[haiku-development] Re: Key roles vs. key label in menus

  • From: "kirilla@xxxxxxxxxx" <jonas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "haiku-development@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <haiku-development@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 18:50:12 +0200

On 9 apr 2012, at 10:58, Humdinger wrote:
> I have to admit that I didn't follow these threads on AltGr and key 
> roles too closely. 
> So, feel free to ignore the following. :)

+1. Coming back from a week of vacation that 90+ posts thread 
got binned. 

Post-scriptum: There's probably no silver bullet in my haystack
reply, but feel free to grep it.

> See this mockup for a "Set modifier keys" panel:
> http://imagebin.org/207296

What OS X does:

Modifier Keys

part of the Keyboard preflet

- OS X doesn't, AFAIK, allow remapping of keys aside from a shortlist
of  modifier keys.

- When remapping modifiers in OS X (e.g. swapping control and 
command, ^ and ⌘) the menus still sport the clover symbol.

- The keyboard layout appears to be auto detected ("Swedish Pro")
and is selected in the list of "Input Sources" available in one of 
the tabs of the  "Language & Text" preflet.


- There is, IIRC, an install-time dialog asking the user a few simple 
questions about the keyboard if one has connected a keyboard 
that OS X doesn't know how to auto detect.


- OS X is simple and usable. Haiku, somewhat less.

- Haiku should try to detect locale properties of connected devices.

- When input  device locale (keymap) detection is not possible Haiku
should offer sufficient configurability.

- The userfacing preferences should focus on ease of use and sane
configurability, similar to that of OS X's Modifier Keys preflet.

(Haiku's key remapping feature approaches that of a keymap editor.
Should it be broken out and perfected as an editor instead?)

- The first priority of Haiku should be to mimic overall keyboard 
conventions. In other words: respect common user expectations.
Common, cross-platform conventions. Stuff people expect.

If it is common for users of a certain locale to expect the pressing of 
Alt-Gr + S to result in a german ß, it should happen also in Haiku.
To deviate from this is to shoot oneself in the foot.

- Seconday priority would be to mimic the present keyboard(s) 
physical appearance, set of keys, layout, keycaps.

For menu option shortcut legends it should be possible (in spite
of key remapping, I think) to offer two legend sets: 

- PC (ctrl, alt, cmd, ... ?)
- Mac (^ ⌥ ⌘)

If that isn't doable for some reason, one could IMO do a lot worse than
going with the Mac symbols, as key roles. (Ideally mapped by default
to exactly those physical keys when using a Mac keyboard.)

There may be need for a Mac-like shortcut legend for the Alt-Gr key,
since it's not unthinkable to have apps use it as shortcut modifier
in locales where Alt-Gr is a common keymap option. (Probably not
a good idea, but still.)


- Mac and PC keyboards: 2 dissimilar keymaps
- Mac, Windows and Haiku/PC keyboard: 3 dissimilar keymaps
- Mac, Windows, Haiku/PC keyb, Haiku/Mac keyb: 4 dissimilar keymaps

I use a Mac keyboard with my Haiku PC, to standardize on some 
resemblance of order, but it breaks down with Haiku, and switching
between 4 dissimilar keymaps is horribly unfriendly.

(I think Haiku's Mac keymaps are broken. Pressing the clover key shows
up in Haikus Keymap preferences as alt being pressed. There are also 
issues with <> and §°. I should file a bug report.)

I think Haiku applies PC key locations to Mac keyboards, where a lot of
characters reside in other places, making it a larger issue than merely 
that of swapping the modifier keys. It's similar, mentally, to finding myself 
with a US keymap on my Swedish keyboard, but more severe.

I don't care so much about the choice of bitmaps, symbols or text in the 
shortcut legends on the menu options, but I do care very much about 
the keyboards working reasonably uniformly, regardless of what system
I'm interfacing, being true to the keyboards physical appearance and
working reasonably the same across different operating systems.

(I hindsight I think Be was wrong to go for Alt as the command key on PC
keyboards. They failed to understand the significance of Alt-Gr in the 
european markets, and never got around to fixing it properly.)


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