Tue, 30 Oct 2007

Keycoding system

Several people have asked me what coding system is used for the Chordite. There is no standard chording system for chording keyboards, because they're all different. Some use two hands for chording. For example, Douglas Englebart's Augment used a chord keyboard and mouse combination. Hold a combination of buttons on the chord keyboard (five switches, one for each finger) and press one, two, or three mouse buttons. Or for example, the Twiddler uses a large set of buttons, three for each finger. Or I saw a fellow at a Linux World Expo who had a wrist-mounted keyboard that had four buttons under each fingertip and three under the thumb.

The Chordite has at least two possible codings. The one proposed by the inventor, John McKown, involves pressing buttons until you've gotten the correct combination of buttons, then releasing at least one button to generate that key. Another one is to use only combinations of two buttons, let's say A and B. The two of them generate four keys by changing the order in which you press and release A and B. I haven't (yet) experimented with both to see which works better.

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