Jan 21, 2010

enraging waste of keyboard real estate

capslock hate

Most people never/very rarely use CapsLock. Some people really hate it even. A few will even go as far as self-handedly customizing their keyboards.

Interesting to see how some features from the birth of computing still haunt around and weather the lightning fast evolution of technology. Think slide presentations for example.

capslock hate


Jonas said...

The entire keyboard as an interactive object is outdated, and is unfortunately a lock-in as well. The QWERTY layout is terribly inefficient, which is why you get layouts like Dvorak, which is much better for typing, but holds considerable transaction costs in applying (everybody knows QWERTY, and switching is tough, when it's something you know like the back of your hand, and something you use to create value out of something else with is otherwise worthless).

For small steps, you could start changing that caps lock key into a useful modifier instead. Mine works like the ctrl-key, which is great when in Vim (:

Jonas said...

Just as an example of how locked-in we are with QWERTY: When we finally get a chance for a touch-based screen interface, we need a QWERTY-keyboard to fall back on.

Makes me wanna cry. I know it can't be different for some time to come, but the legacy is enormous.

g. said...

@Jonas: Indeed, the legacy is enormous, and it is sad to see how it is enslaving modern technologies that are capable of more. One thing is certain though: QWERTY will have to go eventually. The cost and time needed for a global change of a layout (or a complete input method) is lowering constantly and significantly, with physical keyboards replaced with touch and projected ones, the hardware element diminishes.

Hopefully one day not far from now, a new input method will gain the critical momentum and wash through civilization in a matter of a few years to replace a half-century old fossil. We can already feel the fore breeze of change :)

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