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I was recently reminded of the Qwerty vs. Dvorak debate again, after I had long ago put the debate to bed for myself, thanks largely to an article I read (Typing Errors), that essentially attempts to debunk the Dvorak keyboard layout as snakeoil.

I've since heard claims that this article is missing vital information in the debate. This also serves to remind me that "best" is a very subjective term, so I'm going to ask a very objective set of questions. Which (English language) keyboard layouts are objectively best (meaning studies have been done to prove their superior qualities) in the following areas:

  1. Ease of learning
  2. Speed of typing
  3. Ergonomics

I will downvote any answers that simply provide anecdotal evidence (i.e. "I learned Dvorak in 15 minutes!" or "I type 250wpm with qwerty, you can't beat that.")

I'm looking for references to actual research to support a claim that one layout is superior to another. And while I'm primarily interested in Qwerty vs. Dvorak, I'm interested in information on any other lesser-known layouts as well.

And one last requirement--this should relate specifically to keyboard layouts--not to special hardware. If I can't use a layout on a standard cheap-o keyboard from my nearest computer retailer, it doesn't count.

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closed as off topic by random Jul 13 '11 at 0:50

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To whomever voted to close this question as "not constructive", I would appreciate hearing why it's not constructive. This is an answerable question, seeking objective information, not opinions. I think it fits well within the guidelines provided by the FAQ. If you disagree, I would like to know why. –  Flimzy Jul 12 '11 at 23:24
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I'm not so sure flimzy. You cannot hear objective information from such a subjective theme as which is better. If there was a better keyboard layout, everyone would know about it and you wouldn't need to ask. Problem is... different layouts fit different people I'm afraid. Still, I'm curious as what answers there will be. –  A Dwarf Jul 12 '11 at 23:28
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This cannot be answered unless you have parallel universes where people learn on different keyboards. What you learn first will taint your results. skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2975/… productivity.stackexchange.com/questions/363/… –  random Jul 12 '11 at 23:29
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This isn't a debate forum. That's what the local university philosophy department is for. –  surfasb Jul 12 '11 at 23:30
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This is not Yahoo! Answers and there is a site focus. Questions that fall out of scope and guidelines are closed. @kco –  random Jul 13 '11 at 0:50

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