I only have three USB ports on my Alienware, so while they’re all in use doing things, I had to disconnect my mouse. Luckily, there is an extension for Chrome called Dead Mouse which automatically selects links if you start typing any text within them. This is handy, but will take some getting used to.
I have nothing against the mouse for gaming or designing things, but I don’t believe a mouse should be required to browse the Internet or use the CLI. A mouse certainly should not be required to use an Operating System. Maybe you can get away with using just a keyboard in Windows, but you won’t retain your sanity.
I’ll admit, using just the keyboard for everything on my box does seem a bit daunting. For example, I normally provide links to interesting things I blog about (in this case, Dead Mouse), but I’m apprehensive to try and ‘get’ this link because I’m not sure how difficult it will be. I’ll take the plunge..
[some time passes..]
It was a complete ball ache. I was going to lie about it and then cross it out with the strike-through, but I can’t be bothered to figure out how to highlight buttons without tabbing through the entire page.. First I Ctrl+t to open a new tab. I searched for ‘Dead Mouse Chrome’ and got to the extension page using Dead Mouse to select the Google result I wanted. Great, now how do I select the URL? Tabbing didn’t work, neither did going back to the Google results page and getting Dead Mouse to highlight the ‘Dead Mouse Extension page’, and then hitting the dialogue key on my keyboard (it seemed to have just shown the menu which you would see if you right clicked anywhere in the web page). I looked up the Chrome shortcuts and discovered that F6 was the key to select the text in the URL bar. So I copied this URL and pasted it in this WordPress post editor. Great, how do I select the URL link button? This proved to be impossible via the Dead Mouse extension, so I could either resort to tabbing through the entire fucking page again, committing suicide, or plugging in the mouse. Actually, there was another way..
In knowing some HTML, I decided to try and create the link without ‘getting’ the URL button. I would show you the HTML, but I’m in the “Text” viewer (which allows me to do HTML tags without encoding stuff in it), and I can’t be bothered to switch back. Anyway, I typed the HTML and published the page (tabbing to ‘Preview’ button didn’t seem to work).. Low and behold, the post was created, but the HTML appeared on the page (not the link in the ‘Dead Mouse’ text). I had to edit the post and switch to Text mode (I don’t believe this mode is available if you create a WordPress post using the ‘simple’ editor).
In conclusion, the web is not keyboard-only friendly. I represent the elite few who beg to differ when it comes to the apparent requirement to use a mouse to browse the web. I do believe the mouse to be a bottleneck, which I suppose is ironic if you consider the ball ache I’ve suffered here today in not using the mouse. Regrettably, I can’t throw my mouse away just yet, and will continue to use it until I no longer game or use Windows (forever, then). However, if there is one thing I can guarantee, it is that my mouse travels a lot less than yours.