more accelerator keys related thoughts


besides my previous patch, I would like to express my wish for more
default accelerator assignments. As far as I can see from my searches
through the archive, this has been discussed briefly before but the
conclusion was that it's not really necessary, because you can assign
your own. This might be true, but I still think that providing default
settings is very important for several reasons:

  * it makes using a vanilla dia installation much easier without the
    need for additional configuration
  * not all users are aware of the possibility to assign their own
    accelerator keys (I guess there is a reason why this is a FAQ)
  * sometimes setting or changing the accelerator key doesn't even work
    (at least I have come across a few boxes where it didn't. I don't
    know the reason for that, maybe some Gnome setting or something has
    been deactivated)

I can see that picking sensible defaults is not a trivial task, but I
would hope that it is attempted anyway. Especially an accelerator key for
the standard move tool is very important, in my opinion. As Alt+M is
already taken, I would propose Alt+N (I don't have a particular good
reason for it, just that it's unused and close to M. But maybe someone
can come up with a better suggestion?).

The most important set of functions that don't have default accelerator
keys are under Menu / Assign in my opinion. Providing default settings
for those is especially useful as they are buried so deep in the menu.
To be able to pick keys that are easy to memorize, I would propose to
let all of these accelerator keys start with Shift+Alt. As this is
somehow related to the standard tools, which all use Alt+Something, I
think that choice would also fit quite good. (Or is there a problem with
using Shift+Alt ?)
Following that scheme, one could use:

  Align Left            Shift+Alt+L
  Align Center          Shift+Alt+C
  Align Right           Shift+Alt+R

  Align Top             Shift+Alt+T
  Align Middle          Shift+Alt+M
  Align Bottom          Shift+Alt+B

  Spread horiz.         Shift+Alt+H
  Spread vert.          Shift+Alt+V
  Adjacent              Shift+Alt+A
  Stacked               Shift+Alt+S

Just to try these out and play around with them, I have created a patch
that set these settings as the default. The patch is attached as well.

A final thought goes to the property box of a shape: I think Alt+Enter
is usually expected to open up the property window. But I am not sure,
whether this setting would cause any problem.

Well, that's enough of my accelerator key waffle. I would really like to
see default settings in dia, though. I hope this post might start a
discussion to find a sensible set of defaults.

Best regards,


Attachment: dia_accelerator_defaults.patch
Description: Text document

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