When comparing Dvorak Simplified Keyboard vs Arensito, the Slant community recommends Dvorak Simplified Keyboard for most people. In the question“What are the best keyboard layouts for programming?” Dvorak Simplified Keyboard is ranked 2nd while Arensito is ranked 18th. The most important reason people chose Dvorak Simplified Keyboard is:
Designed with comfort in mind.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro More ergonomic
Designed with comfort in mind.
Pro Standard on all operating systems
You can find this layout on all operating systems.
Pro Opportunity to learn proper touch typing
Most people passively learn and use QWERTY-based layouts before switching to Dvorak. The switch gives them an opportunity to completely relearn 10-finger typing, which is where a significant portion of the speedup comes from. Coupled with more ergonomic key placement, this makes for a more enjoyable typing experience.
Pro Useful keys in home row
70% of more useful keys are placed in the home row.
Pro You can reuse qwerty layout
Since letters and symbols only change place, but not key, you can change the keys on your keyboard and get a full comfortable Dvorak layout, without having to buy a new keyboard.
Pro Vowels all on one hand making it easy to teach to kids
Pro Punctuation also optimized for programming
AltGr plane has accessible punctuation and numbers. The most used are directly under your fingers on the (new) home row, and all the bracket types are paired and in easy reach.
Pro Puts your thumbs to good use
Your strongest fingers are your thumbs. In this layout (unless you have a keyboard with thumb keys) you shift your hands up one row, and you use your thumbs on the bottom row. (Put your index fingers on QWERTY's
I keys, and rest your thumbs on VB and NM) The Ctrl and Shift modifier keys now use your strong thumbs instead of your weak pinkies. (Ctrl shortcuts are especially important for programmers.) The modifiers may contribute more to RSI than letters.
Pro Minimizes same-finger bigrams
Pro Emphasizes adjacent finger bigrams
Common bigrams are a fast rolling motion, like Colemak.
Pro Balances load between hands
Statistically, the left and right hand are used about the same amount.
Pro Easy access to common punctuation and numbers
Programmer punctuation and numbers are accessible without stretching on the AltGr plane. (AltGr is now on the spacebar).
Pro Reduces load on pinkies
Con Inconvenient for common key-shortcuts
Key bindings common to most applications, such as Ctrl+Z/C/V, can't be done on the left hand while mousing with the right. Shortcuts for other applications are out of the QWERTY positions they were designed for and aren't so convenient to access.
Con L is too hard to reach
L is not a rare letter. It's used even more than
U is in English. Why put it in a difficult spot for use with the weak pinky finger?
Con The "ls" command is uncomfortable to type
This is a very common command programmers have to type often when working with the shell. It's pretty awkward in Dvorak, especially when you add common options. Try typing "ls ‐latr", and see how that feels.
Con Difficult for occasional moments when you have only one hand free
Hand-alternation is good for touch-typing with both hands, but problematic (a lot of horizontal movement) when typing with one. Can be avoided by temporarily switching to another layout.
Con F is too hard to reach
F is not an especially common letter, but it's used much more than the rare letters
JQZ. Why is it on one of the most difficult spots on the keyboard? It's also used in
OF, one of the more common bigrams, ranked at #13. Maybe some other languages use
Z more than English, but why is
F harder to reach than
Con The U is directly under your finger while the I is far away
I is used more--by about 2.5 times. In fact,
U is the least used vowel after
Y. The consonants
TNSHRDLC all appear more often. So why is
U directly under your finger? And why should you have to stretch for
Con Not easy on the right pinky finger
Most useful symbols for programming are on the right pinky finger, which is not very comfortable.
Con Doesn't account for finger length
The keyboard layout doesn't account for E being easier to press than C for example on a QWERTY layout, this can be seen for example using the workman key cap scores done here.
Con Not actually faster than QWERTY
Maybe it's more ergonomic, but that's debatable. You'll certainly get more benefit from an ergonomic keyboard than a change in layout. Dvorak's reputation for speed is due to a typo in the initial press report, and a biased (and since discredited) study run by Dvorak himself. Dvorak is all hype and no substance.
Con Not the standard keyboard layout
It will be difficult to frequently switch between computers
Con Pointing stick is no longer on the home row
Most keyboards don't have one, but if you use it a lot it becomes a bit of a stretch. On the plus side, a keyboard with a pointing stick will have mouse buttons you could remap to thumb keys instead.
Con Hard to orient in a new position by feel
Most keyboards have bumps on two of the keys to orient touch-typists. On QWERTY, this is usually F and J, but sometimes D and K. On some keyboards you can fix this by swapping keycaps. You could also try adding small stickers with enough thickness.
Con Letter keys as modifiers may cause jamming or ghosting
Cheap keyboards designed for QWERTY might struggle with the use of Arensito's letter keys as modifiers. Gaming keyboards with n-key rollover don't have this problem. And any keyboard with proper thumb keys (Kinesis, Ergodox, Maltron) works properly. There is an older version of the layout that keeps QWERTY's home row that you can use on cheap keyboards, but it's not quite as nice.
Con Copy-paste shortcuts are right-handed
XCV are on the right side. This makes it difficult to cut/copy-paste with the mouse in the right hand.