Global Shortcuts

Michael Jansen kde at
Tue Mar 18 09:50:15 GMT 2008

Am Dienstag 18 März 2008 09:59:37 schrieb Andreas Hartmetz:
> Am Montag, 17. März 2008 14:37:55 schrieb Anders Lund:
> > On Monday 17 March 2008, Andreas Hartmetz wrote:
> > > > 1. I don't care for applications registering global shortcuts without
> > > > telling me and without giving me the oppurtunity to disable them. I
> > > > start a application i don't know, accidently press some button
> > > > combination and something happens. Don't like it.
> > > >    No global shortcuts without my consent. Basta. A application is
> > > > allowed to advertise actions it thinks are appropriate for global
> > > > shortcuts, and give default values, but after starting the
> > > > application the first time they arent active. It's opt-in.
> > >
> > > I am somewhat split on this. I can see the reasons for that but I think
> > > the reason against it is stronger: You want users to start using an app
> > > right away and if a user walks from one machine to the next it would be
> > > nice to have mostly (barring clashes which should be rare) the same
> > > shortcuts on both.
> >
> > I'm with Michael here, I find the sudden missing functinoality in one
> > application due to stolen shortcuts *very* disturbing, and an automated
> > way to turn them off would be nice indeed.
> It's expected that application programmers do a little bit of searching for
> a good shortcut on their own. Stealing a *global* shortcut that is already
> assigned *never* happens automatically. The API is there but it's
> documented that you shouldn't use it willy-nilly and so far nobody does.
> Also, global shortcuts usually have two modifiers and should be exotic
> enough not to override local shortcuts.

And how should this be done? Got to, download each and every 
application there possibly having global shortcuts and see what's left? Or 
better freshmeat? I guess gnome has global shortcuts too. Just check for kde 
core components?

It's impossible to to that. And i bet somewhere out there is a user using a 
application u never heard of getting a conflict. Developers tend activate 
shortcuts and global shortcuts too fast. I would have liked to get the control 

And by the way. Anders talked of global shortcuts stealing local shortcuts. 
There is no conflict checking against local shortcuts when assigning a global 
shortcut. That would be nearly impossible to realize. Global shortcuts are 
only checked against the other at that time known global shortcuts. You get a 
conflict check if you change the local shortcut. But i would guess that's done 
only from power users and doesn't help with those 99% of local shortcuts that 
never get changed.

Ever taken a look at the kdevelop shortcut list? Good luck trying to predict 
what kind of shortcuts each and every new plugin you load brings into the 
game. I came to the conclusion the only modifier that is safe to use if the 
meta/win key. 

On a side note. If you want to see that problem driven to the extreme install 
firefox with something about 30 Plugins of your choice. There is a key 
configuration extension there. Try that one and have a look. It's not 
impossible to have shortcuts with 4 or 5 plugins trying to grab it.


Michael Jansen
Available for contract work ( Development / Configuration Management )

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