When you grow up with Gentoo, you mostly only ever need to use the loadkeys command in the console. This led me to believe that there only existed one command to change the layout you’re currently using. Now I know better (like five years or so after learning about loadkeys…): loadkeys are for console only. setxkbmap is what you use for switching in X. You’ll see below what finally made this obvious to me, or rather what I was doing when I realized it.

Since I guess many people being computer literate have a tendency towards perfectionism in one way or another this is certainly the case with me. Knowing that the keyboard layout with the completely dominating installed base; “qwerty” has an inherently flawed (for what we’re using it for today) design in the first place. It kind of annoys me that I’ve not yet gotten myself to learn a reasonably good keyboard layout design such as svorak. This is a swedish variant of dvorak since I need to type swedish letters from most every day. Now, there are obstacles for making this transition such as finding a hardwired keyboard or having to paint the letters by hand. But I think I might have come up with a better solution:

Yeah, desktop background is a tiled picture of the keyboard layout. This was I can always peek at it while I type. I’m probably going to make a dvorak-se one since it appears to have more appeal to a programmer like me with better placement of brackets as the primary treat (like the original dvorak).


11 October 2008