Whither Colemak in Windows 8? In Windows Phone 8?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/03/21 07:15 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2013/03/21/10404051.aspx

If there was ever a persistent force in my universe, it would have to be the Acolytes of Colemak.

No matter how many times they lose their Wikipedia page, and no matter how often I tell them that they will not be added to Windows as long as I own new keyboards, they keep popping back up.

They are Chumba Wumba incarnate (they get knocked down, but they get up again, and you're never gonna keep them down).

They are weeble wobbles personified (they wobble, but they don't fall down).

Just the other day, in an offtopic comment to Why aren't there any Cherokee keyboard layouts on Windows Phone 8?, asdf (presumably not his real name!) asked:

Hey Michael, is there any way to get the Colemak keyboard layout among the built-in layouts in the next Servive Packs for Windows and all future versions of windows (Or at least submit a feature request for it on Microsoft's internal bug database)?

What on earth does that have to do with Windows Phone 8?

And pardon me, but what the heck kind of genuine Colemak user is named asdf anyway? Wouldn't a genuine Colemak user be arst?


And yet, despite how often they articulate their desires, they aren't very good about rigorously going about that articulation.

Heck, their downloadable Windows version (available here) doesn't do what is (arguably) one of the most important defining feature of Colemak: it does not remap Caps Lock to Backspace!

I guess they never figured out how to make KBDUTOOL.EXE remap the CAPS LOCK key, did they? :-)

No OEM or IHV sells a keyboard that has its layout imprinted on its keys.

No national standard in any country for any language uses its layout - since it is unsuitable for every language.

And it lacks the punch of the Dvorak layout, which despite being more common is also readily trounced by QWERTY.

I don't know what will happen when Shai Coleman passes on from this mortal coil -- who will be its champion?

Yuri Khan on 21 Mar 2013 7:38 AM:

I use a customized Colemak variant on Linux. It will be better than Dvorak as long as the CUA standard specifies Ctrl+ZXCV as the main editing keys, and it’s better than QWERTY because, well, everything is better than QWERTY.

Markus W. on 21 Apr 2013 8:05 AM:

What I do not really get is the following: Why do you think you should prescribe *any* layout at all? I mean I would really like to test colemak myself and decide on my own. IMHO Windows 8 should support arbitrary keyboards simply by letting everyone add xml config files to a special folder. I get mad at statements like "they will not be added to Windows as long as I own new keyboards".

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