11

Vi very successfully minimises finger travel and speed with command mode.

Swapping ; and : seems to save a lot of extra shift keystrokes for commands which are used more freqently than repititions of letter searches, but there are disadvantages to using a non standard key layout.

What are the advantages of : for commands? Compared to the effiency and elegance of Vi overall I feel like there must be some logic I'm missing.

11

You know the story behind the hjkl keys in Vi? Well, : was unshifted on Vi author's ADM-3A terminal.

No idea if that's the real explanation in this particular case, but it seems at least as plausible as the hjkl story.

  • 1
    +1 This definitely seems plausible. In ADM-3A, ; is on the home row and : is on the top row. So if this is the reason, it could be argued even with the shift, that the new layout is an improvement! – 79E09796 Sep 18 '16 at 16:21
  • 1
    Cool story about the arrows. They reused those keys for Apple IIc "console" and many video games too... – Alexis Wilke Sep 19 '16 at 1:25

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