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mozilla key bindings

hey joel, it is somewhat easy to (brutally) rebind the mozilla default shortcut for jumping to the adress bar (ctrl-l) to the internet explorer way of alt-d.

- close all mozilla instances
- locate mozilla's program dir
- extract comm.jar found in chrome/ using: 'jar xf comm.jar'
- edit content/navigator/navigatorOverlay.xul
- locate the <key id="focusURLBar" ... /> element
- modify the attributes key and modifiers to contain "d" and "alt"
- save the changes
- update comm.jar using: 'jar uf comm.jar content/'
- start mozilla and enjoy yourself hitting alt-d

duh
Thursday, June 20, 2002

>"it is somewhat easy" .... etc etc

... thinking that jumping hoops in obscure undocumented config files is "somewhat easy", is exactly the sort of thinking that continues to prevent open source software from achieving any significant desktop penetration outside hardcore techie circles.

"Somewhat easy" for Joel, sure. For most of the rest of the, er, several hundred million or so IE users out there? I rather think not.

(I use Mozilla. It's quite a decent browser. But anybody who thinks writing a better browser than Netscape 4 is some kind of significant world-changing achievement really needs to look long & hard at their priorities)

Alan Little
Thursday, June 20, 2002

"hey joel, it is somewhat easy to (brutally) rebind the mozilla default shortcut for jumping to the adress bar (ctrl-l) to the internet explorer way of alt-d.

- close all mozilla instances
- locate mozilla's program dir
- extract comm.jar found in chrome/ using: 'jar xf comm.jar'
- edit content/navigator/navigatorOverlay.xul
- locate the <key id="focusURLBar" ... /> element
- modify the attributes key and modifiers to contain "d" and "alt"
- save the changes
- update comm.jar using: 'jar uf comm.jar content/'
- start mozilla and enjoy yourself hitting alt-d"

---- cool. It's obviously ready to install on the computer my computer illiterate brother and my 6 yr old niece share. I'm sure they'd have no trouble with this.

Robert Moir
Thursday, June 20, 2002

I think it has to be a joke...

Still, at least you can rebind it. No such luck on Internet Explorer.

Tom Seddon
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Hmm,

If I'm correct isn't the original poster saying that you can use ctrl+l to fire up Mozilla ANYWAY?

If Joel is so hooked on alt+d, well the solution outlined is reasonable for someone with Joel's programming experience. And if no, then the non-programmer has ctrl+l.

Walter Rumsby
Thursday, June 20, 2002

If my belief in open source holds true, then a menu item for achieving this easily will soon be included in a release.  Possibly with an emulate IE keystrokes option - like the 123 compatability option in Excel.

Start the watch....

Ged Byrne
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Hey Robert,

tell your brother and niece that if they do not like it they can always change it "because they have the source" ;-)

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, June 20, 2002

"If Joel is so hooked on alt+d, well the solution outlined is reasonable for someone with Joel's programming experience. And if no, then the non-programmer has ctrl+l. "

But the non programmer is used to things "as they are" and does not see why they should change because the programmers were lazy?

That is starting to sound like "Go away, you ain't leet enough to use our software". If thats the attitude then mozilla sucks no matter how fast it renders html or how easy it is to develop with/for.

Robert Moir
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Okay, Joel's remark about the keyboard shortcut has been bugging me.  Is it really that hard to actually learn a new shortcut?  If you change from VB to VB.NET the functions of F5 and ctrl-F5 are pretty much reversed.  This gave me some truble for the first hour... but then I had it pretty much figured out.  I find the ctrl-alt-r binding to be more useful half the time, anyway.

Back to my point, yeah, it can be kind of annoying learning a new shortcut, but you have to remember that most people don't even use the shortcut.  I didn't use the location bar one, I usually just opened a new window or used ctrl-l to summon the open dialog. 

Maybe I'm still young and adaptable, but I don't have too much trouble switching between IE6, Opera 6.03, and Mozilla 1.0 in windows (work) and Netscape 4.76, Mozilla 1.1, Skipstone, Galeon, and Opera 6.01 in linux (home), and they all have slightly different key bindings, most of which are not user definable in any way.  What's the big deal?

Malachi Brown
Thursday, June 20, 2002

I switch between Mozilla and IE 10-100 times a day at work for testing. I use ctl+O for IE and ctl+shft+L for Mozilla (I 've always used the open dialog because I discovered that keystroke before I discovered the address bar keystroke). Yes I occasioanaly get the fiel dialog in Mozilla (which I have been useing as my browser for several months) but no big deal. I'm sure some of us have had to switch back and forth between windows versions. That's a hoot.

Dan Sickles
Thursday, June 20, 2002

As to whether it's "really that hard" to learn a shortcut...

No, it's not hard to learn a new shortcut, but the point is that annoying little issues like that do make the difference between switching apps and not switching.  It's not that learning the new way is hard; it's that companies (or individuals) pushing new applications don't realize that users aren't *willing* to learn a new way, unless there's a big reason to switch.

People were willing to learn how to use TiVos, but that's because of the amazingly useful new features that TiVos provide.  When you want people to switch word processors -- especially when their current word processor has way more functionality than they'll ever use -- you'd better make it incredibly easy for them to switch.  Ditto with web browsers.

Brent P. Newhall
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Well, I don't know about you, but the ability to avoid popups and to use tabs is well worth the cost of learning a few new shortcuts for me.

Malachi Brown
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Malachi, the deal is "What does switching gain me exactly". If you give someone a tool for browsing the internet and they are used to it, why would they even consider switching to another tool at all if it doesn't behave how they expect it to.

You would say, rightly, that its worth switching if the new thing has a killer feature or the old one is too poor but thats not really the case.

Robert Moir
Friday, June 21, 2002

alt+d? that opens the "datei" (file) menu, as any fule nose

nope
Friday, June 21, 2002

robert - not entirely. if that were the case, why do so many people use outlook for email?

nope
Friday, June 21, 2002

nope - possibly for the added functionality (exchange) at work.

At home I use it because I'm used to it at work.

Robert Moir
Friday, June 21, 2002

this is a quite esoteric thing. no average user i ever met knows that there is a shortcut to jump into the address bar.

most of the programmers i know, don't even know it. but i'm quite keyboard obsessed and so at least i know it. joel seems to know it too.

i'm bugged when i have to relearn a shortcut that has really got an at-least-tence-per-hour habit.

what's nice about mozilla's solution:
- it is possible to customize everything, even w/o programming
- it is possible for theme writers to easily deliver a fully IE emulating theme
- theme installation is done with 4 clicks
- an IE theme could be delivered with custom installations or future revisions

i think it is an esoteric problem - so i think an esoteric soluation is quite appropriate. btw, cluttering up messy preferences dialogs is _not_ a solution.

duh
Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Robert, if you really see no benifit in changing ... don't change.

I don't use IE because even a simple thing like changing my source viewer to gvim was an absolute nightmare. (certainly worse than rebinding keys in mozilla).

If you somehow think that the method presented here to rebind keys in mozilla is ugly and/or too difficult. Just think, at least it's possible.

Martyn Smith
Thursday, April 29, 2004

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