Keyboard…

My keyboard layout right now.

owen.xkb

Alphabetic keys, modifiers, and shift keys:

Brackets and some punctuation:

Movement keys with level 5 shift:

Greek letters:

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.

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One Response to Keyboard…

  1. Superman says:

    Yay! Can I use your regular laptop system from now on :) ?

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