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LISP Machines: Keyboards and Keybindings

From: Nicholas Papadonis
Subject: LISP Machines: Keyboards and Keybindings
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2019 21:07:16 -0400

I'm researching human input devices to these machine and their mapping to
Zmacs and Emacs.  Circulating to Emacs list as well.

Does anyone have insight into the Zmacs keybindings for the Symbolics Space
Cadet and/or Knight SAIL keyboards?  Also any historical input on early
Emacs keybindings?

I am suspicious of where the Emacs mapping of Meta and Control initially
appeared.  For instance on the Knight SAIL (see link below), Meta is much
too far for either hand to rotate to without lifting off the keyboard.  I
have been told that the CTRL key on this keyboard is optimally place so the
hand rotates 30 degrees, exposing a row of diagonal keys which the other
hand can access.  Also, the RUB OUT key is more optimally placed and much
easier than performing M-x delete on modern Emacs.  I am also suspicious
that the Emacs Meta key is really the ALT key above rubout on the Knight
keyboard.  This would make the Knight keyboard much more efficient in Emacs.

I'm less certain for the Symbolics Space Cadet which seems less ergonomic
and less minimalistic.

I tried and have yet to receive a response.

Appreciated any guidance folks may have.  Also any pointers to patents that
include these machines, software or keyboards.  I'm not even sure what
companies or grantees to search under.



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