When comparing Programmer Dvorak vs Norman, the Slant community recommends Programmer Dvorak for most people. In the question“What are the best keyboard layouts for programming?” Programmer Dvorak is ranked 4th while Norman is ranked 6th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy to learn if you're already used to Dvorak
Pro Programmer punctuation without shifting on the top row
The top row is hardest to reach, and shifting doesn't make this easier. Programmers uses punctuation far more than numerals, so it makes sense to shift for the numerals instead of the punctuation.
Pro Better number arrangement
The smallest numerals are the most frequently used, so why should they be on the weak fingers of the left hand? The order still makes sense too. Odd numbers on the left, even numbers on the right, ascending from the inside out (with the least used numeral '9' in the middle).
Pro Made for programming
This keyboard took a stand and optimized the Dvorak standard for programming.
Pro Open source
The keyboard layout is open source and available for edition.
Pro Available for major operating systems
Easy to install on Windows, OS X and Linux.
Pro Favours the right hand
Unlike other layouts, such as workman, norman favours the right hand due to it usually being stronger than the left.
Pro Keeps many common QWERTY shortcuts intact
Common shortcuts, such as ctrl + z, ctrl + x, etc., are kept in their original positions without much loss in ergonomics, making the transition easier.
Pro Uses the same fingers as QWERTY for most letters
Norman keeps 22/26 letters in their original QWERTY finger, making the transition easier, and, according to many tests, does so without much loss in ergonomics.
Pro Designed using normal keyboards in mind
Unlike keyboard layouts such as workman that are desgined to be used by matrix keyboards, norman is made to be used by a standard keyboard.
Pro Focuses on the keys easiest to reach for the human hand
Like Workman, Norman takes human anatomy into account.
Con Requires adjustment period
Letters are moved, punctuation moved, and number in num lock are moved too.
Con Typing numbers is hard
Numbers are arranged for their characters, not in ascending order. You also have to shift.
Con Punctuation moved, not just letters
Punctuation moved in addition to letters, meaning that the learning curve is that much harder coming from QWERTY because nearly every key is in a different place.
Con A very small user base and community
Con Designed for right handed use
The norman was designed with right handed use in mind, making it a less attractive choise for left handed users, however tests done by some users (can be found in the comments) suggests that the norman layout might be balanced
Con Scores worse in ergonomics using the carpalx test
Norman, although scoring better in travel distance, generally scores worse in the carpalx test than layouts such as colemak. See the source here.