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Re: XFree86 update question

Michel Dänzer wrote:

Michael Schmitz wrote:

Make no mistake: the new input layer is the cleaner of both options, and
having a common set of keytables for both ADB and USB keyboards also makes
things easier in the long run. Plus we better hash this out now and come
up with a few solutions for the transition. I just resent breaking
backwards compatibility, that's all.

Where exactly do we break backwards compatibility? A knowledgeable user can
still use ADB keycodes if he absolutely wants to for a reason I can't imagine.

Okay, here's one such reason.

I had been using left and right alt/option for mouse button 2/3, and command for alt, for the last 3+ years, AFAIK this was the standard before the new input layer. When the new input layer came, I had to manually switch button 2/3 to use my old standard alt/option keys, which was a bit of a minor inconvenience for me, but also resulted in those tons of emails to the list which we saw nine months ago -- and our replies taught many users to make the same button emulation change.

Now with Linux keycodes, command for alt no longer works, at the console or in X. My guess is that this is because alt/option is mapped to alt in Linux keycodes, but it's also mouse button 2/3 for many of us, as advice on how to make it so with the new input layer was posted numerous times to this list. Forcing one to either not use alt, or change mouse button emulation keys which one has used for years, does constitute breakage of backward compatibility.

So, no more desktop switching in the console or X, and more importantly, no ctrl-alt-f1 from X to the console, and when the mouse freezes (if I try to log out and back in), I am dead, and must use my wife's Windoze PC to ssh in and kill X/gdm (which is not only embarassing, but messes up my GNOME session).

For this reason, I have reverted to ADB keycodes and the macintosh_old keyboard mapping in X, and everything works again (except the mouse and font problems, but those are separate).

Debian has earned a reputation over the years for having the smoothest upgrade by far of all the distros. Do we really want to change that?

Say "RTFM" all you want Ethan, but if we keep breaking things like this, we will alienate the people whom we are trying to serve. We can be "techically correct" about it all we want, as perhaps Microsoft was "technically correct" about bogarting DLLs in the Windows 98 upgrade, but please realize that it *will* cause users pain, and a great many who would go through the pain for Microsoft or Apple will give up and say, "Oh well, that [Linux|Debian] thing was a neat toy experiment, but I have to get my work done and don't have time to dig through documentation."

And they will by right to say so.


-Adam P.

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