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7/24/2011

DVzine.org v5.0!

After almost two YEARS of inactivity, I have secretly been working on DVzine.org for the last couple of weeks, making A LOT of changes.  By my count, this is the 5th major revision of the site, and I think (and/or HOPE) it is going to be the LAST one.  Let me explain...

When we first set up the site, we wanted it to be the most extensive Dvorak resource on the web.  We plastered every page with our email address and asked for suggestions and links and anything else our readers wanted to send our way.  As a result, we got a flood of emails that we could not keep up with.  Our inbox STILL has hundreds of suggestions and links, which we just don't have the time to sort through.

It's important to keep in mind that The Dvorak Zine was always a side project for me GCB and Frunch.  Although we are passionate about the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard Layout, it is not our PRIMARY passion.  GCB is busy being the Tech Guy for the International Living Future Institute, Frunch is about to start his assistant professorship at University of Wisconsin - Madison and I am teaching comics at The Center for Cartoon Studies and working on my own Phase 7 Comics too.  

So after some soul searching and a few lengthy email threads, "Team DV Zine" came up with three main goals for the future of this project:

1) We no longer wish to make DVzine.org the most extensive Dvorak site on the web.  Instead, we like it just as it is - a small, manageable site which people who are new to Dvorak can use to learn about the keyboard layout and set it up and begin using it if they wish.  For example: we do not need links to every single Dvorak typing tutor on the internet.  We have about ten on our typing tutor page, which should provide plenty of variety for new users.  100 links would only be overwhelming and unhelpful.  

To help with this, I have cleaned up almost every page on the site.  They no longer say "Someday this page will have a bunch of other cool stuff, send us suggestions!"  Instead, they stand as they are; maybe they could be better, but we know that they are at least good enough to help us get the message out about Dvorak.

2) We need an easier way to interact with the Dvorak community and keep this site updated with dynamic content.  HENCE: this blog!  From now on, ALL Dvorak Zine updates will be posted on DVzine.blogspot.com  We have been using Blogger since 2005 to update the main page of the site, but since they removed FTP service last year we decided to make a stand-alone blog.

I have done my best to maintain the navigation scheme between DVzine.org and this blog.  If you click any of the tabs above, they will take you to the corresponding page on DVzine.org.  More importantly though, this blog has an RSS feed and we have turned on comments and sharing options for every post.  I also went back through all of the old homepage entries (every post before this one) and added labels for easier browsing.  You can also use the search bar at the very top of the blog to search any of the posts.

We hope that the ease of the blogger interface will mean more posts from us and more involvement from all of you.  Please follow our site and leave some comments!  

3) Lastly, and most importantly, we need other people to help us spread the word about Dvorak.  

In the last six years Frunch, GCB and I have printed and distributed more than 2,500 copies of the zine and DVzine.org has been visited by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.  We have spent a lot of time, money and energy spreading the word about Dr. August Dvorak's wonderful invention and its many benefits.  We feel like we have done just about all we can with this project, so now it's time for us to "pass the torch" so to speak.

As of today, I have changed the copyright on The Dvorak Zine to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  This means that you are now free to use the raw content of the zine as you see fit, as long as you 1) give credit to its creators (Alec Longstreth, Michael Cardiff and Gabe Carleton-Barnes) 2) do NOT charge any money for your adaptations/modifications and 3) you must release your version under the same license.  For all the legal details, follow the link above.

People have always been able to print out their own free copies of the zine.  But this takes it one step farther.  Now you can actually use the foundation of our zine to create your own zines, or new versions of the zine.  

Hopefully this will mean that The Dvorak Zine can be translated into many languages (thus canceling out my very close-minded post from 2008, in which I basically shut down all such possibilities).  I meant to email everyone that's ever contacted us about translations and let them know about the license change, but again, I don't have the time right now to do that.  So I'm posting it here with the hopes that all of you can help me spread the word.

I AM still digging through the inbox, trying to update things here and there were I can, but it is slow going.  When I DO have an update, I'm going to be posting them in this blog.  Sorry this post is so long, but it's been a long time coming!  There is a lot more on the way, and I'm excited to see where these new goals take us.  Hopefully all of this will help us educate even more people about the simple beauty of The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard Layout.  Together we can all change the world, one keyboard at a time!

8 comments:

Michael Bishop said...

Just one contribution: If you don't want to gum up your keyboard with labels, and don't want to reconfigure your keyboard, you can buy a keyboard overlay which you can also take with you wherever you go!

Dvorak Keyboard covers by zCover

David Marquardt said...

I have an idea to help spread Dvorak even further! I can't figure out how to email any of you so this is my best option.

Can we chat?

I can be reached at davemarquardt1@gmail.com

Peter said...

Great ideas! I also believe less is more in this case. DVZine.org is the first page I send people to that have questions about my TypeMatrix with Dvorak layout (except www.typematrix.com of course). I really think your site captures most/all of what dvorak is about, and the comic is so great I can hardly find words for it.

Thank you for getting me onto the path of Dvorak (in my case Svorak) because it was really YOU who did it. I hope I can help other to make the switch, and I always do it by sending them to you.

Anonymous said...

One tool i've never seen anyone mention is 'AutoHotKey' - one can remap any key to do just about anything.

I have a little script (compiled to .exe) that lets me switch to Dvorak with a hotkey (in my case 'Break'). At work, this is invaluable because the security policy didn't let me change to Dvorak (and keep it). Further, the script retains the QWERTY shortcut keys: Holding ALT/CTRL/WIN keys temporarily (as long as it's held) e.g. so CTRL+X (QWERTY) is cut. Some people have done even more.

Check out their forum for info. Honestly, without this tool, i would not have made the switch. :)

pendantry said...

Hi Alec, GCB and Frunch - and the very best of wishes for the festive season!

A long while ago now, I came across a site that allowed anyone to take a speed typing test online -- and also log which keyboard layout was being used. Naturally, this created a bit of a buzz because of the QWERTY-Dvorak advocates. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find it again... I don't suppose you know of one?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your Qwerty to dvorak converter. Your converter converts in real time and your team is some of the few people that understand how a converter for typing should work. All the other converters out there use a php form where you have to submit the text after being done which is almost useless because one has to see what they are writing to edit it in real time and to help with the thought process. I use your convert at work where they have control panels disabled.

Antoon said...

Alec, GCB, Frunch,

Thank you very very much. I have learned touch typing due to Dvorak and ordered some paper copies of your comic and am spreading the love as you read.

One question: is Colemak my next venture? It seems, hard to believe, even faster..

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know the link to the "John's Awesome Dvorak Widget" no longer works :( any chance you folks know anywhere else to get it?