Apple MacBook Touch Bar

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
〔source @Kirinodere

The design of the new MacBook touch bar, and what it means to programers.

Apple MacBook touchbar 2016-10
Apple's new MacBook, with a display touch bar.

No more function keys, and no more Escape key.

“MacBook Pro — QWERTY”. Apple's commercial about the touch bar.
“The new MacBook Pro featuring Touch Bar – So much to touch – Apple”. Apple's commercial.
“MacBook Pro — Reveal”. Apple commercial. The song is Big Gigantic ♪ The Little Things

For programers or serious gamers, life will be more difficult.

For vim users, you'll need to set the Caps Lock to do Escape. You should, anyway. [see Programer Hand Health: vi Esc Key Syndrome]

Some vimmers suggest using Ctrl+[. No. That's not better, if not worse. You shift the Escape wrist problem to the pinky problem. Two pinkies to be exact, one Control for your left pinky, and one square bracket for your right pinky for the balance of pain.

And now, with the touch bar, you'll have to keep your head down to watch it. It's a watch'n'touch bar.

keyboard touchtype sock 2008 Becky Stern
Don't think about it. [image source flickr, by Becky Stern, . © ]

and, fat finger syndrome just walked from your iPhone to your MacBook.

the page up/down keys dropped dead, and now function keys' touchy.

will it spell the end of function keys across board? Probably not. Not for at least few years i think. For this to happen to PC, it needs the OS, Microsoft Windows, to cooperate, and Microsoft isn't in the business of innovating PCs. Oh wait, maybe Microsoft Surface, but that's nothing but a surface.

NeXT Computer keyboard
NeXT keyboard, no function keys. 〔image source by John Miranda.〕

Steve Jobs hated function keys. They are not on the NeXT keyboard. But this touch bar idea is probably not his legacy. See NeXT Keyboard.

see also Evolution of Laptop Keyboards, No More Page Up/Down Keys!

MacBook touchbar Norton Commander 34652
Norton Commander 1986, revived.

Apple MacBook 2020, Touch Square!

here it is, the touch square!

Microsoft Surface Book 2017 02 28
Microsoft Surface Book

Keyboards with Display in Each Key

  1. Sonder Keyboard
  2. Optimus Popularis Keyboard
  3. Elgato Stream Deck keypad
  4. Apple MacBook Touch Bar

Laptop Keyboard Topic

  1. Evolution of Laptop Keyboards, No More Page Up/Down Keys!
  2. Laptop, How to Change the Function Keys as F1 to F12?
  3. Apple MacBook Touch Bar
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