I was reading about vim the other day and found out why it used
hjkl keys as arrow keys.
When Bill Joy created the vi text editor he used the ADM-3A terminal, which had the arrows on
hjkl keys. Naturally he reused the same keys and the rest is history.
Here is how the
hjkl keys looked.
And here is how the the whole terminal that vi was created on looks like.
Since vim is derived from vi, it uses the same
And while we're at it, notice where the
ESC key is positioned.
ESC is where
TAB is on modern keyboards.
That's why the
ESC was used to change between vi modes – it was so close and easy to reach.
Also ever wondered why home directory is
~ in UNIX? Look at the
HOME key in upper right corner.
Mind = blown.
Bonus: Why Emacs uses the Meta key
Inspired by the success of this post, I wrote a similar post about Why Emacs uses the Meta key.
Bonus: HJKL T-Shirt
Now you can wear vim arrow keys! I just created a limited edition hjkl t-shirt. Only 100 shirts available.
Update: Sold out and no longer available.
See you next time!