Talk:Chorded keyboard

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Speed relative to regular keyboards[edit]

So there are no clear WPMs. Are there any opinions by notable users about speed relative to regular keyboards? - Omegatron 22:53, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Omegatron: With Spiffchorder, Greg Priest-Dorman typed 55wpm even after months of using another chorder. "So, I put my seven key chorder back on (after not using it all those same months) and did 55 wpm. " [1] OjM (talk) 12:22, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
For example, each finger might control one key which corresponds to one bit in a byte, so that one to eight fingers can enter any character in the ASCII set if the user can remember the binary codes.

Aren't there only 7 bits in ASCII?—Trevor Caira 13:12, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

In 1980, I purchased a Microwriter MW4 - I learned to type about as fast as I could on a conventional keyboard. However, when I was at the Microwriter stand at a computer show in London, the salesman and I were chatting about the device. He seemed to have been nervously fiddling with the keyboard as we talked - but at the end of the conversation, he casually rewound the device and showed me both sides of our entire conversation scrolling across the screen. So he was able to type at normal talking speeds. I don't think I know anyone who could type that fast on a conventional keyboard.

However, one would not want to use one finger for each bit of a 7 bit ASCII character - the Microwriter uses 5 buttons for normal typing and one extra thumb button to act as a kind of shift/ctrl/alt key. 5 bits gives you 32 combinations (one of which is no-buttons-pressed). So you can get all 26 letters of the alphabet, plus 5 others. If I recall correctly, the Microwriter uses one for 'SPACE', another for 'BACKSPACE' and the remaining three for '.', ',' and 'RETURN'. Tapping the second thumb button with other key combinations makes the next character a capital or a number or a control character or a symbol (@#$%^&*(), etc).

I decided to write a proper article about the Microwriter - and added a photograph of my Microwriter - which sadly no longer works because the battery voltage regulator has blown.

It's definitely a cool interface - and as a 1980's predecessor of the PDA, it was easily a decade ahead of it's time.

SteveBaker 02:57, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


I redirected Chordon here, but I felt some of the text might be useful to integrate here:

Chordon is a concept used with some chording keyboards (e.g. GKOS). It is a string of chords where common keys between two consecutive characters (i.e. chords) are not released.

Often, the detection of a combination of keys, representing a character to be entered on a chording keyboard, requires that all keys must be released before and after the chord (= combination of keys). This somewhat slows down the typing and may easily lead to wrong or missing characters because the gaps between chords may disappear while typing fast.

There are several methods to overcome this. One is to decide on the character when a key (any key) of a chord is released first time. This greatly improves the reliability. Another method is the Chordon technique where a more complicated detection of key combinations is used, allowing overlapping of chords during complete words and not requiring the release of keys that are common to consecutive characters.

The Chordon detection algorithm can not rely on absolute lengths of key presses because typing speeds can vary a lot. Instead, the average length of a single character must be estimated and the structure of the string of overlapping chords (e.g. a word or a syllable) is interpreted as a whole.

The advantage with Chordon detection is that overlapping is fully allowed (less errors, all characters are still detected) and, because there is no need to release all keys between characters, typing becomes partly parallel resulting in higher possible typing speeds.

Cheers. Ëvilphoenix Burn! 10:03, August 9, 2005 (UTC)

I do not understand the Chordon technique. It is not fully described above. However the read-chord-on-first-release algorithm described by Bequaert et al. in expired US patent 4042777 does provide excellent character recognition in the presence of chord overlap. The Bequaert algorithm toggles between two modes, chord forming mode and chord releasing mode. The first key press puts the keyboard into forming mode, The keyboard remains in forming mode through any additional key presses. The first key release puts the keyboard into releasing mode where it remains until any new key press returns it to forming mode. The intended chord is taken to be the one existing just before the entry into releasing mode, i.e., just before the first key release. A little thought shows that any keys needed by adjacent characters need not be released. The resulting feel of the keyboard is very natural and it's simple to program. Bequaert's method is what I use in the Chordite. --- John McKown —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


The Microwriter has SIX buttons - not five, I corrected the article (and added a photo as proof!).

Doug Engelbart?[edit]

 "Doug Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse, may have invented chord keyboards."

...but then we have already said that the stenotype machine is a chording keyboard and that it was invented in 1858. So I don't think Doug gets the credit and I'm removing this statement. SteveBaker 16:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I rewrote the history section, and I hope I've clarified Engelbart's contribution. Rbean 08:03, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Chorded keyset redirect, and use at PARC[edit]

I've redirected Chorded keyset here. That page included this text, which was added yesterday:

A five key chord keyset was standard issue with the Xerox Alto in the early days at Xerox PARC. The advantage was that multiple keys could be struck at the same time, allowing 31 differnet combinations. There was an editer, ugh, which catered to use with this keyset. It allowed one to use the mouse with one hand, and the keyset with the other to input text. The chord keyset was mapped to allow the letters plus some escapes for use with upper case and numbers and other characters. There were folks who could enter text as fast with this as with a standard keyboard, and they had simultaneous mouse capability without moving their hands.
The chord keyset was also heavily used in playing Maze War, where the keys were mapped to the common movement patterns.

I'd like to see a reference for this-- everything I've read says PARC only used the mouse, not the keyset. I've also never heard of the "ugh" editor. Most of Engelbart's contemporaries seem to have dismissed the keyset as unusable (despite a few enthusiasts who became highly proficient with it) Rbean 08:03, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

The Digibarn has a page about this[1].--Jecel 16:53, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Joystick Descendants[edit]

Wouldn't the Playstation controller and its friends fall under this category? They're not designed for entering text, but they can be used that way, like for naming characters and saved games. And, as a game controller, "chorded" combinations of buttons are standard. --Badmuthahubbard 09:45, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I would say not. Game controllers do indeed use 'chords' - but not for entering text. Essentially, every game I've played had you wiggle the joystick left/right or up/down to select a letter - then hit a single button to 'enter' it. Hence it's not a chorded keyboard because it's not a keyboard. With true chorded keyboards (such as the Microwriter) you type text by pressing one chord for each letter...well, might need to press some kind of escape code to get into or out of uppercase or to shift between numbers, letters and punctuation - but essentially, there is one chord per character you type. SteveBaker 20:14, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I wasn't sure, it says "characters or commands" and some of the commands used by chords on video game controllers are pretty precise; not ASCII, though, to my knowledge. At any rate, I bet folks with video game experience would excel with these machines.Badmuthahubbard 06:56, 28 August 2006 (UTC)


"On the other hand, the failure of touch typing to penetrate the world after a century of availability leads buyers to question their ability to remember the chordings necessary." Failure of touch typing? In industries relying on typing or data entry, it is the norm.Badmuthahubbard 06:56, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I am a computer programmer - and I've been using keyboards for 35 years without any kind of training in their use. I still can't touch-type although I do use more than two fingers to type. My son was taught to touch-type in school since about 8 years old (an odd quirk of US public education!) - and he's very good at it. I deduce that touch-typing has to be taught - you won't just pick it up from use. That's also true of chording - you can't just pick it up without cracking open a manual and consciously learning it. The significant difference is that with a QWERTY keyboard, ANYONE - even someone who has never used a keyboard before - can just walk up to it and have immediate success. They can see the letters and instantly understand that you press the button for the letter you want. Yes, they are very slow compared to touch-typists - but they can reliably do it. That is utterly not the case with chording keyboards. Faced with the six buttons on a Microwriter, people have no clue what it's function is - let alone how to drive it.
I have (on several occasions) attempted to force myself to touch-type (after all, I completely understand the concept) - and even after several hours of effort, I'm still a lot slower than with my usual 'ad hoc' six-fingered approach. However, I picked up the chords for my Microwriter well enough to type reasonably quickly on the two hour train ride from the Microwriter offices to my home. (My first Microwriter was faulty - and rather than post it back, I took the train to the factory and swapped it out there and then!) So I conclude that (based on a sample of one), chording is easier to learn for those motivated to do so than touch-typing - but the key factor is that you don't need to touch-type to make use of a QWERTY keyboard.
What upsets me the most is that I have this keyboard with 112 keys on it - and they couldn't put six more on there to allow one handed chording data entry! If they did that - then enough people seeking to type faster would use chording - and gradually we would find keyboards that ONLY have chording. SteveBaker 14:14, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I also am a self-taught typist. I can type without looking at the keyboard, and when I try to "touch type" it is much slower. But you can type faster with a Microwriter than a regular keyboard? Interesting. — Omegatron 14:29, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah - I can type on a regular keyboard at pretty reasonable speeds without looking - but probably not as fast as if I learned the 'correct' touch-typing technique - but for most uses, I don't need to be able to type faster than I can think! My Microwriter ability was once much, much faster than my regular keyboard speed - I could enter text at 'dictation' speeds if I didn't try to fix typo's as I went along. But my ancient Microwriter's power regulator crapped out years ago and I can't recharge the batteries anymore. Without practice I'm pretty sure I could hardly remember the chords anymore. I'm left-handed and I always believed that I could do better if there had ever been a left-handed version of the Microwriter. The manufacturer always claimed that they hadn't seen any significant difference in speed with left-handers though - so maybe not.
My experiences with the Microwriter (over a couple of years before it died) were that it was great for word processing, documentation and stuff like email where it's just English text. But it really stank for programming because you need far more wierd punctuation like '<', '#' '{' and such that are quite hard to get to on a Microwriter. One unexpected benefit was that it left one hand free for a mouse - which is really handy. Also, it was around in an era before portable computers, PDA's or anything like that. The idea that you could write documents on this little machine while you were away from the office then download them to your PC later was probably more revolutionary than the chording keyboard.
I'd dearly love to have a Microwriter keyboard as a regular PC peripheral though. I guess I could probably build one with the remains of my non-functioning Microwriter. The software to decode the key switches ought to be pretty simple. SteveBaker 22:44, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Or just disassemble a regular (wireless) keyboard and map the key switches to the keyboard's lines... — Omegatron 16:41, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
If you are typing without looking at the keyboard, that shouldn't "lead buyers to question their ability to remember the chordings necessary." Whether it's "correct" touch-typing, it's typing by touch. I think the article implies that typing without looking at the keyboard is not very widespread, and that this carries over into demand for chorded keyboards. --Badmuthahubbard 07:50, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

The demand for chorded keyboards arises mainly from wearable or at least pocketable systems, not desktops. John McKown —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:03, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

External links[edit]

User: - please don't keep adding links back to external sites unless they add information that is not contained in the article. Wikipedia does not exist as a link-farm. The official guidance is to not link externally unless there is content that cannot be in the article itself for some reason.

Tiki® puts gold under your fingertips — a 6 keys mixed system for digital mobile convergence was linking to a site that contains absolutely no actual information about their keyboard - or anyone elses. It doesn't add any content whatever to this page - it's a pure advert for that company.

SteveBaker 23:32, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

"Weasel words"[edit]

User:Flewis has politely requested that I provide an informative edit summary for my edit.
I have tagged several instances of usages such as "some question X" and "others maintain Y" with the {{who}} tag. This seems to me a very straightforward case of "weasel words", which we should be trying to avoid (generally by citing to a reliable source). We should eliminate these "some say", "others say" constructions by citing to specific sources saying specific things. -- (talk) 15:38, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

See User talk: - I've placed the {weasel} template at the top of the article --Flewis(talk) 07:24, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Seems logical. -- (talk) 14:34, 26 September 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Give me an example[edit]

I DO wish this article, along with about a million others like it in WP, was not so damn snobby about giving clear examples of the procedures it refers to. I don't mind the "weasel words" in the article that much. After all, what is the guy to write "Mr Kafoops and his friends aver that...". What I do find irritating is that in all this verbiage, there is not a SINGLE example of how one might type an alphabetical character, and then a word. Couldn't someone, ANYONE, just give a step-by-step account of how one types the word "weasel" for example by chording? Myles325a (talk) 02:41, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

see my description of Bequaert's method above. John McKown

The exact mechanism varies from system to system - but in general, you have as many buttons as you have fingers on one hand...perhaps with additional "shift" keys. You type a single letter by pushing down on several of the buttons at once, then releasing them. To type a word, you press the buttons corresponding to each letter in turn. There will be another combination of buttons corresponding to the 'space' character. What distinguishes chording keyboards from the regular kind is that because each keystroke is formed from a number of buttons, you need fewer of them. With five fingers, you can (in principle) type 31 different combinations - which is plenty for A-Z, and some basic punctuation. However, some of those combinations are hard to do, so they might not be used. There may be shift keys to get you lowercase and numbers from the same 31 combinations. I can't tell you exactly which keys form each letter because there are so many systems. In the case (for example) of the Microwriter (pictured at the top of the article), the choice of which key combinations produce which letters is decided on a mix of:
  • Mnemonics (like 'R' is formed by pressing the Ring finger alone, 'A' being formed by pressing All of the buttons).
  • Imagining laying of the letter onto the keys (so 'T' is index and ring finger - requiring you to imagine the cross-bar of the 'T' to lie across the hand between those two fingers, 'P' is middle+ring+pinkie because that makes a curve that looks like the top of the P).
  • Arbitary choices that don't seem to make any special sense using whatever button combinations remain.
The more successful systems are those that produce memorable key mappings - since it's impossible to label the keys in any useful way, and the user has no choice but to memorize all of the combinations. That's the reason why these extremely handy gadgets never seem to gain mainstream acceptance despite being superior in speed, cost, size and in leaving your other hand free (eg so you can keyboard and mouse at the same time). SteveBaker (talk) 00:12, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I think that last is a bit too strong, Steve. Wearable systems tht do any thg bsds txt shrt msgs pretty much require touch typing input for safety reasons --- the more mobile you are the more you need to not be staring at your keyboard, not be using both hands, etc. The mainstream has no real need for the gadgets because they aren't yet trying to do on highly mobile systems like smart phones the jobs they now do on desktop systems. Also, it's good to keep in mind that on any keyboard touch typing is a mechanical skill. You never memorize the chords as such, in the abstract, as diagrams on a page. You learn a bunch of feels. The chord diagrams are used very transiently, just to initially define the feels so you know what to practice. It doesn't much matter whether the chords involve a clever mnemonic or not. The bottom line is learning touch typing on a chording keyboard is much easier than on a qwerty because the fingers don't travel among the keys. That is, the required level of mechanical skill is lower. (talk) 15:56, 28 February 2011 (UTC) John McKown
The problem is that anyone who is even marginally literate can walk up to a QWERTY keyboard and type. They don't need any instruction whatever. If you need to type "hello" - you can find the key that's clearly labelled 'H' and press it, then the one that's clearly labelled 'E' and so forth. On a chording keyboard, you have absolutely zero chance of typing anything without picking up the manual and studying it. That kills the chances for mainstream adoption. I'd be the first to agree that (especially for mobile), these machines are useful...perhaps even necessary. But that doesn't reduce the problem that to the naive user walking into a store to buy such a thing, the initial scare factor of believing that you have to learn 40 to 50 essentially random combinations of finger motions - and commit them to memory - is enough to scare people off. If you could ever get over that initial hump in end-user perception (eg by teaching it to kids in school) - it would would revolutionize the input device market...but that's just not realistic.
I used my microwriter for word-processing for several years (until the thing's batteries failed) - and I'd probably use it now if it still worked. I was able to learn MOST of the keys from their flash-cards in a matter of hours using the mnemonics and visualization tricks. However, even after six months of fairly intensive use, I'd still have to refer back to the flash-cards if I needed to input some rarely needed character such as (say) a '^' or a '~'. You're right in saying that 'muscle memory' takes over from a conscious visualization of which buttons to push after just a few days of use (at least for A-Z, 0-9 and common punctuation) - but that doesn't in any way get you past the "user perception" problem. That kind of problem simply doesn't arise with a full keyboard. You could certainly engineer a Microwriter keyboard with a USB plug on the end and ship it out to BestBuy. But it's hard to imagine many people who are in need of a keyboard finding a machine with six completely blank buttons appealing.
Even on cellphones (which would be the perfect candidates for chording) people prefer to do the stupid multi-press thing to enter messages on a phone pad or press the fiddly/too-small QWERTY touch-screen keyboard rather than learn something decent. Even though the things are dog-slow and error-prone as all hell - they have the property that you can learn how to enter text in a matter of seconds - so they are unintimidating.
I'm I huge advocate of chording keyboards - I really wish they were commonplace - but I'm realistic enough to know that it just won't happen.
SteveBaker (talk) 17:12, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Precisely speaking, we don't disagree. What you are calling the mainstream includes the "marginally literate" and "naive" who have "user perception" problems. With 9 billion hairless apes walking back and forth on the planet I think you can safely ignore those ... challenged folks and still have a good-sized market. I'd be content with those who agree that the reward of high mobility is sufficient motivation to practice chording. BTW if you asked me what is the chord for some particular character the only way I could answer is to imagine (or, as now, have) a keyboard in my hand, key it, and note what my fingers did. It has been that way since day one. I never memorized the chords, just their feels. Nevertheless I think if I ever manufacture a Chordite I'll put a little diagram on the side of it for those occasions when the mind goes completely blank.
I agree. The difficulty is that when a manufacturer looks at making a product, he looks at the 9 billion hairless apes and the 0.0009 billion who might be in the market for a really excellent mobile keyboard...and goes and makes another horrible QWERTY-keyboard-on-a-touch-screen contraption rather than spend the $1.00 extra to add five or six extra buttons around the edge. (There is also a perception that left-handers will object to a right-hand-only chording device...which couldn't be further from the truth. As a left-hander, I learned the Microwriter right-handed with no problems and was thrilled that it kept my left hand for things like writing with a pencil or using the mouse.)
I also agree that once you've committed the button combinations to muscle memory, it's hard to even remember what the combo's are anymore. That's true even of a QWERTY keyboard. As I type this email, I'm certainly not looking at the keyboard...but with the lights turned out, I couldn't tell you where the letter "M" is if my life depended on it...without typing one and feeling where my finger went...and that's after 40 years of 8 to 10 hours a day of use! But the learning phases is the problem. QWERTY is "self documenting" - you can learn by hunting all over the keyboard looking for that "M" (and wondering why the heck it isn't laid out in A..Z order!)...then you can gradually get faster and use more fingers. If you ever get stuck looking for the '~' can revert to looking for it. But with chording, you're thrown in the deep end - if you can't remember the chord for '~', you're completely screwed without having the manual (or a crib sheet etched into the back of the machine somehow).
Chording does eventually end up in muscle memory - but that learning (for me at least) had to go via consciously visualizing the letters on the keyboard and knowing the various silly mnemonics. Everyone may be different in that regard - I can only speak for myself. That said, the Microwriter chord choices are pretty easy to took me only a matter of hours before I could enter basic text faster on the Microwriter than I could touch-type on QWERTY. (I went to their factory to pick up my machine so I'd get it a few days earlier - and learned the basic alphabet on the train ride home again!) The problem was (and remained - throughout years of use) getting stuck with the more obscure characters like '^' and '~' - which I never really got into muscle memory - and would forget if I didn't use the machine regularly. But even now, close to 30 years after I last used it, I can easily recall how to type my name on the thing.
If you're going to market the "Chordite" - I'd definitely recommend having some kind of a mode where you can press one chord over and over to cycle through the weirder punctuation codes until you find the one you want. It's slow - but it largely avoids the need to print a cheat-sheet on the device itself.
SteveBaker (talk) 18:36, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I imagine that if chording keyboards ever start becoming more popular they will follow the trajectory of cell phones: first workers with real needs for them (this would mostly be people wanting to do their existing desktop jobs with more mobility), then geeks in general, then previously uninterested folks who learn by watching others use them and, finally, people who will follow any trend once it reaches some tipping point. Monkey see monkey do. So it won't be like an iphone trickling down from Steve Jobs, it will more likely start as a pocketable Bluetooth accessory for smart phones that admit a Bluetooth qwerty, manufactured by some brave little startup. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah - and that wouldn't be that hard to build, you don't need much more than an Arduino chip, five switches, some resistors and a bluetooth chip. You could stick a USB charger for the batteries and for uploading software patches - and also have it double as a PC keyboard. Personally, I'd like to see a chording keyboard built into a mouse for true one-handed desktop computing. SteveBaker (talk) 01:27, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Removal of the piece about Chordix.[edit]

This sentence needs to be gone - so I've re-reverted it:

  1. The author (and re-reverter) is the self-proclaimed inventor. That is WP:COI and we don't allow it.
  2. The machine is just a home-made prototype. It is not notable.
  3. There are no WP:RS for this. First-party documents are not what we need here. When it's reported in magazines or books - then we can consider writing about it.
  4. WP:PROMO.

Sorry. SteveBaker (talk) 04:16, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

No need to be sorry Steve. I know you're doing the best you can. I think, however, you might know more about Wikipedia than you do about chording keyboards. Here's a few questions on some stuff you might choose to consider in future.

1. Are you really saying inventors can't be authors? Do you know for a fact that no other words on the page were written by inventors? Have you checked? Do you plan to? I doubt it. BTW it is obviously, horribly, inexcusably stupid policy to judge factual statements according to who wrote them. Opinions and unsupported claims, OK, but not a statement like "Chordite is a 7- or 8-key one-hand design." That's just a fact of interest to that niche audience that cares about chording keyboards. You should put it back.

2. On the subject of notability, I did a little quick googling and found the following hits for x+keyboard

  frogpad 118000
  gkos 11700
  in10did 3630
  cykey 2980 
  hottyper 1370
  ekapad 1250
  textfaster 522
  chordite 454
  tiptapspeech 362

Do you have a threshold? Is it written down somewhere public? Do you plan to excise tiptapspeech?

3. On the subject availability, I googled to see what is actually for sale today

frogpad NO gkos NO in10did NO cykey Yes $125 hottyper Yes iphone app ekapad Yes $150 textfaster Yes iphone app chordite NO tiptapspeech Yes $4.99 iphone app

With this new, verifiable information, do you plan to excise Frogpad, GKOS and in10did?

4. It's also of interest, I think, whether any of the referenced sites provide DIY instructions so that the public can make devices for themselves without waiting for manufacturers. chordite YES GKOS YES everything else NO

So the questions here, I guess, are (a) what has Wikipedia got against homemade prototypes which, by the way, presently comprise a large percentage of existing wearable devices and (b) what critical differences do you perceive that lead you to treat GKOS and Chordite differently?

I'll wait a bit for you to answer before I try again. Frankly at the moment I feel a bit like Old Man Murray. John McKown —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

  1. Are you really saying inventors can't be authors? -- Yes, I most definitely am. WP:COI says that you mustn't edit articles in which you have a "conflict of interest" - and the inventor of a machine has a conflict of interest for 100% sure. Additionally, since you invented the thing - you fall foul of "original research" restrictions (WP:NOR being the relevant policy). I agree that it can sometimes be hard to tell - we have to rely on the honesty of people not to edit articles in which they have a personal interest. In cases where we find out that people aren't being honest - we go ballistic. So - back off, don't edit this article any more or the admins will be foaming at the mouth. You are more than welcome to make suggestions here on the talk page...but that's the limit.
  2. On the subject of notability, I did a little quick googling and found the following hits for x+keyboard -- Google is no guarantee of notability. Do you have a threshold? Is it written down somewhere public? -- yes, we do. Please read WP:NOTE - which explains the kinds of thing that are acceptable.
  3. On the subject availability, I googled to see what is actually for sale today...With this new, verifiable information, do you plan to excise Frogpad, GKOS and in10did? -- I think maybe we should consider that.
  4. It's also of interest, I think, whether any of the referenced sites provide DIY instructions so that the public can make devices for themselves without waiting for manufacturers. -- That's irrelevant to our notability requirements.
Sorry - but we really can't allow people to use Wikipedia to advertize their pet projects. It's flat out not allowed...period. Please don't try to force the issue because I've seen people go that route before and it almost always results in bans and blocks and all sorts of other unpleasantness.
I know how hard that can be - there is an article here called "TuxKart" about a computer game I wrote - you'll notice that even though I am without doubt the world's leading expert on that game, I have not added a single word to the article because with the best will in the world, I could not be neutral on the subject.
I understand that you didn't understand our rules here - and that's quite understandable - but now you do, so you have no more excuse. If you continue to edit this article, I will talk to our admins about sanctioning you in some manner. Please read WP:COI and WP:NOTE - and feel free to continue to post to this talk page or to edit articles unrelated to your personal activities.
SteveBaker (talk) 03:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Adding material about one's own work often runs counter to WP:COI. It's possible for original authors to contribute, but they need to be careful and circumspect. It's a red flag when a contributor only adds material about his own work. That runs afoul of WP:PROMO.
The number of Google hits is irrelevant -- especially when those hits end up being blogs. Generally, an article must be WP:N, WP:V, and have reliable sources. We'd expect secondary sources to cover the material.
That other devices are improperly mentioned does not justify mentioning one more.
The challenged material is not a separate article but rather a statement within an article. Similar rules apply, and a relevant metric is WP:UNDUE.
Furthermore, WP is not a how-to guide, instruction manual, advice column, or a list of interesting projects. See WP:NOTHOWTO.
If the material is to be mentioned, some reliable sources must be found that shows the device has significant impact.
Glrx (talk) 06:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Steve, if you apply rules inconsistently, and it appears you agree you have done that, it has the appearance of bias. Let me draw your attention back to notability. It must obviously be a relative matter. It depends on the subject. Everything in an articles on calculus will always be less notable than stuff in an article on Lady Gaga. Chording keyboards are a niche subject and what is of interest to the people who seek out this page, encyclopedially speaking, are the designs. The universe of designs. Not notability. Not whether a design is purchasable.
Nietzsche said if you want to be virtuous, have just one virtue because if you have two they will conflict. No set of rules will ever replace judgement. If you were to consistently apply the rules you cite above to this article there will be nothing left of interest to anyone. Still, just for the fun of it, I invite you to have a go at it.
Every factual statement, which is to say every fact, benefits someone and detriments someone. Every single fact. It would be senseless to claim this or that fact of interest is bad because you imagine it benefits someone. Yet you seem to be doing that.
As soon as I find out how to escalate this issue we have, you and I, I will do that. It will probably take a while as it's kind of far down my list. BTW, do you consider the NY Times a suitable reference? Also BTW, what do you say to this: "Notability does not directly affect the content of articles, but only their existence."
I didn't write much of this article - I come by once in a while to clean it up and do some fact-checking (it's called "WikiGnoming"). So it's unfair to level these criticisms as me, personally. I agree that excluding only your keyboard is unfair - and as you can see (below) I am actively trying to rectify that. But it's unlikely to be by adding the Chordix back in - it'll almost certainly be by removing some of the other insufficiently notable devices.
It is also the case that "not giving undue weight" is a larger issue than strict "notability" - but the result will be the same. Your comments and complaints about this are well taken - but this is not the place to dispute the core Wikipedia guidelines. For that, you need to talk to the folks who wrote and maintain those guidelines at the relevant talk pages. It doesn't matter a damn whether you convince people in this discussion that the guidelines are inappropriate - because we're still bound by them...and that, quite honestly, is unlikely ever to change.
Similarly for the COI guideline. If you read what it says, it's impossible to deny that you have a conflict of interest - and the consequences are outlined very clearly in that guideline. Again, it's pointless to argue it with me - I'm just following the site rules as best I can.
As for your dark threats of "escalation"'s not me you should be arguing with. Also, you'd be about the bazillionth person who's threatened to do that - and if you look at my utterly impeccable record here at Wikipedia - you'll note that I've never once been wrong about a COI issue. So, if you feel you must, go ahead and ask for a peer review or take it to an admin or something...I already know what they'll say - but if it makes you happier, by all means go for it.
The NY Times is sometimes usable as a reference - I believe our notability rules say that if they write an article specifically about your device - then we'd have to sit up and take notice. However, if you just got a mention in passing in an article about something else...then not so much.
SteveBaker (talk) 16:40, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Dark threats? Please. Did I miss it or did you not respond to "Notability does not directly affect the content of articles, but only their existence" which is pretty much the first thing at the top of what you call WP:NOTE ? The way I understand that you should not be "pruning the herd" at all.
If I understand you correctly the following addition at the bottom of the "modern" section would be acceptable to you personally:
"The Chordite is a 7- or 8-key design for one hand" with a reference to a NYT article specifically about the device.
Is that right? If so may I please insert it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
The issue is whether Chordix should be included in the article, and that issue is independent of the keyboards already in the article. This section of the talk page should be about whether there is a consensus to add Chordix. Such a consensus would be helped by independent secondary sources that discuss Chordix. Details such as WP:COI, WP:PROMO, and WP:NPOV do not speak directly to inclusion; they affect the weight of one's opinion. Secondary sources speak the best. If Chordix is accepted by a significant minority, then it should be easy to find sources and counter WP:UNDUE. I don't see those sources, but the mention of NYT is significant.
Here's a NYT article that I suspect is the one mentioned above. Although the article is presumably about Chordix, it does not suggest an independent evaluation of the keyboard by author Chartrand. It reads like an interview. The author is not an expert in the field or even involved in tit. The statements are often quotations rather than value judgments by the author. Many comments are still speculative. There is no compare and contrast with other devices. The article is more about celebrating a recently issued patent.
The prototype pictures do not seem polished. Microswitches are held on with twisted bailing wire. Part of the grip is coat hanger wire. Those can be interesting pictures if there is a subsequent polished product that gains acceptance, but it is not appropriate for an encyclopedia article today without the wide acceptance. It's also been eight years since the patent.
US 6429854, McKown, "Stealthy Keyboard" 
The article and the patent don't persuade me that Chordix belongs in the current article.
Are there other articles? I could feel differently if there were some significant achievements. Chordix is supposed to be good for typing while walking around, but is that an important task? Are there significant individuals who are pushing that requirement? Does the space station use chorded keyboards?
Chordix may be a great idea that does succeed. But WP is not about great ideas or future potential or reporting WP:NOR. WP is about what has become notable already.
Glrx (talk) 20:25, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Wow. Talk about moving targets. When I do escalate this issue I expect I'll include a discussion of WP:NOTE, along with lots of quotations from what these WP:xxx pages actually say. You guys should read WP:NOTE sometime rather than just citing it willy-nilly. I do not think that page means what you think it means ;-) Notability is all about whether to allow a page to exist. It is expressly not about content. It is expressly not a license to run around deleting stuff within pages. Read it. And a few of the others when you get time. Either they've changed a lot since you last read these things or you've run completely off the rails here. As can easily be shown to neutral observers. ---John McKown —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Also let me say "the" issue is no longer about whether a Chordite reference should be included with all the other similar references. I'm content that it won't be. The issue is now larger; it's about people systematically and, likely, repeatedly misrepresenting the policy pages, arbitrarily making unjustified edits. Let me say in advance it's nothing personal. From what I've heard, you gentlemen are just the tip of an iceberg. (talk) 20:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

We need to check notability for many of these systems.[edit]

As points out, many of the references we have in the article are to non-notable devices. We need to cull the herd down to just the ones for which we can establish notability per WP:NOTE. SteveBaker (talk) 03:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree in spirit. The article topic, chorded keyboard, is WP:N, but that does not mean any chorded keyboard should get WP:UNDUE mention. Glrx (talk) 06:56, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Sure - the article as a whole is about a notable subject - there is a rich history of chording keyboards in applications like stenotype in courtrooms and there are commercial products like the Microwriter that have received extensive press coverage. However, many of the individual devices mentioned in our article don't meet the standard for notability or (to look at it another way) are being given undue weight relative to that notability. I've really only been WikiGnoming this article - but it's becoming evident that it needs some serious clean-up. I don't want the COI issue, above, to get in the way of that - but it's clear that we need to apply a uniform notability/weight standard across the board here - and that's probably going to take more research effort than I'm personally able to give to it. SteveBaker (talk) 16:17, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Steve, you're just cruising around leaving little piles of gnome shit everywhere you go. Seriously, carefully read those rule pages you keep misusing. You and you ilk have made wikipedia pretty much a joke. ---John


Hi folks, i'm not a native english speaker, i'm from the german wikipedia, but maybe this would fit in here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

But what about the accessibility issues?[edit]

Many discussions of keyboard accessibility mention chordal keyboards as an option. For some people who use one hand due to injury to the other, they may be the best option; conversely, for some people, one-handed or two-handed, who have coordination problems, it sounds like they may not be an option. Maybe it would be worth discussing who may find chordal keyboards more accessible or less accessible than conventional keyboards? (talk) 00:56, 29 May 2013 (UTC)