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Re: XFree86 update question

Adam C Powell IV wrote:
> 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,

Keycodes are more or less meaningless numbers. The keymaps give them a
meaning. The Apple USB variants still map command to alt, however some people
would like to change that for the sake of consistency.

If keymaps are broken, they should be fixed. However, as has been pointed out
several times, there are at least as many reasons for mapping option to alt as
for the opposite. We'll have to agree on one and consider the other a

> 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).

You have to sacrifice a key for each emulated mouse button in any case. If
that key has an important function now, you either have to change the keymap
or use another key for emulation. There's no way to avoid that.

> 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).

Your choice...

> 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?

Show us how other distros make this transition smoother and we will try to do
the same.

Earthling Michel Dänzer (MrCooper)/ Debian GNU/Linux (powerpc) developer
XFree86 and DRI project member   /  CS student, Free Software enthusiast

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