[clug] mc.keymap -> Function keys

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Sun Apr 26 18:04:26 MDT 2015

On 26/04/15 20:18, Bryan Kilgallin wrote:
> Thanks to Scott for discussion.
>> "That" (output) makes sense to me.
> I have used Ubuntu's "System Settings..." "Keyboard" "Shortcuts" to
> disable all the launchers etc. that I had assigned to F1 to F10.
> In Thunderbird mail, now F1 opens a browser window to "Mozilla Support",
> "Thunderbird", "Help Topics".

There's nothing wrong with creating custom hotkeys per se, but it's best
to do so using key combinations that are *not* already used (don't break
the defaults?). That way you can follow standard documentation and help,
and advice from others without unpleasant surprises.
i.e. F1 is traditionally used to access help for a particular application.
e.g. if you want a custom hotkey for Thunderbird look for a key
combination that's easy to remember *and* is not already used. I don't
know what hotkeys are used in Ubuntu/Unity/GNOME - on my boxes I use
Super_L+somekey combinations so that users with a background in MS can
leverage existing hotkey knowledge e.g. Super_L activates the
application menu, Super_L+Pause activates SysInfo, Super_L+E activates a
file browser (Dolphin). In KDE when creating a hotkey combination the
user is warned if that key combination is already assigned, and most
common MS hotkeys combinations work the same by default (F1 application
help, Alt+F4 kill active application window, Alt+F2 run command).

As previously suggested, you can use any key as a modifier. e.g.
Shift_L+t can be assigned to Thunderbird, Shift_L+f for Firefox (if
those key combinations are not already in use.

> Interestingly, I had discovered that from the Desktop, "F2 F3" opened an
> x-nautilus-desktop window!

Expected behavior (consistent with the standard way of accessing new
virtual terminals).

>> It's possible mc won't work fully with fish - it's designed to work
>> with bash, tcsh, and zsh
> Bas code has needed little tweaking to run under fish.

Some people only change the default shell for compelling reasons -
others for "geek credits" (primitive superstition? if I smoke the same
brand of cigarettes as Keith Richards I'll become Keith Richards?).
Choose your shell and choose your limitations - fish is fine if you're
happy not being able to run cross-platform scripts *and* you make use of
the fish features. But this is Linux - you don't have to use fish all
the time. /bin/bash when needed.

>> As previously suggested - you have some keys pre-assigned.
> As above, I have now disabled those global key assignments.
>> NOTE: there are two "super keys" SUPER_L (left, keysym 0xffeb, keycode
>> 133) and SUPER_R (right, keysym 0xffec, keycode 134).
> I have the keyboard assigned to "English (US)". The Windows key shows as
> "Super L". Whereas no key is "Super R". But the left and right Alt keys
> show accordingly as Menu (L & R).

Which just means that Super_R has not been used. Feel free to use it if
you want. Likewise the key commonly next to it on a MS keyboard - Menu,
(keycode 135, keysym 0xff67)

>> Note that any key can be set as a meta (*modifier*) key - but
>> assigning them for terminal use is a little tricky as you'd probably
>> have to modify the terminal handling of the keys as well as the app
>> (e.g. mc).
> In Midnight Commander now F1 launches "GNOME Terminal Manual"! F2 and F3
> do nothing. F5 to F9 work as MC says they should.
> But F10 opens a menu listing:
>     * Open Terminal;
>     * Open Tab;
>     * New Profile; and
>     * Close Window.

That's expected behavior in a *desktop gui*. I recommended mc for use in
*text mode*. You are not using text mode. You are using a gui (Unity)
and running mc in a fish shell, in a terminal window. A crude analogy
might be that you live in an air-conditioned house and have lit a
campfire in the lounge-room and are complaining about the smoke.
If you wanted to work in a terminal on your *phone*, install the mc
binary as per the suggestion that started this thread, and you'll find
everything works fine. There's a difference between working on your
phone and *accessing* your phone from your gui desktop.

>> You'd be best getting help with Unity/Ubuntu/GNOME from someone who
>> actually use it (not me).
> I only have recourse to this discussion list.

Then post to this list with an appropriate subject - maybe someone else
will reply... certainly it'd be more useful to others instead of
rambling tangential threads that originally started as "OpenMoko network

>> I'd suggest you stick to default settings until your experience is
>> complete enough to safely start tweaking/hacking your setup
>> *especially* if you don't keep detailed notes of changes.
> Everything seems to me a tweak/hack; it's a learning experience!
>> The reason I suggested mc in the first place was that it's useful for
>> newbies when working in a *non-gui* (text mode) environment.
> As with Vi, I have been practising mc for the vibe of mystic juju!

Then perhaps "you're doing it wrong"? Geek cred is the triumph of style
over substance.


>> i.e. a terminal session on your phone
> I'd appreciate instruction on how to get mc onto & working there.

Compile or download statistically linked build. Do the same for ncurses.

*Disclaimer*: if you break your phone you get to keep the pieces.

>> using it on your Ubuntu whatever desktop is kind of redundant as your
>> file manager has the same capabilities.
> Isn't this a cargo cult?

No more than it's a french poodle.

Kind regards

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