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    FWIW I had the same problem with colemak that is cited in the workman landing page. I encountered it while learning the layout, and searching in frustration about the “HE” bigram let me to the colemak-dh mod page. This performs some rotations that even handle the “DH” problem mentioned on the same page. I wrote a retrospective 1.5 years in (tl;dr: it’s worth it, yay comfy hand rolls)

    Like OP, I’m a fan of vim bindings everywhere, and experimented a bit to get a navigational replacement for hjkl (these are the only orthogonal bindings; everything else can be relearned by thinking of the letter rather than the location). The vim swaps I settled on are displayed here, and I’m pretty happy with the rotation.

    Thanks for sharing, icy!

    edit: I want to mention one of the bump I ran into was getting the colemak-dh layout supported when I was either a) on a wayland desktop or b) on a rootless XKB configuration (NixOS non-traditional configuration layout). There is a community supported script that I swiped and edited with my preferred bindings (incl. caps -> control and swapping Alt+Super) which I ended up making some tweaks too and then folding into this script. The main thing I recall having to change was making setxkbmap use the -print option to pipe to xkbcomp.

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      I type in Dvorak and while I think the efficiency difference between Colemak, Workman, and Dvorak is basically a rounding error (especially when you compare all those to Qwerty) the difference in ease of learning is pretty major. Because of this I don’t recommend Dvorak for others to learn.

      The most interesting take I’ve seen is Minimak, which is a series of minor changes to Qwerty that incrementally get it to Colemak by changing only a handful of keys at a time: http://www.minimak.org/ Seems like a really promising technique for making it more learnable. I wonder if anyone has done a similar thing with Workman.

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        Do you have trouble typing in QWERTY now, like the author? I switched to Dvorak ~15 years ago but don’t have any problems switching between the two.

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          Yeah, it’s really difficult for me to type Qwerty now. Luckily I made a travel keyboard I take with me everywhere I go, so if I need to plug into someone else’s computer I can use that.

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        I think it’s really cool that people switch to a keyboard layout that’s better for them and are successful with it.

        I have kinda resigned my keyboard ideas to “art projects” so that I’m not disappointed if I’m not switching to it after building one.

        Next thing I want to try are ortholinear keyboards, probably with this PCB and this layout.

        Having hot-swappable PCBs makes things much simpler these days.

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          I recommend checking out Carpalx. It’s a program which allows you for a given sample input and set of variable weights to quantify the “difficulty” of typing for a certain layout. Interestingly enough these weights are powerful enough that you could even use them to help design one-handed layouts for those who can only type in one hand!

          The software was designed with inspiration from Workman:

          In recent conversation with Stephen O’Connor (Sep 2011), who has analyzed the Workman layout, I’ve been persuaded to seriously reconsider the parameters in my effort model. In particular, the model does not consider the possibility that the index, middle and ring fingers have different prefered motions, for a given travel distance. For example, most will agree that the ring finger prefers to extend for the W rather than curl to the equidistant X. On the other hand, the index finger has easier access to V than R.

          And they’ve documented their measurements using a generalized model against several popular layouts, including workman, here

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            most will agree that the ring finger prefers to extend for the W rather than curl to the equidistant X. On the other hand, the index finger has easier access to V than R

            I find R and V quite similar, and if anything R is slightly easier to type.

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            I flirted with the thought of adopting another layout. However, I noticed some people struggled with getting back to qwerty. Because I didn’t want to risk that, instead I kept qwerty but took some inspiration from the idea of Programmer Dvorak to ‘reverse’ the shift-key behavior of the numbers row on the keyboard. This way, a lot of frequently used programming specialchars become available without having to press shift. I applied a similar reasoning for some other key locations.

            I did this a few weeks back, and I have mixed feelings still, because I noticed I’m using numbers a lot actually. However, I can recommend: if you’re using underscores in names a lot, switch ‘-’ and ‘_’. Typing names is much easier like that. Another one that I found advantageous overall is switching single quote and double quote. Double quotes seem to be more ubiquitous. If you’re not using a language that ends statements with semi-colons, it’s probably also safe to switch ‘;’ and ‘:’. YMMV

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              Hope the pain and discomfort in your hands is gone for good! Is it not tricky to navigate in Vim now without your programmable keyboard? I imagine muscle memory would mess you up a lot.

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                Hope the pain and discomfort in your hands is gone for good!

                It sure has, thanks!

                Is it not tricky to navigate in Vim now without your programmable keyboard? I imagine muscle memory would mess you up a lot.

                Possibly, but I have yet to experience this. Since I’m at home right now, I always have my keyboard with me, but you’re right, I won’t always. I suppose I could just use the arrow-key cluster (if it exists).

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                Thanks for posting this! I’d heard of Workman before, but did not realize how similar it is to Qwerty, outside of the letters.

                I’m planning to make it the next keyboard layout to add to my website, after adding a widget to change layouts.

                I currently support Russian Translit and Dvorak already.

                It’s so easy to rewrite pressed keys in JS, I’m surprised more sites don’t offer alternative layouts for fun.