I am adding my dvorak keymaps for the Zaurus SL5500 to this thread. If
you are a dvorak user, I hope you will find them useful, and I hope you can help us
figure out how to extend the mapping to more contexts (console, Opie on OZ 3.5.1,
other Z hardware etc.). If you are not, I hope you will consider switching some time
when you can take a couple of weeks off from typing so you can train correctly.
For general information on the dvorak keyboard, have a look at this site:
In general for English typing, the dvorak keyboard is more efficient
leading to greater input speed and less stress on the fingers, hands,
and arms (carpal tunnel syndrome). Articles disputing this fact are
unfortunate instances of political arguments getting mixed with the
facts of a technical issue. Unfortunately, the dvorak keyboard was the
innocent victim of advocates who needed to win a rhetorical point in
defense of 'freedom' (understandably more important to them then the
fate of an obscure keyboard layout). To the extent that you have heard
somewhere, but you don't remember where, that the keyboard had been
'proved' not to be more efficient, they were rhetorically successful.
Even so, what they said was not true. Paul David had the last word on
that (economics- they never did argue ergonomics) debate and scored
the point for the dvorak (economics and ergonomics) side. The case as
it finally rested now appears in economics textbooks, including the
very mainstream Paul Samuelson principles text.
From my own experience, toward the end of my time as a qwerty user, I
was starting to get sore from my fingers to my forearms after a couple
of hours of typing. A few times, after a day of writing, I had to
spend about a week without typing for the pain to go away completely.
I have not had pain to speak of in the four years since switching to
dvorak. My typing speed is also better than that of friends who use
their keyboards in the same way, and better than it was before I
What about the Zaurus? Clearly the issues are different when thumb
typing. The reason I wanted to put dvorak on the Z is so that I would
not have to clutter my mind with a 'new' layout. But it turns out that
there are advantages to this layout for thumb typing. I have glued
rough pieces (split pineapple leaf) with Elmer's glue to the 'h' and
'u' keys, which are the home keys in dvorak. The main feature of the
keyboard is that your hands stay on the home row most of the time (can
clearly see this in the wear pattern on my laptop) and most of the
time keystrokes alternate between left and right. For thumb typing,
this means I am not jumping around the keyboard very much and am
therefore less likely to get lost if I type without looking. This
makes keyboard entry on the Z quite convenient.