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Colemak + Emacs (Evil)

  • Started by joncol
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If you can use the keyboard's Fn key plug-and-play without installing a special driver (and in most cases even with such a driver), then it's a hardware Fn key which sends remapped key codes to the USB and you have no chance whatsoever of remapping it into an Extend key. The only flexibility left for you is remapping the key codes sent (such as arrow keys) and that'll remap all such key codes – there is absolutely no way of differentiating between a physical arrow key and an Fn-key generated arrow key for instance. They're the same key code, and that's all the computer sees.

Last edited by DreymaR (04-Jan-2017 12:49:00)

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mm - doesn't sound too hopeful for the old fn key?

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Out of curiosity I had a quick look around and noticed this
https://github.com/tekezo/Karabiner/issues/320

If you follow one of those links, someone has seems to have managed it, but it requires a bit of rewiring.

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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hmm, time to dust off the soldering iron then..

or perhaps i just buy a TKL when I can get hold of a bluetooth ISO one?

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@stevep99 - whats your keyboard of choice these days?

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bph said:

@stevep99 - whats your keyboard of choice these days?

I am still using my Matias Ergo Pro:
2h6sffa.jpg

What's great about this keyboard, as well as the split spacebar, the Alt keys are in comfortable positions (closer to the centre than on most keyboards). That means you have four excellent thumb keys available.

Mine is mapped like this:
Left Alt: Extend
Left Space: Shift
Right Space: Space
Right Alt: AltGr

My only real complaint is the lack of hardware remapping, which means I have to use custom software remapping of modifiers to achieve this. But it works very well nonetheless. In fact, I contend this combination of thumb keys can't be beaten!

Last edited by stevep99 (06-Jan-2017 15:39:41)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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that split space on the matias ergo being reprogrammable would seem to me to be a really nice feature

i'd use it for an extend key

i currently can't use extend as I have no sensible key to put it on

caps is out as its my emacs ctrl

left ctrl is out as it is unusable (hence the caps as ctrl)

left alt is out as again fundamental to emacs

alt gr is too awkward to use with the right hand extend keys

so i got nothing left - sob..

to have it on the left thumb on a split space would be delicious

as far as i can see, without solder, I am bound to whatever filco have deemed for their fn layer

but that matias isn't wireless right? shame. Now if they released it as wireless with both halves communicating between themselves wirelessly also (no pesky wire connection) - then that would be very good

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The split space is only semi-programmable - there are limited options - so I have to remap in software.
It is fully wired, but that doesn't bother me - at least it eliminates batteries. And it's quite handy as it also has a built-in USB hub.

Hmm, possible options for Extend:
1. Do you actually use AltGr for anything currently? If not, you could use your AltGr key as normal Alt, and then remap LeftAlt as Extend.
2. Switch LeftAlt with LeftWin (Mac style) so that your Windows key becomes LeftAlt, freeing up LeftAlt for Exend.

Other options (not as nice but better than nothing perhaps?):
3. Use LeftWin for Extend?
4. Use Tab for Extend?

I seem to remember someone posting on here ages ago who had implemented Extend on AltGr, and then had his navigation keys on the left (FRST). I still think arrows are better on the right though.

Last edited by stevep99 (06-Jan-2017 17:56:28)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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thinking laterally, some sort of press and hold on space for extend?

that could be the best of all worlds?

is that what people refer to as sticky key?

i don't even know if its possible??

i never want space to autorepeat on hold so maybe, just maybe there is a way?

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bph said:

thinking laterally, some sort of press and hold on space for extend?

Sounds to me like you are talking about SpaceFN

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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crikey steve - you are a font! (of knowledge, not a typeface)

I've already started suffering from using the minila when back on the mushy pea because of the fn layer

but that spaceFN has no linux implementation

but it prob could do! maybe I should step up?

but I'll not get round to it if im being realistic

This may be a case of excellent (extend) being the enemy of the good (minila fn layer)

what I prob can't do is maintain 3 different layouts in my memory, i.e. emacs, minila fn and extend

emacs does kind of replicate extend, albeit in a not very ergonomic fashion - but I've already got it in the muscle memory so seem s churlish to ditch it

minila fn layer is hardwired, can't modify it without solder and i'd be crazy to miss out on the delicious positions of the fn keys..

so where does it leave extend? I still don't see how its feasible for me to take it on??

Last edited by bph (07-Jan-2017 17:18:18)
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bph said:

thinking laterally, some sort of press and hold on space for extend?

I'm very sceptical to SpaceFn, since Space is so much used (every fifth stroke is a space stroke) that the smallest chance of confusing the roles of that key will prove very annoying. I've tried a dual-role Tab key (for Extend2) and even that is a bit annoying.

Also, Ext+Spc as Enter is extremely useful (unless one already has a thumb Enter key).

Last edited by DreymaR (09-Jan-2017 11:22:44)

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DreymaR said:

I'm very sceptical to SpaceFn, since Space is so much used (every fifth stroke is a space stroke) that the smallest chance of confusing the roles of that key will prove very annoying. I've tried a dual-role Tab key (for Extend2) and even that is a bit annoying.

Yeah, I tried SpaceFN briefly. It works OK as long as you type slowly, but agree it can be annoying when you are trying to do rapid edits, and use the spacebar in both roles consecutively. I'm sure it would be possible to get used to, but still, it's much less satisfactory than having a dedicated key.

Probably bph's best option then is to just live with the Minila Fn layer as provided. The functionality is not as good as Extend, but as a small consolation, the Fn key is in a very good place.

Last edited by stevep99 (09-Jan-2017 12:11:11)

Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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steve - i think you could be pragmatically on the money there..

if i had my time again, I think I would have looked very carefully into a JIS layout as per davkols suggestion

they seem inherently better due to the extra thumb modifiers

i.e. bit like the minila, but without the hard wiring issue

if you only ever needed to type on one keyboard, you could invest in something proper ergo, which i think long-term would be lovely

but it just doesn't work if you can't guarantee its the only keyboard you ever type on

keyboards, like life, are a series of subtle and complex compromises.. ;)

Last edited by bph (09-Jan-2017 12:59:36)
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bph said:

the road to touch-typing/colemak has been a long and winding one for me - none of this 100wpm in 3 weeks jazz

I too do pretty much all dev work in emacs and organise my life with .org

I too have been slow at getting back up to speed, but my Emacs adaptation wasn't hard. Emacs keys are mostly mnemonic, not positional (unlike vi's hjkl), so there's not really any translation.

bph said:

on a tangent - if you've figured out a way to view a gpg encrypted .org file on an android device I would be forever in your debt..

As for viewing a gpg encrypted .org file on android: as a once-in-a-while thing, it's not really hard. Install OpenKeychain, use it to decrypt the file, open it in a text editor or load it into orgzly. The real problem is that I have not come up with any reasonable workflow for working with encrypted .org.gpg files read-write on a routine basis.

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jfmcbrayer said:

I too have been slow at getting back up to speed, but my Emacs adaptation wasn't hard. Emacs keys are mostly mnemonic, not positional (unlike vi's hjkl), so there's not really any translation.

I've found that even for the Vi commands that are not explicitly positional, such as "dt", "diw", etc, the muscle memory is pretty firmly established. But I'm getting pretty used to the commands by now. By the way, I ended up never changing the "hjkl" bindings. After a few weeks, I got used to the positions of these keys in their Colemak positions, which are not too bad actually.

Another stumbling block for me has been the Unix shell commands such as "ls", "cd", etc. I've automatically reverted to Qwerty for these many times.

By the way, the Esrille keyboard looks cool: Esrillo keyboard.

Last edited by joncol (12-Jan-2017 12:25:19)
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Ooo! Looks very cool indeed.

Enter on right index finger though? Hardly a good idea I feel.

Last edited by DreymaR (12-Jan-2017 22:46:06)

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