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Talk:Dvorak Simplified Keyboard

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Urban legend?[edit]

Anyone who has ever spent a few minutes typing at a reasonably high rate with a mechanical typewriter has experienced the type slugs clashing and tangling as they swing up out of the basket. Mr. Sholes laid out the keyboard to minimize that interference. That seems more like a simple fact than an "urban legend." Did anyone ever try to source it to "a friend of a friend?" Has it circulated as much-forwarded email (or, in previous years, a piece of mimeographed samizdat?) Has Snopes been called upon to validate or debunk it? Those are some of the marks of a true urban legend.

In this page's "references," the Snopes discussion looks like the typical collection of internet poseurs waffling on about what they know not. That doesn't make it an urban legend. The "QWERTY Myth" reference doesn't look all that authoritative either, saying: "Anyway, that's enough of the keyboard geek-out. You can read up more on the Wikipedia page (where I stole all this info)."

I learned to touch-type QWERTY at the tender age of eight. I typed Dvorak for several years in my middle thirties. There is no doubt in my mind which layout is more comfortable and which one produces less wasted motion.

The only quibble I see is that the QWERTY layout "increased speed" by reducing jams. Yes, well, taking the long view, one "increases" ones speed through a minefield by going slowly and carefully. There is also some malarkey about common pairs of letters coming on opposite hands with the QWERTY layout. That "effect" is down in the noise, I suspect. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 03:28, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

The fact is that some people go around saying that QWERTY exists to slow people down. It doesn't matter what the real reason was, the urban legend and rumour is going around - and people spreading something around makes it a real thing - and it doesn't matter what layout is better. This is ALL irrelevant next to whether an urban legend exists that QWERTY was made to slow people down. Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:23, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
But surely the idea of an "urban legend" is that it is not true. The references showing otherwise are at the moment, as Sprocket says, just your typical people giving opinions. Presumably there is a "real reason" out there somewhere. My personal opinion is that putting the "a" and the "e" on the left hand would tend to support the "slowing down" hypothesis.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:33, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
w:QWERTY#Alternatives to QWERTY. If we believe wikipedia, it's quite established dvorak is superior. Even plain common sense improvements, like making altgr a regular control or swapping backspace and capslock, fail to gain popularity. -- (talk) 18:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC) -- (talk) 18:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Splitting the keys for mechanical reasons isn't exactly the same as using it as some sort of allegory about how inferior technology has been spread around for some odd reason. I'm disinclined to believe anyone who says it's better because they've tried it, if you try something different and commit to it of course you're going to think it's better. No one goes around doing something they think is worse than the alternative. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:22, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
A widely held misconception does not an urban legend make. Professor J.H. Brunvand has made quite a cosy career of enumerating and delineating urban legends, which tend to show certain characteristics, such as a moral to be pointed out (often, "live your life in fear, uncertainty and doubt, since it is dangerous out there,") a source only a few degress of separation (e.g. "friend of a friend (of my friend's cousin)") from the teller, certain channels (i.e. email, or low-tech reprographics) of distribution, and so on. I once got a copy of the "blue tattoo" legend from the administrative office of my children's elementary school, urging me to beware of temporary tattoos laced with LSD. No particulars, just "beeWARE!!!1!" Those morons just published it without checking. Now that is what an urban legend looks like.
It is not a misconception that QWERTY was deliberately conceived to reduce jamming. As an undesirable side effect, it requires extra effort in typing; all other things equal, this will slow a typist down. The most commonly used letters are mostly not on the home row. If one goes by ETAONSHRDLU as the most common letters in English text, only the A, S, D, and L lie under a resting finger, and the A sits under the left pinky. In the days of mechanical dactylography (ha! there's a fun word to look up) that mattered, since the strike of the type slug got all its energy from the force of the finger pushing the key. One sign of the work of a novice typist was an uneven darkness of the letters, since weaker fingers naturally struck the keys more lightly. (Secondarily, n00bs were less likely to change to a fresh ribbon soon enough, as the ink dried out or was used up.)
As I said before, I've typed both ways, and Dvorak is much more comfortable, with fewer hoops to be jumped through. I'm back to QWERTY because I got tired of re-mapping every machine I sat down to, and modern keyboards don't take the same effort that the old typewriters did. Nowadays when I start typing, and the gibberish is consistent with a Dvorak layout, I know my son has been using the machine. In his geekdom he takes after his old man, bless his heart. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:34, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
So your main beef is the definition of "urban legend" over "misconception". That's fair enough. I don't care enough to battle over geek fapping over keyboard layouts. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:36, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
For your benefit. (dvorak is still superior) -- (talk) 20:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
I must admit that I'm getting confused with definitions of urban legends and such like. Do we accept that, for people starting to learn to type, QWERTY is not the most efficient format?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:11, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Of course, because the most efficient means of typing involve some very odd looking keyboards that are slightly more difficult to learn. The rest is just pure geek fapping. Scarlet A.pngmoral 20:31, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(ec) That was indeed one of my beeves, i.e. the mis-use of the term "urban legend."

For your amusement, from

Peter van der Linden and Terry Chan seem to think in their alt.folklore.urban FAQ:

"An urban legend:

  • appears mysteriously and spreads spontaneously in varying forms
  • contains elements of humor or horror (the horror often "punishes" someone who flouts society's conventions).
  • makes good storytelling.
  • does NOT have to be false, although most are. ULs often have a basis in fact, but it's their life after-the-fact (particularly in reference to the second and third points) that gives them particular interest."

Another beef is my unwillingness to accept iffy sources from random internet posters without traceable or demonstrable expertise. A discussion on some snopes forum is not a snopes ruling, nor is it a Mythbusters finding. You want to know something about the difference in layouts, these days the research is not that hard to do: try it, and see for yourself. Without doing that, dismissing it as fapping is aah, superficial.

Besides, fapping is srs bzns, and can become painful if one is afflicted with repetitive stress injury caused by a deliberately dis-ergonomic keyboard layout. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:49, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not dismissing it as fapping - indeed, I'm happy to say QWERTY isn't the best and have said so above - it's just the whole "this alternative is better because I've tried it and I'm right" thing. It's the same whether you're talking to a Mac user or a Firefox user or a Dvorak user or even in non-computer things like alternative music. The fapping comes as people flail about trying to objectify their opinion; it's just sad. As for the quality of the references, I assumed you were questioning the existence of rumour; so any post mentioning it or discussing it shows that the rumour exists. If you're just pissed about calling it an "urban legend" because of some piddly details about whether it includes a moral then it's a different conversation entirely. Scarlet A.pngmoral 21:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Not pissed. Another anecdote: once, when working at a datacomm company, I opened my screen to see an email, cc:'ed to the company's global list, regarding the "lights out" myth. That's the one where some unsuspecting soul helpfully flashes their headlights at another car to let them know theirs are turned off, only to be pursued and killed by the gangsters who had been trolling with their lights out.
That is what another urban legend looks like. That day we had a brief spate of email HCM about it.
The QWERTY/Dvorak difference is not IE/Firefox/browser du jour nor PC/Mac. It is day and night. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:14, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

What the christ fucking hell?[edit]

Why in the name of the dread Cthulhu do we have a fucking article on this bullshit?--Token Conservative (talk) 02:27, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Borderline woo? Peter Droid whisperer 02:29, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Which is to say, 'bullshit' is on-mission by definition. Peter Droid whisperer 02:30, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
No, this article is stupid bullshit and has nothing to do with fucking anything this site is supposed to be about. It's a fucking keyboard! We might as well have a mainspace article on fucking Mac while we're at it. --Token Conservative (talk) 17:55, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
It is an example of how the free market sometimes fails produce the greatest good. There is a non-vanishing likelihood that the qwerty layout can lead to carpal tunnel problems or repetitive stress injuries. Teach the controversy, then let the mob decide. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:06, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Under Is it superior?[edit]

@ User: Sprocket J Cogswell Strikethru reintroduced, covering less and explaining in a way that's clearly more specific and which I regard as more on-mission. Puerile strawmanning and oversimplification of libertarian positions is unbecoming. So now there's some nuance and it's more accurate than before. Fair enough? Frostbyte (talk) 19:29, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Not really. An obscure page like this is a strange venue for trying to whitewash libertarianism. Getting one's nuance from is another strange choice. Anyone claiming that there isn't a significant difference betwen Dvorak and qwerty, without having actually tried both, is essentially saying "my ignorance is just as good as your experience." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 11:11, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
The Reason article was present as a cite long before my last editing binge. Not my source of nuance, and it's not supposed to be anyway inasmuch as its only purpose as a cite is to prove that libertarians had chimed in on the issue. But the whole wiki suffers when incorrect criticisms are made. It's not like there aren't enough legitimate criticisms of everything. Frostbyte (talk) 13:54, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Your concern for the suffering of the wiki will find better exposure at the libertarianism article, or in the saloon bar. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:23, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
It's both incorrectly interpreted and uninformative w.r.t. the topic even if it were correctly interpreted. Reverting. Frostbyte (talk) 17:56, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
It still looks like a pompous wordy attempt at whitewashing libertarianism, and this is not the page for that. Re-reverting. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:02, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Are we talking about the same thing here? I'm not contesting your deletion of what I added, which I admit was wordy and a bit unwieldy and equally irrelevant to discussing Dvorak, in addition to being largely equivalent to what I also added about the endian nature of the dispute. What I removed, and what you've restored, was the irrelevant, inaccurate and pointless jab. Re-re-reverting. Frostbyte (talk) 18:24, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
ZooGuard's fix is appropriate. Objections withdrawn. Frostbyte (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I can live with the way it is now. The endian bit seems like a worthwhile addition— thanks for that. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:24, 9 April 2014 (UTC)