Switched to USA Pragrammer Dvorak Keyboard

After reading xahlee‘s articles on keyboards, I recently made 2 big changes (and many other small changes because of the 2 big ones) to the way I type. I switched from QWERTY to UPD (USA Programmer Dvorak), and I switched my Control keys and Alt keys.

And how does it feel? Well, at first it was like pain in the ass. But then it seems to get better and better.

And to make it even better, I bought a Microsoft Ergonomics 4000 keyboard for use at work!

Here’s some hacking around this switch.

Switching Chinese and English at the same time

As a Chinese, I also need to type Chinese using an Input Method, such as Wubi. Now, I want myself to use the same UDP keyboard layout when using IME, because it would be crazy if I switch back to QWERTY when typing Chinese and stick to UDP when typing English…

But switching to UDP for my IME is even more painful. Because I am using Wubi, instead of PinYin, and the secret about Wubi is you use your muscle to memorize the encoding, so basically I just re-learned Wubi.

Some changes to Emacs

Xahlee considered Progammers Dvorak no better than Simple Dvorak (he tried UDP and then gave up), but I chose it anyway and have no plan to change again. I kinda feel its not that a bigger differenc now that both are Dvorak…

But Progammers Dvorak does give me some edge, considering the fact that I also switched Controls and Alts (which is also one of the advices by Xahlee).

This made a lot trouble with C-x and M-x. In the mean time, C-x got separated with many of the combination keys that used to be typed with the same hand as itself: C-x C-s, C-x C-f, etc.

Finally I found my solution (after searching Dvorak on EmacsWiki and some inspiration):

  1. Switch C-h and C-x using keyboard-translate.
  2. Stop using M- prefix altogether, use C-[ (the same effect as ESC) instead. Now Progammers Dvorak seem a much better choice than Simle Dvorak, because C-[ is very easy to type.

I tried to add more hacks, but finally stopped to reduce the confusion, and because the above 2 is about enough.

Using Progammers Dvorak under Windows.

Not that I use Windows a lot nowadays, but I do use it once in a little while, and I don’t want to be a fool when at it. So I need to find a way to use Progammers Dvorak under Windows.

Windows already provide a Simple Dvorak keyboad layout, and Programms Dvorak also available on the net. But they are both incompitable with IME.

I found on the net people has used autohotkey to provide Simple Dvorak, which does can be used at the same time with IME.

So I just wrote my Programms Dvorak version of autohotkey script. You can get it here. This ahk script was generated from 3 bash scripts, which you can find here, here and here.


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