[racket-dev] intro videos

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Fri Jul 15 00:44:21 EDT 2011

Unfinished sentence: if you foresee frequent "Ctrl-Alt-" combinations, 
it might be easier to learn or teach just always doing "ESC" instead of 
"Alt-", rather than doing "Alt-" for 2-key and but doing "ESC Ctrl-" to 
avoid the 3-key.

Neil Van Dyke wrote at 07/15/2011 12:36 AM:
> 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 ESC.
> 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 combinations
> 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.
> -- 
> http://www.neilvandyke.org/
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