2009-06-07

emacs keyboarding pain

On Jun 7, 9:27 am, Eric Abrahamsen wrote:
> On Jun 7, 2009, at 7:58 PM, Lennart Borgman wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 1:02 PM, Christian
> > Herenz wrote:
> >> Chris Gordon-Smith schrieb:
>
> >>> Hello All
>
> >>> I have recently started using Emacs on a regular basis. I read in
> >>> the
> >>> Emacs documentation that it is more efficient to use C-N, C-P etc.
> >>> rather
> >>> than arrow keys. Is this really true? I'm persisting with it, but
> >>> those
> >>> arrow keys still seem pretty attractive.
>
> I've been using emacs for less than a year. I feel comfortable with
> python mode, outline mode, dired, org-mode, slime and auctex. And yet,
> the stupid f-b-n-p issue is a constant pain. Why, in an editor that's
> utilized through habit and muscle memory, are the most primary
> navigation keys based on *mnemonic* devices like forward-back-next-
> previous? Why is that necessary? I can open files on remote servers,
> eval defuns, and relocate sub-trees easier than I can move forward
> three words and then move forward another two characters. I'm aware of
> solutions like ergo-movement or whatever, but it messes with the whole
> arrangement of keys and really isn't viable. Only now, after nearly a
> year of use, am I finally getting to the point where it is more
> efficient to reach for f-b-n-p than to reach for the arrow keys.
>
> This is a rant. I have no real point. In the end, it's better to use f-
> b-n-p, but good Lord it takes a long time to get here.

I guess the ergo-movement you are referring to is

• Ergoemacs Keybindings
http://xahlee.org/emacs/ergonomic_emacs_keybinding.html

Maybe give it another try? it is meant to fix this emacs problem. Or tell me what problem you had with you tried to use it.

the reason emacs had the keys it had is largely due to historical reasons. In particular, the f b n p are due to the about 20 lisp hackers who already used to that key when emacs just started, according to the oldest emacs user Daniel Weinreb.

quote:

... At the time Guy Steele put together the Emacs default key mappings, many people in the target user community (about 20 people at MIT!) were already using these key bindings. It would have been hard to get the new Emacs bindings accepted by the community if they differed for such basic commands...

—Daniel Weinreb, 2008-06-01, on comp.emacs newsgroup.

See:

• Why Emacs's Keyboard Shortcuts Are Painful
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_kb_shortcuts_pain.html

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

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