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(Repost of previous comment from about a month ago https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21233836 as it seemed relevant, although I haven't progressed much in my proficiency yet)

I have begun the path to learning stenography. Steno involves chording, or pressing multiple keys at once. Multiple keys at once means greatly improving the information density of when you type allowing professionals to type 240 words per minute (realtime), which is just not possible on single-key-at-a-time keyboards. Unfortunately most commonly available, non-gaming keyboards do not natively support multiple keys at once which is also known as n-key rollover (nkro). I ended up buying a pre-assembled, fully opensource hacker keyboard Ergodox EZ⁰, and have a custom layout firmware that matches up with the open steno project¹ . From here I am using Querty Steno² to practice my chording. Here is an example video someone did of using steno for programming a simple FizzBuzz on a different keyboard on YouTube³. In my opinion, if anyone is looking to really take their typing to the next level, chording is the only way and Dvorak/Colmak/single-key-at-a-time-layouts will never really get you there.

https://ergodox-ez.com

¹ http://www.openstenoproject.org

² http://qwertysteno.com

³ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBBiri3CD6w






Yeah, not convinced. Yet another youtube video where someone had to first build and try to memorize their custom dictionary preloaded with the specific words they are going to use to write the program they have in their head...

At least this one actually seems to remember their inputs well enough, I wonder how many times they practiced? I've seen similar videos before and it is hilarious to watch when they're trying to recall the chords they programmed.

I don't see this scaling for real projects with thousands and thousands of complicated identifiers, camelcase, crazy abbreviatin, acronyms, etc. Each project is going to have its own set of identifiers and you're going to need a custom dictionary for each of them.

Steno is great for natural languages that evolve very slowly over time and which can be largely learnt once and then used forever. Code is a rather different beast.


It only takes a few seconds to "program" a new chord combo into your custom per-project dictionary. You can do it dynamically while you code. (You can also use chords for editor macro commands, which, broadly speaking, are something you "learn once and use forever".)

> It only takes a few seconds to "program" a new chord combo into your custom per-project dictionary.

I know. It also takes only a few seconds to look up a word in a dictionary.

It takes much longer to memorize thousands of ever-changing chords for different projects. And when you haven't memorized them, typing is going to be very slow and awkward. Kinda like trying to write an essay when you need a dictionary for every other word.


> It takes much longer to memorize thousands of ever-changing chords for different projects.

I'm skeptical of this. A chord sequence is of similar complexity to an identifier (the keys on a stenotype keyboard have mnemonic designations to make this easier), and people memorize commonly-used identifiers just fine, as part of getting familiar with a new project.




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