ctrl-alt-backspace aka don't zap via GUI, was: ...

Jerone Young jerone.young at canonical.com
Mon Feb 2 15:23:48 GMT 2009

I guess where I am a little lost is, why do we need this any key
combination anymore? We are at a point in time where this feature is not
a needed as it once was.

We are entering a time where X windows has majorly matured. We should
have a way to enable the feature (as there are people still wanting it),
but by default this really isn't needed anymore.

If anything key combination should bring up a menu (as it does for the M
$ OS). Only someone with adminitrator should the ability to enable
cntrl-alt-backspace. But ultimately this feature should go away. 

I don't think changing the keys is going to do anything, but cause
confusion, and as with the Suse case diverge from upstream.


On Mon, 2009-02-02 at 17:07 +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> su, 2009-02-01 kello 19:19 +0000, Paul Sladen kirjoitti:
> > On Fri, 30 Jan 2009, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > > In that discusion it was declared that alt-sysreq-k was "better" because
> > > it's harder to hit
> > 
> > On some laptops [and non-i386 stuff], it's _extremely_ hard to hit a Sysreq
> > combination.  On special keyboards it may, or may not require
> > Shift-and-Alt-and-Fn and may, or may not be on the same key as PrntScrn.
> > 
> > I'd replace my earlier support of a five-second hold period, with instead
> > the consecutive double-hit used by SuSE as that patch (a) already exists,
> > (b) activates if somebody thinks "that didn't work, I'll try it again".
> I disable control-alt-backspace on my X servers, because I find myself
> typing it by mistake way too often. On the other hand, X crashes on my
> very rarely.
> The situation where I type the fatal keystroke by mistake is this: some
> programs (GUI) want control-backspace to delete the word before the
> cursor. Other programs (terminal emulators) want alt-backspace. When I'm
> a mode where I switch between an editor (GUI) and a terminal window
> window (test, fix, test loop), my finger often type control-backspace in
> the terminal window, then realize their error and quickly type
> alt-backspace. However, since my fingers are slow and clumsy, my pinky
> won't lift itself from the control key before I type alt-backspace.
> I've even given my pinky doping to make it faster, but it's no good.
> It's a very slow finger.
> Since my fingers tend to type without my brain being involved, they
> often do things by reflex. Thus, they will easily type
> control-alt-backspace multiple times, in desperation, in the vain hope
> that repeating the keystroke will make things work. Also, sometimes my
> fingers want to delete multiple words.
> Thus, I don't think requiring repeating control-alt-backspace to zap the
> X server is going to be of much use to me to prevent accidental
> slaughter. A completely different keystroke is going to be needed,
> something that never gets hit otherwise.
> Perhaps control-alt-esc followed by control-alt-backspace followed by
> control-alt-esc again? Or something like that.
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