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Keyboarding [Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing featur

From: Xah Lee
Subject: Keyboarding [Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?]
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 05:28:52 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

here are some points i think most programers are not aware of when
discussing keybinding choices or keyboard practices.

• what keyboard you use matters a lot. e.g. full sized keyboard vs
laptop keyboard. Apparently, a lot programers today half of the time
are using laptop keyboards. Even between full sized keyboard, there
are major differences that effect keybinding design. e.g. standard pc
keyboard vs split ergonomic ones vs such as Kinesis.

• there's major difference between those who touch type and those who
don't. Good typing tips or keybinding design for one is usually not
good for the other.

• expected amount of typing per day matters a lot. Good advices for
programers are not good for heavy duty data entry clerks. Among
programers, the actual amount of typing varies a lot too. Good advices
or key choices for 3 hours per day typer is different for designs for
those 6 hours per day.

here's some examples:

some programer claim to have used certain habit for n decades and
never have a problem. Sure. Maybe the actual time their fingers are
pushing keys is just 4 hours per day. If they do data entry work,
perhaps they'll have RSI within a week.

some programer claim hunt'n'peck is best practice to avoid RSI. This
is like saying the best way to avoid sport injury is not to go pro.
Sure, you can hunt'n'peck as a programer and still be considered a
fast coder, but don't think that is a good advise about typing

some programer will claim that they do fine on normal straight pc
keyboard and conclude that those curved split ergonomic keyboard are
not useful or “depends”. Be careful here. This does not mean the
ergonomic quality of keyboards amount to just personal preferences.

you can test many aspects of keyboarding yourself and for yourself,
since scientific report usually seems remote and impersonal. You can
conduct experiment to see which key choices are better among 2. Or,
which of the 2 keyboard is more ergonomic. Or, whether swapping Ctrl
and Caps Lock is better or Ctrl Alt.  You just have to be careful in
the experiement in eliminating bias, such as your habit, familiarity.
This is especially important when you give out your advices to others.

〈Keyboards, Layouts, Hotkeys, Macros, RSI〉


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