Re: Keyboard usage on some Gnome windows not working

On 10/20/05, Shaun McCance <shaunm gnome org> wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-10-20 at 08:49 -0200, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> > No, there aren't. <>
> >
> > I see there is some research showing that the keyboard is faster for
> > common commands
> > <
> > publication_id=1508&lang=en>, but that wouldn't include access keys
> > unless you were encountering particular dialogs or alerts very often.

> When Tog says "The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is
> faster than keyboarding." I'm curious what he means.  I'd
> really like to see what tests were performed and what the
> actual results were, rather than a one-line synopsis.  As
> a mathematician, I'm suspicious of pretty much any one-line
> statistical synopsis.  Imagine this test:

Agreed, I thought the AskTog article was being overused and
mis-applied in a number of cases, so I at one point went and read
through the relevant article pretty closely, plus related ones and
comments.  Unfortunately, it's been a long time, but from what I
recall, the tests were done in the 80's or so and users were not yet
familiar with shortcut keys (i.e. no muscle memory to "bias" the
results).  In the explanations he provided for the mouse being faster
than the keyboard, he said the reasoning was something along the lines
of users need to do all kinds of shape recognition to recognize what
the hotkeys are (including finding which letter is underlined, I
presume) and then translate that into a letter, and then get their
fingers to strike the right key.

He did specifically say, perhaps in another article, that having
certain shortcuts would save time over the mouse for very common
operations (cut, copy, paste...; also, on a related note that I found
amusing, he argued that command-p should be reserved for making text
be plain (as opposed to bold or italic) instead of using the key for
printing on the grounds that computers were almost exclusively used as
word processors and making text plain was a far more common task...). 
Now, the big question is--how many have memorized the shortcut keys
for certain dialogs that appear?  Unless they show up often, users
probably haven't memorized them and thus using them for those dialogs
may actually be slower.

Also, another interesting tidbit: A number of years back, I went for
about 2 years without using emacs (or computers much at all, though
that's beside the point...).  It was kind of painful when I started
using emacs again, because I couldn't recall what any of the necessary
shortcuts were and didn't have a nearby listing of them.  If someone
asked me how to save my document, I would not have been able to tell
them what the key sequence was.  But, I started typing along anyway
and at some point, nearly out of habit (I guess I don't trust autosave
and have developed this habit of hitting the save sequence early and
often), I found myself pushing my fingers down in a certain pattern
that I hadn't forgotten--I quickly pressed the lower left key on the
keyboard with my pinky and held it down and pressed two keys in
succession with my index finger of the same hand.  The sequence I
happened to type was Ctrl-X, Ctrl-S.  I then went "whoa, so that's how
you save, cool."  I had remembered where the keys were when I was in a
rhythm, but not what they were.  For the vast majority of the emacs
shortcuts, I had to go look them up and learn them again, but for this
one and a few others, I relearned them merely by using them in this
only-know-how-to-move-my-fingers when not really thinking about it.


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