My keyboard layout right now.
Alphabetic keys, modifiers, and shift keys:
Brackets and some punctuation:
Movement keys with level 5 shift:
The result of lots of tweaking
- Greek letters should require lots of shift keys so I don’t type them by accident, because they can look like Latin letters and only the compiler can tell the difference.
- Greek letters wouldn’t be worth it if it weren’t for typing lab reports.
- The letters are DVORAK. This makes some things easier and some things harder. ‘ls’ is a little annoying to type.
- Braces on left hand since I usually hit Enter after typing a brace.
- Even if I don’t use numbers that much it’s really a pain to shift for them.
- Since most punctuation marks, [, ], (, ) etc are on level 3, put as many on level 3 as possible so I don’t have to remember which level they’re on.
- That ¢-sign on the : key is not to type a ¢-sign, it’s so I can map to an ESC-like command in VIM without screwing up arrow keys (there’s probably a better way to do that).
- I prefer to shift for a key than move my hand.
- I’ve tried putting symbols on the spacebar before. Not a good idea.
More still to do
- Tab on the right doesn’t always feel right, but I needed the Tab key as a shift key.
- There’s two 1 keys. Didn’t really have anything else to put there. I use both.
- Angle brackets are a little awkward.
- The right shift key is so far away.
Maybe it’s worth it.
I do not know if I type any faster with this layout. I do know I have to delete less, especially when typing brackets, and the keys that used to be shift+number. I never used to be able to remember where those were.
Not everything likes to use ISO_Level5_Shift. Linux console doesn’t, KDE applications sometimes do. Firefox handles it fine, OpenOffice usually handles it OK but in combination with Shift it messes up sometimes. This means I can’t use the level 5 arrow keys for a lot of things.
In theory this layout could be applied with xmodmap, but this would require a little tweaking, since blindly generating the xmodmap script from the current layout does not handle shift and modifier keys correctly. This means I haven’t figured out a way (other than possibly xmodmap) to apply this layout without root permissions.
I have a hard time typing at any computer other than my laptop now. For the most part I do not use any other computers so this is no disadvantage.
VIM is unusable without a lot of remapping. This also means that VIM-like editors that don’t support remapping are hard to use.