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The Most Pressed Keys in Various Programming Languages

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I switch between programming languages quite a bit; I often wondered what happens when having to deal with the different syntaxes, does the syntax allow you to be more expressive or faster at coding in one language or another. I don't really know about that; but what I do know what keys are pressed when writing with different programming languages. 

This might be something interesting for people who are deciding to select a programming language might look into, here is a post on the answer to the aged question of: Which programming language should I learn?

As far as I can tell languages with a wider focused spread across the keyboard are usually syntaxes we usually associate with ugly languages (ugly to read and code). ex. shell and perl.

You might argue that the variables names being used will alter the results, but as most languages programming have conventions for naming but we can assume a decent spread for variable names. I don’t offer conclusions, just poorly layout the facts. Although the heat map does miss out on things like shift and caps. ex. in perl with the dollar sign. ($)

Whitespace hasn’t been taken into consideration (tabs and spaces) which would have been a cool thing to see. 

The data that was used to gather this information was spread amongst various popular Github projects. 












Lisp code here was written by Paul Graham.


  1. heatmap.js http://www.patrick-wied.at/projects/heatmap-keyboard/
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(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Dapeng Liu replied on Thu, 2012/07/12 - 11:07am

i think lisp is wrong, Shift key should be twice as hotter as the 9 and 0 

Bob Bobsmith replied on Fri, 2012/07/13 - 3:05am

"E" is presumably one of the most common keys because it is one of the most common letters in the English language. It'd be interesting to see how those compared to "normal" typing, turning them into heatmaps of "how much does the language differ from the normal characters people use" instead of "how much is a character used".

Erwin Mueller replied on Sun, 2012/07/15 - 2:52am in response to: Dapeng Liu

Although the heat map does miss out on things like shift and caps.
So I think on Lisp the heatmap is on ( and ) and not 9 and 0.

David Lim replied on Thu, 2012/07/26 - 1:12am in response to: Dapeng Liu

It was already explained that these meta keys aren't showing up properly.

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