Written: 2020-05-02 20:30 +0000
Updated: 2021-08-03 00:49 +0000
A more actionable follow up to my personal recollections relating to my switch to Colemak.
I have, in the past written about how I made the switch to Colemak. However, until recently, I was still trying to mimic the VIM keybindings from QWERTY. This is a post where I discuss the changes I made to ensure that I never have to stretch my fingers in odd ways again. The main idea is expressed well by vim-colemak.
Colemak layout: | QWERTY layout: `12345 67890-= Move around: | (instead of) `12345 67890-= qwfpg jluy;\ e | k qwert yuiop\ arstd HNEIo' h i | h l asdfg HJKL;' zxcvb km,./ n | j zxcvb nm,./
It is important to note that the
sudo command does not automatically pick up on your keyboard layout. It is best to set this explicitly. Use
visudo and un-comment
Defaults env_keep += "LANG LANGUAGE LINGUAS LC_* _XKB_CHARSET", or:
su echo 'Defaults env_keep += "LANG LANGUAGE LINGUAS LC_* _XKB_CHARSET"' >> /etc/sudoers
Though I have mentioned publicly, that I was using the regular QWERTY motion
keys, I realized I had actually started to use the mouse more often, simply
because it was a pain to navigate. Thankfully,
emacs has evil-colemak-basics,
which is fabulous. For reference, these make it really easy for QWERTY users to
make the switch if they’re previously used to VIM bindings.
|Colemak||Qwerty||Action||States||At Qwerty position?||Remarks|
|inner text object keymap||yes|
|jump to end of word||yes||with |
|jump to character||yes||with |
|jump until character||no||with |
|jump to end of word||no||without |
Where the table above is from the fantastic readme.
I still had some issues, mostly relating to searching in buffers, so I ended
swiper-isearch more which is a bonus too.
Since I tend to keep
visual-line-mode all the time, it makes sense to actually swap working with lines and visual lines.
To work this through this needs evil-better-visual-line.
(use-package! evil-better-visual-line :after evil-colemak-basics :config (evil-better-visual-line-on) (map! :map evil-colemak-basics-keymap (:nvm "n" 'evil-better-visual-line-next-line :nvm "e" 'evil-better-visual-line-previous-line :nvm "g n" 'evil-next-line :nvm "g e" 'evil-previous-line)) )
doom-emacs configuration, I also set the following map:
(after! pdf-view (add-hook! 'pdf-view-mode-hook (evil-colemak-basics-mode -1)) (map! :map pdf-view-mode-map :n "g g" #'pdf-view-first-page :n "G" #'pdf-view-last-page :n "N" #'pdf-view-next-page-command :n "E" #'pdf-view-previous-page-command :n "e" #'evil-collection-pdf-view-previous-line-or-previous-page :n "n" #'evil-collection-pdf-view-next-line-or-next-page )
Where the most important thing is the hook which removes the
evil-colemak-basics binding. Since it is a single mode and hook,
is the same as
Somehow these are not part of the
(after! evil (map! :map evil-window-map (:leader (:prefix ("w" . "Select Window") :n :desc "Left" "h" 'evil-window-left :n :desc "Up" "e" 'evil-window-up :n :desc "Down" "n" 'evil-window-down :n :desc "Right" "i" 'evil-window-right )) ))
Harmonizing with Vimium.
(after! evil (map! :map evil-motion-state-map (:n :desc "Previous match" "K" 'evil-ex-search-previous :n :desc "Next match" "k" 'evil-ex-search-next :n :desc "Forward search" "/" 'evil-search-forward ) ))
Though this is more of a personal preference, I find it more natural to bind N and E to page-wise movement instead of join lines and lookup, since I almost never use those commands, and the movement keys echo what I expect elsewhere.
(after! evil (map! :map evil-colemak-basics-keymap :nv "N" 'evil-scroll-page-up :nv "E" 'evil-scroll-page-down) )
evil-org-mode had a map which kept overriding all my other
settings. Thankfully it has a helper variable to set movement. I also do not
need this anyway, at-least not by default.
(after! org (remove-hook 'org-mode-hook 'evil-org-mode) (setq evil-org-movement-bindings '((up . "e") (down . "n") (left . "h") (right . "i")) ) )
I use the excellent vimium to make Chrome be a little less annoying. Luckily the Wiki seems to have a reasonable suggestion for colemak. The basic idea is to migrate the underlying keys directly to ensure very few manual changes are required.
mapkey n j mapkey N J mapkey e k mapkey E K mapkey i l mapkey I L mapkey k n mapkey K N mapkey l i mapkey L I mapkey j e mapkey J E
I still use the fantastic tridactyl for Firefox when I can. However, the bindings are slightly more involved, since there is no equivalent for the
" Rebinds for colemak " hjkl --> hnei bind h scrollpx -50 bind n scrollline 10 bind e scrollline -10 bind i scrollpx 50 " HJKL --> HNEI bind H back bind N tabprev bind E tabnext bind I forward
To ensure uniform bindings, I used to use
bindkey -v but will need some minor
changes to that set up. I based this part of my configuration off the bindings
bindkey -v # Colemak. bindkey -M vicmd "h" backward-char bindkey -M vicmd "n" down-line-or-history bindkey -M vicmd "e" up-line-or-history bindkey -M vicmd "i" forward-char bindkey -M vicmd "s" vi-insert bindkey -M vicmd "S" vi-insert-bol bindkey -M vicmd "k" vi-repeat-search bindkey -M vicmd "K" vi-rev-repeat-search bindkey -M vicmd "l" beginning-of-line bindkey -M vicmd "L" end-of-line bindkey -M vicmd "j" vi-forward-word-end bindkey -M vicmd "J" vi-forward-blank-word-end # Sane Undo, Redo, Backspace, Delete. bindkey -M vicmd "u" undo bindkey -M vicmd "U" redo bindkey -M vicmd "^?" backward-delete-char bindkey -M vicmd "^[[3~" delete-char # Keep ctrl+r searching bindkey -M viins '^R' history-incremental-pattern-search-forward bindkey -M viins '^r' history-incremental-pattern-search-backward
There is no better
friends. As a plus point, it normally has very reasonable
vim bindings, and an
excellent configuration system, so we will leverage that. The best part is that
we can just add to it using
include zathuraColemak or whatever so as to be
map h scroll left map n scroll down map e scroll up map i scroll right map N scroll half-down map E scroll half-up map k search forward map K search backward # For TOC navigation map [index] o toggle_index # hjkl → hnei map [index] n navigate_index down map [index] e navigate_index up map [index] h navigate_index collapse map [index] i navigate_index expand map [index] H navigate_index collapse-all map [index] I navigate_index expand-all
Zathura is a complicated beast, however, and my full configuration contains a lot more information.
I have some bindings set up in terms of $left $right $up and $down, so it was simple to re-bind them.
set $left h set $down n set $up e set $right i
Sadly, one of the email clients I do use regularly of late is MailMate. It supports a rather rich set of keybindings placed, e.g. with
"Library/Application Support/MailMate/Resources/KeyBindings/ColemakVIM.plist" configured as follows:
"c" = "newMessage:"; "/" = "searchAllMessages:"; "n" = "nextMessage:"; "e" = "previousMessage:"; "h" = "collapseThread:"; "i" = "expandThread:"; "H" = "rootOfThread:"; "I" = "lastOfThread:"; "N" = "nextThread:"; "E" = "previousThread:"; "o" = "openMessages:"; "x" = ( "deleteMessage:", "nextMessage:" ); // Defaults to going to the previous message "a" = "archive:"; "s" = "toggleFlag:"; "!" = "moveToJunk:"; "r" = "reply:"; "R" = "replyAll:"; "f" = "forwardMessage:"; "^s" = "saveDocument:";
That seems to be it for now. If I think of more programs I use regularly which
allow VIM bindings, or keybindings in general, I’ll probably just update this
post. My full dotfiles are present here, and now include a