Philosophical Multicore

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Archive for the ‘Keyboard Release’ Category

New Keyboard Layout Project: Program Release

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 12, 2009

You can find my source code at http://mtgap.bilfo.com/Typing.zip. The new and faster algorithm was written by Chris Johnson, a.k.a. Phynnboi.

The algorithm repeatedly returns this result.

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

Fitness:       2263451098
Distance:      9003112
Inward rolls:  7.04%
Outward rolls: 4.48%
Same hand:     22.80%
Same finger:   0.68%
Row change:    9.01%
Home jump:     0.34%
To center:     4.17%

This is a very good layout. Strangely enough, though, if you run the algorithm for longer it comes up with this layout, even though it has a lower score:

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

Fitness:       2263597180
Distance:      9599916
Inward rolls:  7.20%
Outward rolls: 2.20%
Same hand:     16.85%
Same finger:   0.64%
Row change:    7.64%
Home jump:     0.28%
To center:     1.74%

Which is better and why? How can improvements be made?

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Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project, Software Release | 9 Comments »

New Keyboard Layout Project: Keyboard Version 3.11

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 7, 2009

This layout performs significantly better than any other I’ve found. But how good is it really?

Hands: 50% 49%
Fingers: 7% 15% 11% 15% 18% 13% 9% 9% 

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

Fitness:       2084759
Distance:      7386.58
Inward rolls:  6.91%
Outward rolls: 6.88%
Same hand:     26.28%
Same finger:   0.58%
Row change:    12.34%
Home jump:     0.14%
To center:     3.50%

Distance and same finger are phenomenally low. Same hand and row changing could be better. But by all measures here, it’s very good. But is it really?

One thing that jumps out at me here is the “ing” trigraph. It is just weird. I practiced with it, though, and it’s actually not too hard. There are some strange words that loop back on themselves like “thingy” or “resurrect”, but I don’t find that to be too hard either, just strange. In fact, MTGAP 2.0 (which I am using right now) has a pretty major loop in the word “themselves”, and that’s not too hard to type.

EDIT: This layout was getting a huge performance boost. Due to a small bug, there were two ‘w’s, only one of which was getting scored. So the layout was essentially 1/30th better than any other layout without the bug. In truth, this is the best layout given the criteria:

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

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards | 2 Comments »

New Keyboard Layout Project: The Hand Roll Keyboard

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 5, 2009

I greatly increased the cost for inward rolls, and got this beautiful layout:

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

Fitness:       2108634
Distance:      7859.45
Inward rolls:  10.38%
Outward rolls: 4.83%
Same hand:     25.62%
Same finger:   1.21%
Row change:    10.93%
Home jump:     0.46%
To center:     3.45%

It sacrifices on pretty much everything but inward rolls, but still. Those rolls are awesome!

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | Leave a Comment »

New Keyboard Layout Project: INESRTAO

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 2, 2009

After toiling with the discovered bug and trying to find an applicable system, I have finally (after about 30 hours, but it feels like forever) come up with a viable layout. It looks unusual, but is actually quite amazing. Finger travel distance is great, same finger is phenomenal, rolls are fun. It places r on the index finger, which is an unusual decision, but it seems to work great.

Hands: 48% 51%
Fingers: 8% 9% 15% 14% 18% 14% 9% 8% 

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

Fitness:       2283981
Distance:      7864.37
Inward rolls:  7.02%
Outward rolls: 4.47%
Same hand:     22.73%
Same finger:   0.67%
Row change:    8.97%
Home jump:     0.33%
To center:     4.16%

Posted in Keyboard Release, New Keyboard Layout Project | Leave a Comment »

New Keyboard Layout Project: This One’s Better

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 1, 2009

Remember that keyboard I posted earlier today? Well, this one’s better.

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

Fitness:       20.31
Distance:      7921.15
Inward rolls:  7.16%
Outward rolls: 5.25%
Same hand:     21.59%
Same finger:   0.76%
Row change:    8.66%
Home jump:     0.35%
To center:     3.29%

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | Leave a Comment »

New Keyboard Layout Project: New Results

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 1, 2009

After fixing the bug, I modified the program and got a rather different (though good) result.

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

Fitness:       20.38
Distance:      7814.03
Inward rolls:  7.59%
Outward rolls: 5.49%
Same hand:     22.26%
Same finger:   0.77%
Row change:    9.10%
Home jump:     0.39%
To center:     3.55%

This layout has nice inward rolls and great same finger and distance. It has pretty low usage of the right middle finger, though, and pretty high usage of the left ring finger. Other than that, though, it’s very nice.

Also, I added a function to my program that shows what the easiest and hardest digraphs are. The theory is that more common digraphs should be easier. For this layout, the easiest digraphs are in, es, te, and ri. The hardest are ‘;, ‘a and uy. You can see why ‘; is so hard: it involves jumping over the home row on the same finger to hit two of the hardest spots.

And here’s the source code, if you want to check it out.

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project, Software Release | 13 Comments »

New Keyboard Layout Project: Serious Problem

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 31, 2009

Uh-oh. I’ve just noticed a huge bug. The inward roll scorer was not working properly. I fixed it, but now it’s getting some unusual results. I am going to have to seriously revamp the scoring system to get the results I want.

Although I did like MTGAP 3.5, it has far fewer inward rolls than I thought. It’s only 4.98% inward rolls, and not 7.66%. In fact, I had inward rolls and outward rolls switched. It’s a nice looking layout, and probably better than version 2.0, but it is certainly not optimal.

Here’s what I mean by “unusual”. This layout looks very strange to me.

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

However, after I examined it, I saw that it is actually very good. It has better distance and same finger than MTGAP 3.5, and MUCH better inward rolls. It does not perform so well on row changing, and it will probably still need tweaking, but it’s very good. Its same finger is even better than Colemak.

I also got this:

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

It scores well overall (and especially well on inward rolls) but does not do so well on same finger. But TH sure looks uncomfortable. I’m going to have to fix that. Phynnboi was right about that.

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | Leave a Comment »

Texting Layout

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 31, 2009

Phones with a full keyboard, like Blackberries and iPhones, need optimized layouts just as much as any other keyboard. But as I have discovered, it’s actually a pretty simple optimization. Check this out.

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

Thoughts? Improvements?

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards | 2 Comments »

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?

PROS
-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.

CONS
-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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | 6 Comments »

New Keyboard Layout Project: Another Cost and a Strange Development

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 27, 2009

I added another fitness element. If the curve follows the natural roll of the hand, then it should be supported. I made it cheaper to change rows if the row changes were (QWERTY positions) DV/VD, FE/EF, MK/KM, or IJ/JI. After adding that and running the program once, I got this strange result:

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

It looks so different from the other results that I don’t entirely trust it. But h and o on the same finger? What? But perhaps surprisingly, it actually has very low same finger.

I ran a comparison, and it turns out that it is actually not the best layout for the score set. Apparently, adding that extra fitness criterion caused the program to take longer to converge upon the best layout.

MTGAP 3.5

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

Fitness:       18.99
Distance:      1822.85
Inward rolls:  7.50%
Outward rolls: 5.27%
Same hand:     22.29%
Same finger:   0.85%
Row change:    9.89%
Home jump:     0.30%
To center:     3.16%

MTGAP 3.6

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

Fitness:       19.49
Distance:      1864.59
Inward rolls:  8.67%
Outward rolls: 6.06%
Same hand:     24.29%
Same finger:   0.76%
Row change:    11.67%
Home jump:     0.23%
To center:     2.92%

3.6 has better same finger, but 3.5 is a good deal better overall. How could this happen? At this time, I have no idea. I will probably not be using the additional criterion, since it makes the convergence rate so slow.

Posted in Keyboard Release, Keyboards, New Keyboard Layout Project | 6 Comments »

 
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