vim and touch typing

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vim and touch typing

Filype Pereira
Hi.

I am new to vim. I know most of the motion and command stuff but I just don't use them enough.

So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:

> If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.

I have not thought about it so much before, So that's what I am doing now.

If you had to do the same, what do you recommend is the best way to learn how to touch type?

Thanks!

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Re: vim and touch typing

Niels Kobschaetzki
On 06/10 01:01, Filype Pereira wrote:

>Hi.
>
>I am new to vim. I know most of the motion and command stuff but I just don't use them enough.
>
>So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
>
>> If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>
>I have not thought about it so much before, So that's what I am doing now.
>
>If you had to do the same, what do you recommend is the best way to learn how to touch type?

The way I learned it a long time ago is to use some tutoring-program
which taught it in the form of a game. I used that for a couple of hours
until I completed the "basic" stuff. It was far more entertaining then
the dull tutorial-programs for touch-typing, I could never complete.
Then I started to type long texts, I wanted to type anyways and put a
towel over my hands for a couple of them. After that I removed the
towel and since then I am touch-typing and never looked back.

Niels

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Re: vim and touch typing

John Little-4
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 10:14:59 PM UTC+13, Filype Pereira wrote:

> > If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.

I would disagree with this.  I used vi effectively for years before I learned to to touch type, and, like vim, I have several modes, depending on the task at hand.  One-handed, using the mouse a lot, using the arrow keys a lot, hands at the home position, leap to mind.  Not many people touch type a regex I bet.

Regards, John Little

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Re: vim and touch typing

Mark Volkmann-2
Setting aside use of Vim, I'm always amazed at the number of people that choose a career in software development, but don't take the time to learn to touch type. If this is you, please do yourself a favor and take a few weeks to focus on learning this. Your future self will thank you!

---
R. Mark Volkmann
Object Computing, Inc.

> On Oct 6, 2015, at 5:33 AM, John Little <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 10:14:59 PM UTC+13, Filype Pereira wrote:
>
>>> If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>
> I would disagree with this.  I used vi effectively for years before I learned to to touch type, and, like vim, I have several modes, depending on the task at hand.  One-handed, using the mouse a lot, using the arrow keys a lot, hands at the home position, leap to mind.  Not many people touch type a regex I bet.
>
> Regards, John Little
>
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Re: vim and touch typing

Marco-5
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
Excerpts from Filype Pereira's message of 2015-10-06 05:01:21 -0300:

> Hi.
>
> I am new to vim. I know most of the motion and command stuff but I just don't use them enough.
>
> So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
>
> > If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>
> I have not thought about it so much before, So that's what I am doing now.
>
> If you had to do the same, what do you recommend is the best way to learn how to touch type?
>
> Thanks!
>

Hi, I recommend the excellent gnutypist program, it is fun and easy.
Makes you a better person too. ;)

--
Marco Arthur @ (M)arco Creatives

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Re: vim and touch typing

Tim Chase
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
On 2015-10-06 01:01, Filype Pereira wrote:
> If you had to do the same, what do you recommend is the best way to
> learn how to touch type?

Well, while I learned in elementary/middle school using a typing tutor
program on the Apple ][e back in the 80s(*), the idea of "Typing of
the Dead" cracked me up.  It's a first-person shooter where the enemy
zombies all have words on them, and to shoot them, you have to type
the word.

  https://www.google.com/search?q=typing+of+the+dead

A lot more fun that the tedious nature of most typing programs.

-tim


(*) Funny story: it was a non-graphical console-based typing program,
so I, troublemaker that I was, spent my enrichment periods creating
an exact clone of the typing program except that, with the press of
one key, the entire line would type itself and give you some random
word-per-minute count over 100.  I used it occasionally to get out of
the tedium that was typing class.  On the last week of class, I
revealed it to my typing instructor by hitting a key and wiggling my
fingers 6" above the keyboard never making contact with the keys.
The look on her face was priceless.  They were still using the same
software when my sister came through 4 years later, so I bequeathed
my floppy of Applesoft BASIC code to her.  But by the time my brother
came through, they'd switched software for some reason.


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Re: vim and touch typing

Erik Falor
In reply to this post by Niels Kobschaetzki
On Tue, Oct 06, 2015 at 11:22:50AM +0200, Niels Kobschaetzki wrote:
> Then I started to type long texts, I wanted to type anyways and put a
> towel over my hands for a couple of them. After that I removed the
> towel and since then I am touch-typing and never looked back.

I second the suggestion of covering your hands so that you aren't
tempted to look at them. My typing teacher taped a large sheet of
construction paper above the top row of keys so as to cover students'
hands while working on exercises. I really hated it at the time, but
that's what finally broke me of my hunt-and-peck ways.

--
Erik Falor
Registered Linux User #445632                    http://unnovative.net

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Re: vim and touch typing

Josef Fortier
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
This online tutor is the best I've found:

http://www.keybr.com/#!game

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Re: vim and touch typing

Christian Brabandt
In reply to this post by Tim Chase
Hi Tim!

On Di, 06 Okt 2015, Tim Chase wrote:

>   https://www.google.com/search?q=typing+of+the+dead

Hah, that is hilarious.


Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Christian
--
Die Männer heiraten, weil sie müde sind, die Frauen, weil sie
neugierig sind. Beide werden enttäuscht.
                -- Oscar Wilde

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Re: vim and touch typing

David Fishburn-2
In reply to this post by Josef Fortier


On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 1:44 PM, Josef Fortier <[hidden email]> wrote:
This online tutor is the best I've found:

http://www.keybr.com/#!game

-

That is addictive!
 

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Re: vim and touch typing

Nikolay Aleksandrovich Pavlov
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
2015-10-06 11:01 GMT+03:00 Filype Pereira <[hidden email]>:

> Hi.
>
> I am new to vim. I know most of the motion and command stuff but I just don't use them enough.
>
> So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
>
>> If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>
> I have not thought about it so much before, So that's what I am doing now.
>
> If you had to do the same, what do you recommend is the best way to learn how to touch type?

I used no tutors or something like this. Just did two things:

1. Printed programming dvorak keyboard layout and hanged it below the monitor.
2. Changed used layout to programming dvorak so I have no keys to look
at on the keyboard.

As a first excercise then I was typing my password with 30-seconds
limit in linux framebuffer (I did not know about the limit though, but
that did not make me give up) (by “linux framebuffer” I mean kernel
<C-A-F1..6> terminals (on most systems, it is generally possible to
make X server occupy some terminal above or below <C-A-F7>)).

Was unable to complete any tutors I tried since then because they were
mostly dumb. Actually writing something useful is the best practice.
Though I know where can I find a lot of people which can type faster
then I… if they have something to type: thinking speed is more
limiting then typing speed.

>
> Thanks!
>
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Re: vim and touch typing

tooth pik
In reply to this post by Erik Falor
On Tue, Oct 06, 2015 at 09:42:34AM -0600, Erik Falor wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 06, 2015 at 11:22:50AM +0200, Niels Kobschaetzki wrote:
> > Then I started to type long texts, I wanted to type anyways and put a
> > towel over my hands for a couple of them. After that I removed the
> > towel and since then I am touch-typing and never looked back.

> I second the suggestion of covering your hands so that you aren't
> tempted to look at them. My typing teacher taped a large sheet of
> construction paper above the top row of keys so as to cover students'
> hands while working on exercises. I really hated it at the time, but
> that's what finally broke me of my hunt-and-peck ways.

the very first thing to learn about touch typing, if you have what I
call a normal keyboard, is to learn to sense the tactile difference,
usually a bump or raised part of the key, between the 'f' and 'j' key,
as opposed to all the other keys -- these are made different because
that is where touch typists place their index fingers -- they can find
"home position" without looking using those keys


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Re: vim and touch typing

Tony Mechelynck
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 10:01 AM, Filype Pereira
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi.
>
> I am new to vim. I know most of the motion and command stuff but I just don't use them enough.
>
> So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
>
>> If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>
> I have not thought about it so much before, So that's what I am doing now.
>
> If you had to do the same, what do you recommend is the best way to learn how to touch type?
>
> Thanks!


I disagree 100% with the notion that you cannot use Vim unless you
already know how to touch-type. I've been using Vim for years, and I
wouldn't switch to another text editor if Vim was available; but OTOH,
even though I type reasonably fast (and usually with five fingers of
one hand going all about the typewriter keyboard, the arrowboard, the
numeric keyboard, and the mouse — on the other hand I rest my chin), I
admire the people who can type paragraph after paragraph without a
single look at either the keyboard or the screen (but only at some
handwritten text or stenographic notes), but I'm not one of them.

Touch-typing may come in handy for text-editing, and so IMHO does Vim.
I suppose that knowing both makes one more efficient than knowing only
one of them, but I would say most emphatically that neither is a
necessary prerequisite to learning the other. I am even tempted to say
that whoever wrote «If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then
come back to learn vim.» doesn't know what he's talking about. Close
the book then and there and start the Vimtutor, _that_ will teach you
the essentials of Vim so that you'll learn them (and remember them)
regardless of whether or not you can already touch-type.


Best regards,
Tony.

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Re: vim and touch typing

Erik Christiansen
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
On 06.10.15 01:01, Filype Pereira wrote:
> So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
>
> > If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.

What a load of bollocks!

During three decades of earning a living developing software, I used
vi/vim for the last quarter century without ever learning to touch type.
OK, I use quite a few fingers, and it goes pretty fast, but I do need to
look at the keyboard most of the time. That doesn't manifest as a
practical problem, since the computers I've used have all been very good
at remembering what I've typed, so I have no need to view the screen at
more than infrequent intervals.

One thing I've noticed is that where one values quality over quantity,
it is the amount of thought that goes into a composition which matters,
not how rapidly it was input, or whether the typist did it with his eyes
closed.

Erik

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Re: vim and touch typing

Gevisz
On Thu, 8 Oct 2015 22:23:33 +1100 Erik Christiansen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 06.10.15 01:01, Filype Pereira wrote:
> > So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
> >
> > > If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>
> What a load of bollocks!
>
> During three decades of earning a living developing software, I used
> vi/vim for the last quarter century without ever learning to touch type.
> OK, I use quite a few fingers, and it goes pretty fast, but I do need to
> look at the keyboard most of the time. That doesn't manifest as a
> practical problem, since the computers I've used have all been very good
> at remembering what I've typed, so I have no need to view the screen at
> more than infrequent intervals.
>
> One thing I've noticed is that where one values quality over quantity,
> it is the amount of thought that goes into a composition which matters,
> not how rapidly it was input, or whether the typist did it with his eyes
> closed.

Completely agree and would throw the book after the phrase right into the trash bin.

Unfortunately, I cannot boast that I use vim for a three decade, but I do use it
and I do type using computers for a quarter of century.

When necessary, I type fast enough to do my job quickly but I never tried to learn
a touch typing and I should admit that for me it is already too late to learn it.

Nevertheless, I do use a "blind typing" in the sense that I do not look into
the monitor when I type, only to the keyboard. I get used to this style yet
about 25 years ago trying to save my eyes from the ray monitors of that days.

Usually, I type a whole sentence without looking into the monitor.

It does not mean that I do not know my keyboard layout. I do know it and can type
in a complete darkness (but much more slowly, of course).

My hands move over the keyboard almost automatically but I still need a little feedback
from my eyes to not hit "i" instead of "o" for example.

In this connection I have only one inconvenience connected with the facts that
1) I usually have to use 3 keyboard layouts at the same time switching between them with a hot key,
2) it is impossible to have a "direct hot key switch" to a certain keyboard layout in Linux world.

Because of that I have to remember all the time not only in which vim mode I am but also in which
keyboard layout I am and it is too much for me. As the result, I too often end up raising my eyes
to the monitor and finding out that I have typed the whole sentence in incorrect keybord layout. :(

In such times I very much miss the good old MS DOS keyrus driver that could have been configured
to produce a pleasant "crimping" noise when typing in a cyrillic keyboard layout and nothing
when typing in Latin keyboard layout, for example.  

But the "direct hot key switch" could also help a lot in this situation.
Unfortunately, as far as I know, it is impossible in the Linux World.

P.S. By a "direct hot key switch" I mean the hot key that switches directly to a certain
     keyboard layout, not by circling through all the active ones.

     However, such a "direct hot key switch" is possible in Windows.
 
   

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Re: vim and touch typing

Tony Mechelynck
On Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 7:33 PM, Gevisz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, 8 Oct 2015 22:23:33 +1100 Erik Christiansen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 06.10.15 01:01, Filype Pereira wrote:
>> > So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
>> >
>> > > If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>>
>> What a load of bollocks!
>>
>> During three decades of earning a living developing software, I used
>> vi/vim for the last quarter century without ever learning to touch type.
>> OK, I use quite a few fingers, and it goes pretty fast, but I do need to
>> look at the keyboard most of the time. That doesn't manifest as a
>> practical problem, since the computers I've used have all been very good
>> at remembering what I've typed, so I have no need to view the screen at
>> more than infrequent intervals.
>>
>> One thing I've noticed is that where one values quality over quantity,
>> it is the amount of thought that goes into a composition which matters,
>> not how rapidly it was input, or whether the typist did it with his eyes
>> closed.
>
> Completely agree and would throw the book after the phrase right into the trash bin.
>
> Unfortunately, I cannot boast that I use vim for a three decade, but I do use it
> and I do type using computers for a quarter of century.
>
> When necessary, I type fast enough to do my job quickly but I never tried to learn
> a touch typing and I should admit that for me it is already too late to learn it.
>
> Nevertheless, I do use a "blind typing" in the sense that I do not look into
> the monitor when I type, only to the keyboard. I get used to this style yet
> about 25 years ago trying to save my eyes from the ray monitors of that days.
>
> Usually, I type a whole sentence without looking into the monitor.
>
> It does not mean that I do not know my keyboard layout. I do know it and can type
> in a complete darkness (but much more slowly, of course).
>
> My hands move over the keyboard almost automatically but I still need a little feedback
> from my eyes to not hit "i" instead of "o" for example.
>
> In this connection I have only one inconvenience connected with the facts that
> 1) I usually have to use 3 keyboard layouts at the same time switching between them with a hot key,
> 2) it is impossible to have a "direct hot key switch" to a certain keyboard layout in Linux world.
>
> Because of that I have to remember all the time not only in which vim mode I am but also in which
> keyboard layout I am and it is too much for me. As the result, I too often end up raising my eyes
> to the monitor and finding out that I have typed the whole sentence in incorrect keybord layout. :(
>
> In such times I very much miss the good old MS DOS keyrus driver that could have been configured
> to produce a pleasant "crimping" noise when typing in a cyrillic keyboard layout and nothing
> when typing in Latin keyboard layout, for example.
>
> But the "direct hot key switch" could also help a lot in this situation.
> Unfortunately, as far as I know, it is impossible in the Linux World.
>
> P.S. By a "direct hot key switch" I mean the hot key that switches directly to a certain
>      keyboard layout, not by circling through all the active ones.
>
>      However, such a "direct hot key switch" is possible in Windows.

In Vim (but only in Vim) I also use 3 keyboard layouts, and there I
could, if I wanted, assign them to hotkeys, even though I'm on Linux:
• Most of the time I use a Belgian AZERTY keyboard with international
Latin letters, as shown at
http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/other/keybbe.htm. This is my
only keyboard layout outside Vim.
• A significant minority of my time is spent typing Russian with one
keymap. If I need Russian text outside Vim I use copy-paste from Vim
to the other application.
• Even less often, I use a different keymap for Arabic.
Both of these keymaps are (more or less) "phonetic", i.e. e.g. hitting
the b key produces the letter having the b sound in that alphabet. I
provide additional letters by means of dead keys (keymap entries with
a {lhs} of two characters).
It is enough for me to map the <F8> key to toggle the current keymap
on and off in both Normal and Insert mode, and to have a custom
statusline remind me which keymap (if any) is currently in use, but
only when &l:iminsert == 1

Best regards,
Tony.

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Re: vim and touch typing

Tim Chase
In reply to this post by Tony Mechelynck
On 2015-10-07 02:57, Tony Mechelynck wrote:
> I disagree 100% with the notion that you cannot use Vim unless you
> already know how to touch-type.

While I wouldn't go so far as to claim that you *must* learn to
touch-type before you learn to use vim, I find the orthogonality
mirrors that of vim.  The more touch-typing you learn (or the more
vim motions you learn), the more proficient your editing.  The more
vim you learn (or the more vim actions/commands you learn), the more
proficient your editing.  But combine them and you get multiplicative
benefits, not just linear increase in benefits.

-tim



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Re: vim and touch typing

Tony Mechelynck
On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 12:47 AM, Tim Chase <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2015-10-07 02:57, Tony Mechelynck wrote:
>> I disagree 100% with the notion that you cannot use Vim unless you
>> already know how to touch-type.
>
> While I wouldn't go so far as to claim that you *must* learn to
> touch-type before you learn to use vim, I find the orthogonality
> mirrors that of vim.  The more touch-typing you learn (or the more
> vim motions you learn), the more proficient your editing.  The more
> vim you learn (or the more vim actions/commands you learn), the more
> proficient your editing.  But combine them and you get multiplicative
> benefits, not just linear increase in benefits.
>
> -tim

This is more reasonable. Yes, even though I don't "touch-type" in the
usual sense of the word, I think that what you say is plausible. But
at least two readers of this list (me included ;-) ) would stop
reading then and there if a self-styled "Vim textbook" told us that if
we cannot touch-type it is forbidden, or hopeless, or impossible, for
us to learn to use Vim before we have mastered touch-typing *first*.
Yes, I suppose that touch-typing *and* Vim make your editing more
efficient, in a cooperative way; but my point was that neither is an
absolute prerequisite, to be learnt well before even thinking of
tackling the other.

Best regards,
Tony.

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Alternative keymaps [Was: vim and touch typing]

Erik Christiansen
In reply to this post by Gevisz
On 08.10.15 20:33, Gevisz wrote:
> In this connection I have only one inconvenience connected with the facts that
> 1) I usually have to use 3 keyboard layouts at the same time switching
>    between them with a hot key,
> 2) it is impossible to have a "direct hot key switch" to a certain
>    keyboard layout in Linux world.

It is very risky to say that anything is impossible in linux; it usually
turns out that there are at least three ways to do what one at first
thinks impossible. My first reaction to your problem was to suggest
several files to switch to ~/.Xmodmap, and then find out if a SIGHUP to
X would make it reread its config.

Much easier, by appearances, is Tony's suggestion. A quick look at
";h keymap", leading to ";h mbyte-keymap", looks very promising, not
least since there are many ready-to-use mappings:

$ locate -r 'keymap.*vim' | wc -l
130

That, though, only maps in Vim, and only during text insertion.
(which may be just what you want)

If cross-application mapping is desired, though, then an alternative to
~/.Xmodmap is to just execute (several of) something like:

$ xmodmap -e 'keycode 91 = 0x2c'    # Change numeric pad '.' to ','

in a shell script, after using xev to elucidate the keycode and keysim of
all the keys you want to remap.

For me, this reverts the above mapping:

$ xmodmap -e 'keycode 91 = 0x2e'    # Change numeric pad ',' to '.'

OK, that's three ways. Time to stop.

Erik

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Re: vim and touch typing

Filype Pereira
In reply to this post by Filype Pereira
On Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 10:14:59 PM UTC+13, Filype Pereira wrote:

> Hi.
>
> I am new to vim. I know most of the motion and command stuff but I just don't use them enough.
>
> So, I started reading a vim book and didn't get very far, when I stopped at this line:
>
> > If you can't touch type, then go learn it and then come back to learn vim.
>
> I have not thought about it so much before, So that's what I am doing now.
>
> If you had to do the same, what do you recommend is the best way to learn how to touch type?
>
> Thanks!
I was recommended this book and I think it's pretty good.

I think the author uses it as a way maximise what you'd get out of reading the book. In the end, you'd be very productive on vim, half because you've learned touch-typing and half because of the tips provided in the book.

A friend of mine used to have a wool cover on his keyboard, others have suggested a towel over the keyboard. I tried getting that setup but I've found that I am ok with not looking to the keyboard as much now.

I have improved so much this week already. I've purchased [Mavis Beacon](http://www.mavisbeaconfree.com/) software for the tutoring and have set the time to do it. I also signed up for a local typing class, however that got cancelled!

I do find that it's much easier to keep focused on typing well at home as opposed to in the office at work, I tend to feel more tense and that affects how well I type.

Thanks!

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