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Re: How to get rid of *GNU Emacs* buffer on start-up?

From: Lennart Borgman (gmail)
Subject: Re: How to get rid of *GNU Emacs* buffer on start-up?
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 14:16:27 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071031 Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

Xah Lee wrote:
> Hi Erik Fragga,
> On the subject of RSI, perhaps you should use Dvorak, and you'd be
> interested in my article here:
> How To Avoid The Emacs Pinky Problem

Xah, it is good that you try to help people with this, but why don't you
 mention sticky keys:

On the bottom of that page is also a link to Alex Schröder's comment
about physical fitness and RSI. I very much agree with Alex conclusion.

> Text version follows:
> -------------------------------------
> How To Avoid The Emacs Pinky Problem
> Xah Lee, 2006
> Emacs makes frequent use of the control key. On a conventional
> keyboard, the Control Key is at the lower left corner of the keyboard,
> usually not very large and is pressed by the pinky finger. For those
> who use emacs all day, this will result in repetitive strain injury↗.
> This page lists some tips on avoiding this pinky problem.
> I've been using computer since 1991, at least 8 hours a day on average
> every singe day. I was a QWERTY touch-typist with 80 wpm and worked as
> a secretary for about 2 years, then in ~1994 i switched to Dvorak. I
> started to use emacs everyday since 1998. I am a keyboard and key
> macro nerd, and have used tens of keyboard macro or keymap type of
> utilities on the Mac, unixes, and Windows, always looking for the most
> ergonomic and efficient way to operate the keyboard and computer. This
> page summarize my experiences applied to emacs.
> The best way to avoid the pinky problem is actually to use a good
> keyboard. Let us start with some tips on choosing a good keyboard.
> Tips For Selecting A Computer Keyboard
> Here are some keyboard hardware advices:
> • Buy a keyboard such that the Alt and Control keys are large.
> • Buy a keyboard where Alt and Control are also available on the right
> side.
> • The Alt and Control key's positions on the left and right sides
> should have the same distance to your left and right thumbs (while
> your hands are rested in standard touch-type position). Specifically:
> the distance from the left Alt to the F key should be the same as the
> right Alt to the J key.
> Apple keyboard
> above: The Apple keyboard as of 2006. Note the ridiculous distance of
> the right side's modifier keys. It is not possible, to use the right
> thumb to press the alt key while the index finger remains on the J.
> Many keyboards don't have full set of modifier keys on the right side,
> and when they do, they are positioned far to the right, making them
> not much usable for touch typing. For example, the keyboards made by
> Apple Computer, their right-side Command/Alt/Ctrl keys are inferior
> citizens. They are placed far more to the right, making the right set
> of modifier keys difficult or impossible to reach with the thumb. It
> makes these keys essentially decorative in nature. (Apple did this to
> make the keys flush at the lower right corner; sacrificing function
> for esthetics.).
> Microsoft Natural Multimedia keyboard
> above: The Microsoft Natural Multimedia keyboard. Note, the keys are
> split and oriented for each hand. And, the Ctrl, Alt are very large
> and symmetrically positioned with respect to each hand's thumb. (See A
> Review of Microsoft Natural Keyboards)
> For more extensive commentary on various computer keyboards and
> design, see: Computer keyboards Gallery.
> How To Press The Control Key
> Use Your Palm or Semi-Fist
> Do not use your pinky to press the Control key.
> For most PC keyboards, it is very easy to press the control key using
> your palm. Just open your hand somewhat and push down with the meat at
> the chopping edge of your hand. Alternatively, you can roll your wrist
> a bit, curl in your fingers into a semi-fist, then sit your fist on
> the control key.
> Use Both Hands
> Do not use a just one hand to type a Control+‹key› combo.
> Use one hand to press Control, use the other hand to press the
> combination key. This is the same principle for pressing the Shift key
> in touch-typing.
> When the key you want to press is on the left side of the keyboard,
> use the right side of Control key. For example, to press “Ctrl+a”,
> hold down the right Control with your right palm edge, and use your
> left hand to press “a”. Make this into a habit. Using a single hand to
> press “Ctrl+‹key›” combo usually means your hand needs to cram into a
> particular shape, thus putting stress on it when done repeatedly.
> This is also why choosing a keyboard with Control keys positioned on
> both sides of the keyboard symmetrically, is important.
> Software Ways To Avoid the Pinky Problem
> A good keyboard and good typing habit is good. But suppose you are
> stuck with a lousy keyboard or your notebook computer. A notebook
> computer usually don't have control key on both sides of the keyboard.
> Its control key is very small, and it cannot be pressed by palm. Here
> are some suggestions for this situation.
> Swap Control and Alt
> Try swapping the Control and Alt keys.
> Emacs's are developed for Lisp Machine's keyboards of the 1980s, which
> have the Control key near the space bar, and the Meta key further away
> from the space bar. So, Control key is the primary modifier key.
> However, today's keyboards have Alt instead of Meta, and the Control
> key is placed at the far corner instead. Emacs did not change its
> shortcuts. It simply mapped the Meta to Alt. That is why today, most
> frequently used keyboard shortcuts have the more difficult to press
> Control key instead of the Alt. For more detail on this and other
> aspects of emacs's shortcuts, see: Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are
> Painful.
> By switching the Alt and Control key, will make Emacs's keyboard
> shortcuts much easier to use as it was designed.
> The other advantage of swapping Alt and Control, is that on Windows
> and Linuxes, most direct shortcuts involve the Ctrl key. By swapping,
> Windows shortcuts are made easier since now Control is right under
> your thumb. On the Mac, shortcuts are made with the Cmd key. If you
> swap Control with Cmd, the primary modifier Cmd will be at the corner,
> thus make it more difficult to use all other applications. The best
> thing to do on the Mac is to swap Control and Cmd only in Emacs. I do
> not know if it is possible to swap Ctrl and Alt within emacs.
> For system-wide swap of modifier keys on OS X, see: How to Swap
> Modifier Keys on OS X.
> Swap Cap Lock and Control
> Another commonly suggested solution is to remap the the Cap Lock and
> Control key by swapping them. This is not a optimal solution, because
> the Control key is still pressed by the pinky, and somewhat displaces
> your hand on home position. Also, there is now only one Control key,
> making the left pinky doing double work. (modifier keys comes in pairs
> for good reasons. Try pick out a Shift key and type for a week)
> However, if you are stuck on a lousy keyboard such as laptops, and
> unable to swap Ctrl and Alt, then making the Cap Lock key as Control
> might be a practical solution.
> For detail, see: Why You Should Not Swap Cap Lock With Control.
> It is not possible to swap cap locks and control key within emacs,
> because the cap-lock key signal is not received by applications.
> However, you can do it with several system utilities. In unix-like
> systems, this is done with xmodmap. See Emacs wiki: moving the Ctrl
> key↗.
> Use a Ergonomic Shortcut Layout
> If you are adventurous, the best solution is to use a ergonomically
> designed shortcut layout for emacs.
> See: A Ergonomic Keyboard Shortcut Layout For Emacs.
> Dvorak Keyboard Layout
> Perhaps a more important ergonomic improvement one can make is by
> using the Dvorak keyboard layout.
> dvorak keyboard layout
> I've been using Dvorak keyboard since 1994. It works beautifully with
> emacs. It makes typing more comfortable. (i use emacs since 1997). If
> you use unix/X11, you can switch to dvorak by running
> dvorakKeymap.txt. On Mac OS X, use “System Preference: International”.
> On Windows XP, go to “Control Panel:Regional and Language Options”.
> For more info about Dvorak layout, see Wikipedia: Dvorak Simplified
> Keyboard↗.
> A web comics introducing Dvorak:
> A video game: The Typing of the Dead↗.
>   Xah
> On Sep 22, 1:25 am, Eric S Fraga <address@hidden>
> wrote:
>> On 2008-09-20,XahLee<address@hidden> wrote:
>>> On Sep 19, 8:32 am, Eric S Fraga <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>> On 2008-09-19,XahLee<address@hidden> wrote:
>>>>> [...]
>>>>> than graphical user interface or using a mouse. This seems ridiculous
>>>>> today, but such voices are commonly seen all over newsgroups. (Since
>>>> the reasons still stand and they are not ridiculous.
>>> In argument, you can't just say something is ridiculous. You have to
>>> give reasons.
>> Excuse me?  *You* said the reasons were ridiculous, not me.  The
>> reasons are there, as you implied.  Let me give you a couple:
>> 1. RSI: I cannot use a mouse without pain.
>> 2. speed: I type 60+ wpm, which is not particularly fast but results
>>    in faster output than using the mouse, especially if the GUI is badly
>>    designed (which applies to most graphical apps in my experience).
>> Others will have their own reasons and calling them ridiculous is
>> potentially insulting.  If you prefer a graphical interface, fine.  I
>> do not.
>>> Perhaps you think something is obvious. But in arguments, others might
>>> think the opposite is obvious. That's why good argument needs explicit
>>> reasons.
>> I agree; you said reasons had been given for text based interfaces.
>> You then said these were ridiculous and then failed to give any
>> reasons why.  Maybe you should start listening to your own advice?
>> Just a friendly suggestion.
>> --
>> Eric S Fraga, UCL
>> GP Key: FFFCF67D F'prnt: 8F5C 279D 3907 E14A 5C29  570D C891 93D8 FFFC F67D
>> BF >++++++++++[>++++++++++>+++++++++++[<]>-]>++.>++++.<-----.++++++.------.

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