Re: Gnome key bindings (was Re: gnome keys sucks)

kevin lyda wrote:
> now i'm not going to suggest the normal unix solution: wimp out and
> don't make a decision.  what might be nice is instead of key bindings
> each application should make concept bindings.  i'm binding "File->New
> spreadsheet" to the new-document concept.  i'm binding "File->Open
> Location" to the open-file concept.  and this would be done the same way
> keybindings are done (speaking as someone who hasn't really done them).

This is the Xt solution -- an Xt application is supposed to use
"translations" to map events to actions, with a config file that
says things like
Meta<Key>Q: quit(no-save)
Meta<Key>q: quit(confirm-save)
Ctrl<Key>u: goto-url(selection)
Ctrl<Button>1: remove-files("~/*")

It's a real mess to work with, but also quite powerful;
see the file, particularly the one Sun ships with OpenWindows,
for some good examples (Sun's shows how to implement copy and paste
keys as well as the standard X middle-mouse stuff).

> there's the issue of app unique key-bindings and clashing, but how many
> are there really?
A great many, unfortunately.  If you like emacs (I don't) you can have
keybindings for almost anything... the mac user might be happy with
control-w to delete a window, and I've used X applications that do that,
but since control-w is the default word delete character in the Unix
terminal driver (hence in the shell, vi, ed, etc.) that's a problem.
Someone else mentioned the good old problem with binding control-S.

But conventions for most common operations would be A Good Thing.

I expect a Gnome Style Guide would do this, if there were such a thing.

I agree with kevin when he says that changing keybindings could be
like a kind of theming, although it must only ever be done with the
user's knowledge and consent, and there must be an easy way to restore
defaults, as otherwise tech support becomes too difficult.

Lee / Ankh

Liam Quin - Barefoot in Toronto - -
author, The Open Source XML Database Toolkit, Wiley, August 2000
Co-author, The XML Specification Guide, Wiley, 1999

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