Qwerty and querty-like keyboard layouts sucks.

So ths first thing to do if we want a better keyboard is to let go of this atrocious layout. What to choose then ? This website has rated a lot of alternatives, and also has full-optimization QMLW layouts.

Quick confession: I discovered the QGMLWY layout today, having spent a fair amount of time learning dvorak.

Once we have found a good layout, it is time to customize it with Karabiner (mac only).

Some of the goodies I’m currently plying with:

  • New modifier keys:
    • ALPHA, where caps currently is
    • BETA, where tab currenty is. Tab is being moved to @. And @/# are being moved elsewhere.
    • GAMMA and EPSILON, just above the right shift key

Note: I use ALPHA for movement-related hotkeys. And BETA for numeric-related ones. Having ALPHA next to left shift is not convenient, I’m searching for a better place to move it.

  • Pairs of parens. On one key press: write a pair of parens with the cursor in the middle. Same for ([("'| that you usually want in pairs. Original single parens keys are kept for when you really need a single paren.
  • Useful keys, sucks as arrow keys, home, end, and backspace are remapped to more convenient places
  • Better key mapping for word deletion
  • Simultaneous keypress to have instant repetition
  • Experiment more with simultaneous keypresses
  • Experiment more with physics-based custom-scripted key repetition (I’ve started toying with this, with ok results)

Usefull links:

My custom karabiner mapping (in progress)

Sample Karabiner configs. I’m sad that these are so hard to find, and so few people go through the trouble of sharing them.

Next steps are: Stop learning Dvorak and learn QGMLWY instead. Find a better clipboard manager, and window manager. I’m currently using flycut as the keyboard manager, but it is a bit too simple for what I want, so I’ll search for something more complete.

For the window manager, looks like hammerspoon is the way to go.