Re: Uppercase in Hotkeys & menus

Hi, David!

Sorry for the late reply.

> Hmm... I could understand the time shortage but the automatic thing
> seems too poor for me.

No, I didn't mean that we should do settle for some quick fix before the

I meant that we sould not expect the translators to care about things like
spacing, menu alignment and the way how hotkeys (not shorcuts) are
highlighted (i.e. by capitalization, by color etc).

I probably was too radical in my suggestion to decide for the translators
what the hotkeys (not shorcuts) should be.  I agree with you that it would
be too far (if that's what you meant).

> The idea of my patch was to have some GUI fixes before what seems to
> be a "semi stable" release supposed to take the place of 4.1.36 (even
> when it can't ftp Mcafee's site :) Most people is using translations
> and is not involved, but as there's no English l18n some people have
> to use the original C/POSIX mc and they would like some tidying of
> menus (which is already done this same way in the translations I've
> checked).

I understand that you were trying to capitalize all hotkeys.  If I
understand you correctly, some translations are very careful about it, but
the original english text is not.

Actually, modern GUI applications for X don't capitalize the hotkeys (I
checked klyx, abiword, mozilla, konqueror, nautilus and of course gmc).
They use underscores, and it looks better than "sKip" and "chOwn", in my
personal opinion.

I would rather go in the opposite direction and stop this abuse of
uppercase letters.  But it's not an issue that has any significant
importance for me.  I'm more annoyed by yellow on gray used in hotkeys.

> - Shortcuts (in the right of the menu) are used even when the menu is
> not in screen, and they should be well known (and set by programmers).
> It won't be hard as I remember I did a patch to translate menu's only
> once (not everytime) and that seems a good bottleneck to do that. But,
> what if the translator (say, the language) wants the shortcut on the
> left, or whereever? Can we deal with all choices?

We should, if we want to implement so much requested redefinition of keys.
Moving hotkeys to the left should be done programmatically.  The
alternative would be using "%s" in place of shortcut, but I don't think it
would be better.

Here are possible ways of what could be done.

1)  "Create foo      C-F"
2)  "Create foo\tC-F"
3)  "Create foo  C-F"
4)  "Create foo", "C-F"
5)  "Create foo\t%s", "C-F"

1 is what we have now.  Developers and and translators are responsible for
the alignment.  Shortcuts are hardcoded.

2 is used in cooledit (but not in the mcedit code).  The alignment is
automatic, but the shortcuts are still hardcoded.

3 - variation of the above, but backwards compatible and easier to read.
It is assumed that two or more spaces can always be considered as a
separator between left-aligned and right-aligned parts.

4 - my favorite.  Alignment is automatic, shortcuts are variable.  Names
of shortcuts could be found using translations for "C-%s", "M-%s" etc.

5 - the same plus the ability to put %s on the left.  I think the shortcut
placement could be an option independent of the translation.

> - Hotkeys are not that important. You're used to F9 C C, but there's
> people who have been using our translations for ages and they got used
> to different things. How many different languages do you use at a
> time? Nevertheless, hotkeys are just a way to make every option usable
> from the keyboard without using arrow keys. You can't automatically
> set hotkeys as you don't even know if such key even exist in any
> language.

Good point.

> - It's hard to choose the Hotkey for each menu as there are some long
> menus and the number of "single char keys used" is limited. It's the
> translator the only one who can make the best choice. It's hard, but
> it would be harder the other way.

Correct.  If the hotkey is used more than once it should cycle through all
matching items without activating them.  I read it long ago in some

> |  Put yourself in a position of a translator without much knowledge about
> |  our ugly menu system, and imagine his or her frustration.
> I do that quite often and I read their lists.

I appreciate it.

Pavel Roskin

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