Here’s the granddaddy of Dvorak-debunking articles, that all the rest quote:
You can see that, whatever issue one may take in my use of “bean-counters” and “haytuhs”, my specific characterizations are correct. It credits Dvorak with being at least 2% faster (the smallest result from several studies cited); it doesn’t address comfort whatsoever; their conclusion that Dvorak isn’t superior stems from considering the only relevant issue to be whether it’s sufficiently superior for a business to recoup an investment in retraining its staff.
“It’s completely deniable! My fingers and hands don’t “travel” at all on my QWERTY keyboard”
One wonders how you imagine typing occurs without the fingers traveling. Here’s a Mac program to facilitate calculating the difference:
The portion of my statement I was submitting as undeniable is the greater finger travel required with QWERTY. It’s well-established, but, as you demonstrate, it’s not actually undeniable, if one is sufficiently creative in one’s denial.
That additional finger travel would engender additional strain seems inescapable, but, as I said, I don’t have evidence. It’s conjecture. My own experience constitutes anecdotal evidence; I submitted it anecdotally.
“If QWERTY really is so much more uncomfortable and injury-prone than Dvorak, why does almost nobody use it?”
I said that it “probably” caused more hand strain and “quite possibly” more injury. I said explicitly that there isn’t hard evidence. Your straw man doesn’t resemble what I actually said.
There are many, many things we do in daily life for which there are alternatives that engender less strain. Most people, most of the time, can take the additional strain without noticeable effect, and never bother thinking about alternatives. I did a decade of QWERTY typing without feeling strain. If it weren’t for a lot of other bigger things I was doing wrong, that might well have continued to be the case.
Ubiquity is self-maintaining. In popular thought, learning to type means only learning to type QWERTY. Most people are never exposed to a keyboard labeled in Dvorak (I’ve never had one); no one would want to learn to type on a mislabeled keyboard. And once one has learned to touch-type, it would take a dramatic reason to consider re-learning.
“What was your typing speed on QWERTY? Were you ever really trained on it?”
Somewhere around 110 wpm. I took a typing course in high school, and had correct form. I worked my way through college as a typesetter, much of which work was straight typing, so I had plenty of practice.
“Did you ever injure yourself on it?”
I had a debilitating repetitive stress injury that left me in non-stop pain from fingertip to shoulder in both arms for months. A dozen doctors told me I’d never work 40 hours a week at a computer job again, and that I’d be substantially impaired for the rest of my life. I’ve proved them wrong.
Switching from QWERTY to Dvorak was one of very many changes I made in my recovery. I absolutely do not claim that it is discretely the case that QWERTY caused the injury, or that Dvorak cured me. I also absolutely believe it was one of many things that helped. Not the biggest, almost certainly not sufficient to have made the difference between pain and its absence, but something that helped.
“Do you know anybody else who was injured, who then switched to Dvorak and reported being fine?”
I know several people with stories like mine, in which switching to Dvorak was one of many changes made while recovering from injury. All of them feel switching was helpful; I’d be very surprised if any of them ascribed primacy to it.
“Is it not remotely possible that the improvement in “comfort” is psychological?”
I used to be in non-stop pain. Now, I’m not. Is it remotely possible you’ll believe me when I tell you that the difference isn’t merely psychological?
We’re on the same side that the question could and should be resolved by study and evidence. And, as we’ve both said, neither of us have it.