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[XBoard-devel] accelerator keys

From: h.g. muller
Subject: [XBoard-devel] accelerator keys
Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2009 14:17:43 +0200

OK, the tabbing between windows now seems to work in a compliant way

One other point I wnted to bring up for discussion. This work on WinBoard
for JAWS forced me to critically look at the key assignments, as relying
on the default handling by the OS quicky leads to infinitely cumbersome
operation in something as complex as WinBoard.

In the JAWS version I now added accelerator keys for almost every item
in the pull-down menus. The problem with so many keys is of course
to assign them such they are easily remembered, or it would be pointless.
I figured out a good system, though:

The File menu already contained some standard items like "New", "Open"
and "Save", which conventionally are represented by Crtl+N, Ctrl+O, Ctrl+S.
(Well, "Open" is called "Load" in the menu, but it is the same thing.)
Loading and Saving have to distinguish between games and positions in WB,
and the convention that positions use an extra shift key seemed to be
adopted in the copy-paste stuff. So I added Ctrl+Shift+L and Ctrl+Shift+O
for opning and saving position files. Copy / paste are Alt+C/V or Alt+Shift+C/V
for games and positions, respectively. The more conventional Ctrl+C/V also
work, except in I C S mode, where they are needed to copy and paste text
in the interaction window.

The "Action" menu was already taken care of by the use of Function keys.

The "Mode" menu had almost no shortcuts at all, but most items were used
very frequently. In line with the simpe Ctrl sequences for menu items "Open"
and "Save", I therefore added:
Ctrl+W Machine White
Ctrl+B Machine Black
Ctrl+T Two Machines
Ctrl+A Analysis (Not available in IC mode, though, were it selects all)
Ctrl+F Analyze File
Ctrl+E Edit Game
ctrl+Shift+E Edit Position (Shift convention for positions!)

For the remaining items, I adopted the following convention:
Commands that open a window or dialog ue Ctrl+Alt. Option-menu commands
that do not open a dialog use Ctrl+Shift. (So basically everything uses Ctrl!)'
Ctrl+Alt+O Show Engine Output
Ctrl+Alt+H Show Move History
Ctrl+Alt+E Show Eval Graph
Ctrl+Alt+G Show Game List
(the above 4 items in the Mode menu also close these windows again)
Ctrl+Alt+L Load Options
Ctrl+Alt+S Save Options
Ctrl+Alt+T Time Control
Ctrl+Alt+J Adjudications
Ctrl+Alt+U Engine Options (Universal)
Ctrl+Alt+V New Variant

Frequently used General Options, now hidden deep in the menu hierarchy:
Ctrl+Shift+P Ponder on/off
Ctrl+Shift+X Extended PGN Info on/off
Ctrl+Shift+I Extra Info in Move History on/off
Ctrl+Shift+L Legality Testing on/off
Ctrl+Shift+Q Always Queen on/off
Ctrl+Shift+A Animate Moving on/off
Ctrl+Shift+F Auto Flag on/off
Ctrl+Shift+H Hide Thinking on/off

In order to implement the latter group, the JAWS version had to add new cases
to the main-menu switch statement, as already in 4.2.7 the general options
were no longer treated as menu items to which you could assign keys.
Currently JAWS adds those cases through a macro. (It has to add new menu
items anyway.) But I think it is orth moving this code to the standard version,
so that it can also use these shortcuts. Being able to switch ponder or move
animtion y a single key stroke is really handy, and the keys used are very
intuitive and easily remembred.

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