Why users of insist on using hjkl for moving the cursor when the dedicated arrow keys work just as well?

I'm dreading the answer is the mythology of faster typing because those arrow keys are so far away, but I refuse to accept so many people actually believe this, so there's probably a legitimate reason?

· · Web · 9 · 1 · 0

Okay, my informal research so far is showing that users really value the convenience of not having to bend wrists farther than it's comfortable. That's something I can understand. Thanks everyone!

Show thread

@isagalaev I'd shorten that up to "Why use #vim?" but now I'm going get abused by the vim faithful.

@gedvondur I personally use it whenever I need to edit things over ssh. Simply because it's available everywhere, and it's something I learned when I first time encountered at a Unix terminal.

idk about speed but as a vim user its certainly more comfortable to be able to keep my hands at the same place on the keyboard at all times

keep in mind that most vim users arent navigating with a mouse at all and are mostly going to be using things like 'zz' 'zt' '[n]j' '[n]k' etc to move around a text file, so having movement on hjkl means you barely have to move your wrists at all across am entire editing session

@sose oh I never meant anything about the mouse, by the way…

right i just mean that vim's movement system exists with the purpose of minimizing the amount your hand has to move, which is why it also forgoes mouse navigation.

That's the only reason and it is absolutely valid and true.

@musicmatze I never found typing speed was a significant factor in my performance as a programmer. I tend to think about what to type way, way longer than I do typing itself. (Hence me qualifying that as mythology.)

Well, for me it's the other way round. I cannot type fast enough (and I am already blazing fast).

@isagalaev because my keyboard does not have dedicated arrow keys. (and I refuse to believe there is any other reason 😉)

@meisam fascinating! Do you have a picture of the keyboard?

@isagalaev You have to move your hand for those dedicated arrow keys.

@maridonkers but why is this something to avoid? They're, like, only a couple of centimeters farther than `/`.

@isagalaev You lose your bearings and probably have to look when putting them back in typing position.

@isagalaev For me it's just that those keys are in the same place where my hand is usually, and the dedicated arrow keys are pretty far away. It's not about typing speed for me (I'm a very slow typer), but I just really don't like repositioning my hands.

@isagalaev ADM-3 :D if I was writing in vim I wouldn't have made that typo! :P

@evilchili oh I didn't mean historically, I meant why they still do… (and I got my answers!)

@isagalaev besides moving too far I think this is just a tradition. Seems like emacs and vim with their weird key bindings both started at time when teletypes and terminals didn't have cursor keys at all.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!