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Re: Using the `Win' key as `Ctrl' in Emacs?


From: gebser
Subject: Re: Using the `Win' key as `Ctrl' in Emacs?
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 04:14:56 -0400 (EDT)

At 10:47 (UTC+0200) on Fri, 18 Jun 2004 Gustaf Erikson said:

= Xiaoyong Jin <address@hidden> writes:
= 
= > On Thu, 17 Jun 2004 00:30:35 +0200
= > Gustaf Erikson <address@hidden> wrote:
= >
= 
= >> Have you tried mapping your caps lock key to Control?
= >> 
= >> It's the original and best configuration :-)
= >> 
= >> I think there's an option in XFree86 for this.
= >> 
= >> /g.
= >> 
= 
= > Now I'm using caps lock key as left Control as you suggested by
= > put these in my XF86Config file:
= > Section "InputDevice"
= >     Identifier  "Keyboard0"
= >     Driver      "keyboard"
= >     Option "XkbRules"   "xfree86"
= >     Option "XkbModel" "pc105"    
= >     Option "XkbLayout" "us"  
= >     Option  "XkbOptions" "ctrl:swapcaps"
= > EndSection
= >
= > But I feel real awkward whenever I use the Control key.  For
= > example, I try to open a file using C-x C-f, but how could I use
= > my left hand to both press caps lock and x and proceed with caps
= > lock and f?
= >
= > Is there anybody using this `original and best configuration'
= > could tell me how do you use it, such as which finger press which
= > key?
= 
= Hmm, I'm using the little finger of my left hand to press the CapsLock
= key (bound to Control). This lets me reach C-a, C-e, C-f etc easily
= with the other fingers of my left hand. I use the left Alt as Meta
= with my left thumb.
= 
= It just something that takes getting used to. The upside is that it's
= more ergonomical to have the Control key in the same height as the
= most used keys used in conjunction with Control.
= 
= Original Unix had the Control key where the CapsLock key is
= now. Allegedly MS moved Control to the bottom left corner to kill
= WordStar or something :-)
= 
= /g.

Moving the left Ctrl key up next to the 'A' key is one of the first
things I do on every computer I get.  It's really the best place for the
Ctrl key.  In fact, I just got a W98 laptop a couple days ago and, after
downloading and installing emacs on it, I did
<http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/people/chaffee/swapnt.html> (NT4 registry
diddling works on W98 for swapping L_Control and CapsLock).

And yeah, WordStar was a great editor.  They obviously had some really
intelligent people design the key combos to control cursor movement and
text editing.  Decades later, there still isn't an editor with a UI so
elegantly designed.  The WordStar command set was almost intuitive as
using a mouse.  

But then along came Micro$oft and somehow all the new keyboards had
moved the left Control key (a pivotal key in WordStar) to the very 
bottom left.  This was like box food manufacturers having builders move 
the stove out of the kitchen to behind the garage and putting a 
microwave where the stove used to be.  Most people stopped using 
WordStar and newbies didn't take to it, all simply because it was so 
uncomfortable to reach that important Control key.

One of the reasons I gravitated to emacs was because it had a
wordstar-mode and that's what I set myself up with initially.  But then
I found that following discussions on customization and elisp on lists
like this one was too confusing to follow because most all of my
keybindings were different from everyone else's.  So, quite reluctantly,
I went to the standard emacs keybindings and now-- a couple decades
later-- there's really no going back to the WordStar bindings.  Maybe in
another hundred years-- if there's still keyboards then-- somebody will
come out with a new editor as powerful as emacs but which uses the
WordStar UI.  Until then, chalk it up to another case of predatory
capitalism defeating common sense.


Happy 7/4,
ken







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