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#1 30-Apr-2014 14:41:36

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

THE TARMAK (TRANSITIONAL COLEMAK) LEARNING LAYOUTS

"Tarmak may well be the best transitioning mechanism not only in the Colemak universe, but in layouts period"
~ user Lalop


    Tarmak_SpectralAnimation-45d.gif


The Colemak optimized layout changes 17 keys from QWERTY. This is far less drastic than the well-known Dvorak layout with up to 33 changed keys but no benefit over Colemak (although that's hard to prove either way!). Some people feel that it's okay to change everything and that knowing each layout is like knowing a separate language, but at the same time it's a lot more work for an English speaker to learn Japanese than, say, German!

But even 17 key positions aren't learnt in a jiffy and not everyone has the time or stamina to make a switch that may hit your work efficiency for weeks. Therefore, some have made more minimalistic layout changes such as the Minimak layouts that let you change only 4, 8 or 12 keys and still gain decent benefits. But those don't have the effectiveness of a properly optimized layout like Colemak so it's still a tough choice for the weary traveller.

What if you could change only 4, 7, 10 or 14 keys, each step a progression from the former, gain incrementally better key positions as you go and end up with the typing power of a fully operational Colemak? Using the Tarmak layouts, you can! Please read on, and I'll show you how.


    Tarmak_KeyChanges.png


NOTE: This may not be the perfect way for everyone. Some people prefer learning Colemak by diving straight in, the "cold turkey" approach. Some like to do "QWERTY by day, Colemak by night" for a while before making the jump. But some have used Tarmak to get a more gradual learning experience and have liked it a lot. So if you think this might be for you, read on!


HOW DOES IT WORK?

Each of the 4 Tarmak layouts changes 3–4 new keys from the previous step until you've made the full transition to Colemak. This is done by breaking up the loop of keys that move into each others' positions, misplacing only the very infrequently used J in the process. There is one big loop of 14 changed keys (Y>O>;>P>R>S>D>G>T>F>E>K>N>J) that you can learn in up to four steps, and one small self-contained loop of 3 keys (L>U>I). Each Tarmak step brings at least one of the most common letters in English (ETAOINSHR) to the home row where it belongs, right under your fingertips.

This animated image, like the one at the top of this topic, shows the full Tarmak transition from QWERTY to Colemak. The keys moved into place for each Tarmak step are shown in a different color following the rainbow from red via orange, green and blue to violet.

    Tarmak_SpectralAnimation-90d.gif


Here I've explained each of the Tarmak "tar lumps" in more detail:

DreymaR

1) The (J)>E>K>N "most essential" loop, fixing the important E (and N)
    Tarmak1_Spectral_E.png    Tarmak1(E)


2) The (J)>G>T>F loop, bringing the important T into place
    Tarmak2_Spectral_ET.png    Tarmak2(ET)


3) The (J)>R>S>D loop, getting RSD into place – all of which are relatively frequent!
    Tarmak3_Spectral_ETR.png    Tarmak3(ETR)


4) The J>Y>O>;>P loop, getting O in place and finalizing the big loop
    Tarmak4_Spectral_ETRO.png    Tarmak4(ETRO)


5) The L>U>I self-contained loop - step 5 is simply the full Colemak!
    Tarmak5_Spectral_ETROI.png    Tarmak5 = Colemak


Here are the spectrally coded Tarmak steps again, together in one Colemak image. Not shown in this figure is how the J hops between temporary positions (QWERTY E, G and R) before finding its place; that's explained above.

    Tarmak_Spectral_ETROI.png


USER FEEDBACK

There have been several positive reports about Tarmak.

The very first Tarmak user was Ezuk. Working as a writer, he gave up going cold turkey because he needed his fingers with him at all times. He used the 3-step 2008 version of Tarmak over a period of several months to ensure full typing fluency and wrote a very positive blog review that got some attention. More recently he's written an excellent promotion post for the updated Tarmak with notes on using PortableKeyboardLayout to learn and use the layouts. Highly recommended reading!

ezuk
It’s Free, Easy To Use, And Won’t Kill Your Productivity

    tarmak-switch.png?ec7b17

Here is why Tarmak is the best way to learn a superior keyboard layout:

• It’s free: Won’t cost you a dime.
• It comes as a portable app: No coding; no registry hacks; you don’t even have to install anything or be an Administrator. You can even put it on a USB stick and use it on any computer you get to.
        It’s based on AutoHotkey, one of our favorite automation tools, and it’s open-source.
• It won’t kill your productivity: Throughout your learning process, you’ll still be able to type. If you’re patient and don’t rush ahead, there won’t be a single moment where you’ll feel you just can’t type.
• It’s easy to move between stages: Want to move on to the next step? It’s as easy as a right-click on a system tray icon. Too hard for you? No problem, step back.
• Comes with keyboard images: It’s sometimes hard to visualize where the new keys are, especially since your keyboard is now “wrong” (shows you the old keys). Tarmak comes with helpful images that show you the different stages.


Here's what user Ghaz had to say:

ghaz

The transitional layouts worked really well for me because of the following:

• High bang for buck in the initial stages
• Low risk - still a worthwhile endeavor if I get stuck at a stage for a year
• Allowed me to concentrate only on a few keys at a time, and mostly master them before moving on
• Low productivity loss
• The only keys that are moved twice are infrequently used [Note: Both J and semicolon were moved more than once at that time]
• By moving on to the later stages after a shortish time, their new position had barely been set in my mind


As shown in the graph below from the Amphetype program, user Coldmak had a smooth 9-day transition to Colemak. He obviously worked quite hard for it as shown by the many test points on the graph, but kept his typing speed above 20 words per minute (although he probably rushed the last step a little) and reported a pleasant experience. After that transition, his Colemak typing speed kept rising as you can see in his topic.

    AmphetypeAverage.jpg
        A speed graph showing typing tests in Amphetype over a 10-day period
        During the 9 first days, the four Tarmak(ETOIR) steps were learnt successively as shown


Similarly, user bph found Tarmak very useful:

bph

My approach has been to stick with a stage until I exceed 30 wpm then move to the next [each stage took about 3 days]. Predominantly I have just forced myself to use tarmak at work for everything (mainly emacs) but with a bit of typeracer thrown in for fun
[...]
I think these stages are a really good way of breaking down a very tough task,
there is no way i could do this cold turkey direct to colemak
[...]
So all in, I think going qwerty to colemak via tarmak will take half the effort as learning to touch type qwerty from scratch


Another recent one:

RavenLoon

I started my Tarmak project [...] with a plan to step up each Friday after work.  I made the final transition [in a month]. It's been just over a week and I've timed out in Amphetype twice at over 50 wpm / 97% accuracy, though my average is still only in the 40's.  Each week I was able to fairly easily climb back from the instant "hit" to reliably over 40 wpm / 97% accuracy before the next step.

I typed on Qwerty for over 30 years.  DreymaR's Tarmak method finally gave me the gradual methodology I needed to move to a better keyboard layout [...] and (for me the final piece of the puzzle) the Tarmak transition method puts [Colemak] truly within reach of people who actually have to keep getting work done while working on the transition.


MINI-FAQ

Q: What about that J key jumping all over the place – won't that be both confusticating and bebothering?
A: Don't worry! As seen in the 'analysis' section below, the J is the rarest key not moved from its QWERTY position. As such, it won't get too ingrained during the transitions. You'll be more preoccupied with the frequently used keys that move to better places, and those will be learnt faster.

Q: I'm put off by doing so many steps to get there!?
A: Feel free to skip one or more steps. The transition can be made to suit your preferences. I think Tarmak2(ET) is really good in terms of gain, and it moves a few keys on each hand if you want to train both hands at the same time. That's probably where I'd start if I were feeling impatient and bold. After that, one possibility would be to do the important but tricky RSD loop before moving to full Colemak.

Q: When should I switch to the next step?
A: When you feel ready and up to it! It has been suggested that you should aim for about 97% accuracy at 40 WPM before you move on to the next step. That sounds about right to me, but to each their own. You definitely shouldn't rush it but then again you may not want to get too cozy with each temporary step either. Finally, if you need to be fully productive right now you can take the next step later when you have more time. It would probably make more sense to advance on Friday night than in the middle of your workweek, for example.

Q: Argh! R and S are so annoying! How could Shai Coleman do this to me?
A: Colemak R and S are odd to most beginners. The predecessors of Colemak had the S in its QWERTY place but it didn't prove possible to make a good enough layout that way so the S had to move over to the next finger. Because of this, many learners struggle with the S. In Tarmak step 3 you get to move only R S D which are all fairly important keys, and you get to learn the new S placement without too much else to think of.

Q: What on earth is Tarmak(ETROI) versus Tarmak(ETOIR) versus Tarmak(#@¡€%)?
A: There have been a couple of earlier variants of Tarmak. ETOIR is the previous Tarmak progression from 2011, and ETROI the new one from 2014. They're named after which important letter each step brings to the Colemak home row; see the 'naming and history' section below if you're interested.

Q: Can I learn the L>U>I loop earlier? It's so cute and I want to do it as a warm-up for things to come.
A: The first "Tarmac" layouts had the LUI loop as the first step, but that didn't give enough benefit for the effort and led to some nasty same-finger bigrams (when you have to use the same finger for two consecutive strokes – I hate that). Depending on your OS/platform, you may move the LUI loop if you wish. It may give a little extra benefit in step 3 or 4, and it's small and quite easy to learn – but on the other hand you may want to finish the big loop as soon as possible. Ask me for how to do this if you're interested. But beware that if you do the LUI loop before the O is in place you may incur bad OI/IO bigrams.


THANKS

I'd like to say thanks to all the wonderful people of the Colemak forums who have contributed in various ways, with testing, analysis and/or discussions. Many of them are mentioned above, but if anyone is left out it's an oversight and nothing else. In particular, thanks (again!) to Shai Coleman for making Colemak in the first place!


DOWNLOAD

Materials:
• Feel free to use any images from this topic or my PKL files for learning aids.
• If you need a set of printable/hires images like the ones in this post, you may use these that I've rendered at twice the normal resolution.

Windows:
• You can download some virtualkey files for the 4 Tarmak steps plus step 0 (QWERTY) and 5 (Colemak) for Farkas Máté's excellent PortableKeyboardLayout (PKL). Install them in the PKL layouts folder and point to the ones you want in the pkl.ini file.
• If you don't have PKL already, here's my whole PKL package as described in the Big Bag Of Tricks (for PKL) topic. It should run portably without any fuss.

Linux et al:
• For XKB, see the Big Bag Of Tricks (Linux/XKB) topic. After installing, search for 'English Colemak' in the layout chooser.
User olemartinorg has provided an Xmodmap makefile that'll generate Tarmak steps from your existing layout. Very clever, and useful if you prefer Xmodmap over messing with the XKB files.

Mac:
• User BradWright made all the Tarmak steps available as a private.xml file for usage with KeyRemap4MacBook aka Karabiner. Thanks, Brad!
• User ghaz also made Mac Tarmak steps (for the old ETOIR progression only). Instructions for these can be found over at the LanguageGeek pages.

Last edited by DreymaR (24-Jul-2014 19:06:29)

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#2 02-May-2014 10:41:18

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

I've rewritten the whole Tarmak presentation because the original topics were a mess by now. In these next posts I go into more detail about analysis, naming and history.


TARMAK ANALYSIS

Here is some analysis of Tarmak, using analysis programs available online. Keep in mind though, that such analyzers are only as good as their design. The maker of CodeSharp (and the Workman layout) for instance, feels that the Colemak D and H positions are very bad for him, and that hand alternation is a lot better than finger rolls. I don't agree with those weightings, and feel that same-finger bigrams are a lot worse; these are more common in the Workman layout than in Colemak and I think that's a bad idea. Be that as it may, the tools take into consideration many important parameters and seem to be well designed as such.


CodeSharp "overall effort"
The following analysis was done by user Cevgar in 2011 using the CodeSharp analyzer. This tool seems to be no longer available online after the Workman layout moved to a new site?

This graphic shows the number of keys that each successive layout step changes, with the Workman and Dvorak layouts included as "further steps" after Colemak since they change 21 and 33 of the 35 letter block keys. The line in the graph represents how much "effort reduction per key" you gain for each step of more moved keys. Think of it as "bang for buck" if you will!

This was done for the older Tarmak(ETOIR) steps, but the results are very similar for the new one.

    Tarmak_KeyChangesVsModelGain.png

The "effort reduction per key" was assessed using the "overall effort" percentage from the CodeSharp analyzer, divided by the number of extra keys moved from the previous layout (4-3-3-3-4-4-12 keys). As seen, effort gain per key increases the most for the first Tarmak steps. Switching to Tarmak 2–4 really gains you a lot of benefit for your troubles. The first step may seem ineffective in comparison, but it bears the penalty of having to displace the J key; if that step too had moved only 3 keys it'd have done better but it's still clear that the second step is very important too. After the last Tarmak step, the final 4-key change to Colemak doesn't produce much modeled benefit compared to the previous changes. Since the mini-loops of Tarmak have been sorted using this model that may be expected; however, I personally believe that the Colemak has significant important benefits that the model are blind to! The full Colemak has a lot less same-finger bigrams and gives other benefits compared to the last Tarmak step which the analyzer won't quite pick up.

The Workman layout moves 4 more keys but doesn't do significantly better in the model for that trouble (21.8% vs 21.3% for Colemak) even though it was designed in accordance with the Codesharp analysis model. The Dvorak "UI" layout plummets because it changes nearly twice as many keys as Colemak without doing better in the analysis at all. In the name of good sportsmanship, I show the "UI" variant of Dvorak which scored much better than the garden-variety Dvorak (21.4% vs 18.9%; the latter is comparable to Tarmak3).


Patorjk's Keyboard Layout Analyzer
Here's a more recent analysis of both the old ETOIR and the current ETROI progressions. I did a side-by-side comparison on Patorjk's analyzer of a big chunk of text: A couple of chapters from Pride and Prejudice (found at Project Gutenberg) containing more than ten thousand strokes of the letter E should be representative for good English. The ETROI analysis is the basis for the heat map animation shown below.

    Tarmak(ETOIR): http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-anal … d/2b1Bz5t9
    Tarmak(ETROI): http://patorjk.com/keyboard-layout-anal … d/MVB2CBnK

The only 141 instances of J in this sample prove that it is indeed a rare letter – the rarest of those that are moved by Colemak. Even the colon/semicolon key and Z had more presses and only X and Q of all the letters less (241/142/102/83 presses, respectively). This is an argument for moving only the J around, as a letter that rare won't be used enough to settle in your motor memory before the next step.

Patorjk favorises hand alternation which brings Colemak to somewhat of a disadvantage per se since Colemak focuses on same-hand rolls instead. I don't know whether this bias will play into the present analysis but I shouldn't think it matters a lot?

    Tarmak_ETROI_Patorjk-Austen.gif
        Heat map animation showing the transition from QWERTY via the Tarmak steps to Colemak
        Note how the frequently used keys are gradually brought to better positions on the home row
        Analysis from Patorjk's layout analyzer, based on a largish English text sample (Jane Austen)

Last edited by DreymaR (13-Jun-2014 15:28:26)

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#3 02-May-2014 10:45:51

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

NAMING TARMAK

The name 'Tarmak' is obviously inspired by 'Colemak'. Thus I quipped when I though this up:

DreymaR

- Tar is to coal as Tarmak is to Colemak: Kinda halfway there (not quite, as any chemist worth his carbon will tell you - but I'm mostly fine with that I guess)
- A tarmac is an attempt to pave the way!
- I'm pretty sure someone will find it sticky, smelly, unhealthy etc etc  ;)

To separate the Tarmak variants, I use a naming scheme that refers to the most important letter brought to its Colemak home row position by each step. Of the most common letters in English (ETAOINSHR, sorted by frequency), QWERTY only has A, S and H on the home row! So the first standard Tarmak step is Tarmak1(E) which brings the E to the home row (and N as well, but E is a lot more common!), then comes Tarmak2(ET) which adds T and so on. The whole progression to Colemak is Tarmak(ETROI). It's a bit of a toss-up between R and S frequencywise and they're both sorted in the same step but 'R' is brought to the home row while 'S' is only shuffled about. (Note that I've used both the R and S in names in earlier posts – sorry about that confusion.)


THE HISTORY OF TARMAK

For those interested in how this came about, or who want to know more about the former Tarmak variants, here's a run-through.

2008: Tarmac(I-EO-TR)
Back in 2008, there was a forum discussion about how any layout change will break our "gestalt" feeling and typing flow but then the flow is regained at a speed which depends on the complexity of the changes made. That made me think about learning Colemak in steps, and then I realized that the Colemak layout has some interesting properties because of Shai Coleman's design philosophies: Only two keys switch hands (P and E), and the L>U>I keys form a closed loop of changes. Also, the large loop of changes can be split fairly down the middle (P>R>S>D>G>T>F and E>K>N>J>Y>O>;). Even if I knew Colemak myself by then I set about devising a stepwise learning approach.

There is an older Tarmak topic, in which it started out as a 3-step approach starting with the LUI loop as  a "warm-up exercise" and then a larger one for each hand. This 'Tarmac' (as I spelt it then) was successfully tried out by user Ezuk who was very happy with it, and there was much rejoicing.

2011: Tarmak(E-T-O-I-R)
Then in 2011, some useful model analysis by user Cevgar (using the "CodeSharp" layout analyzer) on smaller loop chunks made me change the recommended loop progression to maximize the gain in typing model efficiency for each short step of 3–4 moved keys. Getting the G>T>F loop in place sailed up as much more important than fixing one hand at a time, since QWERTY puts the T in a needlessly poor position. This led to the 5–step Tarmak(ETOIR) (earlier called 'ETOIS') progression that split each hand loop in half and demoted the LUI loop to the next-to-last step.

DreymaR(edited)

It's possible to do the "most effective" key movements 3-4 keys at a time, each step bringing an important key or two to the Colemak home position while moving less central keys out of the way to their proper positions. Here are the Tarmak(ETOIR) Transitional Colemak Layout in sorted "lumps" for learning Colemak in 2-5 steps as desired:

1) The E>K>N>(J) "most essential" loop, fixing the important E (and N) and just messing up the infrequently used J

 q  w {J} r  t  y  u  i  o  p 
   a  s  d  f  g  h {N}{E} l  ;     The "Tarmak1(E)" transitional layout (E>K>N>J)
     z  x  c  v  b {K} m 

2) The (J)>G>T>F loop, bringing the important T into place

 q  w {F} r {G} y  u  i  o  p 
   a  s  d {T}{J} h  N  E  l  ;     The "Tarmak2(ET)" transitional layout (G>T>F>E>K>N>J)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

3) The J>Y>O>(;) loop, getting the O in place at the small cost of the semicolon

 q  w  F  r  G {J} u  i {Y} p 
   a  s  d  T {;} h  N  E  l {O}    The "Tarmak3(ETO)" transitional layout (G>T>F>E>K>N>J>Y>O>;)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

4) The L>U>I self-contained loop for a better I placement

 q  w  F  r  G  J {L}{U} Y  p 
   a  s  d  T  ;  h  N  E {I} O     The "Tarmak4(ETOI)" transitional layout (G>T>F>E>K>N>J>Y>O>; & L>U>I)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

5) The ;>P>R>S>D loop, or rather - finally the Colemak layout!

 q  w  F {P} G  J  L  U  Y {;}
   a {R}{S} T {D} h  N  E  I  O     The Colemak layout (P>R>S>D>G>T>F>E>K>N>J>Y>O>; & L>U>I)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

The above sequence of loops looks most promising to me (and the Codesharp analysis). With the four layouts above available, anyone preferring smaller "tar lumps" can go one step at a time while more ambitious learners may use for instance #2 and then #4 or just #3 before moving to Colemak.

The Tarmak(ETOIR) layouts have been tried successfully by several people, including forum reports by users ghaz, bph and Coldmak. The reports suggest that if you give each step a little time to settle in, you can keep your productivity while learning Colemak.

    Tarmak_Spectral_ETOIR.png
        The older Tarmak(ETOIR) transitional Colemak layouts
        The steps are spectrally color-coded from red (Tarmak1) to violet (Colemak)
        Not shown in this figure is how the J and ; keys are forced into temporary positions (QWERTY E and G)

2014: Tarmak(E-T-R-O-I)
Now, in April 2014 Karl Nordstrom (user karl) presented a new Tarmak variant in an excellent forum topic. He was loath to move the semicolon to the middle of the board because he's typing a lot of code. Also, he wanted the LUI loop last so that the misplaced keys would be resolved as soon as possible to keep confusion to a minimum.

Thus came about the new Tarmak(ETROI) progression, with a (J)>R>S>D loop in step 3 that lets us finish the big loop before the LUI loop and only move the J key to wrong positions. Another suggested name for this progression is the "J-Hopper". :)

DreymaR

1) The E>K>N>(J) "most essential" loop, fixing the important E (and N)

 q  w {J} r  t  y  u  i  o  p 
   a  s  d  f  g  h {N}{E} l  ;     The "Tarmak1(E)" transitional layout (E>K>N>J)
     z  x  c  v  b {K} m 

2) The (J)>G>T>F loop, bringing the important T into place

 q  w {F} r {G} y  u  i  o  p 
   a  s  d {T}{J} h  N  E  l  ;     The "Tarmak2(ET)" transitional layout (G>T>F>E>K>N>J)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

3) The (J)>R>S>D loop, getting RSD into place – all of which are relatively frequent!

 q  w  F {J} G  y  u  i  o  p 
   a {R}{S} T {D} h  N  E  l  ;     The "Tarmak3(ETR)" transitional layout (R>S>D>G>T>F>E>K>N>J)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

4) The J>Y>O>;>P loop, getting O in place and finalizing the big loop

 q  w  F {P} G {J} u  i {Y}{;}
   a  R  S  T  D  h  N  E  l {O}    The "Tarmak4(ETRO)" transitional layout (Y>O>;>P>R>S>D>G>T>F>E>K>N>J)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

5) The L>U>I self-contained loop - step 5 is simply the full Colemak!

 q  w  F  P  G  J {L}{U} Y  ; 
   a  R  S  T  D  h  N  E {I} O     The Colemak layout (Y>O>;>P>R>S>D>G>T>F>E>K>N>J & L>U>I)
     z  x  c  v  b  K  m 

This progression evens out the efficiency gain per moved key a little between the steps, depending on the analyzer used. As karl points out though, that isn't so important to a learner as you won't be all that efficient while struggling with placements anyway. Unless you're planning on staying with a Tarmak step for a very long time it shouldn't matter at all.

    Tarmak_Spectral_ETROI.png
        The new Tarmak(ETROI) transitional Colemak layouts
        The steps are spectrally color-coded from red (Tarmak1) to violet (Colemak)
        Not shown in this figure is how the J key is forced into temporary positions (QWERTY E, G and R)

It's still entirely possible to use Tarmak(ETOIR) to learn Colemak, but nowadays I recommend the new Tarmak(ETROI). The two progressions are both good and provide relatively similar benefits I think. It's partially about preferences.

Some arguments for the Tarmak(ETROI) vs Tarmak(ETOIR) progressions:
• Moving only the J (the rarest letter moved in Colemak) feels more consistent than moving first that and then the semicolon.
• J is actually less frequent than the semicolon/colon, not only in code but in English text as well!
• Moving R and S into place earlier and in a separate step should be beneficial: These two letters often cause Colemak learners trouble since they "castle" past each other from their QWERTY positions. In Tarmak3(ETR) you get to learn their positions without having to focus on so much else at the same time.
User jpeg729 informs that the same-finger 'PO/OP' bigrams of the old Tarmak3(ETO) and Tarmak4(ETOI) steps felt bad. The new Tarmak3(ETR) step keeps O and P in their QWERTY positions where everyone is used to them, and in the next step both letters are moved into place.
• Moving the L>U>I loop to the end lets you finish the big loop so as to resolve the temporarily misplaced letter (J) earlier.

Last edited by DreymaR (24-Jul-2014 19:16:17)

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#4 05-May-2014 14:44:47

lalop
Member
Registered: 04-Apr-2013
Posts: 517

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Great, and very welcome, update to the old one! ;)  Sorry it took a while to write up the initial feedback.  More will probably follow later, but I think these are the most pertinent.

I think this question is probably the most important; promote it to the front, perhaps?

Q: When should I advance to the next step?
A: Tarmak provides a lot of flexibility in advancement. It is important, in this circumstance, to emphasize that you should not prematurely rush to the next stage.  Two crucial factors to keep in mind are:

  1. Minimizing disruption: if you work weekdays, for example, it would probably make more sense to advance on Friday night than in the middle of your workweek.  As a general rule, you should only advance when workload permits, taking full advantage of Tarmak's flexibility otherwise.

  2. Perhaps more importantly, it's possible to become overly optimistic and advance too soon; this should be avoided at all costs. A person who advances to the next Tarmak layout without sufficiently learning the current one may find himself having to learn both at the same time - defeating Tarmak's purpose almost entirely. It has been suggested that you should aim for at least 97% accuracy at 40 WPM before you move on to the next step. That sounds about right to me, but to each their own.

Last edited by lalop (27-May-2014 14:17:21)

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#5 22-May-2014 10:49:03

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Uh-oh: I've been thinking about the use of 'S' to name the R>S>D step, as I earlier used 'R'. I now realize that it was very wrong of me to switch to 'S' just because it sounded a bit better (at the time): The S isn't brought to the home row but actually gets a position more or less on par with its old one! Also, the S is a confusing letter in Colemak. So the focus can and shall be on how the R is brought to a better position in that step! I have no idea why I forgot that a little back.

I've performed a little historical revisionism and edited my files as well as several posts from 'S' to 'R'. Sorry about the confusion!

I know that 'ETROI' and the like isn't very noob friendly. But I still need a way to sort out which variants I'm talking about. I've taken out the 'ETROI'/'ETOIR'/etc references in a few front-end places so it looks more elegant and less confusing (if slightly less informative).

Last edited by DreymaR (26-May-2014 13:36:43)

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#6 27-May-2014 09:30:20

bph
Member
Registered: 06-Jun-2013
Posts: 139

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

as i mentioned elsewhere - once your happy with the editing of the tarmak stuff you need to move it out of the forum and on to its own page in colemak.com

i can tell you from experience with the linux tarmak stuff - it is a bit confusing to a newcomer when the 'official' documentation for something is a thread on a forum - it doesn't fill you with confidence..

not sure how feasible that is but its the right way to present it - i guess it would need some help from shai if he owns the domain?

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#7 27-May-2014 14:26:50

lalop
Member
Registered: 04-Apr-2013
Posts: 517

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Sure - but I'm also inclined to agree with bph.  I've been looking into a github website for the "Talking Points" as well, ever since realizing how much better a separate domain is from a search point of view.

As long as we're talking about domains, colemak.sexy is still available ;)

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#8 28-May-2014 00:04:10

pinkyache
Member
Registered: 21-Apr-2010
Posts: 640

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

(Why not just ask nicely for tarmak.colemak.com etc?  The search engines still appear to index worthy content.  And as long as the thread or page has the right info and wording, with a good handful of incoming links, I think people will find it.  Plenty of Colemak forum posts result from my esoteric searches around keyboard and layout topics.)


--
Physicians deafen our ears with the Honorificabilitudinitatibus of their heavenly Panacaea, their sovereign Guiacum.

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#9 28-May-2014 06:48:19

lalop
Member
Registered: 04-Apr-2013
Posts: 517

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

The search engines index everything, but definitely give higher precedence to non-forum-posts.

pinkyache

esoteric searches

Well, that's the thing, isn't it.  We want it to come up in the non-esoteric searches of a newbie.  (Ideally when searching "learn colemak" or even "colemak".)

Last edited by lalop (28-May-2014 19:38:29)

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#10 28-May-2014 10:34:22

pinkyache
Member
Registered: 21-Apr-2010
Posts: 640

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Perhaps I picked the wrong word there.  What I meant was that when I am doing keyboard/layout related searches, the Colemak forum threads come up a lot (it may be that the results are personalised and I'm caught in a filter bubble).  Or rather, there's nothing wrong with stuffing a thread with info.

A link from or close to the Colemak.com homepage would help.

Colemak -> How to learn Colemak -> Via Tarmak (learning/switching to an alternative keyboard layout (Colemak) in small steps.) -> Tarmak page.  With perhaps some cross referencing from Minimak.


--
Physicians deafen our ears with the Honorificabilitudinitatibus of their heavenly Panacaea, their sovereign Guiacum.

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#11 28-May-2014 12:36:47

jfmcbrayer
Member
Registered: 15-Apr-2014
Posts: 69

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

pinkyache

Perhaps I picked the wrong word there.  What I meant was that when I am doing keyboard/layout related searches, the Colemak forum threads come up a lot (it may be that the results are personalised and I'm caught in a filter bubble).

You could check that by doing the same searches in Duck Duck Go, which won't bubble you.

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#12 16-Jun-2014 08:14:10

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Yay! Our brave pioneer Erez (user Ezuk) has written a brand new blog post about Tarmak! And it's looking good!

Lots of uneducated knee-jerk replies in the comments. Feel free to set things right, fellow salients. ;)

Last edited by DreymaR (16-Jun-2014 08:14:24)

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#13 22-Jun-2014 09:16:19

lalop
Member
Registered: 04-Apr-2013
Posts: 517

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Continued from forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?pid=15159#p15159


Amuseum

Tarmak may work for some people, but I think it's mostly unnecessary for people who don't touch type to begin with...Conversely, some people would rather just deal with one layout rather than relearn 4 or 5, even if they are only transitional.

This is a little bit like saying "Tarmak may work for its target audience, but it probably won't work for those whom it wasn't designed for."

Unfortunate, but not exactly groundbreaking ;)


Amuseum

Typing tutors are not much different than what Tarmak is essentially: learning to type step by step.

Sure... as long as you completely ignore all the content of those steps ;)

[Seriously, the ideas aren't similar at all.  Typing tutors start by teaching you a layout's home keys then expanding your knowledge to the others.  Tarmak starts with all the QWERTY keys you already know, rearranging them into Colemak a little at a time.  The rearrangements are based not on touchtyping technique, but on maximizing gain/effort and avoiding disruption.  Tarmak is not so much a tutor as it is a re-trainer.]

The most obvious, yet far-reaching difference between the two is that Tarmak is able to train with full layouts rather than just a subset of the letters.  In practice, this means:

1. You get more practice, being able to type anything rather than just a limited selection of pre-generated content.  Real-life itself becomes a valid lesson plan, so to speak.  As the Bard was fond of saying,

William Shakespeare

All the world's a Tarmak stage.

2. The intermediate layouts act as a buffer between yourself and QWERTY; getting "stuck" on one of them is not nearly as big a deal as if you were switching wholesale.  Each Tarmak stage provides intermediate benefits, while coming closer to Colemak than all the previous ones.

With the typing tutor, it's "QWERTY or bust", with no middle ground should you run into any issues.  Any outcome aside from successful transition puts you back to square one (at best square one point five if you manage to retain some limited knowledge), with no additional practice forthcoming.



Amuseum

That may be a disadvantage of Tarmak: procrastination, or not knowing when to move on to the next step.

On the contrary, the disadvantage of Tarmak is that people don't procrastinate enough, moving on to the next step too soon. It's too much like an RPG in that sense: you really want to Level Up.

http://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?pid=14849#p14849

Of course, typing tutors are even worse at this.  If humans get restless just because they have a next stage to progress to, imagine how much more impatient they'd get when they've already exhausted the tutor's current content.  Premature switching is probably measured in minutes, rather than days!

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#14 23-Jun-2014 09:04:36

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Quite. It's possible that someone without a knowledge of touch typing could benefit from Tarmak as they'd remember much of the QWERTY layout anyway both in mind and fingers and Tarmak could make the switch more manageable – but the main application of Tarmak is for typists who know their QWERTY well already. And that's most of the layout switchers by far I think!

Typing tutors, like Tarmak, move in a stepwise fashion and the tutors usually have more steps, teaching two keys at a time or so. But you'll type gibberish much of the time (a lot better with Colemak since the home row can produce far more meaningful words), and you won't be typing what you want. Using Tarmak you can go on working! As Lalop and others have stressed, that's pretty much the main point of Tarmak.

William Shakespeare

All the world's a Tarmak stage.

Wow, let's just stop and think of this: Even before the advent of typewriters, great minds had the lucidity of mind to... haha, nice one Lalop! :D

Ezuk took a long time to make the full switch, several months (not a year, silly!) for sure; as you'll see above others took only 9 days or so. If you prefer to use a typing tutor intensively during those days, that's certainly an option. As said above, Tarmak won't be for everyone but can be very nice for some! While Ezuk took a while to make the transition, he actually typed at work the whole time, and did not have the leisure to type slowly at any point. So I'd say this proves that you can use Tarmak to move at your own speed without sacrificing efficiency. People with the time, opportunity and motivation to make a cold-turkey, intensive switch are of course welcome to do so!

Last edited by DreymaR (23-Jun-2014 09:08:48)

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#15 24-Jun-2014 00:54:44

RavenLoon
Member
Registered: 24-Jun-2014
Posts: 5

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

I am also following a slow-but-steady process, using the Tarmak steps for work, all week.  I've decided to progress on Fridays, after work, so that I can practice a bit over the weekend before being hit on productivity on Monday.

I started just over a week ago and this was my first work day with Tarmak-2.  I was worried at first by how hard some of week one came, but I had to use a qwerty layout today and found E and N had really, truly and fully moved!  I actually had to look, hunt and peck.  K is coming along, and I can tell with week 2 that F is my new K (read: problem child).  Still, one typing test I took today had me already up to 38 wpm (100% accuracy, but I make heavy use of backspace!), even with the fresh (week 2!) changes.

Week 3 scares me, with the horror stories I've read here about the R-S-D shift, but I'll burn that bridge behind me when I get to it. :)

I'm also personally ham-strung by another voluntary re-mapping; in an informal straw poll I did with my team, about 80% of us only use the left shift key.  E.g., I normally type "A" with the left pinky hitting shift, and the left ring finger hitting "A".  As I'm learning Colemak, I'm also re-learning correct shift key use.  That is proving at least as hard as the Tarmak steps.

I have 30 years of qwerty (and bad shift key habits) to overcome, but already, I can feel hints of how much more comfortable Colemak will be.

My sincere thanks to Shai Coleman for the layout work, DreymaR for the Tarmak option, and everyone who's proven and helped improve upon the Tarmak option.

P.S. My top qwerty speed was once 87 wpm (85 wpm adjusted); I believe I will be able to top 70 on Colemak before Halloween.  July 11th should be my first day on full Colemak, and I'll still give myself the entire next week of practice in real-world use before an official "weigh-in".  I'll then have 3.5 months to practice to meet my goal.

Last edited by RavenLoon (24-Jun-2014 05:38:02)

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#16 24-Jun-2014 10:54:59

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Welcome! Thank you for letting us know how you fare, your feedback is important. :)

In the Tarmak spirit, you might want to take the Shift change separately from the Tarmak steps? Sort out one thing at a time, as it were. But I'm sure you'll be fine either way.

The RSD shift isn't so bad really, but everyone and his dog seem to be asking about it while learning Colemak so I included a note on the Tarmak page.

Last edited by DreymaR (24-Jun-2014 10:55:59)

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#17 26-Jun-2014 00:22:30

RavenLoon
Member
Registered: 24-Jun-2014
Posts: 5

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Well, I've discovered finally how to get hi-games.net to work with the latest Java snafu (Java has been well and truly Oracled over the years), so now I can practice for speed. I hit 41 wpm today on Tarmak-2 on a 5 minute test, but I'm hindered somewhat by a sprained thumb that's also causing me arm pain. Still, with 2 days to go before stepping up to Tarmak-3, I'm satisfied with my progress. T comes easily, G is getting there, and F is still my problem child, but as K resolved its problem status in week 2, I'm not inclined to stress too much over it.

Even better, I just applied DreymaR's excellent tool kit for Linux on my LMDE VM. WOOT! I was in Linux withdrawal, as I prefer to do all my personal time computer use on Linux, but I couldn't risk the Tarmak/Qwerty back-and-forth confusion; I don't think I could be one of those people who can flip between at will -- I view this conversion as a one-way trip, with no intention of ever looking back!  I now have all four systems I use daily set up to support my weekly Tarmak steps.

Thanks again, DreymaR, for the dev work!

PS. There's another "also" in my list of personal typing retraining, besides the "canonically correct shift use" issue; when I learned to type, the rule was still that two spaces separated sentences. When teletypes and typewriters used the original Courier Monotype, that made sense... but then so did Qwerty at the time. Modern kerned fonts obviate the two-space sentence separator just as computer keyboards obviate Qwerty as a layout.  Still, the mapping in my head of the period key is almost automatically ".  ". Even at the ends of paragraphs, it's often "period-space-space-backspace-backspace-enter"! I'm not letting either the shift or two-space correction efforts slow me down, though; I just think if I'm going to the effort to "fix" my keyboard layout, I should fix my typing altogether.

Last edited by RavenLoon (26-Jun-2014 00:24:19)

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#18 26-Jun-2014 09:43:10

pinkyache
Member
Registered: 21-Apr-2010
Posts: 640

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

(I'm a fan of two-spaces after a full-stop.  But each to their own.  I quite like the idea of auto-correcting two spaces to insert a period and automatically capitalise the forthcoming letter - to avoid shifting.  I assumed that it was HTML that was responsible for stripping out double spaces - but reading into it, some newer style guides tilt towards French spacing.)

Last edited by pinkyache (26-Jun-2014 09:43:30)


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Physicians deafen our ears with the Honorificabilitudinitatibus of their heavenly Panacaea, their sovereign Guiacum.

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#19 01-Jul-2014 19:50:26

RavenLoon
Member
Registered: 24-Jun-2014
Posts: 5

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

DreymaR, I need your help!  It seems the Linux Tarmak templates I installed were for one of the previous versions, not the latest -ETROI one.  Tarmak-3 isn't right, so now I'm back in Linux withdrawal. :-(

And this week's R-S-D transition is definitely the toughest one so far.  I'm glad I got hi-games.net working on my XP VM, as I really need the practice this week!  (I am so far an abysmal failure at getting Java running on Chrome under Linux.  Clues welcome!)  I seem to be averaging about 37 wpm today, and I still have 3.5 days of practice before moving up to Tarmak-4.  I was over 50 at the end of week 2, and the R-S-D rotation instantly set me back to the low 20's.  As hard as this week is, I can already feel how much more comfortable it will be once I get it worked into my muscle memory a bit.

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#20 01-Jul-2014 22:35:25

DreymaR
Member
From: Bærum, Norway
Registered: 13-Dec-2006
Posts: 2,669

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Ah, ouch, yes. I'm behind on the Linux publishing I'm afraid.

This is what you need, in the symbols/colemak file under the tarmak header, replacing up to the next section:

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// 2012-01-01 Øystein Bech "DreymaR" Gadmar: Paving the way; 'Tarmak (transitional Colemak)'.
// See "DreymaR's Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks": http://forum.colemak.com/viewtopic.php?pid=9918
// 2006-01-01 Shai Coleman, http://colemak.com/
// This section defines the differences between a full Colemak[eD] and the first Tarmak layout step.
// The Tarmak1(E) step moves the E>K>N keys to their Colemak positions, leaving the J at QWERTY 'E'.
partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak1_e" {
    name[Group1]= "English/Intl (Tarmak1_E - Colemak transitional)";

    // To exclude the partial (F)EKNJ loop in this step, include its mask below
    // Also, comment out the F-J line below
    // (This would only be useful if you want to learn the LUI loop as a warmup; if so, comment out that too)
    //include "tarmak_mask_fekn_eknj"
    include "tarmak_mask_dgt_gtf"
    include "tarmak_mask_prs_rsd"
    include "tarmak_mask_jyoc_yocp"
    // To include the standalone LUI loop in this step, comment out its mask below
    include "tarmak_mask_lui_uil"

    key <AD03> { [             j,             J,               U0283,               U01A9 ] }; // Cmk F - stray J
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for one Tarmak step.
// The Tarmak2(ET) step moves the G>T>F keys to their Colemak positions, leaving the J at QWERTY 'G'.
partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak2_et" {
    name[Group1]= "English/Intl (Tarmak2_ET - Colemak transitional)";

    include "tarmak_mask_prs_rsd"
    include "tarmak_mask_jyoc_yocp"
    // To include the standalone LUI loop in this step, comment out its mask below
    include "tarmak_mask_lui_uil"

    key <AC05> { [             j,             J,               U0283,               U01A9 ] }; // Cmk D - stray J
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for one Tarmak step.
// The Tarmak3(ETR) step moves the R>S>D keys to their Colemak positions, leaving the J at QWERTY 'R'.
partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak3_etr" {
    name[Group1]= "English/Intl (Tarmak3_ETR - Colemak transitional)";

    include "tarmak_mask_jyoc_yocp"
    // To include the standalone LUI loop in this step, comment out its mask below
    include "tarmak_mask_lui_uil"

    key <AD04> { [             j,             J,               U0283,               U01A9 ] }; // Cmk P - stray J
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for one Tarmak step.
// The Tarmak4(ETRO) step moves the L>U>I keys to their Colemak positions, finalizing the big loop.
// This is the 4th step of the Tarmak(ETROI) and (ETORI) variants, leaving only the LUI loop.
partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak4_etro" {
    name[Group1]= "English/Intl (Tarmak4_ETRO - Colemak transitional)";

    include "tarmak_mask_lui_uil"
};

// NOTE: The Tarmak(ETO) and (ETOI) steps below are the old default. They won't show up in the menus anymore.
//       A quick way of getting these back would be to swap the xkb_symbols names of the 3 and 4 steps here.
//       A more proper way would be to edit the rules/evdev.xml and evdev.lst files,
//       replacing 'tarmak3_etr' with 'tarmak3_eto' and likewise for '4_etro'/'4_etoi'.

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for one Tarmak step.
// The Tarmak3(ETO) step moves the J>Y>O keys to their Colemak positions, leaving the ; at QWERTY 'G'.
// This is the 3rd step of the Tarmak(ETOIR) and (ETORI) variants, performing the JYO loop earlier.
partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak3_eto" {
    name[Group1]= "English/Intl (Tarmak3_ETO - Colemak transitional)";

    include "tarmak_mask_prs_rsd"
    // To include the standalone LUI loop in this step, comment out its mask below
    include "tarmak_mask_lui_uil"

    key <AD10> { [             p,             P,            Greek_pi,           paragraph ] }; // Cmk ;:
    key <AC05> { [     semicolon,         colon,      dead_diaeresis,            ellipsis ] }; // Cmk D - stray ;:
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for one Tarmak step.
// The Tarmak4(ETOI) step moves the L>U>I keys to their Colemak positions, stranding the ; at QWERTY 'G'.
// This is the 4th step of the Tarmak(ETOIR) variant, performing the LUI loop earlier.
partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak4_etoi" {
    name[Group1]= "English/Intl (Tarmak4_ETOI - Colemak transitional)";

    include "tarmak_mask_prs_rsd"
    // The standalone LUI loop is included in this step; if unwanted here, include its mask instead

    key <AD10> { [             p,             P,            Greek_pi,           paragraph ] }; // Cmk ;:
    key <AC05> { [     semicolon,         colon,      dead_diaeresis,            ellipsis ] }; // Cmk D - stray ;:
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for the partial (F)EKNJ loop.
hidden partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak_mask_fekn_eknj" {
    key <AD03> { [             e,             E,           downarrow,             uparrow ] }; // QWE E Cmk F
    key <AC08> { [             k,             K,            ccedilla,            Ccedilla ] }; // QWE K Cmk E
    key <AB06> { [             n,             N,              endash,           leftarrow ] }; // QWE N Cmk K
    key <AC07> { [             j,             J,               U0283,               U01A9 ] }; // QWE J Cmk N
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for the partial (D)GTF loop.
hidden partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak_mask_dgt_gtf" {
    key <AC05> { [             g,             G,                 eng,                 ENG ] }; // QWE G Cmk D
    key <AD05> { [             t,             T,               thorn,               THORN ] }; // QWE T Cmk G
    key <AC04> { [             f,             F,rightsinglequotemark,rightdoublequotemark ] }; // QWE F Cmk T
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for the partial (P)RSD loop.
hidden partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak_mask_prs_rsd" {
    key <AD04> { [             r,             R,          registered,           trademark ] }; // QWE R Cmk P
    key <AC02> { [             s,             S,              ssharp,             section ] }; // QWE S Cmk R
    key <AC03> { [             d,             D,                 eth,                 ETH ] }; // QWE D Cmk S
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for the partial (J)YO;P loop.
hidden partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak_mask_jyoc_yocp" {
    key <AD06> { [             y,             Y,               U203A,      guillemotright ] }; // QWE Y Cmk J
    key <AD09> { [             o,             O,           masculine,         ordfeminine ] }; // QWE O Cmk Y
    key <AC10> { [     semicolon,         colon,      dead_diaeresis,            ellipsis ] }; // QWE ; Cmk O
    key <AD10> { [             p,             P,            Greek_pi,           paragraph ] }; // QWE P Cmk ;
};

// Tarmak symbols for xkb on X.Org Server 7.x
// See the first Tarmak layout above for more info. This is a QWERTY mask for the standalone LUI loop.
hidden partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "tarmak_mask_lui_uil" {
    key <AD07> { [             u,             U,               U2039,       guillemotleft ] }; // QWE U Cmk L
    key <AD08> { [             i,             I,              emdash,          rightarrow ] }; // QWE I Cmk U
    key <AC09> { [             l,             L,             lstroke,             Lstroke ] }; // QWE L Cmk I
};

I hope that works – I've rewritten that section somewhat and haven't tested it yet... :o

For now, I think you'll have to rename the layouts because your rules file expects the old progression:
    xkb_symbols "tarmak3_eto" {
becomes
    xkb_symbols "tarmak3_oldymoldycruft" {
and
    xkb_symbols "tarmak3_etr" {
becomes
    xkb_symbols "tarmak3_eto" {
(same for tarmak4)

Got that?


[edit 2014-07-25: The new changed files (xkb v2.10.1.1) contain the updated Tarmak progression.]

Last edited by DreymaR (25-Jul-2014 22:30:58)

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#21 04-Jul-2014 04:05:06

RavenLoon
Member
Registered: 24-Jun-2014
Posts: 5

Re: Learn Colemak in steps with the Tarmak layouts!

Well, I haven't gotten around to the Linux patching yet; luckily (?) work has kept me too busy for the Linux withdrawal to really impact me this week.

However, I downloaded Amphetype and I've been making heavy use of it this week.  In just two or three days, it's helped me climb from the high 30 wpm range up to the high 40's (actually my last two practice runs both broke 50!).

I'll move up to Tarmak-4 tomorrow, but I hope to use the holiday weekend to hit the Linux patching, too.

As a new user note, I would like to report at this point in my transition that I have "forgotten" the Qwerty positions of the earliest remapped keys, such as E, N and T.  On Qwerty, I have to hunt and peck for these, which is fine, even preferable to me at this point.  Also, some of the more useful trigraphs have surprised me in how automatic they've become, especially -ing and -ion; they're already almost as immediate and instinctual as they were on Qwerty, which sometimes shocks me, as I finish typing a word and pause (hurting my wpm score) because I'm so sure I must have mucked it up (but didn't)!  The word "first", with that perfect 3-letter roll still gives me pause, as does every instance of the "st" digraph, as it seems impossible to me, subconsciously, that it could be quite *that* easy.  The biggest challenge has been the "unlearning", but it appears to me that a few days intense practice overwrites not only the individual key mappings in memory, but also the trained letter groupings, and the instinctive speed developed in the past for those common digraphs and trigraphs really (amazingly) quickly translates!

One week from tomorrow I'll be on full Colemak!  My thanks again to everyone who helped make (DreymaR) and improve/refine (lalop, et al.) the Tarmak method.

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