Keyboard shortcut themes

Vincent mailinglists at
Sun Aug 31 19:14:16 CEST 2008

On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 7:07 PM, Jannis Pohlmann <jannis at> wrote:

> Hey,
> I'm kind of back working on the alpha release and the keyboard
> shortcuts of xfwm4 in particular. However, it occurs to me that the
> keyboard themes which we have in both xfwm4 and the command shortcuts
> make things overly complicated, especially if we want to avoid
> conflicts between xfwm4 and command shortcuts.
> Before we can finish this several questions have to be answered:
>  a) Do we want to share themes between xfwm4 and the command shortcuts?
>  b) If a), how do we make this behaviour transparent to the user? Just
>    imagine a user creates a new theme in xfwm4 and loses all his
>    command shortcuts because the command shortcuts are now empty or
>    copied from a default theme?
>  c) If not a), how do we handle conflicting shortcuts? Imagine there's
>    one xfwm4 theme and two command themes and the user creates a new
>    xfwm4 shortcut - what if this shortcut already exists in one of
>    the command themes?
> The way I see it, there are four possible solutions: the good (2x), the
> bad and the ugly:
>  Good: Merge both shortcut dialogs (I already have some ideas on how
>        that might look like).
>        Pros: Clearly transparent behaviour, it's easy to handle
>              conflicts inside one theme and conflicts are impossible at
>              any given time (unless you edit the configuration files
>              manually).
>        Cons: All xfwm4 features available for shortcuts have to be
>              maintained inside xfce4-settings.
>  Good: Get rid of the themes concept. Whether this is good or not
>        depends on how frequently this feature is used though. I can
>        imagine several situations where it might be useful but in most
>        of them I'd personally rather create another user than to switch
>        the keyboard theme.
>        Pros: Transparent behaviour, conflicts can be avoided globally
>              and are thus impossible, less maintainance overhead and
>              not much work to be done before the alpha release.
>        Cons: Reduced configurability/functionality.
>  Bad:  Don't handle conflicts at all. Alternatively handle them by
>        checking the currently active themes only.
>        Pros: Not too much work.
>        Cons: Leaves conflict handling to the user (which is pretty
>              nasty) and may lead to introduced conflicts when switching
>              themes.
>  Ugly: Implement share themes between both shortcut dialogs.
>        Pros: Conflicts are not much of a problem.
>        Cons: A lot of work, difficult to make the behaviour
>              transparent for the user, difficult design decisions as
>              explained in a), b) and c) to be made.
> I'd be fine with either one of the "good" solutions. Are there any
> other good ones you can think of? What are your opinions anyway?
>  - Jannis
> _________________

As a user, I'd go for the second good option. Personally, even though I
think I can call myself a fairly advanced computer user, I was confused by
the whole concept. Perhaps adding themes could be hidden somewhere for
advanced users, but it'd certainly be less confusing (for me, let alone for
my mother) if there was just one bunch of keyboard themes and that's it.

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