Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

New Keyboard Layout Project: The Optimal Layout?

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 28, 2009

MTGAP 3.5 is the best layout, even with several criteria changes:

' y l d b  j p u m ,
o i t s c  h n e r a
x q w g z  v f . k ;

So the question now is, is it really the best layout?

-Low same finger, most of which is on the strong middle or index finger.
-A lot of keys are in good positions. I very much like the position of l (ell).
-Very good inward rolls.
-A good balance of outward rolls to satisfy both those who find them easy and those who don’t like them.
-A good-looking home row.
-The word “are” is super easy to type.

-Same finger, while low, could be better.
-hand alternation is pretty bad, though better than Capewell or Arensito.

How does it compare to Colemak, MTGAP 2.0, and Carpalx GYLMW?

Distance (meters)

MTGAP 3.5 7869
MTGAP 2.0 7875
Carpalx   7972
Colemak   8001

Inward Rolls

MTGAP 3.5 7.66%
MTGAP 2.0 7.04%
Colemak   4.88%
Carpalx  3.19%

Outward Rolls

MTGAP 2.0 7.11%
MTGAP 3.5 4.98%
Carpalx   4.07%
Colemak   3.76%

Same Hand

Carpalx   16.51%
Colemak   21.17%
MTGAP 3.5 23.40%
MTGAP 2.0 24.86%

Same Finger

Colemak   0.81%
MTGAP 2.0 0.89%
MTGAP 3.5 0.90%
Carpalx   1.99%

Row Change

Carpalx   7.49%
MTGAP 3.5 8.97%
Colemak   9.03%
MTGAP 2.0 11.97%

Home Row Jump

MTGAP 3.5 0.23%
Carpalx   0.27%
MTGAP 2.0 0.39%
Colemak   0.50%

To Center

MTGAP 2.0 3.16%
Colemak   3.72%
MTGAP 3.5 4.49%
Carpalx   4.98%

The stats are actually pretty jumbled. Both Carpalx and MTGAP use computer programs, so they will likely be very good at a few selected stats. Which they are. MTGAP is best at distance and rolls and good at same finger, while Carpalx is much better at same hand. I don’t think it’s worth it, though.

The question is, are there any problems with MTGAP 3.5, not counting the fact that it does not preserve keyboard shortcuts? (I’m working on a layout that fixes that.)


6 Responses to “New Keyboard Layout Project: The Optimal Layout?”

  1. LRFLEW said

    MTGAP 3.5 is the best

    MTGAP 3.6 0.23%

    I’m Confused

  2. LRFLEW said

    Can you put MTGandP v2.0 here too?

  3. Ulf Bro said

    I am working on an optimized layout for German and have written my varous tools in Python so far (evaluation, shuffling etc.)
    The good old Dvorak with addition of the 4 special German letters seems to be a lot better than modern, original German, attempts in optimization (like the Neo Layout for example). Paradoxically Dvorak appears to be better at writing German than writing English. But because of the heavy consonant bundeling we type 65 % with right and 35 % with the left hand. On the other hand, these combinations are very pleasant to type (“schr”, “schl”, “rtzt”, “bstr” etc.)
    I would like to get in contact with you to get advice on further development. Even if it seems that development of a German keyboard has to follow other criteria than in English, there is no need to re-invent the wheel.

  4. […] "" } As you may have noticed, my keyboard designs have been limited to only the central 30 characters — on a traditional QWERTY keyboard these […]

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