~chambln/cosine.blue

2a54908b4d00ccc6d74ea4690b54862284492bd0 — Gregory Chamberlain 15 days ago 8e3be85 firefox-keyboard
[WIP] firefox-keyboard
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title="Vanilla Firefox Keyboard Mastery"

subtitle="No mouse.  No add-ons.  No problem."

author="Gregory Chamberlain"

date="now"

cover_img_src="fox-erik-mclean.jpg"

cover_img_alt="Photo of fox walking on a road"

cover_img_caption="Cover image credit: Erik Mclean via Unsplash"

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<h1>Is it worth the time?</h1>

<p>Last weekend I carved out half
an hour to read Mozilla’s support page titled <a
href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/keyboard-shortcuts-perform-firefox-tasks-quickly"><cite>Keyboard
shortcuts - Perform common Firefox tasks quickly</cite></a>. Sounds
boring I know. But it was time well spent and my only regret is not
having read it sooner (like 5 years sooner).</p>

<p>Many of the key combinations described therein were familiar friends
of mine, but with others I had no acquaintance. I won’t lie to you:
a fair number of them are worthless. But others are a godsend.</p>

<p>Over the last decade I must have spent ten thousand hours using
a web browser. And I don’t think I’m an outlier here. The Web has
steamrolled into the twenty-first century and for better or for worse has
become the ubiquitous interface through which the world now wants us to
read and write, to listen and speak and to otherwise occupy ourselves.</p>

<p>Let’s say you have to use a web browser just once a day on average
for the next 5 years. According to the chart below, even if you can shave
off 1 measly second from this daily obligation, it is worth your time
to set aside up to 30 minutes today to achieve that daily time saving.</p>

<figure>
    <img src="xkcd1205.png" alt="xkcd: Is It Worth the Time?" />
    <figcaption>
        From xkcd:
        <a href="https://xkcd.com/1205/"><cite>Is It Worth the Time?</cite></a>
        (<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/">CC BY-NC 2.5</a>).
    </figcaption>
</figure>

<p>It takes half a second to move your hand from the typing position to
the mouse (or track pad or whatever) and another half a second to point
your cursor at the right spot.  Learning a few keyboard shortcuts will
surely shave off a few seconds every now and then.</p>

<p>You’ve already wasted 2 minutes reading this page and another
3 staring at that incredibly insightful chart so you’d better get
cracking.</p>

<p>I’ve outlined below a few of my favourite shortcuts that comprise
my general strategy for keyboard-only navigation, which works better on
some sites than others.  Wikipedia is a good site to practise on.  You won’t
need to go digging through any settings or configuration files in order to
try these—they are built into Firefox and enabled by default.</p>

<h1>Scrolling</h1>

<p>Of course, you can scroll the page one screenful at a time using
<kbd>PgUp</kbd> and <kbd>PgDn</kbd>.  If you prefer, <kbd>Space</kbd>
and <kbd>Shift</kbd> + <kbd>Space</kbd> do the same.  The arrows keys
<kbd>&uarr;</kbd> <kbd>&darr;</kbd>
are best reserved for making fine adjustments to the viewport.</p>

<h1>Navigating between pages</h1>

<p>[…]</p>

<h1>A word for the wizards</h1>

<p>Now, a minority of you will be laughing away from the comfort of
one of those Vi-like modal keyboard layer add-ons that grants you web
browsing super powers and sings and dances and brews your coffee at the
same time. They’re fantastic and I’ve been there. There are even
standalone browsers designed around this idea. But there are reasons to
(and times when you have no choice but to) revert to the bog standard,
vanilla, <em>de facto</em> experience.</p>

<p>[…]</p>

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