Last year I learned the famous Neo layout, but due redesign of my home network and often missing /home directory, i had to use quertz most of the time — And just forgot to switch back to Neo then.
While the last Wireless Community Weekend I just tried to switch to Neo again, and, I never thougt that would happen, but I was actually able to type more or less. Compared with Dvorak I tried to learn for 3 weeks or so, I did not forget Neo after 5 month. I used english dvorak but got really bothered by the position of some keys that did just not feel right — at least for german. The german dvorak layout is not better for programming then quertz is…
These days I have a pretty strong opinion about the Neo layout:
It is in my opinion the first keyboard layout that is actually designed for a computer and not a typewriter. Also, Neo seems to be the only layout that is actually actively developed by a group and new ideas and new knowlege about optimizations are put into new revisions of the layout. Despite the concerns of some people about changes in the layout, it is actually easy to learn new layouts if the new layout is more logical, feels better, then the old one.
In conclusion I can say that I really can’t understand how I beared the quertz layout for so long, and I definitivly will never switch back to that; But surly will switch to Neo 3 if it will give an improvement.
Despite the fact Neo is designed for german language, it is very useable for english and other european languages as well, but not optimzed that much. I actually pity native english typer not to have such a great layout, as there seems to be no project in similar fashion for other languages.