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the best layout
the worst layout
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Download and install the layouts.
Customize Your Keyboard to Reduce Typing Effort
Carpalx is an application that simulates a variety of keyboard layouts to find one that minimizes the effort of typing. The position of any set of keys can be remapped to help lower the impact on joints and wrists. Carpalx can also be used to calculate the typing effort of any keyboard layout and to profile finger and hand usage for a layout.
Effort is lowered by maximizing desirable layout characteristics, such as those that lead to hand-alternation and use of home-row keys. During the layout search, undesirable layout characteristics, such as those that favour low-strength fingers, are avoided. Effort is calculated by considering adjacent 3-letter groups (triads) - this permits penalizing difficult-to-type triads such as ypo, ppi, or ppl while rewarding triads such as dha, fie and sot. The effort model is flexibly parametrized and its complexity can be tuned down; for example, you can calculate effort by considering each key independently. For more details about effort, see Carpalx - Typing Effort.
Carpalx can use any text as training input and effort minimization is specific to this text. If a sufficiently representative corpus is used, then the resulting layout can be generalized to other texts of a similar nature. The English training corpus for carpalx is a concatenation of several English books from Project Gutenberg.
keyboards for programmers
The truly dedicated may consider feeding their code into carpalx. By passing in reams of Perl, Ruby or C code, for example, you can maximize two of the three qualities of a programmer.
keyboards for the disabled
If you have misplaced or lost the use of one or more fingers, or even a hand, you may be interested in carpalx layouts which remap unreachable keys, while lowering total effort of typing.
worst keyboard layout
The worst keyboard layout can be deployed as a harmless office prank or as a disciplinary action. Instead of minimizing effort, I asked carpalx to find the keyboard layout which made typing the most difficult.
It burns! It burns!