Window Manager Modifiers

Ted Gould ted at
Fri Aug 3 08:52:24 PDT 2007

Hello all,

In the Inkscape project we're constantly butting up against the problem
where there simply aren't enough modifiers for everything we'd like to
implement.  This means for most of our tools there is a constant battle
to figure out how we can fit everything into Alt, Ctrl and Shift.  We
manage.  But, many window managers are using alt click to drag windows
which takes 1/3 of our options away.

There are lots of solutions to this, I'm curious which way makes sense
to people.

- Applications could start using the "Meta" key.  I don't like this
because it seems to be something that is rather machine specific.  I
don't think applications should be using this modifier.

- There is some Freedesktop spec that says Window Managers should only
use the meta modifier for their actions.

- Somewhere there is a spec that allows a window manager hint to be set
by applications to say "I'd really like Alt, please!!!"

- Some users don't get functionality out of some apps unless they
reconfigure the apps or their desktop.

My personal favorite here is "2" -- I think that the Meta key could be
turned into the "desktop" key where other desktop actions could be
assigned to it also.


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