Why I like MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar?

There is a decent hussle around MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. Lot of people hate it, or have some negative opinion on it.

I have been using MBP’s for almost two years. It took a while to adjust my Windows and Linux based habits to OSX, and it didn’t go well at first. After more than a year of using MBP I went back to a Dell Precision 5530 which was a nightmare. This is a story for another time.

You might need to know that, I’m a hobby prorgammer who uses mainly JetBrains products and command line. Any other thing I use is a browser, Microsoft Office products and VLC. Occasionally, I edit small videos.

Touch bar. At first, I couldn’t see any use of it. I understood that I can easily adjust volume, screen brightness and things like this. Fine. It seemed a way better solution than dealing with Fn keys. A few months later I discovered that JetBrains products can utilise Touch Bar very well.

Debugging. When I use Windows function keys (F1-12) are utilized for different debug options like step in, step over, etc. There is a common layout, but, honestly, I never remember it. Being in development mode is a different mindset. Inn my case, being focused on the code’s behaviour doesn’t make possible to remember any other thing. The least I need is to spend even a little brain capacity for remembering which function key is which function. When I debug on MBP using Rider the icons are displayed on the Touch Bar. It means I don’t have to remember which key which function. Icons, graphical representations of functions work better for me.

The other I really like is the following, Touch Bar content changes depending on which button is pressed from the following: Shift, Control, Alt and Command. See the context section in the linked Jetbrains page. You can bind 3-5 functions to every key context. It means, 10-15 functions can be used easily. It means two button need to be pressed. Pressing only two button is important for me. I personally don’t like 3 button, or primary-secondary keystrokes.

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