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Re: basic question: going back to dired

From: Xah
Subject: Re: basic question: going back to dired
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 06:04:39 -0700 (PDT)
User-agent: G2/1.0

> I must agree wholeheartedly with Juanma. Until I remap the caps-lock
> to control, I'm basically useless in Emacs. Once the change is made,
> however, I can touch type and move around in emacs without even really
> thinking about it. It becomes much easier!

I must say something about remapping Control to Cap Lock...

among tech geek circles, it's widely recommended like a dogma.
However, remapping Control to Cap Lock seriously violates some basic
ergonomic principles.

In touch typing, modifiers comes in pairs, such as Shift. The accepted
ergonomic way to press them is using one hand to press the modifier
and the other to press the other key.

You can see how by it is otherwise by disabling one of the Shift key.
With just one modifier, you are heavily handicapped. As a example, try
this exercise:


Quickly, you'll see the pain.

Similar is with other modifier keys such as Alt and Ctrl. The reason
they are not noticed only because they are seldomly used. However, in
emacs, it is heavily used. So, by mapping Ctrl to the Cap Lock key,
you put a severe handicap by putting all work into the left pinky, and
restrict the number of keys you can comfortably use with Ctrl.

The reason that most still recommend it is because the Ctrl key is
traditionally on the corner of keyboard and rather difficult to press.
Also, many keyboards does not have right Ctrl. So, in a sense, Cap
Lock as Ctrl is a improvement. It is especially a good solution on
labtop keyboards.

There are 2 ways to remedy the problem of pressing of Ctrl.

One is to buy a good keyboard that has big Alt and Ctrl keys, and on
both side of the keyboard, and symmetrically placed with respect to
your thumbs when hands in home position. (some keyboards, such as
Apple's, has the right side modifiers far to the right, rendering them
unusable for touch type) Microsoft's ergonomic keyboard satisfies this
requirement (MS's ergo keyboards is quite popular, and in fact MS's
input devices is highly received. I haven't checked the facts, but i
think MS's input devices has the largest market share. The second now
is perhaps Logitech.).

The other way is to learn to type the corner Ctrl by pressing down
your palm or semi fist, instead of poking it with your pinky. This can
be easily done on most PC keyboards.

To see which is better, you can type this sentence and press Ctrl for
every letter. (do it outside of emacs) You can quickly find out which
way is better for you.


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