2010-11-23

new ergonomic keyboards

On Nov 23, 10:33 pm, Xah Lee wrote:
> i'm sorry to say, but when i read almost anything by programers about
> keyboarding, keybinding, in the past 10 years, 99% of them are purely
> idiotic to the extreme. I used harsh terms because the more i studied
> keyboard and all related issues, the more i see how extremely idiotic
> these opinions are.
>
> Here's some examples:
>
> • best way to avoid rsi is never to learn touch type. (expressed by
> Stephan Monnier (emacs maintainer), as well as keyboard maestro's
> author.)
>
> • the swapping of Caps Lock and Ctrl on a normal standard keyboard is
> good idea. Expressed by many.
>
> • emacs's keybinding is efficient.
>
> for 70 articles on Keyboards, Layouts, Hotkeys, Macros, RSI, typing
> habits, see:
>  http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/keyboarding.html
>
>  Xah

was quickly written, but forgot some more points. More examples with my answers:

• best way to avoid rsi is never to learn touch type. (expressed by Stephan Monnier (emacs maintainer), as well as keyboard maestro's author.)

the opinion by Stephan can be seen on comp.emacs sometimes in 2010 i think.

the one expressed by keyboard maestro's author Peter N Lewis is at http://xahlee.blogspot.com/2010/08/left-wrist-motion-pain-vi-esc-syndrome.html

and this opinion can sometimes be seen elsewhere on forums.

• the swapping of Caps Lock and Ctrl on a normal standard keyboard is
good idea. Expressed by many.

See 〈Why You Should Not Swap Caps Lock With Control〉 http://xahlee.org/emacs/swap_CapsLock_Ctrl.html

• emacs's keybinding is efficient.

See: 〈Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful〉 http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_kb_shortcuts_pain.html

• Happy Hacker keyboard is a fantastic keyboard. (expressed by many, in particular Shawn Sabbets, author of ratpoison (a Linux tool that arranges all your windows without gaps))

See 〈The Idiocy of Hacker Keyboards〉 http://xahlee.org/emacs/keyboards_hacker_idiocy.html

• «I'm a programer. I never use the F1 F2 etc keys, and find those Media keys or extra app launching keys stupid.» This is seen often on programer forums or keyboard review sites such as amazon.

for 70 articles on Keyboards, Layouts, Hotkeys, Macros, RSI, typing
habits, see:
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/keyboarding.html

PS i think Stephen, Peter, Shawn are great coders, but just that some of their opinions on keyboard i find falling into common myth.

programer will be recalcitrant on their opinions about keyboard, because they'd say “i use it all my life!”. Yet, typically they never spend a hour to look into the actual field of keyboarding issues or field of study of ergonomics.

This situation is similar to for example pro mathematicians will admadantly claim some math notation issues, or love of TeX/LaTeX, like, “i should know because i work with it all my life”, yet their opinion being completely idiotic.

also similar, is lots of programers, who, over the years in their career, inevitably came to know several langs. So, they'll have bunch of extremely idiotic opinions on language design, syntax, and software engineering, terminologies, semantics. They'll be loud about it. Yet, they really don't know much of any of these fields as a dedicated study. e.g. they have never taken a day in their lifes, to actually study a article, or issue, about a syntax design as a subject by itself. Typically, what they've done instead, is like: «perl is like this, or lisp is like this, or i know Haskell this and OCaml that way, i've coded in them for 10 years, and i've taken a class about parsing in college, therefore, it should be X, i tell you!».

I LOL

Xah

1 comment:

  1. With regard to touch typing and RSI, I don't profess to be an expert, however I can certainly speak for myself as someone who spends a lot of time every day typing - whenever I have attempted to use touch typing, I have quickly gotten RSI symptoms. While I three/four/five finger type, I get no such symptoms.

    Obviously, that is a statiscally small sample size (1!), but if you suffer from RSI and touch type, surely its not a hard thing to try not touch typing and see if it benefits or not.

    Two other points:

    1. I can non-touch type at about 40 words per minute, which is way faster than I can think for either programming or writing text.

    2. the "R" in RSI is for "Repetitive", and non-touch typing is pretty obviously less repetitive since it has more varied motions.

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