How to move the cursor

Please compose all posts in Emacs.

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What do you mainly use?

vim: hjkl
18
22%
vim: Arrow keys
20
24%
emacs: ^FBNP
3
4%
emacs: Arrow keys
9
11%
shell: ^FBNP
5
6%
shell: hjkl (set -o vi)
4
5%
shell: Arrow keys
23
28%
 
Total votes: 82

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How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

This is where hjkl and ^F ^B ^N ^P gang up against the arrow keys.

I am a touch typist and I enjoy efficiency a great deal. In Vim, less and Firefox with Mozless or Vimperator, I use hjkl to move the cursor and scroll. In Bash and Emacs I use ^F ^B ^N ^P. And my caps lock is mapped as an extra control key for that extra boost of efficiency.

How do you move the cursor and why?

ooh.. almost forgot the mouse in an option too... :)


EDIT: Now with poll!

Only check an option in those of the three categories you use regularly (If you only use a shell and emacs, then don't check any of the vim options). The idea here is to find out how willing people are to learn and use alternatives to the arrow keys, but at the same time see how this distribution is distributed on vim and emacs users.
Last edited by enk on Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:03 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby EvanED » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:06 pm UTC

Arrow keys/page up/down or mouse because I can't be bothered to get used to a different method, especially one that would use the control key.

I do use ctrl-A and ctrl-E to move the cursor to the beginning and end of the line though, because that actually works when I SSH into places and home/end doesn't.

I also navigate a lot when I'm in emacs by forward and backward incremental searching (C-S and C-R) text that is near my target.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby Dingbats » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:23 pm UTC

I feel that hjkl are superior to ^FBNP because they're right next to each other and not in some random places just because their letters mean something.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby zombie_monkey » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

hjkl, there can be no argument about it :) Also, I hand't heard of mozless, looks great, how does it interact with vimperator though?

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby tiny » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:15 pm UTC

While I'm editing text I use the arrow keys a lot, but only for shorter distances since it'd be too slow otherwise. The hjkl stuff sounds good, though. I'll give it a try.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby JayDee » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:01 am UTC

I didn't think I'd ever be able to stand vi-keys, but then I got a laptop. I wasn't about to give up my Nethack, and it turns out that things like this are easier to learn in a life or death situation.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby Cabhan » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:34 am UTC

hjkl all the way. I used the arrow keys originally (don't we all?), but I'm at the point now where I instinctively enter command mode when I'm not typing. Combine hjkl with f, F, b, and w, and you've got full navigation without having to even lift your hands.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:35 am UTC

EvanED wrote:Arrow keys/page up/down or mouse because I can't be bothered to get used to a different method, especially one that would use the control key.

I do use ctrl-A and ctrl-E to move the cursor to the beginning and end of the line though, because that actually works when I SSH into places and home/end doesn't.

I also navigate a lot when I'm in emacs by forward and backward incremental searching (C-S and C-R) text that is near my target.


Once you get used to it, having caps lock as a control means you don't even think about it. I even find it faster to backspace with C-h instead of stretching my right pinky. It was actually the problem with home/end in old shells over ssh that got me into learning the readline shortcuts. And notice how backward incremental searching (C-r) works in bash as well ;)


zombie_monkey wrote:hjkl, there can be no argument about it :) Also, I hand't heard of mozless, looks great, how does it interact with vimperator though?


Isn't vimperator a superset of mozless? I don't think they need to work together.


tiny wrote:While I'm editing text I use the arrow keys a lot, but only for shorter distances since it'd be too slow otherwise. The hjkl stuff sounds good, though. I'll give it a try.


You should know that it takes time to get used to. After six months of daily use I can use it 98.7% as instinctively as the good ol' arrow keys I played games with as a kid. But as JayDee points out, some kind of motivation helps. My motivation was just that it was faster than moving my hands all around the keyboard (and more 'pro' looking 8) )
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby zombie_monkey » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:53 am UTC

enk wrote:
zombie_monkey wrote:hjkl, there can be no argument about it :) Also, I hand't heard of mozless, looks great, how does it interact with vimperator though?

Isn't vimperator a superset of mozless? I don't think they need to work together.

I didn't know that. I was wondering if they would conflict.
That vimperator is based on mozless means I can probably enable w3m-like keybindings easy, which is great :)

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby EvanED » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:40 pm UTC

enk wrote:Once you get used to it, having caps lock as a control means you don't even think about it. I even find it faster to backspace with C-h instead of stretching my right pinky. It was actually the problem with home/end in old shells over ssh that got me into learning the readline shortcuts. And notice how backward incremental searching (C-r) works in bash as well ;)

Oh, I love caps as control; I used to use that. However, I don't feel I can set that up on my work computer without violating our policy on admin accounts (to my knowledge, you can't do it without on Windows), so I don't. And that actually causes me far more cognitive dissonance issues than switching Qwerty and Dvorak, so I no longer use it at home either. It makes me sad.

On the other side, one thing that I wish that I had the knowledge to do is build a hardware keyboard layout switcher. Make something that sits inline between the keyboard and computer that translates scancodes so that I have a hardware switch for keyboard layouts. Then I could do caps-as-control.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby d3adf001 » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

clit mouse since i dont have to take my hands off my keyboard. i use arrows in vim

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:17 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:Oh, I love caps as control; I used to use that. However, I don't feel I can set that up on my work computer without violating our policy on admin accounts (to my knowledge, you can't do it without on Windows), so I don't. And that actually causes me far more cognitive dissonance issues than switching Qwerty and Dvorak, so I no longer use it at home either. It makes me sad.


I don't think compiled (executable) AutoHotkey scripts require admin privileges to run... I actually keep a one around if I have to spend some time on a Windows machine that's not my own: http://tnb.aau.dk/~erikrw/stuff/ahk/caps2ctrl.exe. It's made from these two lines, the first isn't even that important:

Code: Select all

#SingleInstance force
CapsLock::RCtrl


EvanED wrote:On the other side, one thing that I wish that I had the knowledge to do is build a hardware keyboard layout switcher. Make something that sits inline between the keyboard and computer that translates scancodes so that I have a hardware switch for keyboard layouts. Then I could do caps-as-control.


You could capture the signals with an oscilloscope to find out what they look like. And then use a microcontroller to capture all signals from the kbd and substitute caps lock up/down a pair from one of hte control keys. All other signals should just be resent unaltered. I don't know how to implement this without further thinking. I don't even know if keyboards send parallel or serial signals. But it could be fun to look into...

Another different but not so customizable approach would be to get a Happy Hacking keyboard whose control key is where it should be from the beginning :wink:
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby EvanED » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:27 pm UTC

enk wrote:I don't think compiled (executable) AutoHotkey scripts require admin privileges to run... I actually keep a one around if I have to spend some time on a Windows machine that's not my own: http://tnb.aau.dk/~erikrw/stuff/ahk/caps2ctrl.exe. It's made from these two lines, the first isn't even that important:

Code: Select all

#SingleInstance force
CapsLock::RCtrl

I'll give that a shot next time I'm there. Thanks.

enk wrote:You could capture the signals with an oscilloscope to find out what they look like. And then use a microcontroller to capture all signals from the kbd and substitute caps lock up/down a pair from one of hte control keys. All other signals should just be resent unaltered. I don't know how to implement this without further thinking. I don't even know if keyboards send parallel or serial signals. But it could be fun to look into...

Serial. ;-) Well, at least for a PS/2 keyboard. I assume USB would be the same.

I've looked into it a little bit. I even got to the point of finding an implementation of a HW keyboard logger and looking at its code before I realized that it wouldn't be directly adaptable. (It just sits off to the side sniffing what goes by, without the ability to change it.)

The problem is that I don't know anything about that sort of circuit design.

Another different but not so customizable approach would be to get a Happy Hacking keyboard whose control key is where it should be from the beginning :wink:

Uh, no. ;-)

I already have a keyboard a keyboard that has to be in contention for best ever... it is so comfortable to use...

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby sethicus » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:59 pm UTC

I have a tablet with a stylus.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:12 pm UTC

sethicus wrote:I have a tablet with a stylus.


So do you move the stylus and keep the tablet stationary or the other way around? :P
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby sethicus » Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:49 pm UTC

enk wrote:
sethicus wrote:I have a tablet with a stylus.


So do you move the stylus and keep the tablet stationary or the other way around? :P


depends on how drunk i am.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby Raeth » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:12 am UTC

You guys could have made most of that up and I wouldn't have been able to tell. Is that bad?

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby ++$_ » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:31 am UTC

Raeth wrote:You guys could have made most of that up and I wouldn't have been able to tell. Is that bad?
Nope, it just means that you haven't been converted yet.

My usage patterns:

80%: Arrow keys (takes almost no time to move there for me)
10%: Mouse
10%: C-f C-b C-n C-p (which causes problems because I sometimes accidentally print things when not using emacs. Why did Microsoft/Apple choose such confusing keystrokes?)

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby phlip » Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:41 am UTC

++$_ wrote:Why did Microsoft/Apple choose such confusing keystrokes?

Yeah, I know! Every time I reboot into Windows, I try to move/resize windows with alt+left/right-drag, or copy/paste with select/middle-click... and they doesn't work! Why is Windows so unintuitive?

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:53 am UTC

++$_ wrote:80%: Arrow keys (takes almost no time to move there for me)


Well, the point is no time is so much faster than almost no time that it can't even be measured in percent.


++$_ wrote:10%: C-f C-b C-n C-p (which causes problems because I sometimes accidentally print things when not using emacs. Why did Microsoft/Apple choose such confusing keystrokes?)


I'm used to C-w deleting last word (as in Emacs/Bash/Readline). Unfortunatly it is a little more destructive in Firefox!


phlip wrote:
++$_ wrote:Why did Microsoft/Apple choose such confusing keystrokes?

Yeah, I know! Every time I reboot into Windows, I try to move/resize windows with alt+left/right-drag, or copy/paste with select/middle-click... and they doesn't work! Why is Windows so unintuitive?


AutoHotkey can do the move/resize windows with alt+left/right-drag part. An example script for that is even included in the help file :wink:
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby EvanED » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:12 am UTC

enk wrote:I'm used to C-w deleting last word (as in Emacs/Bash/Readline). Unfortunatly it is a little more destructive in Firefox!

It's even worse if you use Dvorak. 'V' and 'W' are right next to each other, so you go to paste into a post you're working on or whatever, miss the key slightly, and BAM, you kill your window.

Fortunately recent versions will usually keep the post you were working on if you undo close tab.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby Raeth » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:25 am UTC

phlip wrote:
++$_ wrote:Why did Microsoft/Apple choose such confusing keystrokes?

Yeah, I know! Every time I reboot into Windows, I try to move/resize windows with alt+left/right-drag, or copy/paste with select/middle-click... and they doesn't work! Why is Windows so unintuitive?
Maybe it's just because I'm a beginner, but I see an irony in calling your guys' methods "intuitive".

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby phlip » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:33 am UTC

Raeth wrote:Maybe it's just because I'm a beginner, but I see an irony in calling your guys' methods "intuitive".
Umm... that was the joke?
enk wrote:AutoHotkey can do the move/resize windows with alt+left/right-drag part. An example script for that is even included in the help file :wink:
That sounds awesome, I'll have to check it out...

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Sat Jan 19, 2008 11:52 am UTC

phlip wrote:
enk wrote:AutoHotkey can do the move/resize windows with alt+left/right-drag part. An example script for that is even included in the help file :wink:
That sounds awesome, I'll have to check it out...


If you have a mouse with extra buttons, you can make one those work as the modifier key so you can do it all from the mouse.

Or if you have a tilt wheel but don't use it for sideways scrolling, you can set it up so left tilt while held moves windows and right tilt resizes them. Talk about pwning a computer.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby Raeth » Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:52 am UTC

phlip wrote:
Raeth wrote:Maybe it's just because I'm a beginner, but I see an irony in calling your guys' methods "intuitive".
Umm... that was the joke?
Curses. I appear to be out of my league here.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:13 am UTC

Raeth wrote:
phlip wrote:
Raeth wrote:Maybe it's just because I'm a beginner, but I see an irony in calling your guys' methods "intuitive".
Umm... that was the joke?
Curses. I appear to be out of my league here.


Intuitive is just a matter of what you're used to.

When you are used to holding the alt key and dragging anywhere on a window to move or resize it, going back is very unintuitive.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby zenten » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:02 am UTC

wasd

Seriously, I use the arrow keys, along with home and end. If I'm on a system that doesn't allow it I end up screaming at said Mac.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby xyzzy » Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:44 pm UTC

Raeth wrote:
phlip wrote:
Raeth wrote:Maybe it's just because I'm a beginner, but I see an irony in calling your guys' methods "intuitive".
Umm... that was the joke?
Curses. I appear to be out of my league here.


Well, the vi way (hjkl) is an archaic holdover, no doubt about it. The emacs way, however, makes sense. You have C-f and C-b, for forward and back, respectively. C-n and C-p, next and previous line. C-e is end of line, C-a is beginning, as it's the first letter of the alphabet (b is already taken). If it's a control keybinding, then it's character or line oriented. With M-[abefnp], it's looking at words, sentences, or paragraphs --- what could be considered the meta level of the text.

I do tend to use the arrow keys for moving around inside lines though, but C-a and C-e always, and M-f or M-b for jumping words. Also M-d, and why the hell does nano kill the whole line on C-k, instead of from the cursor to the end of the line?
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

xyzzy wrote:Well, the vi way (hjkl) is an archaic holdover, no doubt about it. The emacs way, however, makes sense.


Makes sense to the brain, yes, which may be important during initial learning. But when it's all in the muscles, it might be more important that the keys are physically close and can be used easily by the same hand.

xyzzy wrote:If it's a control keybinding, then it's character or line oriented. With M-[abefnp], it's looking at words, sentences, or paragraphs --- what could be considered the meta level of the text.


Am I the only one who finds that M-f moves in a not-so-useful kind of way?

M-b makes more sense and works like B in vim, but it's awkward for me to move the thumb of my left to the left towards Alt while moving the index finger to the right towards 'b', so I don't really use it in practise.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby EvanED » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:34 pm UTC

enk wrote:Am I the only one who finds that M-f moves in a not-so-useful kind of way?

I don't know about only, but at least I disagree. I use ctrl-arrow key instead of M-f and M-b, but I use them very consistently. (I could probably be more efficient, navigating with C-s and C-r instead.)

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:59 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
enk wrote:Am I the only one who finds that M-f moves in a not-so-useful kind of way?

I don't know about only, but at least I disagree. I use ctrl-arrow key instead of M-f and M-b, but I use them very consistently. (I could probably be more efficient, navigating with C-s and C-r instead.)


Hmm... just to clarify: I like moving one word at a time.

M-f moves the cursor to the char after the current or next word (words consist of alphanumeric chars). I'd like it to move the cursor to the beginning char of the next word. Suppose I'm coming from BOL and want to change "server" to "myserver"

Code: Select all

bash$ ssh user@server.com


M-f moves from s to space, then another moves to the AT. Now I need a C-f to go to the s and type "my".

M-b could also be better, as it only moves to alphanums, not special chars. Imagine this situation, where the cursor is at EOL:

Code: Select all

bash$ <list tr x y | grep '^foo.*bar'


I suddenly decide I want to add a flag to grep. M-b moves to the b, another M-b moves to the f. From here, some C-b will work or M-b combined with M-f. Neither way is very elegant.

At least M-f and M-b should "undo" each other.
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby adlaiff6 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:10 am UTC

h, j, k, l, gg, G, #G, #j, $, 0, w, (, ), ^t, ^](I think that's pop, maybe it's the other bracket)
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:32 pm UTC

adlaiff6 wrote:h, j, k, l, gg, G, #G, #j, $, 0, w, (, ), ^t, ^](I think that's pop, maybe it's the other bracket)


I was actually thinking of a way to record usage of vim keys in normal mode. Maybe from inside vim or maybe a keylogger (normal mode input has to be removed). Come to think of it, I'll just :map everything to increase a counter, then do what they usually do. Before I implement this, I think the movement keys I use the most are:

j, k, W, B, f, F, gg, G, *, #.

I don't use 0 and $ that much, as I can use I, gI, A, D, C, Y.

Btw. what do you mean by #G and #j?
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby enk » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:03 pm UTC

Now with poll. See OP for details :)
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby qbg » Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:56 pm UTC

Dingbats wrote:I feel that hjkl are superior to ^FBNP because they're right next to each other and not in some random places just because their letters mean something.

Not if you use Dvorak
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enk wrote:I'm used to C-w deleting last word (as in Emacs/Bash/Readline). Unfortunatly it is a little more destructive in Firefox!

It's even worse if you use Dvorak. 'V' and 'W' are right next to each other, so you go to paste into a post you're working on or whatever, miss the key slightly, and BAM, you kill your window.

Personally that has happened at most only a few times since I've been using Dvorak.

Arrow keys all the way until I can control the cursor with my mind...

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby sakeniwefu » Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:52 am UTC

It's nvi actually but I use the arrow keys. hjkl just doesn't feel right. J and K should have had their function inverted, so that J was up and K was down.

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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby zahlman » Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:51 am UTC

I use the mouse. If there's a task where the mouse isn't the best way to get to the position you want, arrow keys won't be it either.

Unless I'm in visual mode. Then it's the arrow keys, yeah. I've already made the context switch away from typing, so moving my hand away from hjkl is no big deal. And hjkl is kind of awkward to use physically, anyway.

...Anyone else remember all the old Apple ][ games that used ijkm? :)

xyzzy wrote:and why the hell does nano kill the whole line on C-k, instead of from the cursor to the end of the line?


I personally find that behaviour more useful, expectation notwithstanding. But I thought one is not supposed to admit to using nano ;) (I do actually use pico indirectly, because I check my email with a Windows build of Pine.)
Belial wrote:I once had a series of undocumented and nonstandardized subjective experiences that indicated that anecdotal data is biased and unreliable.

btilly
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby btilly » Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:32 am UTC

I use both. I usually use hjkl in command mode, but in insert mode I tend to stay in insert mode and use the arrow keys rather than switching to command mode, moving, then jumping back to insert mode.
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Qoppa
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby Qoppa » Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:17 pm UTC

hjkl in vim, arrow keys for the command line, and I never use emacs.

Code: Select all

_=0,w=-1,(*t)(int,int);a()??<char*p="[gd\
~/d~/\\b\x7F\177l*~/~djal{x}h!\005h";(++w
<033)?(putchar((*t)(w??(p:>,w?_:0XD)),a()
):0;%>O(x,l)??<_='['/7;{return!(x%(_-11))
?x??'l:x^(1+ ++l);}??>main(){t=&O;w=a();}

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atimholt
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Re: How to move the cursor

Postby atimholt » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:29 am UTC

I'm still kinda new to linux--I haven't even settled on vim/emacs-- but I could never use hjkl: I type using the Dvorak keyboard layout.
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