Call for experiences 2012-10-25
Since more people than ever are just starting with Minimak, I’m putting out this call for you to share your experiences as a beginner with the layout. I’ve made this post in the forum for your feedback.
I’m sure future users will be interested in your experiences and it will help people make more informed decisions, rather than relying simply on what I’ve written on the site.
I think things people might be interested in the answers to questions like:
- What interested you in an alternative layout in the first place?
- Have you tried others?
- How hard was it to get the software/keybindings to work?
- How are you approaching learning?
- Three-step, two-step or just going straight to the full layout?
- Working with it every day, just in the evenings or day-on/day-off?
- How long is it taking you to get up to speed?
- How hard is it switching to QWERTY and back?
- Does it feel like an improvement and are you likely to stick with it?
- Who would you recommend it to, if anyone?
Thanks for your help.
Google Group forum created 2012-10-24
The traffic from Jeff’s tweet has been great…it’s seemed to have tapered off at about 3,100 visitors. I also noticed about 50 people have subscribed to the RSS feed.
The one thing I regret is that I haven’t provided a good way of getting in contact with me for issues, discussion etc., unless you count github. Since this is a static website, I just opened a Google Group for Minimak. You can reach me there.
I also haven’t figured out how to get notification when there’s a blog comment, so pardon me if you go neglected for a while, I have to scan them manually for the moment.
Mac bindings added 2012-10-24
He also has a fork of the Minimak project on github. Since I don’t have a Mac, if there are any contributions you’d like to make on the Mac, I’d suggest coordinating with him.
Minimak for Mac…hmm, Minimac? I think I hear Apple’s legal team sharpening their pens… :)
Inverse Minimak PKL mapping fixed 2012-10-22
I noticed that the portable key layout mapping for Minimak-to-QWERTY had the “M” position typing “R”.
I’ve posted a new revision to github, which you can download here. I posted it around 5pm today.
Sorry for the inconvenience, and if you find any problems with the layouts, submit an issue on github.
Minimak tweeted by Jeff Atwood 2012-10-22
I’ve followed Jeff’s [Coding Horror] blog for quite some time, and from it I know that [he takes his keyboarding seriously]. I thought he might find Minimak interesting, but I’ve held off trying to bring it to his attention until the site was in some kind of presentable shape.
Today’s that day. Within 10 minutes of sending him an email, he tweeted the site out, and it’s amazing to see the amount of traffic it’s generated.
About 2,000 visits in the space of 2 hours…wow! Of those, about 50 of you downloaded the Windows package. If any of you Mac/Linux users out there want to contribute packages, that would be great since I don’t really know how to do it on those platforms. Xmodmap or xkb on Linux seem to be the way to go there, but I don’t know what Mac has for remapping.
Of course, I managed to bork things up a bit right in the midst of the onslaught…I remembered that I was hosting on S3, which charges for traffic, and so I immediately:
a) put in a valid credit card, since they’d been letting me coast forever and a day
b) tried to set cache-control headers on all of the site content
New Revision of Minimak Coming 2012-09-18
I’ve come up with a new, final version of the Minimak design. I’m pretty excited about it because it’s a significant improvement over both previous Minimak designs.
While it’s especially painful to see a keyboard layout evolve since it’s so hard to learn any layout change, I believe Minimak has reached the end of its design cycle. The latest changes were driven by specific, tangible metrics, and I think this version represents the absolute best you can do on those metrics given the number of key changes I’ve allowed.
So look for the new design in the next couple days as I get the site content and graphics retooled and get the repository up to date.
What happened to Minimak? 2012-09-08
Minimak went through a minor revision, and then was given some time for dissemination. During that time, I worked on a more full layout remapping for my personal use.
Surprisingly, the result of that experimentation was not a better remapping of the entire keyboard. Instead, I just got a better understanding of what really makes a difference and what doesn’t.
As a result, I determined that QWERTY really isn’t all that bad, it just gets one or two things very wrong. I found that you don’t actually have to remap your entire keyboard to get the best advantages of the popular layout alternatives today. You just have to fix some of the more egregious issues with QWERTY with some judicious tweaking.
The result is a new Minimak, more intelligently laid out and with far fewer key changes. While that means it’s less to learn than most other layouts, I’ve only found the learning curve to be on par with that of the original layout despite its fewer keys. That’s because it doesn’t follow the original’s finger-impulse retention scheme. Maintaining QWERTY skills along with regular QWERTY skills should be on par and easy enough as well.
Of course, it bears little resemblance to the former Minimak design, so much of what was discussed on the site before is in the process of being updated. I apologize to anyone who is disappointed with the new materials, as they are replacing the old ones. The old ones are no longer available as they are clearly superseded by the new design. Thanks for your understanding and I hope you are interested enough to give the new design a try.