Re: FW: Technology leads to cool fonts in Native language

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Mon Sep 18 2006 - 12:47:39 CDT

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    From: "Chris Harvey" <>
    > On Sat, 16 Sep 2006 12:15:47 -0400, Philippe Verdy <>
    > wrote:
    >> Yes it's certainly poor to adopt an ABCDEF layout for products made with
    >> most European languages, simply because it is perturbating for people
    >> that are trained on lots of keyboards now with the conventional layout.
    >> it is poor also to see keyboards whose keys are aligned in a rectangular
    >> grid (because you loose the sensitive feeling that helps keeping the
    >> fingers aligned on the correct row, and helps correcting the position of
    >> fingers in case of small deviations). Anyway, those layouts are not made
    >> to input English text easily.
    > • For example, the Salish keyboard places the “a” on the key left of the
    > number 1. For one of the most common letters in the language to be placed
    > on a difficult key is poor design.

    You could say exactly the same for the French AZERTY or English/German QWERTY/QWERTZ keyboards where the A is also the first key in a row. (the most frequent letters in Romance and Anglo-saxon languages are ESARTIN (the exact frequency order varies a little between languages, but they should still better be placed on the center of the first or second alphabetic row, where the long fingers with the most precise movements can find them with ease.)

    Look at the 3 common keyboard layouts (QWERTY/AZERTY/QWERTZ, those places are used for RTYUI and FGHJK, really not the most frequent letters)! It's a bit easier for left-handed people as they have: ERTYU and DFGHJ with letters on the left side a bit more frequent than the others; note that the German layout uses Z instead of Y, and it is a bit more frequent in German, but not so much, as the german layout still lacks SCH, and none of the keyboards places A, S and E in the easiest positions

    In reality, the least trained people are typing with one or two fingers (index and medium) and the last finger is used mostly for creating combinations with Shift or Ctrl, when they don't need to use the two hands). For many people that are still typing with only two fingers, the standard layout requires lots of moves for the hands. So I won't say that ABCDEF is worse than QWERTY/AZERTY/QWERTZ.

    The ABCDEF order is very common on keyboards for children that already difficulties to learn the alphabet, or for aged people that have been reluctant to use a PC keyboard and that discover how strange and difficult the order is for them to learn (however they know their alphabets since long and it's mnemonic for them), a difficulty of standard layouts they feel especially when they start having difficulties to use all their fingers with dexterity! So I do think that the ABCDEF layout should be more easily available for PC buyers, and in the layouts supported by the OS.

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