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Finger trick notation

stoic

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These do all look rather confusing. (Might just be due to unfamiliarity and then it will flow, but it might also be a barrier to beginners).
Would it be better to define the alg first in the usual way, then list the fingertrick notation separately (preferably on the line below)? For example, the wiki might list an alg then list a number of popular ways of performing it.
As different people might have different fingertricks due to their own style, should we be embedding a specific turn style into the base alg itself?
 

mark49152

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Some great ideas in this thread. Thanks everyone for the enthusiastic response! Here are my thoughts.
  • I like the idea of embedding the fingering in the alg in braces or brackets. It should still be possible to use parentheses for other things, like triggers, as they are today. In my own notes, I often use parentheses for grouping moves that are done with no regrip.
  • Some of the notations above do look cryptic and confusing. Compact is good, but since the purpose is explanation, some extra characters can be spent on clarity. It takes about 30 seconds to learn alg notation; it shouldn’t take much more than 30 seconds more to learn fingering notation. Things like letter-to-finger assignments take longer to learn and are less obvious than number-to-finger assignments. Likewise special symbols or special meanings of upper/lower case.
  • I like the idea that not every move needs fingering info in front of it. Attaching info to every move is the main reason some of the suggestions look cryptic.
  • The idea of defaults is good, but I think it should depend on context. Otherwise defaults require learning, and more moves will be non-default and require annotation. Given the current grip, for some moves it’s going to be obvious which finger to use, or it’s not going to matter. The purpose of the annotations is to give guidance when it’s not obvious.
  • Notation should be focused on capturing basic information. Likewise, some details like gripping particular stickers might generate complexity in the notation that isn’t worthwhile. Once the cuber has got the basic fingering and started practicing, things like precise positioning of fingers on stickers will come naturally. The will no doubt be some creative fingerings that really can’t be fully captured in a notation. That’s OK – videos are best for that.
Of the examples above, Lucas’s are the ones I like best, as they are most recognizable as algs with hints embedded. Here is my suggestion for modifying the notation, by example rather than specification :)


Some OLLs:

(The "grip" label might be redundant if it's obvious enough from the @ sign alone.)
 

Kirjava

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Fingertrick notation will never be able to cover every type of fingertrick.

When people think fingertrick notation is usually needed, it tends to be in some alg that uses some non standard or non obvious trick.

For these I find that words are useful for conveying how it is done.
 

kunparekh18

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This is an ok system, but there's no way to know how to hold the cube. You tell which finger does the pushing, flicking, or pulling, but you don't mention if you are griping the DF and DB edges like in ZZ, the left block like in Roux, or anything else. There really is no better way to get the information than a slowed down video shot from different angles of someone preforming the algorithm very quickly.
"If you want to describe how you grip the cube while doing an alg instead of how you fingertrick it, you could use the same notation except the Ps or Pl part"

is what I wrote in the original post.
 

TDM

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Bump.
I've come up with my own notation, and this isn't meant to be part of the alg like in some of the previous posts; it's meant to be something separate.
There are two types of turns - turning with your wrist (e.g. R2; L'), and turning with your fingers (e.g. F, U'). I have separate ways of writing these two types of turns that look different, which makes it easier to tell which is which when reading them.
Finger: 0Y
Wrist: rx
0 = the finger number (0-9)
Y = start position of finger (A-X). Letter indicates which sticker the finger starts on using Speffz. For turns of the outer layers this shows the corner sticker, and for slice moves this shows which edge the finger starts on.
r = hand (l/r)
x = face thumb starts on (U/R/F/L/D/B)
. = regrip
, = small regrip (can be done at the same time as a turn/doesn't take much time)
To show you an example, this is how it would look for how I would execute an Rb perm:
R' U2 R U2' R' F R U R' U' R' F' R2 U'
ru 78Q rf 43R, rf 7c rd 7Q rf 4R. rf 6V rr 4R
I know it's quite long and isn't part of the alg, but I like how you can clearly show any type of turn (that I can think of at the moment). I'm sure it would be easy enough to read with practise. Thoughts?
 

Torch

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Bump.
I've come up with my own notation, and this isn't meant to be part of the alg like in some of the previous posts; it's meant to be something separate.
There are two types of turns - turning with your wrist (e.g. R2; L'), and turning with your fingers (e.g. F, U'). I have separate ways of writing these two types of turns that look different, which makes it easier to tell which is which when reading them.
Finger: 0Y
Wrist: rx
0 = the finger number (0-9)
Y = start position of finger (A-X). Letter indicates which sticker the finger starts on using Speffz. For turns of the outer layers this shows the corner sticker, and for slice moves this shows which edge the finger starts on.
r = hand (l/r)
x = face thumb starts on (U/R/F/L/D/B)
. = regrip
, = small regrip (can be done at the same time as a turn/doesn't take much time)
To show you an example, this is how it would look for how I would execute an Rb perm:
R' U2 R U2' R' F R U R' U' R' F' R2 U'
ru 78Q rf 43R, rf 7c rd 7Q rf 4R. rf 6V rr 4R
I know it's quite long and isn't part of the alg, but I like how you can clearly show any type of turn (that I can think of at the moment). I'm sure it would be easy enough to read with practise. Thoughts?
R U2 R' U' R U2 L' U R' U' L (J perm)
rd 78Q rf 4R rd 78Q lf, 7Q rf 4R lf

Is this right?
 

Dane man

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Assumptive Fingertrick Notation

Today, I’d like to discuss a topic that has been of interest to me for a few years now. We love to share our favorite algs for certain cases of methods, and many of us share the same algs, but use completely different methods of execution. What I would like to see, is something that hasn’t been available to us, and that is the ability to use simple notation to express finger-tricks.

Now, a few methods have been proposed in this thread. But unfortunately, there appears to be nothing practical or standard for expressing finger-tricks.

Now, why is that? It is because finger-tricks involve many variables, and many of the proposed notations attempt to over-describe certain attributes of a finger-trick (for example which face the finger is on, font/back of finger). And many of them attempt to make a notation for every finger, when most of the time, we use very few (for example, I mostly use my thumbs and pointer fingers). Another thing that is also done is attempting to describe the finger-trick for every move, but this is unnecessary with something like R U R’ U’. There is also the problem of which hand is in use with each trick. With these issues, many finger-trick notations quickly become impractical to learn.

So what could be the solution to all these problems? Something I’ve thought about is the use of assumptive notation, meaning that, using only one piece of data, the rest can be assumed. Example, if I wanted to say that the move U’ is done with the index finger, which index finger would you guess it should be? Where would that index finger push?

Some of us (at least I) would say that the left index finger pushes (or pulls) from the back. But if someone else finds it easier to use the right finger (perhaps depending on the grip at the moment of the movement), they can assume the right one. And this choice might also be dependent on the finger-tricks leading up to that move, or (in rare cases) the finger-tricks following.

This also works with moves that have no notation at all. For example with R U R’ U’ would could put: R (indexFingerNotation)U R’ (indexFingerNotation)U’. From that we can assume that R and R’ are regular turns and that U is done with the right pointer finger, and U’ with the left. We can even assume the correct grip for the first R because of the indicated finger for U (In this case, thumb on bottom, rest on top). Regrips would be assumed the same way, the cuber deciding where he is most comfortable with the movement.

Now, why would this work? Because the point of finger tricks is to make an algorithm easier and faster to execute. By using assumptive notation, one would almost automatically choose the easiest and smoothest way to execute said move based on his or her needs and natural tendencies (what is comfortable). And if the extra information is necessary (example, a finger-trick combo that is strange and unusual, but perhaps faster than what’s comfortable when you’re used to it) then it could be added. But when such is unnecessary, it should be excluded.

Why wouldn't it work? Because the point of finger-trick notation is to be more specific about the execution of an alg, and someone who assumes wrongly might do something that was not intended by the writer of the alg. And if we assume too much, then the reader might not be able to assume certain things that we want them to do without a little extra information like a regrip or certain piece's side on which to push. Now while the need of this information is rare, you'll never know when someone wants to share a very different but perhaps effective method. So what could we do to help that? Add some symbols to the notation, and only use them when needed. Done.


Here is an example notation that can be used to demonstrate what I’m talking about (it is not yet fully developed):
< = either index finger (> = left index finger if you really need to specify)
^ = thumb
. = pinkie finger (pinkie finger and ring finger are interchangeable)
- = ring finger
* = middle finger

For _2 moves, two notations can go before the movement.
: = regrip
/ = use right finger
\ = use left finger
etc. you come up with some others, but only if necessary to avoid confusion.
Let’s apply it to sexy move:
-R <U R’ <U’

Now let’s have a few other simple examples:
R ^U’ R’ <U
<U R <U R’ .U R ^<U2 R’ (assumed regrip after <U)
R -D’ R’ <F
-*M2 <U -*M2 <*U2 -*M2 <U -*M2 (judging by the odd combination of fingers here, we can assume that it’s using certain fingers on one hand, and certain fingers on the other)

How about a few odd ones to show perhaps some weaknesses in this notation, or some new ways that finger-tricks could be done:
R ^B <D’ (This one is odd because look at where you’re hand ends up if you follow it assumptively)
<L’ U’ <L U’ <L’ U2 <L (Try to figure out a smooth way to do that. Hint: Right hand moves up. Here’s the same one using the left index finger notation: >L’ U’ <L U’ >L’ U2 <L)
*d’ (normal) ^d’ (using a thumb) -*d2 (strange but smooth)


These are just a few examples of what could be conveyed through an assumptive notation for finger-tricks.

If something like this could catch on and be implemented, then we could share some of the ways we do certain algs, and compare them to find the best match for us.

What do you all think?
 
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Lazy Einstein

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I think it is an awesome idea(only read the notation quickly. Doing a big average. =P)

I don't know how many times I find myself wondering how others execute their finger tricks. Good notation for that may encourage more people to share. I'll read the post fully later and maybe elaborate more.
 

Kirjava

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Fingertrick notation will never be able to cover every type of fingertrick.

When people think fingertrick notation is usually needed, it tends to be in some alg that uses some non standard or non obvious trick.

For these I find that words are useful for conveying how it is done.
To add to this, there are dozens of proposed notations now and no one ever adopts them. Ever. This is more an exercise in futility.

People execute things differently to each other naturally anyway.
 

Lucas Garron

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< = either index finger (> = left index finger if you really need to specify)
^ = thumb
. = pinkie finger (pinkie finger and ring finger are interchangeable)
- = ring finger
* = middle finger?
I think using symbols will not work for this. They are even more arbitrary than standard notation. If you forget which symbol is which finger, there's nothing to clue you in.

(In that other thread, I suggested naming fingers by letter, which is... a start?)


People execute things differently to each other naturally anyway.
It would still be interesting to communicate *how*. An imperfect way could be better than nothing.
 
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Dane man

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...no one ever adopts them. Ever. This is more an exercise in futility.
To quote The Princess Bride, "You're just saying that because no one ever has."

Seriously, though, if Thomas Edison would've given up on the light bulb after his hundredth try saying "Well, no one has ever done it before. I guess it's just useless to try then." We'd all be living by candle light to this day. I refuse to stop trying simply because it hasn't successfully been done before.

I think using symbols will not work for this. They are even more arbitrary than standard notation. If you forget which symbol is which finger, there's nothing to clue you in.
(In that other thread, I suggested naming fingers by letter, which is... a start?)
Well, it was an example notation after all. If a letter notation could be devised in an intuitive way, then I would gladly adopt it. I just wanted to demonstrate the method behind the notation, that instead of using brackets and confusingly over-written jumbles, we use a simple character to express something that needs little more than just that to correctly portray the idea.

I also chose symbols instead of letters to make sure that they wouldn't be confused with the already existing letter-clad notations that go along with our puzzles. And due to the fact that the letter notations need time and practice to be learned and remembered anyway (slices, prime, and lowercase layers in particular), I don't think it would be all that difficult for those at the level of using a finger-trick notation to learn and remember one, especially one that is as simplified as this. Though, yes, a lettered notation would be preferred.

What letters would you suggest, and how could we discern them from the already existing letters, especially if placed side by side?
 

DeeDubb

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Also, one thing is you can use the same finger for the same move in a different way. Like Left index for U from either UFL to UBL or UBL to UBR.

I think you could separate it into finger code and some sort of code for which corner to start on.

Here's my idea off the top of my head.

LEFT HAND (lower case)
i = index
m = middle
r = ring
p = pinky
t = thumb
w = wrist turn (usually not important to talk about)

RIGHT HAND (upper case)
I = index
M = middle
R = ring
P = pinky
T = thumb
W = wrist turn (usually not important to talk about)



Initial corner location would be clockwise from corner to corner (similar to ABCD labeling for BLD) Note: you need to split double moves into separate moves for this (so no U2, R2, etc..)

on U/U'
1 = UBL
2 = UBR
3 = UFR
4 = UFL

on F/F'
1 = UFL
2 = UFR
3 = DFR
4 = DFL

on B/B'
1 = UBR
2 = UBL
3 = DBL
4 = DBR

on D/D'
1 = DFL
2 = DFR
3 = DBR
4 = DBL

M is a bit harder, but still possible

1 = UF
2 = UB
3 = DB
4 = DF

These would be combined, and put in parenthesis after the move notation so "U(i4)" would be a U push with your right index finger starting from UFL (and obviously going to UBL, because that's the direction of the move)


L/R are pretty much always wrist moves, but they can be labeled if necessary.

Another important thing is, it wouldn't be necessary to label every single move with this notation, only moves that might have variation.

Like our J-Perm discussion last week for example.

Some people do :

R U R' F'(i1) R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R'

Other people do:

R U R' F'(T3) R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R'

Or discussing how you do M2, one person who does both with their right hand would say

"I do M'(R2)M'(P2)"

and another who does both with left would say

"I do M'(r2)M'(p2)"

and someone who does a weird left right thing would say

"I do M'(r2)M'(R2)"

You could use < > instead of ( ) if it confuses people. or whatever you want. It seems pretty intuitive this way though.
 

Kirjava

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It would still be interesting to communicate *how*. An imperfect way could be better than nothing.
Somewhat. I considered this when posting, but there are better methods for doing this other than notation.

To quote The Princess Bride, "You're just saying that because no one ever has."
I appreciate your sentiment but this is clearly an unneeded aspect of notation.
 

DeeDubb

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Or you could just... you know... watch a video of someone doing the fingertricks...

I agree with what Kir said.
Just because video exists doesn't negate the appeal of an efficient orthography to describe finger tricks. If that were the case, we could throw out all notation. Hell, we could throw out the written word completely now that we have YouTube and audiobooks.


Somewhat. I considered this when posting, but there are better methods for doing this other than notation.
How much easier would your M write up have been if you could use simple notation instead of having to describe each move as "left ring pushes from DB to UB"? There's definitely an appeal to creating notation. I think the hard part isn't coming up with the system, it's getting enough people on board with it, and the attitude that it's tried and failed and is therefore futile doesn't seem acceptable to me.
 

Hypocrism

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I do think a good fingertrick notation is needed. It doesn't need to be used to portray all algs, but only when fingertricking is being discussed.

But it also needs a notation for the initial grip position and grip changes made during the alg. For example some algs (eg starting with RUR'F') I generally start with the thumb on the D face and index/middle/ring on the U face. But others start with those three fingers on the B face, or even the D face (R2F2 starting algs). We could either develop a system for describing the initial position of each finger, or just give each standard grip position a name.

Also, whenever this is brought up people are cynical of it. But I think that's because it's quite easy for experienced cubers to work out their best fingertricks for an alg. It's not so easy for those beginning to fingertrick or at an intermediate level. This would probably be most helpful to that group, and I don't think a fingertrick notation is particularly more difficult to learn than regular notation.
 
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