Honestly, I’m not getting what people are so bent out of shape over.
Ken Carpenter

Serious (but kind of rhetorical) question: do you use your Mac’s keyboard shortcuts, or do you tend to rely on the mouse/trackpad?

For those of us who are heavy keyboard users, losing Esc is a huge problem. I’ve also been tracking my usage since Apple’s event, and I use Esc dozens of times per hour, and always by touch (so a virtual replacement is useless). Putting aside the complaints of vi programmers, it’s first and foremost a systemwide function key used to:

  • Dismiss browser popups
  • Dismiss menus
  • Cancel partially-typed web browser URLs
  • Dismiss autocorrect suggestions
  • Exit from a command-tab app switch
  • Hide the web browser cursor
  • Cancel a Finder drag-and-drop action
  • Cancel changes to an input field in most apps

And this is just off the top of my head. I could go on for pages if I wanted to give it some thought. My point is: for a very large subset of serious Mac users, Esc is used all the time.

Even worse: based on Apple’s demos, it looks unlikely that the virtual Esc key will be available in all of those contexts. So yeah, there’s a virtual replacement—but it’s effectively a brand new function key, not Escape.

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