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Re: ESC vs Meta for shifted keys

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: ESC vs Meta for shifted keys
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2018 22:13:19 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.9.4 (2018-02-28)

Emanuel Berg wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> > I use both interchangeably all of the time.
> > And so does anyone using an XTerm with "Meta
> > sends ESC" configured even if they never hit

I should emphasize that that first sentence.  I do so interchangeably
all of the time.

Because Control should be the key left of the A key I always remap
the Capslock to be Control.  This makes control as convenient as
possible.  I sometimes use Alt for meta.  I sometimes use ESC before
the key for meta.  I sometimes use C-[ (both pinky fingers in action)
to easily produce an ESC.  I use all three at different times.

> Here is how to disable caps and do something
> else with it in X:
>     setxkbmap -option caps:none  # disable caps lock
>     xmodmap -e 'keycode 66=a'    # rebind CAPS (66)

I don't want to disable the key.  I simply remap capslock into a
control key.

> > The symbolics keyboard actually had
> > a *different* arrow set than has become
> > standard. The current "standard" comes from
> > the ADM-3a.

I shouldn't have mentioned that part.  It was extra information as "an
aside".  Because I thought it was interesting information.  But I see
it has just sent this discussion thread "off into the weeds".

> >   
> >
> ... The Escape key
> on that keyboard isn't current, it is much
> closer which is probably why it was more
> popular for this purpose on those keyboards.

Yes.  That was the point I was making.

> The arrow set (h, j, k, l) is close to there
> right hand, but somewhat unintuitive with ups
> and downs, or at least not as intuitive as it
> could be.

During that era different terminal vendors produced different keyboard
layouts.  They were all different.  That was annoying.

> I think the arrow keys are best placed as:
>           i = up
> j = left  k = down  l = right

Or a=left, s=down, d=right, w=up as has been common in other software.
(This will be immediately recognizable to many.  You mention that
pattern further down.)  Or perhaps C-s=left, C-d=right, C-w=up,
C-x=down.  (Others will recognize that set immediately too.)

However because of vi/vim and less and other software the most popular
combinations of keys has been h, j, k, l however.

> My first computer was a Mac Plus and the games
> there, like Lode Runner, this was used - for
> Dark Castle it was correspondingly w, a, s,
> d because with the right hand, one aimed the
> rock throwing arm with the mouse.
> This reappeared much later in 3D games such as
> Quake btw.

Yes.  Designed for left hand on keyboard and right hand on mouse.
That was also a common pattern for many CAD/EDA drawing programs I
have used over the years.

> Anyway I think the i, j, k, l set is the best
> at is is close and intuitive. In many
> applications, e.g. for viewing images and PDF
> documents, I have implemented it, and in Emacs
> I use it for Emacs-w3m, scrolling [1], and
> so on.

Awesome.  I don't think I will convert though.  And just to throw some
more random info into here I will note that the i3 window manager
default keys are j, k, l, ;, which are the same as h, j, k, l but
shifted to the right one key because the i3 author feels that the home
row of keys without moving the hand should be used.  Same logic but a
different result.  It doesn't convert me either. :-)

> >
> Ha! I can't see anything on that photo.
> Where are the Escape and arrow keys?!

In case others can't pick it out the image is here:

I never used this keyboard in real life and so only have the photo to
go upon.  The arrow keys are g=up, h=down, j=left, k=right.  I don't
see an Escape key anywhere on it.  Perhaps someone who used it might
know and comment.  That would be awesome.  It's quite the keyboard.


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