magnus.bergman at observer.net
Wed Aug 17 17:05:52 EEST 2005
On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 21:01:24 +0200
Claes at work <claesatwork at gmail.com> wrote:
> There is a long thread at lwn.net about keybinding conflicts:
> http://lwn.net/Articles/147467/. One issue that is mentioned is that
> traditional unix keybindings conflict with keybindings with
> Windows heritage.
> Mac OS X has solved this issue well by using the Command key instead
> of the Control key. So to copy you press Command-C rather than
> Control-C. This way there is no conflict. (Well perhaps Mac never had
> the problem to begin with but nonetheless this conflict does not
> exist on Mac).
This is the way it used to be solved in UNIX too. Many UNIX keyboards
has a diamond key which was used for this. But when the programs was
ported to Linux the alt key was used (PC keyboards didn't have a win
key back then). Windows users found this very confusing, and the
keybindings was began to change to use control instead of alt. To some
degree this introduced conflicts on UNIX systems where there was none
> On PC keyboards the Win key sits in about the same position as the
> Command key does on Mac keyboards.
A potential problem is that not all keyboards has a win key (nor any
other corresponding modifier key). Anyone running Linux a PC can buy
one of course. But for example SGI computers doesn't have such a key so
I doubt Irix even supports it.
Another solution to the problem is to use those keyboards with special
keys for common tasks (manage windows, help, copy, paste and so on) or
get a keyboard (from the early eighties) with lots of F and P other
strange keys and reserve them for special tasks.
The bottom line is that I think keys need to be configurable to suit
different environments and user habits. Deciding that some common key
combination MUST always be used for this and that will always create
new problems for someone I believe.
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