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QWERTY was invented to slow down typing because the first type-writers got stuck easily. I want to write fast and comfortably, QWERTY is not suitable for that. Therefore I invented my own layout which I use daily. I call it DAS. D stands for Dvorak - the man who invented Dvorak keyboard layout.
The Finnish language has a peculiar letter distribution. Without boring you with the details, AINT covers over 40 % of letters while the 'foreign' letters QWZXCBÅ together with the Finnish letter Ö sum up to under 0.8 %. DAS is optimized for Finnish, but it is suitable for writing English as well.
A lot of double letters such as aa, ee, tt, kk are used in Finnish, because we write long vowels and consonants with double letters. Notice the difference: 'Tuulee' = 'It is windy' but 'Tulee' = 'He/She/It comes' and 'Tule!' = 'Come!'. In QWERTY there are only 34% of most frequent Finnish letters under the finger tips (ASDFJKLÖ) against 68% of the DAS layout (SLNTAIOE) It is faster to use hands alternately than using only one hand, this is why I tried to put vowels to the right and consonants to the left. 'monopoli' is a good example, try to type it with QWERTY, it is really uncomfortable. I tried to minimize the travel of the fingers by arranging the letters so that there is practically no jumping over the base row with the same finger. Drumming the fingers is a lot faster (asdfasdf...) than unordered typing (fadsfads...). I utilized this by arranging some frequent letter combinations side by side. The most common special characters, including the Euro currency symbol, are situated such that they can be typed without using the AltGr key (Right Alt). Many other commonly used special characters are placed in handy places. DAS layout suits also for writing English - at least it is better than Qwerty. Therefore it is not necessary to switch back to Qwerty if you write occasionally English. DAS layout is available for Win 9x/2000/XP, Macintosh and Linux. More information is available on the Finnish version of this page.
is the DAS layout:
Figure 1. DAS layout without Shift key pressed
Figure 2. DAS layout with Shift key pressed