[racket-dev] intro videos

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Fri Jul 15 00:36:07 EDT 2011

Eli Barzilay wrote at 07/14/2011 10:38 AM:
> 9 hours ago, John Clements wrote:
>> First thing: you can use ESC-(. That is: press and release ESC, type
>> (. That works, but it's a big pain.
> Use Alt-( -- much less pain.  (And that works in Emacs regardless of
> paredit, BTW.)

On a tangent, but an important one:

1. Text editors that involve Alt- combinations a lot should also support 

2. People should be warned that the "ESC (" (two keypresses) might be *a 
lot* easier on their hands than "Alt-(" (multi-key combinations).

3. Other things you can do to make typing easier on the hands might be 
good, though there are tradeoffs.

The reason has to do with the stress of stretching/twisting people do 
with their hands for multi-key combination, is my layperson's 
understanding.  Around the time, when CTS and other RSIs were getting a 
lot of attention, I heard this from multiple credible sources, and the 
knowledge seemed to work for me.

Now, you can avoid the stretching by using alternate hands for this 
two-key combination, if you have two Alt keys.  But the alternate-hands 
approach doesn't avoid stretching when you get a Ctrl-Alt combination, 
which happens a lot in, say, Emacs.  So, if you forsee frequent Ctrl-Alt 

I had hand pain from typing, circa 1990, but I made a few changes, like 
switching to use ESC in Emacs.  Something in those changes solved the 
problem, and years later I can still type heavily without difficulty.

Back then, I was on a project team that had two people injure their 
hands from typing, to the point that they were advised not to type *at 
all* or they would lose all use of their hands.  We hired typists for 
them, and eventually they had to change careers.  Most of the rest of 
the team had wrist braces by the end.  It happens; we weren't really 
designed to sit down and press little squares a hundred times per 
minute, all day.

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