[haiku-development] Switching the application switch key to Cmd (aka Alt) + Tab

  • From: Ryan Leavengood <leavengood@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku-development@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 15:45:54 -0400

Sorry I originally sent this to the main haiku mailing list but should
probably have sent it here.

TLDR; version:

We should mimic the other major operating systems and use Alt-Tab for
switching applications.

Long version:

Long ago in the BeOS days there was a large debate within Be, Inc
about shortcuts keys when the switch was made from supporting
Macintosh-like machines to normal PCs. In the end the more Mac-like
arrangement won out, where the key next to the keyboard, Cmd on Mac
keyboards and Alt on PC keyboards become the default shortcut key. But
an option was added to switch to to Windows-like key bindings, which
basically just switches the key mapping of Ctrl and Alt.

At some point when the application switcher was added (originally
called the Twitcher), the key chosen to activate it was Ctrl-Tab for
some reason. This might be because it was added to appease Windows
users and when the above shortcut key setting is changed then the
Twitcher would respond to Alt-Tab.

So here we are in 2012 still using Ctrl-Tab in the default shortcut
layout, when pretty much every other modern system uses Alt-Tab or its
equivalent (Cmd-Tab on Mac OS X.)

I really think we should switch this to always be Alt-Tab, ignoring
the shortcut setting. I like using Alt as the command key so just
changing the shortcut setting doesn't work for me.

I'm all for being different when it makes sense, but I think this is a
needless difference which totally messes up my muscle memory and I'm
sure I'm not alone. The reality is for now and for a while we all will
use other systems in addition to Haiku, and constantly having to
switch in our minds and hands the keys for application switching is
really annoying.

I'm willing to make this change and will also adjust whatever Haiku
applications use Cmd-Tab as a shortcut to use Ctrl-Tab, which may just
be Terminal and WebPositive.


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