Current bulmak version by Ghoul (or is it? – there's uncertainty about the XC positions):
ь 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - = я ж ф п г й л у ъ ; ш щ а р с т д х н е и о ' ю з ч ц в б к м , . / э ы ё: Dropped (Russian Kyrillic)
Current "Bulgmak" by Ghen, DreymaR et al:
ю 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - = я в ф п г й л у ъ ; ш щ а р с т д х н е и о ' \ ´ з ч ц ж б к м , . / ь э ы: AltGr+' \ ; ё: Umlaut/diaeresis dead key + е
I hope you'll agree with me that it'd be nice if we can harmonize the Kyrillic layouts as much as possible? That is, letters that aren't common/important may be placed in many different ways with hardly any impact on layout efficiency so it'd be nice if we could agree on a way to place those that benefits almost all users equally? There has to be differences between a Russian and a Bulgarian layout of course, but my goal is to make only the necessary differences and harmonize the unnecessary ones.
So, your updated version consists of these differences from the earlier proposed "Bulgmak"?
• ж and в switched (QWERTY W/V vs my V/W)
– Your way is supported by Russian "Student" and Bulgarian "phonetic" to some extent; mine by Russian "Phonetic" and Bulgarian "new phonetic" to some extent.
– So either way has some merit (mine more with the Russians, yours more with the Bulgarians?). Could Russians and Bulgarians agree on something here?
– To my eyes, it does seem most consistent to put в on the phonetically corresponding QWERTY V (also, W and ж seem just a little more similar...), so I'm open to that!
– Nevertheless, I fell down on the side of the most common Russian phonetic layout the last time around. Time for a rematch? :-p
– Obviously, two camps have formed on this issue (although the more common layouts have ш on W – purely from shape I guess).
– Consequently, I might make a user option to switch them! That way everyone could have their way on this matter (at the cost of ease and consistency).
• ь and ю where "Bulgmak" has ю and \ (QWERTY ` and \); "Bulgmak" has ь on AltGr+'
– Is it your impression as a user that my proposition of ю in the corner is too hard to reach for actual typing? I would probably agree, as 1.1% is a quite high key frequency.
– I'd like to keep the backslash key if possible, as it's quite useful (in Windows and more), but it's not a totally essential key either.
– Is the AltGr+' combo too awkward for real use even if it's quite easy to hit?
• 'э', 'ы' and 'ё' as you say, are Russian and not Bulgarian letters; I think it's nice to keep some of them on AltGr presses though? And ё can always be made with a dead key.
• We seem to agree that it'd be nice to not need the VK_102 key so that ANSI keyboard users can play too; I use that key for a dead key which is useful but moveable
It's obviously entirely possible to change what the heck one wants for personal use! But we/I do present one layout as the semi-official one so it'd be very nice to agree on what that should be! :-)
All in all, I think I'd like to use your Bulmak as the recommended Bulgarian Kyrillic layout! As long as backslash is kept on AltGr+\ it looks very handy and logical to me. I'll also consider the ж/в switch for the Russian Kyrillic layout, although that's in conflict with Ghen's Rulemak. It just makes more sense to me, phonetically speaking.
[edit: There's also controversy over ч vs х. Having х in the H position is phonetically sound but ч isn't wrong there either and then I feel that the X position is really good for х visually. So I'm mostly with Ghen and the Russian Kyrillic layouts on that one. Hmmm, maybe we can't agree on anything after all... :-( ]