I'm finally getting to the point that my hands hurt from typing too much, especially my index fingers, thumb, and wrists. I use a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro, which has helped in the past, but it's not enough. I think the reaching for gthy is getting to me. The mouse isn't helping either.

So for the usual reasons, I'm considering Dvorak.

How to Switch to a Dvorak Keyboard Layout: 8 steps - wikiHow:
In this sample paragraph, 70% of the letters are on the home row in Dvorak, with 15% top and 15% bottom. In QWERTY 30% are on the home row. Beware, it takes a little getting used to, especially if you're transitioning from a standard QWERTY keyboard.
The standard QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to prevent typewriter jams (which is no longer necessary with computers), whereas the Dvorak layout was designed specifically to be easy on the hands.

The problem is, of course, that we don't just use keyboards for typing English any more. And there's a good negative in that piece, however, that got me thinking... "Depending on your operating system, keyboard shortcuts such as CTRL+C may lose their convenient placement."

So the question for becomes, even if I could rethread my head around the layout, how would I do in VIm?

Let's check the vim Wikia entry for "Using Vim with the Dvorak keyboard layout":

Many Dvorak users have no problem learning the normal Vim commands with a Dvorak layout. The movement keys may not look it at first but are in fact pretty intuitive -- J and K are on the middle and index fingers of the left hand, right next to each other in the same order as on the qwerty layout, while H and L are the index and pinky fingers of the right hand, so the one for left is on the left -- again perfectly accessible.

[from the comments from the same page:]
I have been using Dvorak (as X keyboard map) and Vim for about two years now, without *any* adjustments (concerning Dvorak) to Vim at all, and it works great. The solution imho is to simply remember Vim commands by their name, rather than their keyboard position (e.g. I think I want to d(elete) 2 w(ords), and hit d2w without thinking about the key positions (my fingers know the position themselves).

I have a hard time buying that. Why do I want to leave roguelike controls again? Sounds like a mess.

It's an interesting example of standards inertia.

Guess I'm looking for a new keyboard.

EDIT: I think I'm trending towards this camp.

Effectively my brain was trying to wire three kinds of cursor movement modes:

1) Dvorak Vim with remappings (when I'm on my own machine)

2) Dvorak Vim with no remappings (when I'm on someone else's machine and have the keyboard remapped)

3) Qwerty Vim (when I'm on someone else's machine and don't have the keyboard remapped)

This is, simply, too much. Your life as a programmer is hard enough without you having to learn three different spatial layouts for text editing commands.

Labels: , ,