The Dvorak-Qwerty Myth Is Back

from the disproven dept

Well, here’s one of those computing myths that is never going to die, apparently. The Inquirer is the latest to write about how we’re all stuck with inferior QWERTY keyboards compared to the vastly superior Dvorak keyboards that came later. It’s a nice story (and a very popular one, too), but it’s not true.

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Comments on “The Dvorak-Qwerty Myth Is Back”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I wouldn't take Liebowitz's stuff at face value...

Liebowitz’s papers always seemed a bit fishy to me. He seems to have set out to prove that there are no such things as network externalities or path lockin, including with regard to, e.g., Microsoft operating systems. That position is nonsense on its face, and certainly none of his protestations to the contrary hold up well enough to change my mind.

Liebowitz is also responsible for some papers giving pretty absurd cost estimates for the Microsoft breakup proposal in the anti-trust case . (Sponsored by the Association of Competitive Technology, and guess who’s a big corporate member…)

A more recent paper of his concludes that music downloading is the only explanation for the recent decline in music sales, and that this is causing significant harm to the industry (though he concedes that it may not be “fatal”).

See for one rebuttal of his Dvorak paper.

Anonymous Coward says:

-up legend. With no widely accepted research, only theory, behind it.

I wish that someone would conduct a comprehensive study of the relative value of the Dvorak, QWERTY, and now Colemak keyboard layouts. Maybe then we could settle the arguments over whether Dvorak is a little better than QWERTY or vastly superior.

I especially wish economists would stop trying to be keyboard experts, just because they want to validate their beliefs.

If you switch to Dvorak, you might become faster, you might make fewer errors, but there’s a really good chance that you’ll type a lot more comfortably.

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