Re: Accelerator and terminology guides?

On Wed, Jun 27, 2001 at 02:43:12PM +0100, Michael Rogers wrote:
> I've drafted a standard for Gnome key bindings, based on the KDE
> standard:


Personally I wish that menu accelerators would *not* use control.
They should use alt.

At the very least, note that many of these conflict with
emacs, vi and shell bindings, so that if you type in a wrong
window by mistake there's a chance of catastrophe.

Rigth now, for example, gnome-terminal can't use these bindings at all,
and will never be able to.  And for a Unix system, however much you try
to hide it, the terminal application is pretty important.
Here are what some of the keys you list do in bash (and other shells),
emacs, vi (and gvim, the gtk+ editor), and GNU readline programs such
as ircII, EPIC etc., perl's readline, etc.  Netscape's text fields
also use most of these bash-like bindings.

    ^N = next line in bash, emacs, vi, ircII and derivatives, etc
    ^s = freezes a gnome-terminal (XON/XOFF) in many cases.
	 support problem.
    ^p = previous line in bash, emacs, vi, ircII etc.
    ^w = delete word in most shells (even ones without command editing
	 or history), terminal input, vi input mode, etc.
    ^q = XON, unfreezes terminal output stopped by ^S
    ^a = move to start of line in bash, emacs, irciI, etc.
    ^x = command prefix in emacs, ircII
    ^c = interrupt, if this binding is used *anywhere* in a gui for
	 Unix, it should mean "abort", not copy.  Use alt-c for copy.
    ^v = quote next character, pretty much everywheer except emacs,
	 where it moves forward a page
    ^z = suspend current process (iconifies gvim)
    ^f = forward character in bash, emacs, ircII, page forward in vi
    ^r = redraw in vi, not sure in emacs

I think that abandoning 20 years of Unix keybindings is risky, not because
they are enshrined in gold, but because
(1) we have a lot of Unix programs depending on them
    for example, text fields use many of these keybindings, both in
    gnome and in other toolkits
(2) disenfranchising existing unix users isn't wise yet.

(3) why should clicking in a text field and typing ^A do something
    completely and bewilderingly different than typing ^a if you missed the
    text field by one pixel?  Are you trying to give users nightmares? :-)

I have no interest in hearing, this is what Windows and the Mac do -- the
Mac doesn't use control for this, and Windows is a differnt evironment.
It's easy to see that if you use ALT instead, these conflicts go away.

(emacs and GNU readline already use META if available)


Liam Quin - Barefoot in Toronto - liam holoweb net -
Author, Open Source XML Database Toolkit, Wiley August 2000
Co-author: The XML Specification Guide, Wiley 1999; Mastering XML, Sybex 2001

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