Keyboard Policy and Debian 2.0
As you all know, "hamm" will be frozen soon. The current Policy Manual
18.104.22.168 contains a section about Keyboard configuration (3.8, see quoted
text below) and I'm not sure all packages comply to these guidelines yet.
Therefore, it would be good if a few volunteers could step up and check at
least the more important packages against these rules and report any
problems as bugs with `Severity: Important' so that this gets fixed before
Debian 2.0 is released.
3.8. Keyboard configuration
To achieve a consistent keyboard configuration (i.e., all
interpret a keyboard event the same way) all programs in the Debian
distribution have to be configured to comply with the following
Here is a list that contains certain keys and their interpretation:
delete the character to the left of the cursor
delete the character to the right of the cursor
emacs: display the help screen
The interpretation of any keyboard events should be independent of
terminal that's used (either the console, X windows, rlogin/telnet
The following list explains how the different programs should be set
up to achieve this:
* ``<--'' generates KB_Backspace in X.
* ``Delete'' generates KB_Delete in X.
* X translations are set up to make KB_Backspace generate ASCII
DEL, and to make KB_Delete generate `ESC [ 3 ~' (this is the
vt220 escape code for the `delete character' key). This must be
done by loading the resources using xrdb on all local X
not using the application defaults, so that the translation
resources used correspond to the xmodmap settings.
* The Linux console is configured to make ``<--'' generate DEL,
`Delete' generate `ESC [ 3 ~' (this is the case at the moment).
* X applications are configured so that Backspace deletes left,
Delete deletes right. Motif applications already work like this.
* stty erase `^?' .
* The `xterm' terminfo entry should have `ESC [ 3 ~' for kdch1,
just like TERM=linux and TERM=vt220.
* Emacs is programmed to map KB_Backspace or the `stty erase'
character to delete-backward-char, and KB_Delete or kdch1 to
delete-forward-char, and `^H' to help as always.
* Other applications use the `stty erase' character and kdch1 for
the two delete keys, with ASCII DEL being `delete previous
character' and kdch1 being `delete character under cursor'.
This will solve the problem except for:
* Some terminals have a `<--' key that cannot be made to produce
anything except `^H'. On these terminals Emacs help will be
unavailable on `^H' (assuming that the `stty erase' character
takes precedence in Emacs, and has been set correctly). M-x help
or F1 (if available) can be used instead.
* Some operating systems use `^H' for stty erase. However, modern
telnet versions and all rlogin versions propagate stty settings,
and almost all UNIX versions honour stty erase. Where the stty
settings are not propagated correctly things can be made to work
by using stty manually.
* Some systems (including previous Debian versions) use xmodmap to
arrange for both `<--' and Delete to generate KB_Delete). We can
change the behaviour of their X clients via the same X resources
that we use to do it for our own, or have our clients be
configured via their resources when things are the other way
around. On displays configured like this Delete will not work,
but `<--' will.
* Some operating systems have different kdch1 settings in their
terminfo for xterm and others. On these systems the Delete key
will not work correctly when you log in from a system conforming
to our policy, but `<--' will.
-- _,, Christian Schwarz
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