April 23, 2007



Latest - 4/12/2007
DVAssist has remained dormant for almost 6 years. After a resurgence of requests for international support, I decided to blow off the cobwebs and have another go at it. Version 2.0 is ready for release and no longer toggles strictly between US-Qwerty and Dvorak, but will now toggle between the active layout and Dvorak. See 2_0_DVAssistUIChanges for some backstory.

I've released 2.0.1 to fix a couple minor bugs upgrading from old versions.

I've a list of potential new features that may also go for a ride as well. You can voice your opinions here.

Dvorak Assistant is a Windows tray utility that toggles between your normal layout and the Dvorak layout. BSD License, written in Delphi hosted by SourceForge.
* Windows 95 through Vista.
* Double-click tray icon or configurable hotkey to toggle between Dvorak & default layout. Great for shared machines.
* Version 2.0 is no longer restricted to US-Qwerty, DVAssist toggles between whatever your current layout is and Dvorak.
* Stay-on-top layout window for Dvorak, including some color coding to help a beginner.

Support / Known Problems
- Bugs, Feature and Support Requests
- Mailing list
- Email

* On older OSes, You must have the Dvorak layout installed before running DVAssist. With 2k (I think), XP and Vista, you're good to go out of the box.

* If Microsoft Outlook is running when DVAssist is used to toggle the layout, Outlook will hang in a tight loop that consumes all available CPU cycles. To get out of it, (and this is weird), right-click on the Outlook entry in the task bar. Not sure why this happens, but it probably has to do with the unorthodox code used to get the word out to all applications that the layout has changed. This doesn't seem to be a problem on old 9x OSes. Note: this problem was logged around 2000 - I'm not sure if it's still a problem with the latest versions of Outlook.

* Win 9x: You must *not* have Dvorak selected as your keyboard layout in Control Panel | Keyboard. Leave it set on QWERTY, then run DVAssist.

* Win 95: Keyboard mappings don't work in DOS windows. Microsoft had a DOS driver for Dvorak layout to fix this - I have no idea if it's still available.

* What if I need support for more than 1 layout in addition to Dvorak? You can try to built-in language bar in modern OS versions. David Bell also wrote to tell me about a MS tool for 2k and up that will allow multiple layouts each with their own hotkey. You can get it here.

Fix History - 4/12/2007
* Fixes so upgrading from old versions prior to 2.0 works seamlessly. If Dvorak is active and it detects the prior version had lived on your machine (from old registry entries) it assumes US Qwerty is the original layout. If this isn't the original layout you want to toggle to, simply toggle Dvorak off, shut down DVA, setup your machine to the proper original layout then run DVA again. - 4/11/2007
* 2.0 version is no longer hardcoded to US Qwerty, it will toggle between whatever your normal layout is and the Dvorak layout, in order to support users in the UK, Australia and France (and anywhere else that just hasn't bothered to complain). To that end, the UI has been altered to disavow all knowledge of the default layout, and simply enable or disable the Dvorak layout. - 7/15/2001
* Fixed hotkey bugs that tried to register default hotkey upon load even if it'd been changed. Handle error if hotkey registration fails. Enter key no longer closes the configuration form, because the hotkey edit box would capture it as the hotkey immediately before the form closed. Multiple instances of the configuration form can no longer be opened. - 8/1/2000
* Added configurable hotkey toggling support. - 3/7/2000
* Fixed bug: if Qwerty was the current OS layout, when DVAssist was first run, it would try to toggle to Qwerty and an error was raised saying it could not unload the previous layout since the current and previous were the same: Qwerty. - 3/3/2000
* Added in cLabs About Box with hyperlinks and credits. - 3/2/2000
* DVAssist now works on NT. - 12/28/1998
* You can Shut Down Windows without having to first close DVAssist.

* Settings are now ‘remembered’ between sessions. If Dvorak was the current layout when the system was shut down, Dvorak will automatically be loaded when the system is booted again. The layout form will also remain where it was last located.

tags: ComputersAndTechnology