains an international standard for business. Why? History, that's why.

And that history locks the language in this role is the deciding factor, regardless of how much more intelligently designed, more easily learned, more easily understood, that Esperanto is.

And same applies to the QWERTY keyboard. I am certain there are more intelligent designs out there, like the dvorak:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard [wikipedia.org]

And so why hasn't the dvorak caught on? And why won't this new keyboard catch on? Historical lock in, that's why.

Dvorak! (1)

mshenrick (1874438) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613287)

Dvorak has been around for years!

What's with the Z? (1)

TheGinger (2575099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613289)

It goes A-Y except Z is randomly popped in the middle? why?????

The Dexter Keyboard (4, Funny)

SteelKidney (1964470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613301)

Small bug in the software. If you mis-key something, you're immediately killed in a plastic-coated room lined with pictures of your misspelled words.

They (1)

mattydont (849321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613303)

Will Get my QWERTY keyboard when they pry it from my cold dead Carpal Tunnel'ed hands.

No one needs QWERTY (0)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613319)

No one needs QWERTY, outside of the US a lot of people regularly change their keyboard layout depending which language they like to use.
That's one reason every desktop environment has some sort of Keyboard Layout switching utility, often right there in the task bar.
The proposed layout is for tiny devices probably better than the present systems but on a full size appliance there are much better options like the Dvorak and Colemak.

It'll be very hard to make large players in the marked switch over, just read the outcries about Win8 going to lose the Start button.

Layout for one hand (2)

sleepypsycho (1335401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613337)

Personally I would like to a see a good layout for one hand. Hold the device in one hand and type with the other. No more typing with thumbs. One thing this layout has going for it is more rows so each key is not squeezed together so tightly. I don't thing this app has any chance of growing to a standard. However if apple were to push a more natural layout for phones then I could see it overtaking qwerty. I could even see it make its way back to the PC where one hand could do the typing and the other could stay on the mouse. Such a change seems possible to me, although not necessarily likely.

Fix keyboards first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613359)

The problem is not so much QWERTY but the small inconveniences of existing keyboards as well as there overall horrible quality in comparison to the past. Start by swaping Ctrl and CapsLock, making the Shift keys and Enter large enough, and giving the keys a physical pressure point again as buckling spring and Cherry switches have.

Oh, and telephones ... use them to make telephone calls and you'll be fine!

wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613365)

Who in the hell is interupting me for bs like this? seriously...

Sign language might be a better option (1)

ocratato (2501012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613385)

If I had to bet on the replacement for the keyboard it would be something like the Leap Motion paired with sign language - perhaps a one handed version.

is his keyboard a serial killer? (1)

cod3r_ (2031620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613387)

Just wondering.

Base 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40613391)

Is it time to end our love affair with the base 10 number system? I mean, there's LOTS of other numbers out there. Who says we have to use 10? In fact, given the way the world is abandoning their keyboards for smartphones, I propose it is time to implement base 0, which aligns perfectly with the number of physical keys on the majority of smartphones.

Uh, looks pretty standard? (1)

Theoden (121862) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613401)

This Dextr keyboard looks like basically the abc layout with the Z over on the left.
I'm no human interface professional - but I can't imagine it being any more usable than an actual number pad, and maybe even less usable.
Certainly not revolutionary.

Dvorak type layout? (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613407)

Why not put the most used letters near each other similar to the Dvorak keyboard layout. Most used letters could be placed in the center of the keypad with lesser used letters moving outward, maybe even in a circular pattern? Okay my mind is running and I'm probably not one to be suggesting a layout, but placing the most used letters near each other seems like a good idea.

Followup question (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40613437)

Is It Time To End Our Love Affair With the QWERTY Keyboard?

Is it a slow news week?

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