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On Feb 29, 2008, at 7:44 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:

>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sai Emrys
>
>>>  That's what I originally thought when I first had the same
> idea.
>>>  You could also make layouts that are contextual.  For example a
>
>>> keyboard with two big keys "Yes" and "No", and maybe a
>> small  "Cancel"  > in the corner somewhere.
>>
>> Wouldn't work for me. I never look at 'em. Been touch typing
>> since I was in elementary school.
>
> You would look at them if you had to, as in a situation where all
> the prompts just showed up on the keyboard as part of the regular
> user interface.
>
> I learned to touch type about a year or two after getting into
> computers.  I still curse the newer GUI-based platforms for forcing
> that (#*$ing mouse onto me.  It's seriously slowed down my ability
> to use a computer because I have to remove my hand from the keyboard
> for so many things, then my hand has to find the home spot again to
> go back to typing.  Software designers need to make pointing devices
> an enhancement to the user interface, not a substitute or
> replacement for the keyboard which is still the preferred method of
> entering data.

Most GUIs have a lot of keyboard shortcuts... you just have to learn  
them. You should be able to find them in the help for the program and  
in the menus. They are usually fairly consistent between programs, too.

(Unfortunately, in Windows at least, the alt and Windows keys are  
annoying because hitting them puts you in a shortcut mode; if you  
depress one, then change your mind, you get stuck in that mode and  
have to hit a key to get out of it. I do that a lot.)

I'm very much in favor of systems that can use the mouse and keyboard  
shortcuts; I use both all the time. Unfortunately, where I work I  
have to use two Java programs, one of which has little notion of  
keyboard shortcuts, and the other of which has none. I do a lot of  
repetitive stuff in that latter program, so I have to constantly  
switch from keyboard to mouse, which is highly annoying. (It is also  
very badly designed in other ways, but I'm stuck with it.)

I use a program called AutoHotKey to help with some things. It's  
basically a macro programming language for Windows -- it can simulate  
clicks and keypresses. I think I might be able to program it to  
simulate clicks in relative areas of the Java programs, but I'm  
worried that it wouldn't work well, e.g. if something else came in  
front of the interface and got triggered accidentally.