On Tue, 12 Dec 2000, Simon Budig <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > On most software packages (not for Linux, though), the
> > "underline" action keys are generally organized well enough so that it's
> > quicker to push that key instead of moving the mouse.  For laptop users
> > this is true especially since most laptop mice don't have as much control
> > as standard desktop mice.  If you ever tried to pick a menu item from a
> > 1024x768, 10" laptop screen , using a kludgy input device like a
> > touchpad or one of those pointing sticks, you would appreciate the ability
> > to push a key instead of moving the mouse.
> Dont argue with speed: Pressing Alt-F + x to exit a program is definitely
> more complicated than pressing Ctrl-Q. This goes double for nested menus.
> (As a sidenote: I dont think, referring to bad equipment does help us
> much in this case. Everybody, who touches up photos on a 10" LC-Display
> with a touchpad and expects a seamless workflow is nuts. You could also
> expect Gimp to run smoothly without restrictions on a text-terminal...  :-)

Although I don't like timecop's style and arrogance (timecop, please
change your style if you expect more constructive replies), I think
that he has a good point.  The example with Alt-F + X may not be the
best, but the idea of allowing all menu entries to be reached by a
sequence of keys is good (not that I would implement it, but still...)

I do not think that I am totally nuts, and I do use the Gimp from time
to time on a laptop that has a small screen and a crappy trackpoint.
Of course I only use it for simple things (mainly web-quality images,
not high-res photos), but it works reasonably well.  I do the more
serious editing on my PC at home when I want a better quality, but the
laptop is sufficient for quick and dirty work.  And indeed, I have
wished several times that I could use the keyboard to access some of
the plug-ins.  And I do not know any better solution than the one that
timecop is proposing, because the current way to assign shortcuts to
menu entries is limited by the total number of keys that are available
(multiplied by the number of modifiers) and it would be impossible to
remember all of these unique combinations anyway.

> > I believe you are missing the point.  Nobody is complaining about general
> > shortcut keys.  Things like Ctrl+L are never going away.  This has nothing
> > to do with the issue I am talking about, which is putting accelerator keys
> > on menu items to allow faster navigation once the menu is already open.
> You are talking about using Alt-F to open the File-Menu. Since you have
> to invoke the <Image>->File Menu to be able to save images the general
> shortcut "Alt-F" would be lost for normal operations. (like repeating
> the last plugin).

This is something that should have been mentioned earlier, and it is a
pity that timecop sent his inflamatory mail instead of calming down
and trying to find the root causes of the problems that he described.
The shortcuts in the Gimp lack some consistency in the way they use
the modifiers.  Alt and Ctrl are used everywhere in the menus and the
combinations of letters and modifiers were more or less chosen on a
first come, first serve basis (plus some influence from other

Some other programs stick to the (MS?) guideline: use Alt for opening
the menus, and Ctrl or Ctrl-Shift for invoking some action directly
without opening the menus.

Using the Alt key for opening the menus (toolbox menu or image menu)
would mean that the (very useful) Alt-F shortcut would have to go.  It
would have to be re-assigned to some Ctrl-key combination.  A lot of
other shortcuts would have to be replaced, but in the end I think that
the final result could actually be easier to use for everybody.
Please do think about it for a minute instead of throwing the idea
away because of timecop's arrogance.  I tried to think about the pros
and cons, and I think that a more consistent way of assigning the
shortcuts could help in the long run.

Anyway, this is a major change that should definitely not go into 1.2,
but maybe it should be considered for 1.3/1.4.

> So you tell me that you would like to grab for the mouse to right click
> for the menu and then reach for the Keyboard to navigate through the
> menus and think that this is more optimal than a direct shortcut on the
> keyboard?

I don't think that his idea of requiring a right-click in the image
for opening the context menu and _then_ using the keyboard is a good
idea.  Instead, I would prefer that Alt-F opens <Image>->File
directly, and so on for the other entries in the context menu.  If you
pointer is over the toolbox and not over an image, then it would open
the File menu in the toolbox.

> > I imagine most of you *hate* the Win95 key that you get for free on most
> > keyboards (all of them now, actually) - but why not put it to good
> > use?  Why not make it open the gimp's right click menu?
> Because Gimp already uses too much modifiers, and the "Windows"-Key is
> IMHO the perfect key to control the Windowmanager.

Right.  I have two new keyboards in my office.  One is attached to a
Sun workstation, the other one to a PC.  None of them has a Windows
key.  A colleague of mine has a keyboard with this key, but it is used
by his window manager.  Since the key is grabbed by the WM, the Gimp
does not even see it when you press it.

> Of course we should aim to make gimp as easy to use as possible, but I dont
> think that your proposal is easier than a good ".menurc". I think esp.
> it is easier to use the cursor keys to navigate through menus than finding
> the keys "t", "p", "p" from your example above. We cannot optimize Gimp
> for every handicap - and there *are* thinks like sticky modifier keys.

I disagree with the statement that it is easier to use the cursor keys
to navigate through the menus.  Having additional shortcuts does not
prevent you from using the cursor keys, but once you have learned some
key sequences such as Alt-A B C, it is easier and faster to use that
than most other methods (navigating with the mouse or the cursor
keys).  The single-key shortcuts are faster, but you cannot have too
many of them.  The advantage of using key sequences is that they can
be easier to remember because the mental effort is not much greater
than the effort needed for remembering a path through the menus (like
the fact that Displace is under <Image>->Filters->Map->Displace), and
this information can be refreshed easily.


Reply via email to