Why Qwerty?


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  1. galt

    galt Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Okay, I admit this is my first phone with a text keyboard. I was stunned to see it still laid out in QWERTY fashion. Why haven't you young people made mfrs switch to a straight alpha keyboard? Why are we still stuck with a keyboard layout designed for proper functioning of the mechanical levers of a typewriter rather than an English-speaking human? Why aren't the ten most commonly used letters put in the easiest spot to use them?Will this remnant of history ever go away? Has anyone under the age of 30 even SEEN a mechanical typewrite (not an electric or selectric, but truly manual)? And will DROID ever have an option for a non-qwerty keyboard?
     

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  2. Edaze55

    Edaze55 Well-Known Member

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    Uh, what? Its called STANDARDIZATION. QWERTY is the standard. Thats why its a qwerty. How ticked would you be if you had to learn a new keyboard every time you picked up a new device with a keyboard.
     
  3. wbbgjr

    wbbgjr Active Member

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    If you're talking about the physical keyboard, it would be a big turnoff to people that have learned qwerty to type on non-qwerty. That would be the majority of people.

    I'm sure qwerty is not the most efficient, but it's good enough for most people's uses and everyone has it ingrained in their minds. It's like saying why are we all speaking english. it's not the most efficient language in the world. Let's all switch to blah blah.
     
  4. King James

    King James Active Member

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    It isn't the most efficient, and is deliberately not the most efficient. The reason QWERTY became the standard is because back in the day of the mechanical typewriters (as OP was mentioning, I think) the layout they had was so fast the typewriters jammed (I think it was called the dvorak). QWERTY became the standard and even though technology improved it just stayed as the standard.
     
  5. OctoMom

    OctoMom Well-Known Member

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    But it is the standard and that's quite a bit more important. It is not that inefficient that having a new keyboard design qould make it worthwhile.
     
  6. King James

    King James Active Member

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    Depends on your perspective, I guess.... at some point could just bite the bullet and make dvorak gradually the standard, teach it from a young age and those not young may just have to not switch or learn dvorak.... doesn't really make much sense to be inefficient just because people are used to being inefficient.
     
  7. Edaze55

    Edaze55 Well-Known Member

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    And there lies the real problem with trying to make a switch. You would not be able to make that switch in one generation without causing problems in the work force. Tons of retraining. Millions spent replacing keyboards. Not to mention the environmental aspect of tossing all that plastic. For what? A new standard? Is QWERTY really that hard to use?
     
  8. Cleetose

    Cleetose New Member

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    Obviously, qwerty has been around for a long time, and most people are familiar with it. It would be stupid to change it now.
     
  9. QrafTee

    QrafTee Well-Known Member

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    Well I learned QWERTY and even though typing with two thumbs is different than ten phalanges... typing in ABC (be it physical, virtual, or game controller input) is quite annoying to get used to.
     
  10. King James

    King James Active Member

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    Well you could make that argument for anything that is less efficient, but has become the standard. Is it as big of a deal for a keyboard when many can still type pretty fast in QWERTY, probably not.... my only point was that just because something is a standard is not a good argument for why it should STAY the standard. You mentioning the cost aspect is a much better argument.
     
  11. QrafTee

    QrafTee Well-Known Member

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    Well here's an argument. If they're the only ones who changed and everyone was used to QWERTY and learned QWERTY in school and such... does it make sense to make a move to lose customers and thus revenue? Nah, the risk doesn't justify the reward--there is no reward actually.
     
  12. Edaze55

    Edaze55 Well-Known Member

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    The productivity lost during the conversion would be enough of a reason not to make the switch.
     
  13. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the keys were first arranged in alphabetical order, but they discovered that when certain keys used often together (T and H) the layout had them right next to each other and thus, the keys would jam. This is because the old keyboards had this whole system of levers that would swing out and hit the paper, and when someone tried to type "THE" they'd get stuck when the levers for "T" and "H" ran into each other. QWERTY was developed so to prevent that and increase typing speed.

    DVORAK looks more efficient, as you can type about 400 common words without ever leaving the "home row" of keys, but objective testing has proven that there is really no difference between typing speeds using DVORAK and QWERTY. A fast typist is still fast no matter what the keyboard layout is, and a slow typist is still slow.

    There was a lot of competition for keyboard layout at the time, a lot of contests to see which would be the best, and QWERTY happened to survive that.

    Why QWERTY was Invented

    keys1

    QWERTY has remained the standard because nothing has come along that is better. DVORAK and other systems are as good as QWERTY, but not demonstrably better. And who wants to go through the difficult task of learning a new keyboard layout if there's no real benefit?
     
  14. Karganeth

    Karganeth Active Member

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    English isnt the most efficient language. A new language could be designed that was better than English at conveying ideas and communicating. That does not mean the DROID SHOULD SHIP WITH ITS OWN LANGUAGE THAT NO ONE CAN READ. IM SURE YOU CAN DRAW THE PARALLELS.

    Sticking a DVORAK keyboard on the phone would ruin it because no one can type in dvorak.
     
  15. King James

    King James Active Member

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    who said they should? All i said is it is more efficient


    edit: I guess OP may have suggested Droid taking initiative and going against the standard.... not what I meant though
     
  16. dlp211

    dlp211 Active Member

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    dvorak isn't any faster for typing anyways. There have been studies that have proven that qwerty, dvorak, etc.

    Any gain in dvorak is minimal at best and leads to no financial gain for companies.

    -dlp
     
  17. tpriddy

    tpriddy Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me started...

    I'm sick and tired of evaluating mathematical expressions from left to right. And what's up with those "stupid" clockwise SAE threads? And who in the world put the biggest number at the top of the clock anyway?

    Don't get me started!

    Okay, here's some obligatory content: a November 1982 BYTE magazine article about the history of the keyboard. Scroll down for "A Short History of the Keyboard." It starts out, comically enough:
     

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