Re: [dev] dwm default bindings

From: Donald Allen <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 07:09:31 -0400

On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 5:13 AM, Anselm R Garbe<> wrote:
> 2009/7/22 Donald Allen <>:
>> I think the default key bindings for dwm are a unfortunate in some
>> cases. For example, alt-f, a natural choice for *f*loat mode,
>> conflicts with pulling down the File menu in many applications from
>> the keyboard. alt-T similarly conflicts with using the Tools menu in
>> Firefox from the keyboard.
>> I realize that these bindings can be changed. But that requires some
>> work (and knowledge of C) on the part of the user. I'm talking about
>> the choice of the defaults. Perhaps the keys modified by alt should
>> instead be modified by ctrl-alt by default? And similarly, alt-shift
>> -> ctrl-alt-shift? I am going to test this idea by modifying my setup.
>> I'll let you know how it works out.
> We got config.h for that. The default key bindings won't change ;)

As I observed when I began this thread, your defaults conflict
directly with a well-established UI convention of many applications
(the underline convention indicating invoking a menu or button with
alt+the underlined letter; this convention dates from years before dwm
was even a gleam in your eye). I'm frankly surprised that you would
have done this in the first place, and then compound it by refusing to
fix it, when (in my opinion) a reasonable fix exists (change
alt-<non-numeric> to ctrl-alt-<non-numeric>), even for keyboards
without the Windows key.

I am *not* trying to be argumentative here. I think you've done a
superb piece of work that I'm now using every day. But releasing a
window manager with defaults that interfere with a well-established UI
convention that spans many applications makes no sense to me,
especially when the rest of the work is so good. What you do is
obviously up to you, and I've fixed the problem for myself (so the
defaults don't affect me personally), but I think the current defaults
are a mistake and so I offer these final thoughts on the matter.


> Kind regards,
> Anselm
Received on Thu Jul 23 2009 - 11:09:31 UTC

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