[Inkscape-devel] Window Manager Modifiers

Claes H claesatwork at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 12:21:38 PDT 2007

This is an interesting discussion and hopefully some consensus can be
reached. About a year ago I started the Wikipedia page "Table of
keyboard shortcuts" to document which keyboard shortcuts are used on
the major platforms. I thought it would be best maintained on
Wikipedia since it is beneficial if it is reasonably complete also for
non-unix platforms. I think it is quite useful as reference by now.

I think it can be argued that Alt does not fully belong to the WM.
After all, Alt is the modifier that activates the menu options (such
as Alt+F for the file menu). This is at least since the CUA standard
was published in 1987, which Windows inherits from. Also, Alt is used
as the accesskey in HTML in many browsers, including Firefox. For this
reason, Firefox has disabled Alt as menu accesskey on Unix, and it is
used as accesskey for the browsed content instead, but still not free
for the WM.

For this reason I think the main distinction for who should listen for
Alt should be between alphanumerical chars and non-alphanumerical
chars. That seems to solve the majority of cases. There is still some
conflict on Alt+cursor keys though. Apart from this, the following
division seems to reflect current practise:

For use by WM / Desktop			

Modifier		Additional

Alt			non alphanumerical	
Alt+Shift	        non alphanumerical
Alt			mouse			
Alt+ctrl 		any	
Alt+shift		any	
Alt+shift+ctrl		any

For use by applications

Modifier		Additional

Alt 			alphanumerical
Alt+Shift 		alphanumerical
Ctrl			any
Ctrl+Shift		any

Since Alt already is split, it might be possible to split "ownership"
of other modifiers as well?

C l a e s    H o l m e r s o n

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