where Colemak emphasizes finger rolls, AdNW models keyboard layouts to emphasize hand alternation, a la Dvorak. BEAKL, utilizing the AdNW optimizer, further minimizes pinkie finger usage, emphasizing the central home block comprised of the index, middle and ring finger keyboard columns.
introduced an unorthodox left hand placement with the I on the bottom row posing a bit of a reach for some (I had no difficulty with this despite small hands, and took to the HE and KE bigrams)..
the current recommended BEAKL layout, utilizes a common left hand IEA home row vowel cluster to eliminate the vowel reach of BEAKL 8 (but at the expense of the HE bigram which I found quite awkward for my ring finger, along with the oddity of finding the Q on the home row, even if relegated to the pinkie finger)..
centers the R on the right hand home row to maximize the R bigram rolls along with the many other bigrams (very nice)..
by combining the BEAKL 8 left hand and the BEAKL 10 right hand, very little adjustment is required to obtain the strengths of both layouts..
|Slash||Semicolon||? and / on Shift layer for regular expressions|
|Comma||Apostrophe||for typing word flow|
|V||Z||from left hand BEAKL 10|
|K||V||optimal pinkie finger reach|
While the Apostrophe is less common than the Comma, placing the Apostrophe under the middle finger provides for more fluid typing of possessives, whereas, the Comma is a sentence structure separator which inserts, however subtly, a pause into the composition (thought) process itself – hence, this particular punctuation arrangement choice.
for English composition, BEAKL MU bests all BEAKL layouts (up to and including version 10 so far) on the KLAtest effort model – for what it’s worth.
Metrics, of course, don’t tell the whole story. The proof is in the usage. The hybrid layout “feels” very good. But is it better than BEAKL 8? The differences between the various BEAKL layouts is subtle and preferences for one layout over another is highly personal. BEAKL 8, thus far, remains my baseline and I continue to use it – with the above left hand punctuation modifications.
swapping the X and Z keys yields a subtle layout variant which scores (and feels) a touch better and is what I have settled on for now..