Re: Thoughts on Apple (short) keyboards and ergonomics from an ErgoEmacs newbie...

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Xah Lee

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Jun 4, 2013, 7:09:06 PM6/4/13
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that made my day. Thank you.

and lots thanks to David and Matt who took it much further than i
could have, especially in the actually elisp code.

Xah

On Jun 4, 8:22 am, Paul Michael Reilly <p...@pajato.com> wrote:
> After some 30 years of using Emacs constantly, I recently switched from
> using Microsoft keyboards (of various sorts) to using Apple keyboards.
>  Needless to say, Emacs Pinky arose and I found myself consuming most all
> of what Xah Lee has written in the area of using Emacs ergonomically with
> Apple keyboards.  Most impressive material.
>
> Being a bleeding edge Emacs User (and occasional developer, although it
> embarrasses me to think about how long it has been since I made any
> substantial contributions), I use the development nightly builds as a
> matter of course.  So when I bit the bullet and installed ErgoEmacs, my
> instance blew up (in that nothing worked as expected) and I decided to back
> off a bit from going whole hog.  [Mea culpa, but I did not have the time to
> debug the problems.  At least not yet.]
>
> To make a long story shorter, I embraced the notion of remapping keys to
> use the recommended ErgoEmacs layout, but tried to shortcut the process by
> turning "caps lock" into a "menu" key and creating key sequences that were
> productive for me; remapping the "control" key to "command", the "option"
> keys to "control" and the "command" keys to "option".  But I did not take
> the pains of programmatically changing the key bindings for other packages
> (like org-mode) so I quickly ran into hassles.
>
> To resolve the issue of other package interference with the ErgoEmacs
> keybindings I used (on Meta), I switched back to using the Mac default
> modifier keys and mapped the ErgoEmacs bindings to the "command" keys via
> Super.
>
> One of Xah's best suggestions for me was the notion of "curled thumbs" to
> symmetrically type the Super keys.  That has been a huge win, both in
> eliminating Emacs Pinky and improving my typing productivity.  Who knew? :-)
>
> I am still a bit anxious that OS X will intervene on some of my rebindings
> with the "command" key in particular but so far so good.
>
> In all of this work that I've done, the major factor has been significantly
> reducing the need to use C-<key> and M-<key> chords and instead using
> "menu" key sequences and s-<key> chords.
>
> Another factor has been standardizing on the short Apple keyboard (the one
> found on recent Apple laptops) which I once hated because of the lack of
> "control" key symmetry.  I found that once I started using curled thumbs
> for chords, the short keyboard actually worked quite well for me.
>  Especially since I use some half dozen MacBook Air/Pro laptops and Mac
> Mini systems on a regular basis.
>
> There are probably a few other steps taken that I have forgotten but I
> think this captures most of a positive experience in embracing ErgoEmacs
> keyboarding.
>
> fwiw,
>
> -pmr

Matthew Fidler

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Jun 4, 2013, 8:31:51 PM6/4/13
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Thanks, Xah.  Thanks Paul.

Do you now use the ergoemacs package, or are you using your own keybindings?

Also do you use the unchorded C-x or C-c?

Just curious...

Matt

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Matthew Fidler

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Jun 7, 2013, 8:49:44 AM6/7/13
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Thanks for your response.

Matt

On Jun 7, 2013 1:05 AM, "Paul Michael Reilly" <p...@pajato.com> wrote:
On Tuesday, June 4, 2013 8:31:51 PM UTC-4, Matthew Fidler wrote:

Do you now use the ergoemacs package, or are you using your own keybindings?


I created my own that mostly duplicate the standard ErgoEmacs layout.
 

Also do you use the unchorded C-x or C-c?

For anything involving C-x or C-c or even M-x that I use regularly I have bound to a  <menu> .... sequence where <menu>==<caps lock>, like "<menu> f f" to open a file, "<menu> o c" to generate C-c C-c in org-mode buffers and "<menu> v <key>" for source control operations.  A single control key is just plain uncivilized, IMHO, as is incorrectly labeled modifier keys. :-)
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