Throw out that mouse—you upgraded to a keyboard!

Celebrating the release of Openbox 3.4, I’ve published my mouseless window management design. Of course, if you use firefox, OO.o, or the like, you’ll have to reach for the rat–that’s not my fault, though. :-D

(For those of you reading backward in time from my more recent entries calling for a more keyboard-centric user-interface, this is only one of numerous possible ways to manage window size/placement without a mouse, and not a particularly good one. It’s just what I’ve been using for a while and have gotten used to. Most problematically, it requires significant training to use.)

To prevent using the same keystroke combination as some hapless program (Can anyone say Emacs?), all of my bindings are combined with the Meta4 key (every time I say that people ask me where the metaphor key is), which on most computers has the “Microsoft Windows” logo on it. Without further delay, I give you keymaps:
(Click on the image for a larger view)
There’s also an alternate arrangement that’s based on the vi arrow keys, for those of us who either don’t have or don’t like using the number pad (Did someone say laptops?).

The Openbox Wiki has some more versions of the image, as well as the necessary file to get your install of openbox running like mine.

6 Responses to Throw out that mouse—you upgraded to a keyboard!

  1. I tried that several times (and also the plugin “conquerer” or “konquerer”—terrible to name a Firefox plugin after another browser), but it was far too buggy to be usable. It suffered incessant focus problems and refusal to switch modes, plus the tags were wholly unreadable on my screen and it lacked configuration options to rectify that. Note to developers: 1px. FFFFFF text on FF0000 is ergonomically horrible—avoid it.

  2. You missed a possibility… What about users that don’t have a metaphor key? (Especially for users old IBM Ps/2 style keyboards which will only be pried from our cold, dead hands…)


  3. @George—Well, if you don’t have the a Meta4-labled key, you can always pick a redundant key (one of the Ctrl or Alt keys comes to mind) and use xmodmap to bind it. However, if you really love your Model M (I assume that’s the one), then perahaps you might consider the Happy Hacker (or another modern keyboard that usees the same mechanical switches as your old clicky). Also, the most recent Model M revision (UB40R46) is identical to the older models, but has the new “Meta4” and “Menu” keys.

  4. Great bindings (vi), thanks!

    My 2 cents on the whole mouseless browser idea: use opera. It’s by far the best I’ve used and it’s utterly intelligible.

    The “lesser common ones” e.g. :

    C-Up|Down lets you jump from link to link. enter confirms, menu-key gives more options.

    C-[1-9] will let you jump to predefined urns (cf speeddial)

    “;” will let you “Home in” on urls as “.” will on text

    Spacebar at end of file will let you jump to the link with “next|>>|…” in it (great for google,amazon/ebay/ you name it && extensible!!)

    Ah, and i love C-S-c: copy text to note. It also saves the urn and timestamp for further reference.

    And well, what shall I say, _everything_ is configurable as by your wishes! You can even easily add/ remove menu entries depending on the linktype/textfocus/etc.

    Plus: it’s still the fastest with best css/ standards support, though there are alternatives coming up it seems.

    You guessed it, I’m hooked. And yeah, I’ve been known to have people in my classes write finals on pcs taking away their mouse beforehand. Guilty as charged..

    So Clay: kudos!

    Btw: Opera misses on a couple of things. Alright: it’s not opensource and therefore things like zotero and other great extensions won’t work. That put aside, I believe it’s the best if you want a clean browser that gets things done and scales nicely to load and wishes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please leave these two fields as-is: