[LAD] a case for a knob control standard?

pete shorthose pshorthose at gmail.com
Tue Sep 28 17:44:41 UTC 2010

if there was a standard that described the expected behavior of commonly 
(or just useful) knob control methods, perhaps in the form of a short draft
specification on freedesktop.org, would people (ie developers) use it?

expectations and requirements clearly differ so we would probably need to
gather together and discuss those in use with a mind to removing or 
similar methods, explicitly naming them and defining their behavior in the
abstract. if we required that applications implement a set few methods as
configurable options (as a minimum) in order to comply then we might 
see the back of the unpredictable mess we have now. it wouldn't matter 
how they
are configured, be it gconf, dotfile, command line, prefs dialog, env 
as long as it could be done.

worth thinking about or is it just too niche? are the actual real world
applications too varied and specific to make it useful?

for example it would certainly be nice to crack open a library config
or application prefs window and assign VLMC (vertical linear motion 
to the left mouse button and RMC (radial motion control*)
to shift + left mouse button, and have those conform to the expected 
or even just to set KNOB_CONTROL_METHOD=RMC in your global environment
and have all the adherent applications just do what you expect.

it seems to me that standards (of the mutually agreed rather than officially
sanctioned variety, since the latter is impractical) provide the best means
to bring about common behavior in sovereign systems. naturally it would be
completely platform independent.
just having named control methods with explicitly defined behavior may 
help matters


*crappy names i'm sure, but you get the idea.

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