Nice spin. Yes, it was for mechanical reasons and to prevent the arms which had letters slamming against the ribbon and paper at a single point from hitting each other. Original layouts were based on convenience based on logical notions such as alphabetic order and frequency of use. The unfortunate reality was that it conflicted with the mechanics of typing. There can be no doubt that it was designed to work with character frequency by spreading it out and making it less likely for collisions to occur.

Other keyboard layouts contradict your notion that spreading keys out speeds things up in any way. The Dvorak layout has enjoyed a level of success and fandom precisely because it is faster among the proficient users than querty among proficient users. Querty was designed to pace keyboard entry. It can't be "paced" without being slowed.

Quoting wikipedia is almost always problematic as wikipedia is prone to edit wars and strong opinions and positions. It would be better to cite the references cited by wikipedia and in the absence of references, requisite grains of salt are recommended.

In any case, if Wikipedia is a great source of fact, then you probably also noticed mention of keyboard entry methods which are most certainly more efficient and speedy including stenotype and plover.

On 01/02/2014 10:35 PM, Simon Budig wrote:
Daniel Hauck ( wrote:
But if you answer Querty, you lose because the world knows querty
was inefficient by design
May I quote Wikipedia?

"Contrary to popular belief, the QWERTY layout was not designed to
slow the typist down, but rather to speed up typing by preventing
jams. (There is also evidence that, aside from the issue of
jamming, keys being further apart increases typing speed on its own,
because it encourages alternation between the hands."

The whole discussion suffers from "well known facts" being pulled out of
thin air, and this is not a single bit different.


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