Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 9th Mar 2012 19:11 UTC
General Development "I was reading about vim the other day and found out why it used hjkl keys as arrow keys. When Bill Joy created the vi text editor he used the ADM-3A terminal, which had the arrows on hjkl keys, so naturally he reused the same keys." As interesting as that is, John Graham-Cumming goes even further back in history. "The reason that keyboard had those arrows keys on it was because those keys correspond to CTRL-H, J, K, L and the CTRL key back then worked by killing bit 6 (and bit 5) of the characters being typed." Truly fascinating stuff, even though it's from way before my time (I'm from 1984).
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RE: hjkl still ergonomic
by MacTO on Fri 9th Mar 2012 23:28 UTC in reply to "hjkl still ergonomic"
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

I'll go a step further and claim that the ASCII control codes explanation just doesn't cut it.

Think of it this way: these control codes are grouped, ASCII goes in alphabetical order, and QWERTY keyboards are not in alphabetical order. That leaves two options: ASCII was designed with this function in mind, or we have a bit of a coincidence on our hands. There are only two groups of letters that follow this linear pattern after all (hjkl, and dfgh) and many other scenarios where the movement keys would have been mapped all over the keyboard.

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