[Usability] Re: Keyboard prefs, layouts tab

Since I am a person generally maintaining all this stuff, I presume it
is time for me to participate a bit...

> window to about 2000*740 pixels, some of the writing is still too small
> to be shown as distinct characters (particularly on the numeric
> keypad).
Agree. Is there any standard approach to zooming in GNOME which would
be applicable here?

> *   Let windows have a preferred size, which the window manager can
>      ignore if the screen's not that big.
I will probably do this anyway, it is cheap.

> *   Arrange the unShifted and Shifted characters horizontally on each
>      key, instead of vertically, allowing for a bigger font.
Invalid. There are shift levels and groups - so both X and Y axes are used.

> *   Make modified characters appear only when that modifier key is held
>      down (à la Key Caps on classic Mac OS), so the whole of each key
>      can be used to display one character at a time.
It may be ok for the current layout. But what about the layout preview
in the g-k-p - when you only going to choose the keyboard? You cannot
reliably say "this button WOULD BE pressed if this layout is chosen
into the configuration".

> *   Use less padding for each key in the diagram.
The geometry is read dynamically from xorg configuration files. Sure
you are free to submit patches.

> *   Use a transparent background for the diagrams (but not the keys),
>      so the layouts can go right up to the edges of their diagrams.
It would look strange, wouldn't it?

> *   (Worst option) Use a tooltip for each key.
Really not nice...

> > Of course not! It's the amazingly named 'Group Shift/Lock behavior'
> > option in the next tab. No, *nothing* in this label indicates is has
> > anything to do with layouts, unless you happen to know [t]hat some
> > kinds of layouts are called 'groups'.
This is a real problem. And the worst part of it is that I do not
really know the right solution to it. The fact is that group ~= layout
(_approximately_ same thing). I would be happy to hide the word
"group" from people altogether but I cannot.

> To laugh, or to cry? That is the question.

> > Once again, AFAIK, this text is determined by X, not GNOME. So we're
> > stuck with it.
Not at all. Since I am managing xkeyboard-config which is going to be
adopted by most of distros (if not already adopted) - we CAN change
this text.

> How so? Does Xorg really have the text "R-Alt switches group while
> pressed.", etc, in it somewhere?
locate xorg.xml

> Further evidence that there is no such thing as the notification area.
> It's too small to show notifications, so it's used mostly for other
> things.

> >> menu:". If you could guarantee that the keyboard combo for cycling
Noone can guarantee this. Unless you want to remove the choice of the
layout switching shortcut (over my dead body).

> To get back to your original problem about how to document this, I
> suggesting writing a step-by-step "How to use multiple keyboard
> layouts", using apologetic humor to pick around the whole Charlie
> Foxtrot. <http://g2meyer.com/usablehelp/singles/245.html>
I would love to read it:)

> > We're limited to the choice of keys by X...
Yes that's a fact.

> > So basically, a lot of our problems with this pref
> > tool, and with keyboard layouts in general, are down
> > to problems in X.
101% agree.



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