As mentioned, I don't think that the semicolon would get "burnt in" the same way that a letter does – even a rare letter. To me at least, the symbol keys work a little differently. Maybe it's because they're usually not hit in polygram sequences but alone. This fact on its own would suggest moving the semicolon around all the time instead of the J, but there are other considerations. That stuff about potential J users doesn't worry me though. It's quite hypothetical and if such persons exist they'll just have to make their own variants.
Tarmak's full name is "Tarmak(ETOI) transitional Colemak" or a variant of that, which shold be descriptive enough. "Transitional" covers about the same meaning as "incremental" in this case I feel, and it's the name Shai suggested. I'll refer to your scheme as "Tarmak(ETRO)" but for the user that's too specific I guess so some confusion might arise. Also, since the I loop is in focus now maybe it'd be better to use the full progression and call them "Tarmak(ETOIR)" and "Tarmak(ETROI)", or drop the I and use "Tarmak(ETOR)" vs "Tarmak(ETRO)"? Hmmm... :)
Tarmak has already been through one upheaval: I started out recommending the LUI loop first(!) since that's easy and quite beneficial, doesn't mess up any key positions and I thought it'd be a nice warmup for the big loop. Then I did a right-hand loop moving only the semicolon over to the QWERTY E position and finally a left-hand loop. That has an aesthetic appeal and simplicity to it, but some analysis showed how much there was to gain from moving GTF. Also, making a few more steps allowed the user to select an even more incremental scheme while the braver souls could still skip a step or two (I think I'd start out with step 2 myself, to get a little challenge for each hand and a lot of benefit for it – after that it's more of a toss-up for me).
As mentioned, I think I'll make an implementation that lets you easily choose when to do the LUI loop – although one setting has to be the default one. I know how to do it for Linux XKB and the Arduino solution from GeekHack (which I haven't used but love the idea of!), but for Windows PKL it's a bit more hassle and confusion as always because it hasn't got "layers" to work with. Not a biggie though.
Looks to me like a choice between ETO(I)R and ETRO(I) schemes with a flexible I placement is a nice possibility. Not sure what to recommend as a default though.
Anyway, I've made a new figure to show the ETROI steps in comparison with the old ETOIR ones:
Fig.: The Tarmak(ETOI) transitional Colemak layouts, spectrally color-coded from red (Tarmak#1) to violet (Colemak).
Fig.: The Tarmak(ETRO) transitional Colemak layouts, spectrally color-coded from red (Tarmak#1) to violet (Colemak).
Incidentally, the IE/EI same-finger bigrams are a problem with the Tarmak layouts in general. This is an argument for an earlier LUI loop but as lalop points out it should likely be done after the JYO partial loop so that you don't replace the IE/EI problem with a IO/OI problem! The individual learner should probably consider how long they plan to be sticking with each step, as these same-finger bigrams may be tolerable during a learning process but detrimental over time.
[Edit: I've had a naming crisis in which I went back to referring to the RSD step by 'R' rather than 'S'. This is because R is brought to the home row but S is shuffled to a maybe slightly worse position so the focus shouldn't be on that letter. Sorry for the confusion.]
Last edited by DreymaR (21-Mar-2017 16:10:32)