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Re: Emacs keyboard

From: Dan Espen
Subject: Re: Emacs keyboard
Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2013 17:02:34 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.1 (gnu/linux)

James Freer <address@hidden> writes:

> On Sun, 6 Jan 2013, ken wrote:
>> On 01/05/2013 04:05 AM James Freer wrote:
>>> On Fri, 4 Jan 2013, Loic J. Duros wrote:
>>>> address@hidden (David Combs) writes:
>>>>> Sun (er, oracle) makes that type of keyboard, but
>>>>> also makes one with the control key immediately left
>>>>> of the "A" key, where it was on the original
>>>>> teletype-like machine (name escapes me now, but it
>>>>> ended in "33").
>>>> What's the difference with moving the ctrl key to the caps lock key on a
>>>> standard keyboard?
>>> It's not a big difference... just preference - less far to stretch the
>>> fingers. Capslock always used to be the location of the ctrl key on
>>> early keyboards which happened to suit those that use the wordstar
>>> keybindings (which are the most efficient in professional writers
>>> opinion... and mine). A lot of emacs users like them swapped for emacs
>>> bindings. Although i've got used to using the right ctrl key for
>>> wordstar mode.
>>> james
>> Amen (or +1 if you prefer) on both counts.  Having learned to type
>> on an actual typewriter and having started into computers with those
>> old teletype machines, and then into PCs with DOS 1.0, I appreciate
>> being able to have the Ctrl next to the 'A' key.  That's where it
>> was on the first PCs and where it stayed until, perhaps just
>> coincidentally but perhaps not coincidentally, Microsoft came out
>> with Word.  At the time Wordstar was the top editor.  But because
>> using Wordstar entailed using the Ctrl key a lot, moving it to the
>> keyboard's hinterlands made it difficult to use and it thereby lost
>> a lot of market share to Word. Isn't it wonderful how a market
>> economy can even rearrange your keyboard?
>> The second Amen/+1 goes to Wordstar keybindings.  Somebody put a
>> whole lot of thought into them and made them the most intuitive of
>> any editor of that time and since.  You could easily learn how to
>> move around all around in a file you were editing in under an hour
>> and then remember all of the keybindings the next day.  Most all the
>> Wordstar keybindings for navigation were also language-independent;
>> that is, you didn't have to know English for them to make sense and
>> so be easily memorable.  If I was just starting out in computing and
>> wasn't already so accustomed to emacs keybindings, I'd definitely go
>> to something like joe\jstar for an editor.
> Jstar when i'd discovered it was excellent for me. I started using
> wordstar in the 80s... that's how old i am! But i use an editor for
> text not coding... alas jstar doesn't have emacs "visual line mode" or
> softwrap as some folk call it.

Never tried it (or wanted it), but:

  HOWTO make Emacs use soft word wrap like other editors!

> All the graphical editors seem to and
> so does vim with "set linebreak". Emacs also does 'hotch' (as i call
> it - i think it's called 'mid screen cursor positioning' or something
> like that) - one's typing and gets to the bottom of the
> screen... automatically it moves up half a screen - that is so
> useful. Not appreciated until you've used it.

What Emacs does is completely customizable.

You should not find this surprising.

> Jstar does that but it's
> a shame about the softwrap. The author is doing some development again
> on Joe.
> Emacs does all so that's why i'll stick to it. I'd prefer a cut down
> version or being able to remove ALL the functions from the menu i
> don't want. The games and calculator... all that stuff i don't
> want. But i'm still learning emacs... quite a lot of learning! I'd
> love a basic word processor included... something that just does the
> basics with an rtf file for letters and memos.

I think you'll eventually find the menus can be modified.

The best part of Emacs is the way it'll do just about anything.

Dan Espen

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