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vimtutor: Rethinking "Lesson 1.1: MOVING THE CURSOR" #5188

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arp242 opened this issue Nov 7, 2019 · 3 comments

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@arp242
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@arp242 arp242 commented Nov 7, 2019

vimtutor is by far the best way to get started with Vim. I always recommend all new users run it. But there's one thing that has bugged me for years: the first lesson, which tells people to use hjkl instead of the arrow keys.

Is this really an important thing to tell users right at the start? Vim works fine with arrow keys, and all users already know how to use them. It takes quite a lot of effort and retraining of muscle memory to unlearn the arrow keys, and the cost/benefit ratio is not a good one.

I would say that everything below the first lesson is vastly more important than learning about hjkl. Motions like w and } will save people much more time; llllllllll and jjjjjjjj are just as bad as <Left><Left>.. and <Down><Down>..

I propose that this section be rewritten to encourage the user of the arrow keys, while still mentioning hjkl. I don't think it should be vimtutor's job to explain everything about Vim, but rather get people reasonably productive with just the basics, prioritizing on the most important issues. In that context, hjkl seems like a micro-optimisation to me; something to learn after you've already learned all the basics already.

There is already much to take in from vimtutor, and the more is added, the more chance there is people will forget about those more important commands.

@brammool

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@brammool brammool commented Nov 9, 2019

Using "hjkl" is one of the core functions of Vi and Vim. Yes, it takes time to learn. But it pays back very quickly. I know no keyboard where I can reliably hit the cursor keys without looking at them. And moving a few lines or characters are the most often used commands.

@brammool brammool closed this Nov 9, 2019
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@arp242 arp242 commented Nov 11, 2019

I know no keyboard where I can reliably hit the cursor keys without looking at them

I don't think this is common among the kind of users who run vimtutor.

@vim-ml

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@vim-ml vim-ml commented Nov 11, 2019

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