J, J, J, K, oh, sorry, TWiT talking about Windows Vista

Heheh, I’m glad I’m not the only one (thanks Parand Tony Darugar) who has gotten addicted to using the “J” and “K” keys, thanks to Google Readers. I find increasingly I’m missing that interface on other applications and useage models.

Anyway, good podcast over with Leo Laporte and Paul Thurrott where they both talk about Windows Vista. Paul says Vista is changing the way he uses his computer. I find that too.

But, damn, I wish everything used the J and K keys. Heheh.

33 thoughts on “J, J, J, K, oh, sorry, TWiT talking about Windows Vista

  1. The H, J, K, L navigation in vi came from the ADM3a terminal (one of the first popular “smart” terminals, and common at Berkeley where vi evolved), which had the respective directional arrows printed on those four keys.

  2. The H, J, K, L navigation in vi came from the ADM3a terminal (one of the first popular “smart” terminals, and common at Berkeley where vi evolved), which had the respective directional arrows printed on those four keys.

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  4. Usefully, most mac apps support a set of emacs keybindings, like ^N, ^P for next and previous lines, ^K and ^Y for kill and yank, etc.

    They’re subtle, but if you’re used to them, it’s amazingly useful.

  5. Usefully, most mac apps support a set of emacs keybindings, like ^N, ^P for next and previous lines, ^K and ^Y for kill and yank, etc.

    They’re subtle, but if you’re used to them, it’s amazingly useful.

  6. Scoble, it’s not like the “chose” them based on some usability studies or some such research. It was pretty much a lazy decision…use what a lot of geeks (but apparently not you) are already used to.

  7. Scoble, it’s not like the “chose” them based on some usability studies or some such research. It was pretty much a lazy decision…use what a lot of geeks (but apparently not you) are already used to.

  8. Hehe, it’s funny when non-geeks see the light. People often question why I use vi and instead of a full blown graphical text editor.

    I can see Robert falling in love with vi if he invests the time to learn it.

  9. Hehe, it’s funny when non-geeks see the light. People often question why I use vi and instead of a full blown graphical text editor.

    I can see Robert falling in love with vi if he invests the time to learn it.

  10. I find myself hitting ‘y’ on webpages because that’s the Gmail shortcut for “I’m done with this thread. (y)ank it out of my inbox and archive it.” :)

  11. I find myself hitting ‘y’ on webpages because that’s the Gmail shortcut for “I’m done with this thread. (y)ank it out of my inbox and archive it.” :)

  12. I’d really love to join you in the Vista changed world, but it simply won’t install for me, freezes every time, even the upgrade advisor “encounters problems” See my post on it…

    Perhaps it is related to the problem I have when trying to import OPML into Google Reader! :-) Only common thread is the dumb user I guess.

    Maybe it is time to go skiing to Japan and take a break in the powder :-)

  13. I’d really love to join you in the Vista changed world, but it simply won’t install for me, freezes every time, even the upgrade advisor “encounters problems” See my post on it…

    Perhaps it is related to the problem I have when trying to import OPML into Google Reader! :-) Only common thread is the dumb user I guess.

    Maybe it is time to go skiing to Japan and take a break in the powder :-)

  14. Ritchie: actually, I totally disagree. WHy? On my keyboard pageup/pagedown/and other navigation keys are off to the side. Not in a good place.

    J has a little bump on it, so is extremely easy to find (and is the home resting place for my hands). K makes sense cause it’s next to J.

    These are BY FAR the best keys they could have chosen.

  15. Ritchie: actually, I totally disagree. WHy? On my keyboard pageup/pagedown/and other navigation keys are off to the side. Not in a good place.

    J has a little bump on it, so is extremely easy to find (and is the home resting place for my hands). K makes sense cause it’s next to J.

    These are BY FAR the best keys they could have chosen.

  16. I think this finally settles the vi vs. emacs war. Sorry, jwz, esc-meta set-rss-mode lost. Thanks for the fine battle. :wq

  17. I think this finally settles the vi vs. emacs war. Sorry, jwz, esc-meta set-rss-mode lost. Thanks for the fine battle. :wq

  18. It is command line-era but you do realize there are tons of people who still use it daily and there are GUI versions available for every platform?

  19. It is command line-era but you do realize there are tons of people who still use it daily and there are GUI versions available for every platform?

  20. I haven’t used Google Reader, so maybe I’m missing something, but I really don’t understand why you’re making such a big deal about its hot-keys. From what I can see, this seems like a step backwards in usability. Why? Well, countless existing applications already perform preview, pagination and navigation using the cursor keys (left/right, up/down) and PageUp/PageDown. That’s what those keys are there for! Secondly, according to the Help, the choice of hot-keys is a mix between mnemonics and location specific characters. Ignore the fact that ‘N’ and ‘P’ (Scan Down and Scan Up respectively) would have been great mnemonics for, I don’t know, Next and Previous, maybe? We’re ignoring that. Instead, look at how Next (J) and Previous (K) are next to each other and then Scan Down (N) touches them… but where’s Scan Up (P)? It’s too far away, that’s where (they should have used ‘I’). Finally, what happens if I’m using a non-US English keyboard? The relative locations of J,K,N,P,H can’t be guaranteed so they shouldn’t rely on it to make a navigation model meaningful. Either use meaningful and localizable mnemonics or use the cursor keys.

  21. I haven’t used Google Reader, so maybe I’m missing something, but I really don’t understand why you’re making such a big deal about its hot-keys. From what I can see, this seems like a step backwards in usability. Why? Well, countless existing applications already perform preview, pagination and navigation using the cursor keys (left/right, up/down) and PageUp/PageDown. That’s what those keys are there for! Secondly, according to the Help, the choice of hot-keys is a mix between mnemonics and location specific characters. Ignore the fact that ‘N’ and ‘P’ (Scan Down and Scan Up respectively) would have been great mnemonics for, I don’t know, Next and Previous, maybe? We’re ignoring that. Instead, look at how Next (J) and Previous (K) are next to each other and then Scan Down (N) touches them… but where’s Scan Up (P)? It’s too far away, that’s where (they should have used ‘I’). Finally, what happens if I’m using a non-US English keyboard? The relative locations of J,K,N,P,H can’t be guaranteed so they shouldn’t rely on it to make a navigation model meaningful. Either use meaningful and localizable mnemonics or use the cursor keys.

  22. Honestly, I don’t like seeing command line-era application conventions entering into my current applications. For forward & backward, I prefer the buttons on my trackball; for up & down, I prefer the mousewheel. And if I am using the keyboard, I prefer using the arrow keys.
    I haven’t used vi in years, and I never found its command set very intuitive and thus a “use-by-mind-memory” app instead of a “use-by-muscle-memory” one

  23. Honestly, I don’t like seeing command line-era application conventions entering into my current applications. For forward & backward, I prefer the buttons on my trackball; for up & down, I prefer the mousewheel. And if I am using the keyboard, I prefer using the arrow keys.
    I haven’t used vi in years, and I never found its command set very intuitive and thus a “use-by-mind-memory” app instead of a “use-by-muscle-memory” one

  24. Those keys come from the vi editor key bindings. Sometimes you can get vi key bindings for other applications too. There are even instructions for scrolling with J and K in Firefox. You probably don’t want that, though, since it might mess up your Google Reader behavior, and you really want “move my selection in a set” rather than “move the active part of the page”.

  25. Those keys come from the vi editor key bindings. Sometimes you can get vi key bindings for other applications too. There are even instructions for scrolling with J and K in Firefox. You probably don’t want that, though, since it might mess up your Google Reader behavior, and you really want “move my selection in a set” rather than “move the active part of the page”.

  26. I wonder where the choice of “j” and “k” originates. Perhaps it’s inspired by the ancient unix text editor vi (that I spend hours in daily), which uses the same.

  27. I wonder where the choice of “j” and “k” originates. Perhaps it’s inspired by the ancient unix text editor vi (that I spend hours in daily), which uses the same.

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