I do a bit of Objective-C, Matlab and Python, and start to get tired of the keyboard I use (AZERTY). It is far from being optimal as one need to press ALT+SHIFT+( to get [ for example. I think of buying a new keyboard for programming and QWERTY keyboards seem to be an obvious choice (my guess is that these language/environment were developed with such keyboards).

Which keyboard/keyboard layout allow a direct access to programming keys, such as [, { or | for example?

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    Which keyboards will let you type [] and other common symbols used in programming with the less effort than French/Belgian Azerty seems more like a question of fact rather than opinion, so perhaps the hold is not needed. – Tom Gewecke Oct 15 '14 at 23:47
  • @Tom Gewecke - couldn't write a better comment than yours - and can't see how to formulate a more factual question (will try though). but it seems that my three-finger combos are an opinion! – marsei Oct 16 '14 at 8:51
  • Related question on programmers.stackexchange about specific keyboards (web) – marsei Oct 16 '14 at 12:25

Most people use QWERTY, just because it is the most popular, but if you’re learning a new layout anyway you might want to try Dvorak.

If you don’t want to learn another alphabetic layout, you can use a tool like Ukelele to make a better programming layout for the special characters while still keeping AZERTY for the rest of the keys.

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  • Dvorak indeed (wikipedia). There is even a French speaking group promoting a keyboard dedicated to both writing/programming (called BEPO). Thanks! – marsei Oct 16 '14 at 12:23

I made a custom azerty keyboard layout for this: https://github.com/r03/azerty/

The layout is a combination of the normal Belgian azerty and the Apple azerty. I also mapped the {} keys to an easier location next to the enter key.

Keyboard Layout

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You can try Colemak.

It is less different from QWERTY and AZERTY then Dvorak so you will have the most used keyboard shortcuts +X, +C, +V in same place and +Q, +W, +A, +Z on the left side identical to QWERTY (though not AZERTY).

[, ], {, } and | are at the same places as in QWERTY.

Also check typing effort comparison of QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak.

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