Re: Orca on laptops.

Joanmarie Diggs wrote:
Hi Bill.

I guess one possible way to get out of the "conflict situation" would be to exclude ShiftLock from the orca modifier mask;

But.... Might not ShiftLock be an ideal modifier key for some?
I am not sure I understand your point - or perhaps you are misunderstanding me. What I am suggesting is that we specifically _avoid_ using ShiftLock (which is generally a troublesome 'modifier' anyhow, because it always has "latch" behavior, i.e. toggles between on/off with successive keypresses). ShiftLock is normally one of the modifier keys which are included in the "modifier state" of the keyboard; that is, it affects the behavior of the other keys. We can leverage this behavior by leaving it in the set of modifiers which affect orca, but by not using it as the "orca command modifier". This would allow orca users to access orca keys quickly, without latching behavior (i.e. just "Alt-Home" for instance), but still give orca a way of accessing any other keyboard shortcuts associated with the orca command modifier. The reason this would work is, because ShiftLock is treated somewhat differently by applications and the X server, most shortcuts ignore the ShiftLock state, and work the same whether ShiftLock is on or off.

For those few situations where the ShiftLock state actually does matter, the user can press "Shift" to reverse the sense of ShiftLock and thus accomplish the same keystroke, without invoking the orca command.

Sorry if this sounds complicated, I am not sure how to put it more straightforwardly.

To use examples again, I think that the ShiftLock "loophole" could give us a way to work around the potential conflicts with any other modifier, for instance Alt, or Control, or even AltGr - for instance if we decided to make AltGr the orca modifier, Samuel could still insert his graphical arrow symbols with


Or if the orca command modifier were "Alt", and orca used the TAB key as a command key (a bad choice IMO), you could still switch windows with (CapsLock)+Alt+TAB; or if the orca command modifier were "Control", you could move focus within a treeview with (CapsLock)+Control+arrow.

Basically I think that the combinations of Alt, Control, or Shift with arrow keys are already used elsewhere in the desktop somewhere, so conflict seems inevitable. At least this technique would give us a workaround - we would still of course want to try to reduce the conflicting set of keys to the smallest one we could.


I also think it would be preferable to have it as a modifier rather than
as the key that makes all of the keyboard shortcuts I normally use on my
desktop work on my laptop. :-)

AltGr is one that often gets forgotten; what about that? It does appear to be a modifier key on all the systems I am aware of.

This idea I like.  On my laptops, AltGr doesn't seem to be doing
anything useful (like allowing me to get into menus).  And every laptop
I've seen has had this key.

Take care.

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