Re: Interleaf and CTS (long)

Subject: Re: Interleaf and CTS (long)
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 13:28:25 -0800

At 02:25 PM 4/3/96 GMT, Charles Good wrote:
>I use Interleaf on a SUN station, as well as Word for Windows on a PC
>and Wordperfect for DOS on a PC. I find that literally every word
>processor and desktop publishing system is migrating toward
>mouse-oriented, iconified methodologies. I see less and less use of
>control/alt key & cursor movement (to next word, next sentence, next
>paragraph) and more "use the mouse" dependance. The same is true with
>delete word, delete to end of line, delete sentence, and delete
>paragraph key sequences. Even the changes between Word 2.0 and Word 6.0
>are dramatic in terms of control key sequences.

Actually, Charles, the keyboard equivalents are still there and they
still work -- and they're pretty much the same for all software that
runs on the Windows platform. Ctrl+ arrows still moves the cursor to
the next word. Add shift to highlight as you go. Even works in your
e-mail app. Windows is much friendlier than the Mac in this respect.

>Since I was trained as a typist and make a living as a writer, I prefer
>to keep my fingers on the keyboard and use multiple key sequence macros
>to activate menu options. However, products like Interleaf have made
>this next to impossible for many tasks since their macros are cursor
>position dependent.

I've never used interleaf, so I don't know, but for any software
on the Windows platform, the cursor movement keys should still
work. Also, try hitting Alt to get to the menu bar. Once you're
there, use left 'n' right arrows for menu bar movement, up 'n'
down arrows for drop-down menu selections. Hit Escape to abandon
the menu and return to the doc. These keystrokes shortcuts are
built-in Windows baggage so they're automagic.

Also, if dialog boxes are short on accelerator keys, use tab
to move from one control to another. Arrow keys open up or
navigate within lists, the spacebar toggles checkboxes on and
off. Enter will usually OK a dialog box no matter where you
are (I mean which field has the focus, not where you live!),
and Escape maps to Cancel.

>I suspect that it is very expensive for software vendors to support
>both a key sequence and mouse environment. From a programming perspective,
>I imagine the key sequence approach requires more lines of code and
>presents the most risk in terms of code conflicts.

The programming community has you completely snowed, Charles!
alt+letter (accelerator key) combinations are, programmatically,
a piece of cake. All the developer must do is insert an ampersand
(&) in front of the letter to be used as the accelerator (e.g.,
E&xit to underscore x and make it the accelerator key). It only
takes a little thought -- a little consideration for the user --
on the programmer's part.

>As for CTS. I have improved my odds (and lowered CTS risk) by working
>at either L-shaped or V-shaped work desks where I can lay my forearm
>(elbow to fingers) on the table top where the mouse is located. I have
>less wrist flexing and gravity stress because mouse movement only
>requires left-to-right movement like an old phonograph tonearm with a
>small amount of forward-to-back movement.

Yes, the L- or V-shaped desk is a good move. Here are some guidelines
for setting up an ergonimic workstation environment...

The typing surface should be 21 to 22 inches above the floor. This
height should allow you to sit straight, with your feet flat on the
floor, and to hang your arms straight down from your shoulders and
bend 'em 90 degrees at the elbow to reach the keyboard. Also, make
sure that the back of the thigh immediately above the knee is slightly
higher than the chair seat to avoid circulatory problems in your
legs. When you are looking straight ahead, your eyes should be
looking at the center of the monitor screen.

Most companies fail to provide the correct keyboard height, which
messes up all the other ergo measurements. To circumvent this,
hike your chair up way high so that the upper body positioning
is correct and use either the chair's pedistal or a foot stool
to get support for your legs.

-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com

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