About a year-and-a-half ago, I wrote about how I was learning Dvorak. I was still very much in the learning phase at the time and I’ve been meaning to revisit the post for awhile now. Here’s a quick update:
That last point is worth expanding on. The people who seem interested when I tell them I use Dvorak are programmers. Programming alone, however, is a pretty poor reason to switch. First, you don’t actually type that much when you’re programming. Second, all the special keys (brackets, braces, colon, semicolon, etc.) that you type a lot when you’re programming have moved, and not necessarily to more ergonomic locations. In fact, they’ve been moved to less ergonomic locations to make room for regular letters non-programmers use more frequently. You also have to relearn keyboard shortcuts, and keyboard shortcuts often have been chosen for ergonomic convenience. If you’re a vim user like myself, you have to relearn your vim muscle memory.
However, Dvorak is more easy to recommend to people who just type a lot of English: writing papers, dissertations, emails, blogging, etc. This group of people, however, tend to just think I’m crazy when I tell them I use Dvorak. They’ve often never heard of it and assume it’s something hard-core programmers might do, when, in fact, it makes more sense for them than the programmers who are intrigued by the idea. Of course, there’s an overlap between “people who program” and “people who spend a lot of non-programming time typing on a computer”, but it’s interesting to me that there’s a disconnect between those interested in Dvorak and those who could most benefit from it.