In a follow-up to his man page post, Dr Drang writes that he suspects the people who responded with keyboard-centric methods “were all slightly appalled by the notion of using the mouse or trackpad to bring up a man page.”
No such dismay here. While I generally prefer to keep my hands on the keyboard there are often cases when using the mouse is easier or faster, as explained in the Bruce Tognazzini article Dr Drang quotes.
Not all keyboard shortcuts are created equal. In my bookmarks bar post I threw out one lot for another, as it was difficult to remember the shortcut for a particular function even though the key combinations were simple (
⌘-[1-9]). This led to the situation Tog describes: it took longer to remember the shortcut than it would to use the mouse.
It takes two seconds to decide upon which special-function key to press. Deciding among abstract symbols is a high-level cognitive function. Not only is this decision not boring, the user actually experiences amnesia! Real amnesia!
They have not had to set their task aside to think about or remember abstract symbols.
That’s remarkably similar to using indexes: after typing a simple shortcut (
⌘-↩) to bring up the panel, a user just has to type their intent. I suspect that cuts down on the decision time substantially.