[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: German tutorial fix

From: Alex Schroeder
Subject: Re: German tutorial fix
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 17:26:16 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090006 (Oort Gnus v0.06) Emacs/21.2 (i686-pc-linux-gnu)

Miles Bader <address@hidden> writes:

> It's easily observable by any touch-typist, by (1) taking some time to
> get used to the control-keys, and (2) trying both for about 3 seconds
> while typing in some text.  It's not a subtle thing.

I do not find it easily observable.  I bet it also depends on keyboard
layout and customizations outside of Emacs.  Furthermore, I think the
tutorial should not care about it, even if it were true.

>> People like Jef Raskin ("The Humane Interface") will argue for
>> "dedicated keys" such as the arrow keys.
> If Jef Raskin has a good reason why the arrow keys should be used to the
> exclusions of other cursor movement keys -- in a text editor, even when
> they are less efficient -- then by all means, give his arguments.

I also do not thing that the burden of proof is on me.  I do not
believe your claim, so I think the burden of proof is on you (or
Richard, since he said something similar).  Skimming the TOC and
checking some chapters selectively, I think here is what he might say:

1. Habit formation -- sometimes you use the arrow keys, sometimes C-f
   to move point.  That is bad for habit formation.

2. GOMS keystroke level model -- arrow keys might involve hand
   movement similar to moving from the keyboard to the mouse, thus you
   have one H element in the analysis, and a K for the press, and
   mentally preparing M.  C-f has mentally preparing, and two
   keypresses.  The timing he gives for the simplified analysis would
   be M = 1.35s, K = 0.2s, H = 0.2s, thus the two are exactly
   equivalent as far as the GOMS model is concerned.

3. Hick's Law -- since you now have two equivalent methods of moving
   point, this not only hampers habit formation, it also imposes a
   cognitive burden when you have to choose between the two.

Anyway, enough of that.  These points are not even necessarily true.
My claim is just that 1. C-f is not obviously better, and
2. conflicting opinions exist.  So why use it as an argument, if we
have far better arguments at hand?  For example stupid terminals.

> If a user knows about `C-n' meaning `next-line' it not only allows
> them to move to the next line, but provides a point of reference
> which makes it easier to remember that for instance that a plain `n'
> moves to the next line or next message in many modes.

This is a valid argument.  Notice that in my suggestion for a new
text, I did describe the control keys because of the dumb terminals.
This is also a good point to explain the mnemonics, I agree.

> Knows for sure about what?  Which is better for RSI?  Is that even an
> issue?

I have it, RMS had it, iirc, Ben Wing had it, JWZ had it, James
Gosling had it, ... health might be just as important as typing speed.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]