'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

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'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Chris Green
I have the 'Emacs style' keyboard shortcuts enabled on my [x]ubuntu
18.04 systems.  The shortcut I use most often is the (not really
Emacs) CTRL/U for deleting a line of text.

This should delete the whole line of text even if the cursor isn't
placed at the end of the line.  It *does* do this in other GUIs but in
Firefox it just deletes from the cursor to the start of the line.
This makes the shortcut much less useful as it means I need to move
the cursor to delete the line and this means I have to use the touchpad
or mouse.  The whole point (for me) of CTRL/U is that I don't need to
leave the keyboard to enter a new line.

I'm fairly sure this *used* to work in Firefox.  Is it therefore a bug
I can report? .... or is there a workaround, i.e. a simple, keyboard
only, 'delete line' shortcut?

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
On Wed, 10 Oct 2018 at 11:14, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I have the 'Emacs style' keyboard shortcuts enabled on my [x]ubuntu
> 18.04 systems.  The shortcut I use most often is the (not really
> Emacs) CTRL/U for deleting a line of text.
>
> This should delete the whole line of text even if the cursor isn't
> placed at the end of the line.  It *does* do this in other GUIs but in
> Firefox it just deletes from the cursor to the start of the line.
> This makes the shortcut much less useful as it means I need to move
> the cursor to delete the line

That does not follow. Just press END first.

> and this means I have to use the touchpad
> or mouse.

Huh? No you don't.

>  The whole point (for me) of CTRL/U is that I don't need to
> leave the keyboard to enter a new line.

But you don't.

> I'm fairly sure this *used* to work in Firefox.  Is it therefore a bug
> I can report? .... or is there a workaround, i.e. a simple, keyboard
> only, 'delete line' shortcut?

The CUA way is:

Home, Shift-End, Del

or

End, Shift-Home, Del

or

Ctrl-A, Del

There are probably others.

That should work on all GUIs since the late 1980s: classic MacOS, Mac
OS X, all versions of Windows, all Windows-like Unix desktops, etc.

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Chris Green
On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 11:35:41AM +0200, Liam Proven wrote:

> On Wed, 10 Oct 2018 at 11:14, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > I have the 'Emacs style' keyboard shortcuts enabled on my [x]ubuntu
> > 18.04 systems.  The shortcut I use most often is the (not really
> > Emacs) CTRL/U for deleting a line of text.
> >
> > This should delete the whole line of text even if the cursor isn't
> > placed at the end of the line.  It *does* do this in other GUIs but in
> > Firefox it just deletes from the cursor to the start of the line.
> > This makes the shortcut much less useful as it means I need to move
> > the cursor to delete the line
>
> That does not follow. Just press END first.
>
> > and this means I have to use the touchpad
> > or mouse.
>
> Huh? No you don't.
>
> >  The whole point (for me) of CTRL/U is that I don't need to
> > leave the keyboard to enter a new line.
>
> But you don't.
>
> > I'm fairly sure this *used* to work in Firefox.  Is it therefore a bug
> > I can report? .... or is there a workaround, i.e. a simple, keyboard
> > only, 'delete line' shortcut?
>
> The CUA way is:
>
> Home, Shift-End, Del
>
> or
>
> End, Shift-Home, Del
>
> or
>
> Ctrl-A, Del
>
> There are probably others.
>
> That should work on all GUIs since the late 1980s: classic MacOS, Mac
> OS X, all versions of Windows, all Windows-like Unix desktops, etc.
>
OK, I don't have to use the mouse/touchpad if I learn one of the
above, thank you.

However they are all two (or even three) keys rather than one so I'd
really like CTRL/U to work.

Ctrl-A, Del is no good because it *selects* the text before deleting
and thus overwites anything I have in the cut buffer.  I very
frequently us CTRL/U before pasting something I have copied from
somewhere.

However End, CTRL/U does work so is a reasonable workaround, two keys
a long way apart on my keyboard though!

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
On Wed, 10 Oct 2018 at 13:18, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:

> OK, I don't have to use the mouse/touchpad if I learn one of the
> above, thank you.

Top tip, if you're concerned about keyboard efficiency: unplug your
mouse for a while. Learn to use your PC without it.

(I'm old. I learned Windows 2.0 this way in 1988 in my first job. My
employers didn't own a PC mouse. If you wanted GUI stuff, you used a
Mac. So I had to learn all the keyboard shortcuts. I had no choice.
But it means colleagues are dazzled by how fast I can navigate a GUI
now, while barely touching the mouse. CUA was rationally designed,
unlike Emacs or Vi. It's easier to learn than either and it's far more
widely used.)

This is one place Windows scores slightly over Linux, and Linux scores
significantly over Macs: keyboard controls. You can do almost
everything with just the keys.

Personally I don't get on with Emacs (or Vi) and don't use them,
because they don't use the standard keyboard shortcuts that all GUI
apps support and have supported since roughly Windows 3 in about 1989.

It's worth learning them, IMHO, because they are far more
widely-supported than Emacs or anything like it.

>
> Ctrl-A, Del is no good because it *selects* the text before deleting
> and thus overwites anything I have in the cut buffer.  I very
> frequently us CTRL/U before pasting something I have copied from
> somewhere.

That's a good point. I use that too.

> However End, CTRL/U does work so is a reasonable workaround, two keys
> a long way apart on my keyboard though!

Hmm. I can't help there. I have big hands and use a big loud old IBM
Model M clicky keyboard. Works for me.


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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Chris Green
On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 01:44:22PM +0200, Liam Proven wrote:

> On Wed, 10 Oct 2018 at 13:18, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > OK, I don't have to use the mouse/touchpad if I learn one of the
> > above, thank you.
>
> Top tip, if you're concerned about keyboard efficiency: unplug your
> mouse for a while. Learn to use your PC without it.
>
> (I'm old. I learned Windows 2.0 this way in 1988 in my first job. My
> employers didn't own a PC mouse. If you wanted GUI stuff, you used a
> Mac. So I had to learn all the keyboard shortcuts. I had no choice.
> But it means colleagues are dazzled by how fast I can navigate a GUI
> now, while barely touching the mouse. CUA was rationally designed,
> unlike Emacs or Vi. It's easier to learn than either and it's far more
> widely used.)
>
I'm even older (as regards computer use and probably actual age) I
started my programming career back in 1970/1971.  Keyboard meant a
10cps teletype back then, with a few of the new whizzy VDUs.


> This is one place Windows scores slightly over Linux, and Linux scores
> significantly over Macs: keyboard controls. You can do almost
> everything with just the keys.
>
> Personally I don't get on with Emacs (or Vi) and don't use them,
> because they don't use the standard keyboard shortcuts that all GUI
> apps support and have supported since roughly Windows 3 in about 1989.
>
On the other hand you can find vi (or a vi clone like I use)
*everywhere* and you can use it via an ssh connection.  Thus I only
know *one* editor and use it for absolutely everything, I use mutt for
E-mail (with vi as its editor), I use tin for news (with vi as its
editor), I use vi (or my GUI clone, xvile) for programming, I even use
vi in text boxes in Firefox with the help of the textern add-on.


> It's worth learning them, IMHO, because they are far more
> widely-supported than Emacs or anything like it.
>
See above!  :-)

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

ubuntu-users mailing list
10 October 2018  at 14:12, Chris Green wrote:
Re: 'Emacs style' delete line short (at least in part)

>I'm even older (as regards computer use and probably actual age) I
>started my programming career back in 1970/1971.  Keyboard meant a
>10cps teletype back then, with a few of the new whizzy VDUs.

Boring Green text, that new fangled White text or the odd Orange text?

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Chris Green
On Wed, 10 Oct 2018 at 15:14, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> I'm even older (as regards computer use and probably actual age) I
> started my programming career back in 1970/1971.  Keyboard meant a
> 10cps teletype back then, with a few of the new whizzy VDUs.

Heh! Excellent -- well played! :-D

I'd give you the secret handshake but I've forgotten it.

> On the other hand you can find vi (or a vi clone like I use)
> *everywhere* and you can use it via an ssh connection.  Thus I only
> know *one* editor and use it for absolutely everything, I use mutt for
> E-mail (with vi as its editor), I use tin for news (with vi as its
> editor), I use vi (or my GUI clone, xvile) for programming, I even use
> vi in text boxes in Firefox with the help of the textern add-on.

Fair call.

The thing is, though, that Vi or Emacs style UIs weren't taken up by
many other apps -- e.g. on the DOS playform, Wordstar commands
dominated for a while. (E.g. early releases of DR-DOS had a text
editor that understood Wordstar commands, while MS-DOS still only
offered Edlin.)

There were too many competing standards -- Vi, Emacs, Wordstar, old
Windows keystrokes, old classic MacOS ones, etc.

Which is why CUA came along.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Common_User_Access

It took the idea of the exceptionally rigorous Apple HIG (Human
Interface Guidelines) and extended them in a more PC-centric way.
Basically _everything_ since then has conformed to them -- Windows and
OS/2 directly, Apple indirectly as it adopted most of them in Mac OS
X, Linux because all the leading desktops are copies of Windows 95 &
its accessories, so accidentally grandfathered in the same UI.

I learned the CUA stuff around 1989-1990 and every editor since then
adopts it by default. I remember a handful of older things --
including Ctrl-U to clear a field -- but happily I've let my muscle
memory of all else fade away since then.

Which is why I don't like Emacs or Vi, despite nearly 30 years of
reluctant Vi usage. They don't conform. But these days I use Tilde
instead, which does and is fine. As a non-programmer I need nothing
more.

> See above!  :-)

Well, fair call. Remembering both might be a bit much for almost anyone...


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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

MR ZenWiz
In reply to this post by Chris Green
On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 2:14 AM Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I have the 'Emacs style' keyboard shortcuts enabled on my [x]ubuntu
> 18.04 systems.  The shortcut I use most often is the (not really
> Emacs) CTRL/U for deleting a line of text.
>
> This should delete the whole line of text even if the cursor isn't
> placed at the end of the line.  It *does* do this in other GUIs but in
> Firefox it just deletes from the cursor to the start of the line.
> This makes the shortcut much less useful as it means I need to move
> the cursor to delete the line and this means I have to use the touchpad
> or mouse.  The whole point (for me) of CTRL/U is that I don't need to
> leave the keyboard to enter a new line.
>
> I'm fairly sure this *used* to work in Firefox.  Is it therefore a bug
> I can report? .... or is there a workaround, i.e. a simple, keyboard
> only, 'delete line' shortcut?
>
I realize I'm coming late to this party.

I have never seen ^U used for anything but 'delete from cursor to
beginning of line.'  That's how it works in bash (and every other
UNIX/Linux shell I've ever used), and most line oriented apps (think
vi)

Liam,

I too am a huge keyboard afficionado, and I detest being stuck with
using a mouse (or worse, a touchpad - ick), but i also must say that
I've been less impressed with Windows than Linux re keyboard vs.
mouse.  DOS and 4DOS, sure, but Windows?  (I'd be more impressed if
they hadn't changed the keyboard commands in Office 2010 or one of the
more recent ones where, among other things, <shift>^S no longer means
"save as".)

For the record, I go back to 1980 professionally, with 2+ years of
intense ICS education before that (plus one class of punch cards and
line printers in 1973 - talk about fun!), and I've used vi since I was
first introduced to it in 1986 or 1987.  Back then it was the only
text editor available on all UNIX machines (emacs was still new, and
I've never learned it).  I frequently evangelize the huge advantages
of using the command line over anything in the GUI with rare
exceptions, most of which have to do with actually manipulating
graphics.  Keyboard power forever!

Mark

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Chris Green
On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 12:54:49PM -0700, MR ZenWiz wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 2:14 AM Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > I have the 'Emacs style' keyboard shortcuts enabled on my [x]ubuntu
> > 18.04 systems.  The shortcut I use most often is the (not really
> > Emacs) CTRL/U for deleting a line of text.
> >
> > This should delete the whole line of text even if the cursor isn't
> > placed at the end of the line.  It *does* do this in other GUIs but in
> > Firefox it just deletes from the cursor to the start of the line.
> > This makes the shortcut much less useful as it means I need to move
> > the cursor to delete the line and this means I have to use the touchpad
> > or mouse.  The whole point (for me) of CTRL/U is that I don't need to
> > leave the keyboard to enter a new line.
> >
> > I'm fairly sure this *used* to work in Firefox.  Is it therefore a bug
> > I can report? .... or is there a workaround, i.e. a simple, keyboard
> > only, 'delete line' shortcut?
> >
> I realize I'm coming late to this party.
>
> I have never seen ^U used for anything but 'delete from cursor to
> beginning of line.'  That's how it works in bash (and every other
> UNIX/Linux shell I've ever used), and most line oriented apps (think
> vi)
>
Yes, I *could* be mis-remembering things.  I've just tried and you're
quite right regarding use in the shell.  However if you look at
/usr/share/themes/Emacs/gtk-2.0-key/gtkrc it definitely does 'move to
end and then delete:-

  bind "<ctrl>u" {
     "move-cursor" (paragraph-ends, -1, 0)
     "delete-from-cursor" (paragraph-ends, 1)

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by MR ZenWiz
On Wed, 10 Oct 2018 at 21:57, MR ZenWiz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I realize I'm coming late to this party.
>
> Liam,
>
> I too am a huge keyboard afficionado, and I detest being stuck with
> using a mouse (or worse, a touchpad - ick), but i also must say that
> I've been less impressed with Windows than Linux re keyboard vs.
> mouse.  DOS and 4DOS, sure, but Windows?

Yes, really.

For instance my blind friends *all* use Windows. Too much of Linux is
inaccessible and while macOS is good, sadly many apps aren't. E.g. Mac
Office isn't as accessible as Windows Office.

The web isn't very keyboard-accessible but ordinary operation is.
There are even shortcuts invisible to sighted users: e.g. you can step
from Start button, along the taskbar _and into the system tray and
keyboard control the icons in there_ but I never found it as there are
no visible clues to where you are.

You can open (Ctrl-O), move (alt-space, M), resize (alt-space, z),
minimize (alt-space, n), maximize (alt-space, x), and close windows
(alt-f4). You can show the desktop (win-m), run CLI apps (win-r), open
Explorer (win-E), etc.

It's not as clean and orthogonal as it was in the glory days of NT
3.51 but it's the best there is.

This is why I got on OK with Windows 8. The visual clicky-clicky stuff
for the point-and-drool brigade ;-) was all different, but for a
keyboard jockey like me, it was largely unchanged.

Win10 adds virtual desktops and I really value that. Not that I
usually use Windows unless someone pays me to.

Windows has accessibility stuff most people don't know about. So does
macOS and iOS. Stevie Wonder made a great speech about it a while ago,
thanking Steve Jobs for making sure that the iPhone and iPad were as
accessible for vision-impaired people as for anyone else, and how it
was life-changing.

And it really is. I've seen it, I've used it.

Linux? Nobody much cares. There are some good efforts but they're
underfunded and unfinished, like most of Linux. A few blind volunteer
programmers can't force an industry to change.

GNOME 2 was quite accessible via Orca. GNOME 3 threw all that away as
it threw a lot of stuff away and it's only slowly being put back,
piecemeal.

Keyboard controls are great for people who can't see a small
fast-moving thing like a mouse pointer or a cursor, but they benefit
all of us.

> (I'd be more impressed if
> they hadn't changed the keyboard commands in Office 2010 or one of the
> more recent ones where, among other things, <shift>^S no longer means
> "save as".)

Oh, totally agreed. I mainly use Word 97 (under WINE) but Word 2003 is
the latest I will use. I find Office 2007 and later to be totally
unusable.

> For the record, I go back to 1980 professionally, with 2+ years of
> intense ICS education before that (plus one class of punch cards and
> line printers in 1973 - talk about fun!), and I've used vi since I was
> first introduced to it in 1986 or 1987.  Back then it was the only
> text editor available on all UNIX machines (emacs was still new, and
> I've never learned it).  I frequently evangelize the huge advantages
> of using the command line over anything in the GUI with rare
> exceptions, most of which have to do with actually manipulating
> graphics.  Keyboard power forever!

I agree, mostly.

The snag is that  we now have middle-aged highly-skilled computer
users who grew up with GUIs and have used nothing else. I have urged
my close blind friend to learn the Linux shell and use it that way,
but it's too alien to him. He's a Windows expert and *needs* menus.

So we need accessible menus and GUIs that can be keyboard controlled.

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Chris Green
>
> Win10 adds virtual desktops and I really value that. Not that I
> usually use Windows unless someone pays me to.
>
Windows has *always* had virtual desktops, I ran them on Windows 2000
and XP.  They came with a semi-official MS 'tweaks' thing if I
remmeber right.

It has always amazed me that very few people use them, same on Linux.

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
On Thu, 11 Oct 2018 at 12:29, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> Windows has *always* had virtual desktops, I ran them on Windows 2000
> and XP.  They came with a semi-official MS 'tweaks' thing if I
> remmeber right.
>
> It has always amazed me that very few people use them, same on Linux.

No.

Windows has for a long time -- *not* always -- had the ability to
_add_ virtual desktops. There were multiple addons, including notably
Dexpot:

https://dottech.org/144153/how-to-get-virtual-desktops-windows/

And "Desktops" which I think is the one you're thinking of. It's by
Mark Russinovitch of Sysinternals, which MS acquired. That's what
makes it semi-official.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/desktops

It was particularly useful because you didn't need to install it, just
run it -- so I could use it in places where I didn't have admin
rights.

But if you read the text on that 2nd link, there are a lot of limitations.

* 1 instance of Explorer per desktop, meaning accessories and systray
gadgets are only visible or accessible on screen 0

* no 3D compositing on the secondary screens

But the one that made it ¾ useless for me is:

You can't move windows from one vdesktop to another.

Without that, it's crippleware.

What's different is that in Win10 it's built in, and that means that
you can access all the accessory tools from any screen, have as many
as you need, add and remove screens at will, but most of all, move
stuff from screen to screen.

It's the only version I've ever actually found *useful*.

And Win10 is the first ever version of Windows to have this *built in*.

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Chris Green
On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 12:35:32PM +0200, Liam Proven wrote:

> On Thu, 11 Oct 2018 at 12:29, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > Windows has *always* had virtual desktops, I ran them on Windows 2000
> > and XP.  They came with a semi-official MS 'tweaks' thing if I
> > remmeber right.
> >
> > It has always amazed me that very few people use them, same on Linux.
>
> No.
>
Yes, well mostly :-)  See this page:-

    https://www.itprotoday.com/powertoys-windows-xp-review

Scroll down to "Virtual Desktop Manager", it says:-

    Many people don't realize this, but Windows NT has always had the
    ability to generate multiple desktop displays, even though the OS
    itself has never exposed this functionality in the UI. With Windows NT
    4.0 and 2000, I believe, a virtual desktop manager was made available
    through the Resource Kit. Now, for the first time, you can get one
    free with XP.

    The PowerToys version of this tool lets you work with up to four
    virtual desktops, each of which contains a copy of the Start menu,
    desktop, and taskbar. But each virtual desktop can be running
    different applications. So if you're a serious power user, you might
    separate groups of running applications into their own desktops.


So it was always in NT and 2000 and I believe the XP PowerToys was
somewhere on the XP installation media.  I used it on 2000 and I think
I used to used it on XP but that was a long[ish] time ago and I don't
remember how good (or bad) it was.

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
On Thu, 11 Oct 2018 at 12:48, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Yes, well mostly :-)  See this page:-
>
>     https://www.itprotoday.com/powertoys-windows-xp-review
>
> Scroll down to "Virtual Desktop Manager", it says:-
>
>     Many people don't realize this, but Windows NT has always had the
>     ability to generate multiple desktop displays, even though the OS
>     itself has never exposed this functionality in the UI. With Windows NT
>     4.0 and 2000, I believe, a virtual desktop manager was made available
>     through the Resource Kit. Now, for the first time, you can get one
>     free with XP.
>
>     The PowerToys version of this tool lets you work with up to four
>     virtual desktops, each of which contains a copy of the Start menu,
>     desktop, and taskbar. But each virtual desktop can be running
>     different applications. So if you're a serious power user, you might
>     separate groups of running applications into their own desktops.
>
>
> So it was always in NT and 2000 and I believe the XP PowerToys was
> somewhere on the XP installation media.  I used it on 2000 and I think
> I used to used it on XP but that was a long[ish] time ago and I don't
> remember how good (or bad) it was.

OK, yes, that's true.

Buried deep in WinNT is something rather like VAX-VMS. It has, in
principle, support for dumb terminals on serial ports, and graphical
terminals.

You could also just fit multiple graphics cards, add a bunch of USB
keyboards and mice, and associate them to each screen for a multihead
machine. Various companies "productized" this, e.g.

https://www.ibik.ru/

This is also how "remote desktop" works, and Windows Terminal Server.

One machine is perfectly able to host multiple sessions, on the same
screen and logged-in user, or different local physical screens, or on
graphical terminals, or remote sessions over a LAN or WAN.

So yes, it's there.

But as far as the local user scenario goes, it was crippled, because
each session is logically distinct and you can't move stuff from
screen to screen.

And it wasn't exposed to the user by default, which is what I'm getting at.

So yes, you're right, the product can do it and has more or less
forever -- Citrix WinServer could do it with a modified NT 3.

So yes, you are right, it was there, potentially.

But for a single user with one (even multihead) screen/keyboard/mouse,
it wasn't turned on by default, and if you hacked it with some 3rd
party tool -- e.g.

https://www.cnet.com/news/add-virtual-desktops-to-windows-xp-vista/

... *you couldn't move stuff from screen to screen*. Which *for me*
made it pretty much useless.

Win10 is the first ever version where it's in there, on, as a built-in
feature, for everyone.

So, I concede to your superior pedanticism. ;-) Yes it's always been
in there, yes it was theoretically possible.

But now it's a standard feature, exposed to the user, without any
significant compromises that I know of.

OK? :-)

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

MR ZenWiz
In reply to this post by Liam Proven
On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 3:20 AM Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> For instance my blind friends *all* use Windows. Too much of Linux is
> inaccessible and while macOS is good, sadly many apps aren't. E.g. Mac
> Office isn't as accessible as Windows Office.
>
I'll agree that most Linux distros have a long way to go to catch up
in this area.

> The web isn't very keyboard-accessible but ordinary operation is.
> There are even shortcuts invisible to sighted users: e.g. you can step
> from Start button, along the taskbar _and into the system tray and
> keyboard control the icons in there_ but I never found it as there are
> no visible clues to where you are.
>
A lot of these are also available in XFCE4 - I use Xubuntu almost
exclusively, and I routinely use the keyboard to do such things.

> You can open (Ctrl-O), move (alt-space, M), resize (alt-space, z),
> minimize (alt-space, n), maximize (alt-space, x), and close windows
> (alt-f4). You can show the desktop (win-m), run CLI apps (win-r), open
> Explorer (win-E), etc.
>
All of those and more are available in XFCE4, though not always the
exact same keys.

One of the things that hooked me into Xubuntu was that I can configure
the keys almost any way I like.  The biggest exception is when I run
any VM - it captures all the keystrokes, so the ones that work on my
desktop get intercepted by the VMs (when I'm actually in that screen).

> Win10 adds virtual desktops and I really value that. Not that I
> usually use Windows unless someone pays me to.
>
I presume these virtual desktops correspond at least roughly to Linux
workspaces. I don't use Windows enough to know. One of my favorite
features of all the Linux distros I use - they all have multiple
workspaces with full switching, including moving windows between the
workspaces.  I have dedicated key combinations to do that and to
switch between workspaces (not the same as the defaults that come with
the distros).

> Linux? Nobody much cares. There are some good efforts but they're
> underfunded and unfinished, like most of Linux. A few blind volunteer
> programmers can't force an industry to change.
>
Yes, and there are some that are better than others.

> GNOME 2 was quite accessible via Orca. GNOME 3 threw all that away as
> it threw a lot of stuff away and it's only slowly being put back,
> piecemeal.
>
XFCE4 still has all that with customization built in.

> Keyboard controls are great for people who can't see a small
> fast-moving thing like a mouse pointer or a cursor, but they benefit
> all of us.
>
Or those of us whose hands aren't quite as fine-motor-controlled they
used to be, and the mice have such high resolution that the slightest
nudge blasts half way across the screen.

> Oh, totally agreed. I mainly use Word 97 (under WINE) but Word 2003 is
> the latest I will use. I find Office 2007 and later to be totally
> unusable.
>
So you don't care for the ribbons either?  I find them to be the
ultimate dumb-down insult to anyone who uses computers on a regular
basis, even laymen who only do word processing or email or
spreadsheets.  LibreOffice is my suite unless I'm forced to use MSO,
and with that I have to say that LO is terrible with some things.  LO
docs with any special features (like a background image) do not
present right in MSO, though not vice-versa.  I modified a PowerPoint
in LO and it exploded from about 100k to 5 or 6 MB.  When I loaded it
in PowerPoint and saved it, it shrunk right back down.  I don't know
what LO does that causes it, but it's pretty bad.

> The snag is that  we now have middle-aged highly-skilled computer
> users who grew up with GUIs and have used nothing else. I have urged
> my close blind friend to learn the Linux shell and use it that way,
> but it's too alien to him. He's a Windows expert and *needs* menus.
>
> So we need accessible menus and GUIs that can be keyboard controlled.
>
Well put.

Cheers!

Mark Richter
Senior Staff Engineer
http://www.linkedin.com/in/markrichter1
FSF Member #12694 http://www.fsf.org
Registered Linux User #472807 http://counter.li.org/

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Peter Flynn
In reply to this post by Chris Green
Fascinating thread.

On 10/10/18 14:12, Chris Green wrote:
[...]
> On the other hand you can find vi (or a vi clone like I use)
> *everywhere* and you can use it via an ssh connection.  Thus I only
> know *one* editor and use it for absolutely everything,

Ditto, except I use Emacs, but for a different reason:

http://latex.silmaril.ie/formattinginformation/editdis.html#editsel

Many users nowadays don't seem to be concerned about learning a new
editor for each application, which I find puzzling. The waste of effort
must be significant.

P

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by MR ZenWiz
On Thu, 11 Oct 2018 at 21:25, MR ZenWiz <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> A lot of these are also available in XFCE4 - I use Xubuntu almost
> exclusively, and I routinely use the keyboard to do such things.

I used XFCE at work, after evaluating and discarding the then-current
versions of GNOME, KDE, LXDE, LXQt (and this year, Cinnamon).

At home I'm still on Unity. I think I'll have to reformat and switch to Xubuntu.

> All of those and more are available in XFCE4, though not always the
> exact same keys.

Noted. It's that the keys are different that throw me. Windows set the
standards back in about 1989 and switching to new ones after so long
is not easy.

> One of the things that hooked me into Xubuntu was that I can configure
> the keys almost any way I like.  The biggest exception is when I run
> any VM - it captures all the keystrokes, so the ones that work on my
> desktop get intercepted by the VMs (when I'm actually in that screen).

Well, yes, true.

> I presume these virtual desktops correspond at least roughly to Linux
> workspaces. I don't use Windows enough to know. One of my favorite
> features of all the Linux distros I use - they all have multiple
> workspaces with full switching, including moving windows between the
> workspaces.  I have dedicated key combinations to do that and to
> switch between workspaces (not the same as the defaults that come with
> the distros).

Yes, on all counts.

> > GNOME 2 was quite accessible via Orca. GNOME 3 threw all that away as
> > it threw a lot of stuff away and it's only slowly being put back,
> > piecemeal.
> >
> XFCE4 still has all that with customization built in.

Do you mean the customisability? If so, yes, agreed. But XFCE can't,
for instance, lock items to panels. When I set up a Xubuntu laptop for
a non-techie friend, I discovered how essential that is. 6mth later
she had an empty panel and an unusable desktop. :-(

If you mean the accessibility features -- then no, not AFAIK, sadly.

> Or those of us whose hands aren't quite as fine-motor-controlled they
> used to be, and the mice have such high resolution that the slightest
> nudge blasts half way across the screen.

Good point. I'm getting there quite quickly myself. :-(

> So you don't care for the ribbons either?  I find them to be the
> ultimate dumb-down insult to anyone who uses computers on a regular
> basis, even laymen who only do word processing or email or
> spreadsheets.

I utterly loathe them. It's one of the things I most _dis_like about
Win10. All the built in apps, even Explorer, only have ribbons now.

One of the great things about macOS MS Office is that you can
completely turn off the ribbon. The Mac UI means they had to leave the
menus in place, so it's still usable via the old UI.

Most keyboard shortcuts don't work, though.

>  LibreOffice is my suite unless I'm forced to use MSO,
> and with that I have to say that LO is terrible with some things.  LO
> docs with any special features (like a background image) do not
> present right in MSO, though not vice-versa.  I modified a PowerPoint
> in LO and it exploded from about 100k to 5 or 6 MB.  When I loaded it
> in PowerPoint and saved it, it shrunk right back down.  I don't know
> what LO does that causes it, but it's pretty bad.

I've not had that.

I use MS Word for its outliner, as LO Write doesn't have one. For the
rest, I use LO Calc, LO Impress and Thunderbird.

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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn
On Thu, 11 Oct 2018 at 23:18, Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Fascinating thread.
>
> On 10/10/18 14:12, Chris Green wrote:
> [...]
> > On the other hand you can find vi (or a vi clone like I use)
> > *everywhere* and you can use it via an ssh connection.  Thus I only
> > know *one* editor and use it for absolutely everything,
>
> Ditto, except I use Emacs, but for a different reason:
>
> http://latex.silmaril.ie/formattinginformation/editdis.html#editsel
>
> Many users nowadays don't seem to be concerned about learning a new
> editor for each application, which I find puzzling. The waste of effort
> must be significant.

This page reflects the mindset of Emacs fans which does irritate me --
nothing personal, I assure you!

[1]

I write English for a living, not code. I don't want any features at
all related to any kind of code handling. No syntax highlighting,
completion, anything. All that is bloat to me. At the very least I
*must* be able to *completely* turn it all off, and do so easily,
without hunting around. Emacs fails this.

Failure #1

[2]

I don't live in a text editor. I live in about half a dozen apps,
constantly switching. I also switch between 3 or 4 computers and OSes
every day. So the comments about how the editor is central are
incorrect.

Failure #2

[3]

Macros? Bloat. Not needed, for me. Also false.

Failure #3

[4]

I use many apps across many OSes. They all have the same basic UI --
the CUA UI. All have the same basic menu titles in the same basic
order with the same main options on them in the same order (by and
large) -- plus many extra ones, of course. They all use the same
keystrokes, the same terminology. They call the documents they work on
"documents" or "files", they call their windows "windows" and so on.
All use Ctrl-O for Open, Ctrl-P for Print, Ctrl-S for Save, Ctrl X/C/V
for Cut/Copy/Paste, etc.

I *require* all apps to conform to this, throughout, everywhere. This
is not optional. I will not learn special new terms or keystrokes or
commands for any one app.

All these are vital considerations for me. None are negotiable in
exchange for greater power, because any app that doesn't conform can
be replaced with another of equivalent power, free of charge.

Failure #4

Emacs fails this test and has failed it in every way for 30 years.

I do not assert that _my_ reasons apply to everyone. I am just saying
they apply for me.


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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Peter Flynn
On 11/10/18 22:26, Liam Proven wrote:
[snip]
> This page reflects the mindset of Emacs fans which does irritate me --
> nothing personal, I assure you!

:-) It was a choice at the time which suited me. The alternatives were
too horrifying to contemplate (bi-modal editors, flag characters...)

> I write English for a living, not code. I don't want any features at
> all related to any kind of code handling.

Right. I write English too, but mostly tech doc, for which I do have a
highly specific set of requirements. And I code a lot, so a vanilla text
editor (eg Notepad) would be worse than useless.

> At the very least I *must* be able to *completely* turn it all off,
> and do so easily, without hunting around. Emacs fails this.
Interesting: i haven't seen that one. It's all off by default.

> I don't live in a text editor. I live in about half a dozen apps,
> constantly switching. I also switch between 3 or 4 computers and OSes
> every day. So the comments about how the editor is central are
> incorrect.

No, for his audience they are valid. I live in a text editor: I rarely
use applications, but I too switch systems and platforms often, so I
require the identical interface everywhere.

> Macros? Bloat. Not needed, for me.

Quite out of order for your needs. Essential for mine.

> I use many apps across many OSes. They all have the same basic UI --
> the CUA UI.

That would be critical for anyone using them, I assume.

> All use Ctrl-O for Open, Ctrl-P for Print, Ctrl-S for Save, Ctrl X/C/V
> for Cut/Copy/Paste, etc.

That's pretty much essential for those users.

> I *require* all apps to conform to this, throughout, everywhere. This
> is not optional. I will not learn special new terms or keystrokes or
> commands for any one app.

Absolutely. I wish more people would insist on this: it might stop
foolish application developers imagining that their weird-ass interface
is going to take over the world in the face of everything else (GIMP
finally realised this, although it took them a while).

> All these are vital considerations for me. None are negotiable in
> exchange for greater power, because any app that doesn't conform can
> be replaced with another of equivalent power, free of charge.

I wish that were true: my former employer's corporate finance
application had one of these "we think this is much better than the
standard" interfaces which drove everyone insane. And you can't change
that kind of application free of charge, unfortunately.

> Emacs fails this test and has failed it in every way for 30 years.

It succeeds on every single test for the type of work I do, over the
same time period, fortunately.

> I do not assert that _my_ reasons apply to everyone. I am just saying
> they apply for me.

Yep, we live in radically different worlds. Fortunately it looks like we
both have working solutions.

///Peter


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Re: 'Emacs style' delete line shortcut (CTRL/U) doesn't work correctly in Firefox

Liam Proven
On Fri, 12 Oct 2018 at 00:40, Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> :-) It was a choice at the time which suited me. The alternatives were
> too horrifying to contemplate (bi-modal editors, flag characters...)

I just started work early enough that I remember the hell of pre-CUA
editors. My first job was before Windows 3.0, or OS/2 1.0, or Linux
0.01.

I worked with about a dozen different OSes. All had different UIs.


> > I write English for a living, not code. I don't want any features at
> > all related to any kind of code handling.
>
> Right. I write English too, but mostly tech doc, for which I do have a
> highly specific set of requirements. And I code a lot, so a vanilla text
> editor (eg Notepad) would be worse than useless.

Me too these days: mostly in Docbook XML, and a little AsciiDoc.

I'd prefer something simple and straightforward, such as Notepad, to
something powerful but arcane, such as Emacs or Vi.

This astonishes many of my colleagues.

> Interesting: i haven't seen that one. It's all off by default.

Sadly, no, it isn't. By default, on Ubuntu, SUSE and macOS, it
attempts to autocomplete what I think is eLisp and I have found no way
at all to remove _all_ the "major modes".

I think it's the sort of thing Emacs-heads don't even notice. They
press super-hyper-aleph-magic-F47-omega and turn it off (or something
like that).

> No, for his audience they are valid. I live in a text editor: I rarely
> use applications, but I too switch systems and platforms often, so I
> require the identical interface everywhere.

Me too. And none of my computers have a "meta" key, so anything that
refers to it is straight out.

> > Macros? Bloat. Not needed, for me.
>
> Quite out of order for your needs. Essential for mine.

I have never in a 30y career needed an editor macro.

I used to *teach* writing macros, in at least 3 languages, but I've
*never* needed one in my text editor.

3 books so far, countless documents and articles.

> > I use many apps across many OSes. They all have the same basic UI --
> > the CUA UI.
>
> That would be critical for anyone using them, I assume.

You use CUA, every day.

There is no contemporary OS that is not CUA and has not been this century.

> Absolutely. I wish more people would insist on this: it might stop
> foolish application developers imagining that their weird-ass interface
> is going to take over the world in the face of everything else (GIMP
> finally realised this, although it took them a while).

Right. So I won't use anything that talks about "frames" and "buffers"
when it means windows with files in. I won't use anything in which cut
isn't Ctrl-X or at least Shift-Del. Why should I?

> I wish that were true: my former employer's corporate finance
> application had one of these "we think this is much better than the
> standard" interfaces which drove everyone insane. And you can't change
> that kind of application free of charge, unfortunately.

Absolutely true. But text editors? There are literally _thousands_ and
most are free.

> It succeeds on every single test for the type of work I do, over the
> same time period, fortunately.

Good for you!

But if I may ask:

Imagine you get a new machine. Before you import your emacs.el or
whatever, its Emacs comes up with menus entitled File, Edit, View, ...
Help.

On File, ^O is "open file". ^N is "new file", ^P is print, ^S is save.

Etc etc. No "buffers", no "frames". Same editor, but standardised UI.

Once you import your settings, everything goes back to normal, of course.

Would this bother you? Would it stop you using Emacs?

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