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The development of Different Kinds of Keyboard Layout?
2018-03-27

The Development of Different Kinds of Keyboard Layout?

It is hard to answer the question that 'What kinds does keyboard layout have', which is like the question 'What kinds does language have'. There are different answers according to different varieties. Due to the different alphabet and cedilla, different languages have different designs. Based on the roman letters, there are three main kinds of keyboard layout, Qwerty, Azerty and Qwertz. Each kind has different Variant. For example, the American layout of Qwerty is as follows.


In Spain, due to the cedilla, the standard is as follows.


In the French-speaking parts of Canada, the standard is as follows.

 
Just take an example, there are many kinds of Qwerty keyboard in fact. For instance, there are different layouts in Brazil,Portugal and Britain.This three layouts have great difference in the numeral row and symbol area. But they all belong to Qwerty.
Qwertz is used in Germany and some countries influenced by Germany. The layout is as follows.   


The Qwertz in Switzerland is as follows. Also it can type German and French language. 


Compared with Qwerty, the position of Y and Z are swapped in Qwertz. It is hard to type the letter t and z by using normal fingering in Germany. So the manufacturer of typewriter changed the position.
In France, the Azerty keyboard is as follows.


The Azerty and Qwertz keyboard are based on Qwerty keyboard.
The Qwertz changed the position of Y and Z for it can type France compatibly. 
But it is unaware why they change the position of A and Q, W and Z ,and M.
There is no exact answer that why French use Azerty.


Most countries use Qwerty keyboard, the situations are as follows.

Green for Qwerty
Blue for Azerty
Orange for Qwertz
Yellow for those countries that has their standard.


Why do Italy,Portugal and Turkey have two colors?
Because they once had their own keyboard. However it was replaced by Qwerty in the IBM Era.  
This is the Qzerty keyboard used in Italy traditionally.

 
In the early days, the household computer accessed to market. Usually different countries have different keyboard layouts according to different typewriters.
But Italy is an exception, the keyboard is Qwerty.
Turkey once had their standard , which called Turkish F keyboard. 

The design of Turkish F keyboard is related to an American named Dvorak.At the very start , Dvorak thought the design of Qwerty keyboard was unreasonable, so he invented the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard.It's a great pity that the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard didn’t succeed in America. But Turks thought it is a good idea so they designed the Turkey Ergonomic Keyboard based on the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard.
At that time, Turks abandoned Arabic alphabet. The inventor cheated that Turkish F keyboard can help Turkey to learn Roman letters well. So it was popularized widely.
And then, with the spread of household computer , the Turkish F keyboard was replaced by Qwerty keyboard.
What is Dvorak Simplified Keyboard? Why did Dvorak think the Qwerty is unreasonable?
It dates back to the time that the Qwerty was invented.
In the 19th century, a man named C.L Sholes was ready to invent a writing instrument. He thought he could invent an instrument to print the letters on the paper. Finally he invented the first typewriter.

However, due to the structure of this typewriter, when the two adjacent keys were clicked at the same time, they got stuck.So he disordered the letters and split the adjacent letters such as Wh, th and ad. And then  the problem of key stuck was solved. The Qwerty keyboard was invented at last.
Sholes’ company went out of business after he sold about 5000 typewriters. Then he sold the patent of his typewriter to a merchant. The merchant persuaded Remington to buy this invention in a high price.
The engineer of Remington improved this invention. They released the Remington typewriter Ⅱand solved the problem of key stuck completely. In view of the quantity of Sholes’ typewriter, maybe it is hard for customer to change the custom, so it retained the layout of Qwerty.       
Because of the excellent functions of Remington typewriter Ⅱ, the annual sales reached one hundred thousand in 1990.
This time Sholes told Remington that he invented another more scientific layout and this layout could speed up typing. Remington thought Sholes is smart but he refused because the Qwerty keyboard was used by many people.
  
Up to thirty, Dvorak decided to invent a more scientific keyboard layout. He studied the   occurrence frequency of letters. He put the letters with high occurrence frequency on the middle, the letters with lower occurrence frequency on the top, and the letters with lowest occurrence frequency on the bottom. Also he put the vowels on the left and the consonants on the right.

As you can see, the vowels A,E,I,O,U are on the left and the consonants are on the right.
This is a picture of Qwerty keyboard.


This is a picture of the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard.


The French designed the Bepo layout according to the Dvorak theory.


The German designed Neo layout.


 What’s more, Dvorak designed the single-handed layout for his colleague who lost his arm in the war. 


The layout of Dvorak Simplified Keyboard was mainly used in keyboard design. But many designer thought the layout of Dvorak Simplified Keyboard was not scientific enough. So they designed other layouts. Here are three examples.
Coleman thought Dvorak paid too much attention to alternate motion rate of two hands that he put some consonants with high occurrence frequency on the position where people can not reach easily. So Coleman designed the Colemak keyboard layout that sacrifice keyboard alternating but balance the left and right hands.


The designer of Workman keyboard layout thought Coleman focused too much on the middle line. He thought the design of keyboard layout must be related to the length and structure of fingers instead of putting the common letters on the middle line. For example, the index finger is tend to go down. However the middle finger and the ring finger can reach top easily. So the fingers should move up and down. Then he invented the Workman keyboard layout.


 Minimak thought the reason that the ergonomic keyboard cannot replace the Qwerty is  difficult adaptability. So he designed the keyboard that just repalces 12 letters.

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