Accelerators missing from dialogs in KDE 4.3

Parker Coates parker.coates at
Sat Aug 1 05:10:10 BST 2009

2009/7/31 Ingo Klöcker:
> I'm wondering whether a completely different approach would be possible:
> Substring matching, i.e. after opening a menu one types part of the
> menu entry one wants to execute. The matching letters of all matching
> menu entries would be highlighted (as with spotlight on Mac). Tab would
> allow switching between several matching entries. Space and Enter would
> execute the selected option. This approach should also work for Asian
> languages.
> Of course, this approach does not provide the efficiency of single-key
> acceleration. And maybe it isn't all that useful because except for a
> minority of keyboard lovers (who really want single-key accelerators)
> most users will anyway use the mouse to select something in a menu.

I think that any solution that requires more than one keypress is
going to meet serious resistance. If given the choice between typing
out three letters of a particular menu item or hitting the down arrow
five times, I'm probably going to go with the latter.

I think this issue is especially complicated for KDE because such
accelerators aren't as essential for us as they are on some other
platforms. For my paid employment, I work all day in proprietary
"IDEs" on Windows. None of these allow the user to remap shortcuts and
many of them have crucial menu items with no shortcut at all. As a
result I've come to rely heavily on "menu shortcut sequences" like
Alt, F, K or Alt, W, A or Alt, I, B, 3. In a KDE app I wouldn't bother
with such foolishness; I would just assign decent shortcuts to those

In the end, I don't think a major overhaul of menu accelerators is
really worthwhile. It's not a very heavily used system and what we
have now works well enough. I would like to see a style option to hide
the underlines until Alt is pressed, though. Of course the question of
automatically versus manually assigning the shortcuts is a separate
issue and one I don't really feel qualified to comment on.


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