jk navigation

    jk-navigation services

    What unites these services? Easy navigation with the 'j' and 'k' keys.

    Recently, Pamela Fox (a Google employee, developer relations specialist) advised on her Twitter that the space bar on Google Wave translates into an unread blip. I asked her if she had plans to introduce jk navigation, to which she replied that she did not know what kind of navigation it was. Pamela is a great geek. To some extent, thanks to her posts on technical forums, the Google Maps API has become popular among developers. This episode convinced that it makes sense to talk about such convenient additional functionality in geek communities.

    Such navigation is present in both mail and a reader from Google. jjjjj - it’s so convenient to go over the reader’s tape. And cleaning the mail using the keyboard is much more pleasant and effective for me than using the mouse. Both services have many other convenient keyboard shortcuts, which can be found out by clicking '?'.

    At one time, I really liked the elegant use of jk navigation in the ffffound.com service. You click on 'j' and jump to the next picture, and if on the last picture on the page, then to the next page. Very convenient: focus is not lost, as when the pictures are scrolled in a continuous stream.

    Apparently, not only this approach inspired me. Ryan Singer of 37signals commented very well on his company blog. And Matthew Hutchinson posted a javascript library on github where this navigation is implemented (originally used prototype, and now jquery).

    The hjkl keys in the vim text editor are used as arrows. In web services, 'h' and 'l' can be used to scroll pages or for other purposes. In the recent toptuby.appspot.com mini-project , I wanted to quickly flip through the videos that the twitter sphere speaks of and jk-navigation turned out to be very useful there. On 'h' and 'l' I screwed the video rewind back and forth.

    Of course, you can add hjkl navigation to browsers using extensions. I installed it on Firefox at one time, and although I am a fan of vim, it did not take root because it did not add convenience. After all, the main essence of ffffound-like navigation in jumping from one logical block to another. Such blocks at different sites can be defined by various HTML elements. And it’s better for site creators to embed jumps using the keys, even if not the 'j' and the 'k'.

    So, for example, on the Russian Internet Artemy Lebedev is actively promoting control navigation. It is similar, but the people who embody it focus on the transition from page to page, rather than the logical elements inside. But look at the travel photos of Artemia (for example, in Ukraine) it would be nicer if Ctrl + ↓ transferred to the beginning of the next block with a comment and a photo.

    In Habra JavaScript, there are hints that there is jk navigation, but at the time of writing, it did not work correctly. A few days after writing this article, kapustos introduced the Greasmonkey script for keyboard navigation of the best comments on Habré. Works in Firefox, Opera, and Chrome Beta.

    Historical note:

    Apparently, vi (vim, gvim) adopted hjkl navigation from one of the first personal terminals ADM-3A . There on the layout there were arrows on these keys ( see layout ). There are many other options for matching arrows and keys.

    Sites using jk navigation (add in the comments):


    e.g. www.boston.com/ bigpicture / 2009/12 / the_decade_in_news_photographs.html

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