Tag: Gadgets News
Dvorak Vs Qwerty
When you read this Gadgets News, maybe it is also the first time you hear about Dvorak. Dvorak is alternative keyboard layout, beside the well know “qwerty” keyboard. To my surprise, this layout already been around for decades, long before the Eco Gadget issue came up, yet is very little know (this is the first time I heard about it as well). To its devotees, Dvorak layout is passionately embraced. The main reason is this layout allows them to type at much faster speed (110 words per minute, while with QWERTY layout the average is 40 words per minute), while at the same time reduce strain on wrists and hands. According to Dvorak users, on this layout, the mostly used letters are arranged on home row, allowing them to type faster and more natural compared to conventional layout.
The first keyboard layout of modern typewriter developed in 1860 by Christopher Sholes was originally arranged in alphabetical order. The problem came when two adjacent keys typed in rapid sequence; they stuck. The layout was later rearranged, separating most frequent used letters apart. That was how the initial “qwerty” layout was born. The name was taken from the six letters located on the upper left of the keyboard. Meanwhile, Dvorak layout was design in 1932 by an education professor at Washington University, August Dvorak, to increase and typing speed. Therefore he placed most common used letters, such as vowels, on home row and removed less common used letters from that row.
Widespread access to Dvorak layout was not available until the age of personal computers. In 1980s, third-party programs was developed to accommodate Dvorak layout in personal computers and included as a standard setting in the Microsoft Windows operating system in early 1990s, later followed by Apple for their Mac computers. It does not need special keyboard to use Dvorak layout. The only thing that needed to change is the computer setting. It does change the keys settings, but since Dvorak users type based on memory, it does not bother them. Dvorak layout is less complicated, much easier especially for dyslexic to learn. It takes only 20 minutes to memorize Dvorak layout. For conventional layout it takes 45 minutes.
Since the beginning of its invention, Dvorak devotees have to struggle for respect. It need decades of time for Dvorak layout to be officially recognized as the alternative layout to the conventional QWERTY by the American National Standards Institute. Now a new platform emerged, smartphones. Where typing is a crucial factor for this new platform, Dvorak users find themselves in similar situation. Dvorak layout is ignored again.
Up to now, most smartphones developers ignored Dvorak layout to be used on their devices, forcing Dvorak users to improvise their own solution by creating application that allow iPhone users to add Dvorak layout to their device. But by doing so, they cancel their warranty since this application is developed by third party.