Matt Webb discusses the Command key in Jef Raskin’s Humane Interface and mentions that Raskin’s ideas are based on the idea that keystrokes are quicker than the mouse. This is true.
He also links to a 1989 article by Bruce Tognazzini contending that the mouse is faster overall because it doesn’t require high-level cognitive engagement.
Articles like Tog’s make me feel, even more strongly that fundamental mistakes in judgement were made during the process that landed us in our current “state of interface.”
I’m almost shocked that when the problem of “too many command-key combinations to remember” arose, the solution was to design a completely new way to access commands. Then again, let me not characterize this problem as something that suddenly arose and had to be fixed. More likely, this was simply a problem that slowly emerged. The resulting solution: an interface adaptation that solved one problem, but created other new problems as well. The menu solution was different, but not necessarily better.
I suppose that’s why I have such good feelings about Raskin’s Humane Environment. It’s such a common-sense design solution.