Japanese version and translation details.

Carpalx optimizes keyboard layouts to create ones that require less effort and significantly reduced carpal strain!

Download keyboard layouts, or run the code yourself to explore new layouts.

X11 layouts are available! Many thanks to Sven Hallberg for providing X11 configuration for Carpalx layouts. Richard Gomes contributed an archive of these files for KDE/Gnome users.

Love your coworkers? Switch them to QWKRFY layout or a fully optimized QGMLWY layout.

Hate your coworkers? Switch them to TNWMLC layout. It's the only keyboard layout that has its own fashion line.

Have ideas? Tell me.

12/feb/14 - Added evaluation of the abKey layout. Its alphabetic layout makes no attempt at ergonomics. Detailed statistics are available.

Installing Carpalx

configuration file : etc/tutorial-00.conf
output : out/tutorials/00

Configuration

Let's skip the configuration details for now, and see whether things work.

First, change the first line of bin/carpalx if you want to use a specific perl binary. Otherwise, the perl binary in your path will be used.

#!/usr/bin/env perl

Now you should be able to check that you can see the manpage.

bin/carpalx -man

If you get an error of this type

Can't locate Set/IntSpan.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /home/martink/perl/5.8.7/lib/5.8.7/i686-linux-ld 
/home/martink/perl/5.8.7/lib/5.8.7 /home/martink/perl/5.8.7/lib/site_perl/5.8.7/i686-linux-ld 
/home/martink/perl/5.8.7/lib/site_perl/5.8.7 /home/martink/perl/5.8.7/lib/site_perl .) 
at bin/carpalx line 163.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at bin/carpalx line 163.

then you do not have the module Set::IntSpan (or whatever carpalx complains about) in your module path. Possibly, you do not have the module installed.

To install a module try using CPAN first. Here make sure you're using the perl binary that will be used to run carpalx (e.g. /usr/bin/perl).

> /usr/bin/perl -MCPAN -e shell

cpan> install Set::IntSpan
cpan> quit

If you have the module installed but need to add its path to the module path so that Perl can find it, you can either

quick and dirty optimization

Assuming you can see the manpage, try running a fast optimization of QWERTY over 100 iterations.

> bin/carpalx -conf etc/tutorial-00.conf > out/tutorials/00/out.txt

I've redirected the output to out/tutorials/00/out.txt for review. This output will contain the effort summary of the initial keyboard state (QWERTY), reports for each iteration, and the effort summary of the final optimized state. The contents of the output will be the results of the steps carried out in the 'action' parameter. For this tutorial, the action parameter was

action  = loadkeyboard,loadtriads,
          drawinputkeyboard,reporteffortverybrief,
	  optimize,
	  drawoutputkeyboard,reporteffortverybrief,
	  quit

Output files (keyboard images and final configuration) will be written to out/tutorials/00, as controlled by the keyboard_output and pngfiles_* parameters. The files will be marked with a random 6 character string to avoid overwriting previous output (defined by the dynamically assigned runid parameter in the configuration file).

In my case, I obtain the following optimization after 100 iterations. The effort of the final layout is 1.899, which is significantly lower than the effort of the initial QWERTY state (2.962). In other words, significant improvement has already been made in a very short simulation.


# out/tutorials/00/tmp-phpzca.conf

<current_parameters>
iter               = 100
effort             = 2.16825701504727372
deffort            = 0.405960215518077932
update_count       = 54
t                  = 0.000453999297624848515
</current_parameters>

<annealing_parameters>
t0                 = 10
k                  = 10
maxswaps           = 2
p0                 = 1
action             = minimize
iterations         = 100
onestep            = 0
minswaps           = 1
</annealing_parameters>

<keyboard>
<row 1>
keys = `~ 1! 2@ 3\# 4$ 5% 6^ 7& 8* 9( 0) -_ =+
fingers  = 0 1 1 2 3 3 3 6 7 7 8 9 9
</row>
<row 2>
keys = b q n r g m s f x y [{ ]} \|
fingers  = 0 1 2 3 3 6 6 7 8 9 9 9 9
</row>
<row 3>
keys = d h e t l o u i a ;: '"
fingers  = 0 1 2 3 3 6 6 7 8 9 9
</row>
<row 4>
keys = j z c w p v k ,< .> /?
fingers  = 0 1 2 3 3 6 6 7 8 9
</row>
</keyboard>

If you run carpalx again with the same command, you'll find that a different set of files was written to out/tutorials/00. You can run the simulation many times (and on multiple cores or CPUs) and not worry that the output files will clobber one another (while it's possible, it's very unlikely).

The output keyboard file (tmp-phpzca.conf above) can be used as an input file to continue the optimization.