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February 7, 2019

Today I was reading Jack Baty’s latest posts and I noticed an interesting micro-post about keyboard versus mouse usage.

The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is faster than keyboarding.

I think this deserves two additional remarks. First, it depends on the task at hand: For instance, even if I prefer reading email with Apple Mail I use mu4e under Emacs because I find it more convenient for bulk actions like archiving or deleting a bunch of messages. Think of it a little: You just have to use your preferred movement keys or the arrow keys and strike a key, and it’s all done! Likewise, for text editing or interacting with an REPL, I found Emacs keybindings much more powerful than any combination of custom Services or even TextExpander, together with using a mouse. I believe Vim users would agree as well. Second, this does not account for people not using a mouse at all. I for one have always been very happy with Macbook trackpad, and I come a lot slower when I have to use a mouse, notwithstanding the fact that it is very bad practice for the elbow and wrist. For most movement, I use the trackpad and I do not worry much about Emacs or Vim keybindings, because there I am faster with the trackpad. Hence, we should better clearly state what actions are better performed using a mouse before claiming than the mouse win over the keyboard.