[Chicago] Vim or Emacs

Tom Tobin korpios at korpios.com
Tue Jun 3 17:11:53 CEST 2008

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 9:43 PM, Cosmin Stejerean <cstejerean at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I've heard this advice countless times, and tried it on several
>> occasions ... and I ultimately found it to make keystrokes *harder*.
>> I think this may result from three things:
>> 1) I also use my left pinky to hit the Alt/Option and Command keys;
>> using Caps as Control makes my pinky have to bounce back and forth
>> between the two areas, resulting in plenty of mis-strokes and/or
>> slowness as I "feel" for which key is Alt.
> You can use your pinky to press the Command key? Perhaps it depends
> based on the kind of keyboard but I just tried on a MBP and there's no
> way I could do that regularly without seriously injuring my hand. I
> generally use my thumb for the Command and Option keys.

The keyboards I use are the MacBook (home) and the newish Apple
Wireless Keyboard (work; chosen for compact size and lack of a third I
never use, not the wireless); it looks like I actually swap between
pinky and thumb for Command depending on the other key (e.g., I'd use
my thumb for Command-W, but pinky for Command-O, hitting the "O" with
my right hand).  I definitely use only my pinky for Alt/Option;
stretching my thumb that far feels uncomfortable.

>> 2) Caps as Control makes certain key combinations (e.g., Control-Z) difficult.
> Are you just changing capslock to Control or are you swapping them (so
> Control becomes Capslock)? I never use capslock so I get two Control
> keys by my left pinky so I can use whichever is most comfortable.

I always make sure there is *no* Caps bound, anywhere.  :D  I've tried
both solitary Control-on-Caps and having both keys act as Control; the
latter always feels strange, and I keep reverting back to mostly using
the bottom Control key.

>> 3) My brain can't seem to handle context-based finger switching,
>> making Control-Shift-[key] combos a great big mess.
> How do you normally type Control-Shift combos? The recommended way
> would be to use the Control and Shift on opposite sides of the
> keyboard. But now that I think of it I don't think I've used
> Control-Shift combos much outside of Eclipse (and that was before I
> learned about Emacs key bindings in Eclipse).

For whatever reason, I never use modifier keys on the right side of
the keyboard (not even Shift).  I'm missing Control there anyway, and
it always feels odd.  (It also seems like I only hit space with my
right thumb; I notice my left hovering in preparation for hitting the
left Command key.)

> One of the big problems with using capslock as control is that it
> makes it nearly impossible to type on somebody else's computer.  I
> really wish I could find a laptop with a key layout similar to
> http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/advantage.htm (I use that for my desktop).

I'm too much of a paranoid freak to do anything besides basic web
browsing on a system that's not under my sole control.  :)

And ye gods, I think I'd cry if faced with that keyboard.  While a
self-taught touch-typist (and I assume that's likely the case for the
majority of people reading this), my "style" is nothing like "proper"

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