Every keyboard is a programmer’s keyboard

It’s well known among programmers: US/UK keyboards are programmer’s keyboards!

Well, may be among real software developers only.

The problem with other keyboards layout is related to some strange characters us real software developers use, like the backtick (`) and the tilde (~): if you don’t know what I’m talking about you should reconsider your programming skill.

Those characters are not available on non US/UK keyboards and more than often software developers struggle with weird ALT+KeyNum combinations to obtain those characters (remember the days of ALT+123, ALT+125?).

While this issue can be easily solved on modern operating systems (read *nix) other legacy OSes (read MS Windows) doesn’t provide any help to poor developers with non US/UK keyboards like me. I’ve finally found a great solution that can expand your keyboard combinations on MS Windows, allowing you to bind weird characters to keyboard shortcuts.

A little tiny free software called AutoHotkey is at the core of this solution: when launched it intercepts key presses and it’s able to run a script (yes, it provides a small scripting language) and, believe it or not, output a custom sequence of characters!

With something as simple as the following I now have the backtick mapped to ALTGR+’ and the tilde mapped to ALTGR+\:

<^>!\::~
<^>!'::`

Just add the AutoHotkey executable to your auto start programs list and you end up having the perfect keyboard!

Advertisements

One thought on “Every keyboard is a programmer’s keyboard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s