the HIEA layout featured nice finger rolls and very low same finger usage. But having come from the standard BEAKL layouts, the left pinkie finger H assignment always felt less than optimal and contrary to BEAKL’s minimal pinkie finger usage goals.
Swapping the H and the K retained the vowel cluster rolls..
at the expense of a bump in same finger usage for the HA bigram – but still a comfortable layout to use and, arguably, more BEAKL like.
a solution to the HA bigram..
is to move the H to the thumb position where the Space key used to reside!
Character assignments to thumb clusters has been done for layouts on split ergonomic keyboards but is something I have resisted, if only for my ingrained usage of the thumb exclusively for Space, Enter and modifier/layer keys.
But solving the HA bigram to retain the low same finger usage of the HIEA layout begged further exploration. Doing so, coincidentally allowed for more optimal placement of the K and Q keys, and restoration of the Minus key to the base layer.
moving the Space key to the right thumb forfeits the Enter key, so it is moved to the Shift Layer for double thumb activation..
The relocation of the Space and Enter keys are the most significant deviations to the thumb row of my previous keyboard layouts, whose deep finger memory will take a measure of time to overcome and relearn.
A variant with the Enter key on the base layer and the Backspace on the Shift Layer also exists in the dotfiles but I personally prefer the Shift-Enter combination over laterally moving the thumb for Enter – thumbs are strong but less nimble than fingers.
are aligned with the punctuation changes to the base layer and the former restriction to the index, middle and ring fingers relaxed, expanding the symbol set and reducing hand swapping for regex and mathematical operators..
the Mouse, Number, Function Key and Shortcuts Layers remain the same..
thumb h planck
to align with the Thumbs H Splitography layout..
for this layout on klatest bests recent standard BEAKL layouts by 5% to 14% on the +Effort scale for English prose, and sits generally at the top of the ranking (for the default list of keyboards currently being used for comparison).
Metrics are only an indicator, however, and should be taken with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, the H feels like it is finally in its natural position. And the Q and K feel better too ..bonus!
Balance, however, feels shifted towards the right hand with the added thumb usage which is exaggerated by the opposing long term finger memory – this feeling should dissipate as new neural pathways are developed. But there is little doubt during this limited testing – this layout feels superior.
Now, onto imprinting the new Space and Enter key finger memory patterns..