Welcome (sticky)

5 March 2017

If this is your first time here, welcome. The site is still very much in development. In particular, the Gallery section needs a lot of work.
To date, the bulk of the effort has been in the Best Layouts section (and the research required to get the best layouts...)


15 April 2017

Added new Tools section with some useful links (more to come), as well as the beginnings of my guide to building a custom mechanical keyboard from scratch.
That's also still a work in progress but I need to start now so I can document the next steps...

Added new swiping layouts

2 April 2017

Added four new swiping/one-finger layouts to the Swiping layouts comparison page. These were designed by other people.
The layouts are Chubron, Opti Improved, Fitaly, and Metropolis.

See swiping layouts comparisons.

Atari 800

27 March 2017

Added the Atari 800.
Atari 800

Anonymous mockup, fingercoded

20 March 2017

Added a mockup by Anonymous, fingercoded.
Anonymous mockup

Atreus, fingercoded

19 March 2017

Added the Atreus layout, fingercoded.
Atreus Fingercoded

Z8 Swiping layout

19 March 2017

Added the Z8 swiping layout. Definitely done with this for today. It's better than about twice as good as QWERTY, according to the limited metrics used to measure.
So the question is, is this the best English swiping layout in the world? Let me know :-)
Z8 Swiping layout
See comparisons against other popular layouts.

Z7 Swiping layout

19 March 2017

Added the Z7 swiping layout. Think that's about as far as I'm going with this for now :-)
Z7 Swiping layout
See comparisons against other popular layouts.

Z6 Swiping layout

19 March 2017

Added the Z6 swiping layout.
Z6 Swiping layout
See comparisons against other popular layouts.


16 March 2017

Added Planck fingercoded.
Planck fingercoded

Matrix Colmak

16 March 2017

Added Matrix Colmak, from a design by Jack Humbert.
Matrix Colmak

Switch tester

15 March 2017

Added a proposal for a switch tester layout.
Key switch tester

Taylor Peterson, Fingercoded

15 March 2017

Added the Taylor Peterson modified Dvorak Fingercoded layout.
Taylor Peterson Fingercoded

ANSI 104 QWERTY, Fingercoded

15 March 2017

Added the ANSI 104 QWERTY Fingercoded layout.
ANSI 104 QWERTY Fingercoded
Also switching to a new colour scheme for these layouts, based on selected Material Design colours.

JD40, Fingercoded

13 March 2017

Added KLE file for JD40 Fingercoded.
JD40 Fingercoded

Huge updates to Best Layouts

5 March 2017

Have uploaded a lot of changes to the Best Layouts section. The main thrust is still on the Den Scoring sections.

I have added various new tests, as well as some (rather radical) new layouts, which produce good results.
In particular, the X6.3H ErgoLinear is best at English:
X6.3H ErgoLinear keyboard layout

While the X6.1H ErgoLinear is best overall:
X6.1H ErgoLinear keyboard layout

Click images above for larger view. They are radical because of where the h is... on AltGr. In spite of needing both thumbs to press it, the layout still gets the best scores.

Revised proposal for a swiping layout

22 February 2017

Ian Z2 swiping keyboard layout

A revision to the layout below ... I found the four-way swipes a bit fiddly so reverted to something more conventional.

Also tweaked the punctuation and added the missing asterisk. The other three main currency symbols (£ ¥ €) are on the Sym page.

Guess this will be Ian Z2.

Here's the layout:

"title":"Ian Z2a",



A proposal for a swiping layout

21 February 2017

Ian Z1 swiping keyboard layout

Above is a work in progress at a design for a swiping layout for cellphones. Click the image for a larger view. I modified a supplied layout in the app (Qwerty + arrows layout).
I had been using Swiftkey for ages, but their change in ownership and business model bothered me, so I went surfabout for a replacement. After trying various things including Kii (new version 2 beta) and Ai Keyboard, I eventually discovered Multiling O Keyboard.

This keyboard is very configurable (both in terms of look-and-feel and letter layout), and supports swiping. If you have the inclination to tweak, then it's a good choice for you.
So I spent some time trying different layouts etc and eventually arrived at the above layout. I'm still getting used to it because my head is still hard-wired for QWERTY, and struggle to find letters sometimes. Also the swipe algorithm is very different to how Swiftkey works so I need to deal with that too.

Anyway the layout has the following improvements over QWERTY for common English letter compinations:
  • ious
  • ion
  • ian
  • if
  • of
  • on
  • ou
  • oi
  • un
  • no
  • an
  • ant
  • ai
  • oa
  • ay
  • out
  • the
  • there
  • wh
  • where
  • when
  • her
  • he
  • she
  • nt
  • not
  • to / ot
  • nth
  • st
  • sh
  • ch
  • gh
  • ght
  • th
  • ng
  • ang
  • ing
  • ong
  • gn
  • wh
  • ck
  • ly
  • tly
  • ny
  • ct
  • er / re
  • der
  • ed / de
  • es / se
  • me
  • ce
  • uni
and probably some others :-)

Currently the dev name is Ian Z1 but I guess it may end up being called Panther.

Here's the layout:

"title":"Ian Z1",
"[4D:02468][4D: [Home][Copy][End][Paste]][4D: [Left][Up][Right][Down]][4D:



Mito Canvas keycaps

30 January 2017

Mito Canvas

This is one of the options for the Mito Canvas keycap set sold via MassDrop.
I found the modifier keys very interesting, given that they create them all using a few basic elements (arrow heads, bars, circle, cross and bullets).
Click the image for a larger view.

Den is Done

29 November 2016
Finally have uploaded revised versions with all of Den's scores captured. Also a few new/fixed layouts from myself and Den.

The following layouts have been removed (or fixed where possible) from the KLA test suite, due to missing characters.

Have also decided to host a local version of KLA ... it's a minor fork of Den's fork, and is at kla.keyboard-design.com. It will probably be more up to date with my experiments than Den's fork. If you want Patrick's scoring you should use his original version.

Nanoxia Ncore Retro.

17 November 2016

Nanoxia Ncore Retro


Nanoxia Ncore Retro

Double trouble

17 November 2016
Busy redoing all Den's scores, this time using data captured directly from the analyzer, rather than typing it in by hand.

So, on the one hand, it's a lot of previous work being for nothing, on the other hand the data is more accurate with no chance of typos, and on the third hand, having the raw data will allow me to produce other metrics which would have required a heck of a lot of typing.

I'll update the pages once I'm back to where I was before. The new process is conisderably faster, now that I've got Firefox keeping the console log until I'm done (thanks to Firebug extension).

Second date.

10 November 2016

Added Den's scores for the second set of dates, UK style DD/MM/YYYY.

Getting going with the dates

9 November 2016

Added Den's scores for the first set of dates, UK style D/M/YYYY.

The efforts are high, and these numbers are going to seriously disrupt the average scores.

New test and layouts

8 November 2016

Added Den's scores for Difficult Words.

Started including some variants on the X1 layout, as well on the Ergodox Thumbhack ... this variant puts the T on the left thumb. It's currently the best at English, the tests done with Den's scoring.

Will see about checking it with Patrick's scoring.

New form factor and tests

4 November 2016

Added Den's scores for Animal Farm and Scroll II.

Started including the X1 layout on a new form factor, which Den has agreed to follow my suggestion and call it ErgoLinear. Somewhere between Ergodox and Typematrix Ortholinear. See the ortholinear explanation.

I don't have a dedicated page for it yet but you can see the general idea on the X1 Ergo Compact page.

A Princely addition

28 October 2016

Added Den's scores for The Little Prince..

Meet the I-Board

26 October 2016

Added prototype for Programmer's Keyboard v3, the I-Board.

Added second prototype for Programmer's Keyboard v3, the X1 Ergo Compact.

New scores, layouts, filtering

25 October 2016

Added Den's scores for the Game of Life and Jonathan.

Been fiddling, have got some new variants with better names, indicating their category:

In the interests of not overloading the top end of the results table, I've marked each version of a layout as Major or Minor, and switched off the minor ones by default.

Added a page for the new X1 layout.

Added Patrick's scores for Colemak RShift-AltGr-EnterRing mod.

Much confusion

18 October 2016

Getting conflicting results from Den vs Patrick's scoring... sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Hopefully we'll sort out the issues in due course.
Added Den's scores for the Keyboard Layout Editor home page.

Also introduced yet another variant to the mix, at present only on Den's score pages, but in the tests to date, it even surpasses AltGr 3. I've named it ref AltGr for now.
I've noticed it does not do so well on the date tests, we'll see if the rest of the tests are enough to compensate.

AltGr 3 has arrived... film at 11

18 October 2016

Added Den's scores for the Towers of Hanoi (both parts).
I have improved versions of BEAKL 4 Mod Ian 73.08 74.70 74.19 and BEAKL 4 Mod Ian AltGr 2.
BEAKL 4 Mod Ian AltGr 3 looks like it's going to be the new overall champ... wins most things except a few of the technical tests, where Schizo's layouts come out on top.
Will get the details up as soon as I can.
I've added all the scores for BEAKL 4 Mod Ian 74.07 74.73 74.19 to Patrick's scores (ANSI page), and caught AltGr 3 up with the other tests on Den's scores (ANSI).
Yes I know I need better names for these things :-) .. the numbers above are the scores on Alice, Common words and SAT words, as scored by Patrick. They help me see where a layout is strong or weak.

Google joins the club

17 October 2016

Added Den's scores for the Google home page. Also moved two layouts from ANSI to Ergo, where they belong.
Added Den's scores for the Classics Collection.

Den scores

16 October 2016

Den has modified Patrick's scoring algorithms to take the fingers used into account, for example in measuring distance. I think that the distance a key travels vertically is now also included.

So I've started redoing all the tests with that scoring, it's a lot of work, but I've done the three default tests from KLA. It produced some unexpected results. See the Best Layouts page.

Backend business

15 October 2016

Cleaned up assorted issues on the non-visible side of things, including how the pages are assembled. Also, the pages with the layouts used in the tests are now generated straight out of the database, so I don't need to manually maintain it. Also where there is a page for the layout, it now links to it as well.

Added some colour coding to the layout test results pages, so you can immediately see the category of the layout.

Added some layouts to the gallery, including my prototype Programmer's Keyboard versions 1 and 2.

Added two more tests, from a speed typing competition.

Bi, tri and quad...

4 October 2016

Added bigrams, trigrams and quadgrams tests to the Best Layouts as determined by KLA pages.

Lots of additions...

August / September / October 2016

Lots of additions, mainly in the Best Layouts section. Finally got around to doing the housekeeping pages to keep Google happy. Now need to replace "New" with something else since this page is effectively "New".

Smosee Motospeed Inflictor CK104

8 August 2016
Smosee Motospeed Inflictor CK104



Get it from Amazon

Site launches...

8 August 2016

A low-key launch of the site. Mainly so that Den and I can compare results from the various keyboard tests in our quest to find the best layouts.