QWERTY - Comparison To Other Keyboard Input Systems

Comparison To Other Keyboard Input Systems

DVORAK and QWERTY have been compared by some people to other systems which involve keyboard input systems, namely Stenotype and its implementations e.g. opensource PLOVER . There are numerous advantages to using these systems (namely a 700% increase in efficiency over QWERTY ) but they are fundamentally different from ordinary typing. Words are input by pressing on several keys and releasing simultaneously but don't require the keys to be pressed down in any order. Neither is the spacebar used. There is a learning hurdle in that hunt and peck does not work. However, it is easy to write at 180-300 wpm. It is worth noting that PLOVER stenotype theory required a stenotype machine prior to 2010; due to the inherent difficulties of chording QWERTY was invented to allow cheap machines to be made that didn't jam up; stenotype was invented for maximum speed and accuracy. Slowly the technologies of typing have improved and gotten cheaper, hence the $45 Microsoft Sidewinder with antialiasing.

The first typed shorthand machines appeared around 1880, roughly current with QWERTY, but the first stenotype machines appeared in 1913. Also, these machines' output needed to be interpreted by a trained professional, comparable to reading Gregg shorthand, which was very much in vogue at the time and taught publicly until the 1980s. Gregg shorthand also didn't require much more than training and a pen, however machines gradually gained traction in the courtroom. Modern PLOVER immediately provides translated output, making it very much like other keyboard setups that immediately produce legible work.

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