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why legacy shortcut keys?

keyboard_prefs1Something that has puzzled me for many years- why was the control key chosen as a primary shortcut key for windows and *nix? Why would you forcibly abuse pinky-fingers around the world? It makes us all slower, less accurate and generally just hurts me.

Apple knows theres no reason for this, which is why their version of the control key (the apple key) is positioned right next to the spacebar.

I’m sure microsoft’s excuse is ‘well its too late to change, everyone is acccustomed to using the control key’. Well this is certainly not true for me. One reason why I love running linux is I can map anything I want to any key.

The specific functionality of using the windows (or apple) key as the control key is available in gnome by going to:
1. System -> Preferences -> Hardware -> keyboard
2. Layouts tab
3. Layout Options…
4. Expand “Alt/Win key behavior”
5. Select the radio button “Control is mapped to the Win-keys (and the usual Ctrl keys).”

For me it works great for a while, but somewhere between 5 and 48 hours of usage it will stop working. I haven’t been able to diagnose it yet, but I did manage to gather enough info to file a bug https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=21624

{ 2 } Comments

  1. admin | June 24, 2009 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    The problem I was experiencing disappeared as soon as I reimaged with to fedora core 11; I continue to monitor the bug but the cause may forever remain a mystery.

  2. admin | June 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    For the new ubuntu 11.04, this no longer works, I think it is because Unity has added some shortcuts which are overwriting this config. The workaround I found was adding the below code to a new file in my home directory called .xmodmap and running ‘xmodmap .xmodmap’

    !remove control = Control_L
    remove mod4 = Super_L Hyper_L
    !keysym Control_L = Super_L Hyper_L
    keysym Super_L = Control_L
    add control = Control_L
    ! add mod4 = Super_L Hyper_L

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