Fixing the Shortcut Mess

Andreas Hartmetz ahartmetz at
Thu May 10 03:48:54 BST 2007

On Wednesday 09 May 2007 12:46:04 Jakob Petsovits wrote:
> On Wednesday, 9. May 2007, Andreas Pakulat wrote:
> > On 09.05.07 07:29:08, Anders Lund wrote:
> > > On Tuesday 08 May 2007, Andreas Pakulat wrote:
> > > > Having such a clear separation helps especially applications that
> > > > need many shortcuts, for example Quanta or KDevelop. But of course
> > > > all other apps benefit too.
> > >
> > > How? If we are not allowed to use some shortcuts in applications? We
> > > use for example alt-<arrow>, why shouldn't that be allowed?
> >
> > Because its already assigned to internal window-management, I guess it
> > could be set for the navigation along the tabs. So if Kate uses
> > Alt-<arrow> for that Kate is fine already, else you'd have to change for
> > example to Ctrl-<arrow>.
> Well, Ctrl-<arrow> is a slightly bad example, because that one is widely
> used for you-know-what. However, I think that Kate's next/previous actions
> should take the same shortcuts as next/previous tab actions (for example,
> like in Konqueror, Akregator and Konversation - which would be Ctrl-"." and
> Ctrl-",").
> Essentially, those are the same actions, even if implemented with different
> widgets, and I still find it hard to switch my thinking between those.
> Regards,
>   Jakob

Maybe we should open a wiki page to collect a list of constraints for a 
unified shortcuts scheme; what I remember from the old thread is that there 
are so many constraints that nobody had all of them in memory at the same 
time. Well, at least I didn't :)
What needs to be done is to weight the constraints, decide which ones to 
ignore, and how to satisfy the rest so that the best shortcuts are assigned to 
the most used actions.
Once everybody can see a picture of the whole problem, solutions will 
hopefully be easier to find.

A related topic is this:
In a discussion with Ellen (openusability), she was in favor of dropping the 
possibility to change standard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl+V) except for maybe about 
two schemes per platform where it makes sense. This would basically mean KDE 
and Windows on the PC and KDE and Mac on the Mac.
I would go so far to drop all configurability for standard shortcuts.
That would make life a lot easier, because configurable standard shortcuts are 
a great way to shoot yourself in the foot with lots of clashes.
KDE is supposed to be configurable, but does it have to go this far?
Please speak up if you or anybody you know really needs to reconfigure 
standard shortcuts.
As far as I know, no other desktop environment has that possibility.

If you wonder what I'm talking about, go to the control center, regional & 
accessibility settings (don't know the English name), shortcuts.
The UI is quite scary, too.


More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list