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Debate: Dvorak vs. Qwerty


OSNN Advanced
Ok guys, I'm gona need your support on this.
Can't get my head around these two types of keyboards.
I've read that the Dvorak keyboard allows for faster typing, more comfort, and probably reduces RSI.

My question is - if this is the case, then why do we all have the QWERTY keyboard?

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
qwerty's the original protocol from mechanicla typewriters...the arms needed not to collide, so common combinations are apart, and the keys are designed with that in mind

believe it or not, qwerty was there on the very first typwritter

btw; qwerty is the first 6 letters on the top line, and thus the name

the first typewritter was almost ignored, they think becuase all the letters were caps, the second generation had lower case too, and that model took off

SUPPOSEDLY, With the Dvorak keyboard, a typist can type about 400 of the English language's most common words without ever leaving the home row. The comparable figure on QWERTY is 100. The home row letters on Dvorak do a total of 70% of the work. On QWERTY they do only 32%.


those are claims made by the inventor

in actuality, with current technology especially, the gains aren't worth the trouble.

No one wants to take the time and trouble to learn a new keyboard, especially if it hasn't really been proven better, which it hasn't
perris said:
No one wants to take the time and trouble to learn anewkeyboard, especially if it hasn't really been proven better, whichithasn't
And here is the point. Qwerty works and people know qwerty. It won't beeasy to go over to dvorak just like that. Sure it's probably better, itshould be considering how qwerty is designed and why. Qwerty issupposed to be inefficient.

So yes, dvorak is better than qwerty, but qwerty is the standard and it's good enough. If it ain't bust, don't fix it.


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
The legend of QWERTY:

Legend has it that the QWERTY keyboard layout was designed specfically to slow down typing. This was was done because the old impact head typewriters could not keep up with the speed (some of you may be too young to remember the old style typewrites that I'm talking about).. It was actually designed to slow down typing speed so the typewriter's impact heads would not collide and jam the typewriter.

With the advent of modern typewriters and, of course, computers, the need to slow down a typer was not needed, but, by then qwerty had established itself as the defacto keyboard layout.

edit: hmm.. did a quick search around the net and found this article..

Talks about the legend, but also says there is no real proof that this was the real reason qwerty was designed this way..

there's also a link on that site to this one with a little different (And more detailed) look into why qwerty was designed the way it is..

*shrug* there ya go


Woah.. I'm still here?
Staff member
Political User
Un4gIvEn1 said:
Is the 60WPM I can type now reason enough not to switch? :)

In my prime, I could do ~80WPM with other 99% accuracy.. but now I've slowed down to ~65-70 WPM and my accuracy has suffered some..

WOO! we can turn this a "I can type faster than you" thread!


Quazatron R6 droid
Un4gIvEn1 said:
Is the 60WPM I can type now reason enough not to switch? :)
That's probably more down to the method you used to learn how to type and the keyboard style that suits you best. I can manage 60WPM using QWERTY as that is the system I learned during secondary school.

If people decide to use the other system then good luck to it - I think most typing classes here in the UK use the QWERTY system though.


OSNN Junior Addict
You might be interested in this interesting page.
It is a Java applet that compares the amout of keystrokes that are on the top, home and bottom rows of the keyboard.


I've tried Dvorak for a couple of weeks. The main reason I didn't completely switch over was because all shortcut keys on Windows are then mapped to the Dvorak layout. The C key is located where the I key is on the qwerty layout. That makes copy and pasting text hard to do.. Lots of other shortcuts are like that too. They depend on the key being at the bottom of the keyboard so that it's easy to quickly hit them along with the ctrl key.

I wrote this post using the Dvorak layout. I'm a bit rusty, but I'm reminded of why I liked it. The most commonly used letters are placed on the home row. Meaning when you type, your hands are more stabel than using qweryt. I've heard that you can type over 2000 words alone on the home row using Dvorak.. Maybe I'll try it out for a couple weeks again.


The Voices Talk to Me
WOW, looking at that Dvorak key layout makes it look like it was designed by aliens. I am sure I could learn it in time but it would be really foriegn and seem so un-natural.

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