Eventual smartphone/desktop merge

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KeenEmpire
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Post by KeenEmpire »

Those are gross overestimates of how flexible a hard keyboard would be.
candyjack wrote:I'm not suggesting smartphones provide different keys for each purpose. The same keys can be used for different purposes. It doesn't matter to me if it's a Qwerty keyboard or a Gameboy I'm playing the games with, as long as it has physical keys.
Consider a game whose control involves selection of items directly, or both buttons and sliding.
candyjack wrote:A hardware keyboard is universal in that sense, and a touch screen only excels in that it can provide the same space for both input and output.
One need not look as far as games for those kinds of examples. Even when using the keyboard, when typing symbols, switching languages or layouts, or even capitalizing, a keyboard that shows you what's being typed is much more appropriate than just one showing default "qwerty" letters. Calling fixed hardware "universal" is almost a joke.
candyjack wrote:A device with about a 4" screen that is completely covered by buttons as transparent as possible, so you can still see the display. The display can just show an on-screen keyboard, with the keys below each button. A laser at the inner surface of the device can detect which buttons are pressed (so it's detected from the sides, rather than from beneath).
This proposal would limit usability in whichever area of the screen the permanent keyboard would be covering, while precluding better, non-qwerty keyboard layouts like messagease, kalq, or indeed any variation of qwerty such as different-sized keyboards or layouts with any different buttons (e.g. number row, Ctrl). Even switching from portrait to landscape would be a nightmare, since their keys are generally different sizes.
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guynietoren
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Post by guynietoren »

Yes tablets and touchscreens opened up the computer market to new people... but at the same time, a lot of those people joined in not knowing much about normal computers. I can't remember how many calls I get at work where I'm just holding someones hand through the directions they already have on the screen.

Qwerty sucks, but the problem is that everyone has gotten used to it so well and it's not going away for that reason alone. The layout was meant to slow down typing so typewriters wouldn't jam up. Dvorak layout is much much better, but it takes a ton of practice to get back to your original typing speed with Qwerty. But after that you can speed past Qwerty.

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Post by tulip »

Querty may suck but I use Quertz Image
Image You crack me up little buddy!

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Levellass
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Post by Levellass »

guynietoren wrote:Qwerty sucks, but the problem is that everyone has gotten used to it so well and it's not going away for that reason alone. The layout was meant to slow down typing so typewriters wouldn't jam up. Dvorak layout is much much better, but it takes a ton of practice to get back to your original typing speed with Qwerty. But after that you can speed past Qwerty.

Actually QWERTY *Wasn't* designed to slow typing down but to speed it up. It wasn't rapid typing that jammed typewriters but the pressing of two keys next to each other quickly. SO if t, h and e were together you would jam the typewriter when typing 'the' The layout is not demonstrably less efficient then an alphanumeric layout and due to the keys being all over the place may also increase speed by requiring alteration of hands instead of reliance on one.

A minor point, but a lot of effort went into QWERTY and not so that it could deliberately cripple your typing. Maybe you just stink at it any way.


Heck the studies that claim superior typing speeds with layouts like Dvorak often turn out to be fabricated or flawed. I'll just leave this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY#Alt ... _to_QWERTY
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Post by KeenEmpire »

Isn't it interesting that the commentary against dvorak seems to be perpetuated by economists rather than ergonomists?

See here. The claim of QWERTY "inadvertently satisfying" an ergonomic principle falls apart under serious scrutiny (or even unserious scrutiny; go to any one of many layout analyzers and try it for yourself).

Levellass wrote:Actually QWERTY *Wasn't* designed to slow typing down but to speed it up.

A minor point, but a lot of effort went into QWERTY and not so that it could deliberately cripple your typing.
Actually, I'm wondering how you know this. There is at least one 1977 paper, presented to experts in the field, that specifically says the opposite:
It has been said of the Sholes letter layout that it would probably have been chosen if the objective was to find the least efficient – in terms of learning time and speed achievable – and the most error producing character arrangement. This is not surprising when one considers that a team of people spent one year developing this layout so that it should provide the greatest inhibition to fast keying. This was no Machiavellian plot, but necessary because the mechanism of the early typewriters required slow operation.
and it was not torn apart by referees or experts. Is the evidence for your own claim of greater strength?
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Post by StupidBunny »

I have heard that QWERTY was designed to avoid jams in mechanical typewriters, though I always assumed it had something do do with placing letters far apart which were unlikely to ever appear together as opposed to deliberately slowing typing speed. In any case, I type fast and with relatively few errors so I can't say it bothers me that much. It's all about Ã￾â„¢Ã￾¦Ã￾£Ã￾Å¡Ã￾•Ã￾Â￾ anyway.
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Post by Levellass »

KeenEmpire wrote:Isn't it interesting that the commentary against dvorak seems to be perpetuated by economists rather than ergonomists?

See here. The claim of QWERTY "inadvertently satisfying" an ergonomic principle falls apart under serious scrutiny (or even unserious scrutiny; go to any one of many layout analyzers and try it for yourself).

Levellass wrote:Actually QWERTY *Wasn't* designed to slow typing down but to speed it up.

A minor point, but a lot of effort went into QWERTY and not so that it could deliberately cripple your typing.
Actually, I'm wondering how you know this. There is at least one 1977 paper, presented to experts in the field, that specifically says the opposite:
It has been said of the Sholes letter layout that it would probably have been chosen if the objective was to find the least efficient – in terms of learning time and speed achievable – and the most error producing character arrangement. This is not surprising when one considers that a team of people spent one year developing this layout so that it should provide the greatest inhibition to fast keying. This was no Machiavellian plot, but necessary because the mechanism of the early typewriters required slow operation.
and it was not torn apart by referees or experts. Is the evidence for your own claim of greater strength?
You know the weird thing about science? There's multiple viewpoints in it and argument and discussion. As it is there's even argument as to how QWERTY came about, was it typewriter jams or from feedback from telegraph operators? ( http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/design/ ... -keyboard/ is a nice article)

You can find a substantial amount of literature supporting most points that aren't plain crazy and they can even be quite sound even if wrong, especially if nobody really cares to investigate the subject deeply.

I'd argue on this but geez, it's a freaking keyboard layout, not the second coming. Do you know what would change if we rearranged the keys on our computers? Piss all that's what. It's like the whole pi-tau controversy.
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Post by KeenEmpire »

Levellass wrote:You know the weird thing about science? There's multiple viewpoints in it and argument and discussion. As it is there's even argument as to how QWERTY came about, was it typewriter jams or from feedback from telegraph operators? ( http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/design/ ... -keyboard/ is a nice article)

You can find a substantial amount of literature supporting most points that aren't plain crazy and they can even be quite sound even if wrong, especially if nobody really cares to investigate the subject deeply.
Uh, if you actually read the source, you'd have found it not so "sound" - where's the actual evidence for their thesis? They do make an interesting observation, though: the positioning of the very common ER/RE digraph (e.g. are, there, were) seems to debunk your earlier theory:
Levellass wrote:Actually QWERTY *Wasn't* designed to slow typing down but to speed it up. It wasn't rapid typing that jammed typewriters but the pressing of two keys next to each other quickly. SO if t, h and e were together you would jam the typewriter when typing 'the'
Levellass wrote:Do you know what would change if we rearranged the keys on our computers? Piss all that's what.
Argument by assertion.
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Post by Paramultart »

The most ironic thing about this whole debate is that my original statement was that KEYBOARDS were the greatest input device for computers.
Never did I mention anything about QWERTY, nor did I suggest that there couldn't be more efficient keyboard layouts.

Let's rewind a bit...
KeenEmpire wrote:
Paramultart wrote:Keyboards truly are the best input device. Everything else is sub-par.
Hardly; steno gets you 100 more wpm with more accuracy.
The fact you made such a loaded argument to begin with almost makes me question if you just searched for "Thoughts to text" and posted the first result, and grabbed a keyword from the description just to start a debate, so the attention shifted from "keyboards are superior" to "which keyboard system is the best". That steno keyboard is still technically a variation of a KEYBOARD, just like Dvorak or Colemak, so really this whole argument is dumb and was instigated for no reason.

Since you brought up QWERTY, you pretty much forced me into a corner to defend it. When I did so, it was implied that I was a hypocrite for criticizing others for not learning QWERTY while refusing to learn an even more complicated system.

"Tap tap", "Google Glass", "Yo Siri" and "Hi Xbox" are all f*cking retarded input methods and are designed for f*cking stupid people, okay? It's not hard to see that a bar is being drastically lowered here, and I don't think it's hypocritical of me to believe that the stenotype keyboard goes too far in the opposite direction. The important thing to realize is that there is such thing as a happy medium. We needn't swing from one extreme to the other, and I believe we already have that happy medium with keyboards and mice.

I don't like the stenotype keyboard, because it requires special software to interpret it, and the fact that it eliminates the option to "search and peck" for keys, as well as any other points I made against it.

Let me explain why "maximum efficiency" is not always a good idea.

Picture a bread factory. It's a great factory, has been around for 50 years, pays its employees a decent wage, makes quality bread and maintains good morale among those who work there.
Over this period of time, improvements are made here and there to maintain efficiency and make small improvements where needed. Nothing big, just making sure no one is slacking off and quotas are being met.
Well, one day, the owner of the factory passes away, and the company is inherited by a new heir.
Under this new management, the factory makes drastic changes to boost efficiency by up to 200% or 300%.
No new employees are hired, but instead, employees are demanded to learn new equipment and work at uncomfortable speeds. Anyone who cannot keep up with this new pace or learn the new machinery is terminated. This is unfortunate, as the bread factory has been keeping this small town's economy going for a century at this point. The bread factory continues to evolve, eventually replacing most of the workers with more machines. The more machines they had, the more bread they could make. The less workers they had, the more profit their corporate guys could keep. They could now pay less workers to do more work for a lower wage than the previous workers had earned when they were employed in a comfortable, low-stress working environment. The only employees they needed now were a few people to push buttons and pull levers, and some others to load it up and ship it around the country.

Silly, nonsensical and possibly irrelevant, I know, but the underlying principle here is that there is are cases where "efficiency" crosses a line and just becomes stupid or dehumanizing, whereas in the beginning of the story, everything was at a comfortable medium. If it's not broken, do not attempt to fix it.
Unless your job demands that your typing speed exceed QWERTY's limitations, there's really no need for another system.
To cut to the chase, yes, I'm in love with Qwerty, and the fact its design has been around so long just gives it even more charm. Plus, yeah... I'll admit that I hate change. I mean, look... it's already 2014. That's horrible and depressing to me, just like the bread story.

PS. Do not attempt to nitpick my bread story. I was well aware it was a flawed analogy when I wrote it, but I was also kind of hungry.
Your focus of this post should be on the fact that I never said QWERTY was the best or most efficient keyboard, but rather keyboards were the best input devices. My actual preference for QWERTY, as well as my fondness for starchy foods rich in carbohydrates and fiber, is hardly relevant to this discussion.
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Post by Levellass »

KeenEmpire wrote:Uh, if you actually read the source, you'd have found it not so "sound" - where's the actual evidence for their thesis? They do make an interesting observation, though: the positioning of the very common ER/RE digraph (e.g. are, there, were) seems to debunk your earlier theory
Indeed, but again, why argue? It's not that important. Let people debate and maybe in 20 years there'll be a consensus, but nobody's holding their breath.

KeenEmpire wrote:Argument by assertion.
No it's not, because I say so!

Of course we could try argument by counterexample (I'm sure there's a better name for it) and ask if there's any way in which alternate key arrangements have caused some sort of drastic improvement in well.. anything.

Even as companies invest in disproven and idiotic measures such as personality tests and handwriting analysis we do not see any of note stepping up and mandating Dvorak to improve efficiency. Studies that support alternate arrangements show... people can type faster (and that's if you believe those studies, see earlier points.) It's like the proper way to peel a banana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PNTpRNP4X0 there's efficiency in there by some measures, but... so what? Most people get little more than a feeling of smugness out of knowing such a thing.

TL:DR:

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Post by KeenEmpire »

Paramultart: not sure why you're so bothered about this. You could've clarified any terms you were unhappy with.
Levellass wrote:Indeed, but again, why argue? It's not that important.
I don't know why you're arguing. I only pointed out your brought-up sources (up to and including the bare assertion of thesis) were questionable, and even contradicted your earlier claims on occasion.
Levellass wrote:Of course we could try...and ask if there's any way in which alternate key arrangements have caused some sort of drastic improvement in well.. anything.
Yes.
Levellass wrote: Even as companies invest in disproven and idiotic measures such as personality tests and handwriting analysis we do not see any of note stepping up and mandating Dvorak to improve efficiency.
You have to consider:
  • A lot of people are idiots. Fewer people are aware of dvorak, colemak, etc. Fewer still have studied them seriously, and even those who do so are vulnerable to the cognitive dissonance + confirmation bias combo ("I'm engaging in suboptimal behavior? That makes me uncomfortable. Oh, this source says I'm not really, which is what I want to hear. Nah, not worth checking for holes in their claims.")
  • Institutional inertia. Keyboards come in QWERTY by default, employees only learn QWERTY in schools.
  • How to sell it in the first place? Unless you're the only boss, you'd also have to convince other bosses to approve the layout change. Due to cognitive dissonance, they are more likely to see this as an attack on their lifestyle than as something they don't really have to worry about (e.g. your nonsense tests).
So yeah, believe it or not, idiocy can be easier than optimization. (Though, not sure how that was so hard to believe in the first place.)
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Post by Paramultart »

KeenEmpire wrote:Paramultart: not sure why you're so bothered about this.
Bothered? BOTHERED!?
WHAT ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH MAKES YOU THINK THAT I'M BOTHERED!?!?!?!? :x :x :x
*breaks kitten*
You could've clarified any terms you were unhappy with.
I just did.
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Post by Levellass »

So yeah, believe it or not, idiocy can be easier than optimization. (Though, not sure how that was so hard to believe in the first place.)
Indeed and that's my point LOOK at the stupid and obscure stuff that's been made so darn popular, why isn't alternate keyboard layouts in that category? It'd fit right in, a minor change that could be rolled out department by department at the behest of some nutcase manager. I'd predict the IT sector would have started it first, say Apple 'thinking differently' and giving employees new keyboards for some stupid reason.

I mean look at the crud companies do, Microsoft has flushed its innovation down the toilet, acting like a retarded kitten knocking its head against the wall, suffering huge losses in everything but still keeping going. The world has people like YOU in it, who think alternatives will herald the second coming of Steve Jobs, why haven't your kind made any sort of difference? Because the benefits are too wishy washy to gain momentum.

And don[t give me the 'QWERTY dominates' nonsense. Touchscreens weren't a thing not too long ago and now Microsoft in their stupidity has based their newest Windows on them. If there's a benefit people WILL change unless that benefit is too slim or nonexistent.

Yes.
Wow! A picture on an alt layout site, THAT can't be biased in any way! And my, saves typing effort! Because typing is so gosh darn hard as it is. Many days I'm exhausted from all the typing I must do and I fall back from my computer screen saying to myself 'If only there was some way that I could use even LESS effort when writing words.'

Sadly that will never happen... unless someone invents a language that does something crazy like skip out letters and stuff. We could write things like 'l8r' and make huge gains in efficiency!
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Post by Levellass »

Double post!


In reference to my points about how long held and valid laws can go off the rails I can now cite Cooper's law which I wasn't aware was broken, but it is.

'It has been estimated that the technology available when Marconi made his first transatlantic transmission, radio techniques were able to support just 50 simultaneous conversations worldwide. Since then radio capacity has grown by a factor of a trillion – doubling every two-and-a-half years. That’s Cooper’s law.'


It has stood for over a century... until 2009 that is. At that point the smartphone entered the market with its apps and video and whatnot. Now the doubling time is slightly over a year.

'In 2012, for example, global mobile data traffic grew 70% from 2011, to 885 petabytes per month – that is 885 million gigabytes of data. And in the next five years, it is expected to increase 13-fold'



It works until it doesn't, like so many things.
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