Dear Santa, I don’t ask for much geeky stuff, but one very good gift in that area would be a Dvorak keyboard for my iPad. And please don’t give me a side real hardware keyboard, I am talking of a touchscreen keyboard (the combo external keyboard + iPad looses the battle with my Mac Air…).
I switched to the Dvorak keyboard map not so long ago, last July. Reason for that was not to be faster (like many others) even if this would be a nice side effect, but exploring solutions to solve the pain of a recurring carpal tunnel syndrome. My friend Paolo advised this, explaining it would make my finger, hand and wrist move way less, as a result, it should reduce the inflammation and then the pain. If you are interested in the Dvorak keyboard, jut read it on Wikipedia, or from Ma.tt already almost 10 years ago!
For learning resources, you will find plenty around the web so I won’t say much here beside a short feedback if you are interested:
I am not yet 100% up to speed but really happy with that switch – I am still fighting a bit for all special characters and also for french accents… but I made progress in speed compared to my Qwerty typing. I am finally touch-typing and have my pain slightly diminished, which was the main goal. While not perfect yet, still very positive change!
I must say though that I can’t type for a too long time or pain still comes back but it is definitely an improvement compared to Qwerty. I also still have a hard time using it when not really in a ‘typing mode’, for instance when taking notes in meetings. And finally, I am just a bit annoyed by the blind or Dvorak stickers that I use on my keyboards as it is not the most comfortable solution. One day I will take the time to remove and switch keys.
Actually, now, the very main issue is coming from iOS. The Dvorak keyboard would be a perfect story for me if only I could use it not only on my computers but also on my iPhone and iPad but I can’t! It simply seems impossible to find a way to have a Dvorak map configured on the iOS system. Come on Apple, what the heck!? Can you believe that?
This is supposed to be so easy to support, certainly not more than a bunch of configuration files to change. Instead of that, we are in the paradoxical situation where we were able to find a solution for hardware keyboard and not for purely software ones…
And let me add that this is a typical example (among plenty of others) where I would love iOS to be more open if not open source. We are so far from it now with Apple. Openness would enable a bunch of happy few to make this thing happen quickly, without hurting Apple or asking their contribution, and pleasing many other users… but no! This has a taste of “innovation is over”… I will certainly keep a very interested eye on Android phones and tablets, and feel the change coming stronger and stronger.
And to conclude, I took 20 minutes to write this post because, even if just a drop in the ocean, I wanted to contribute to the Dvorak keyboard cause! It is super interesting and deserves more attention from device and system makers. It also needs to be known by more users. I believe that it is an interesting option with lots of potential for people like me. When I think about people writing, typing, translating, transcribing all day; I strongly feel Dvorak could be a much bigger change worth to consider.