Phoronix: XKB2 Gets Cut Again, Maybe For X Server 1.9?
The end of 2009 marked the closure of the merge window for X Server 1.8, which means that HAL removal work got in, including xorg.conf.d and udev input handling. What didn't make it in time for X Server 1.8 though was XKB2...
I feel a little sadness whenever something doesn't make a release, as part of me wonders if opensource is able to deliver...
That being said, this happens all the time in commercial shops, it's just not so visible.
I guess that is where visions, roadmaps and milestones are important, which really isn't visible in the day to day news releases.
It's probably a combination of it being a bit difficult to implement and also a feature that isn't super sought after. That having been said, sometimes you don't know you "need" something until you have it, then you wonder how you lived without it. Devs trying to program new "artwork" is a good thing, usually. ^^
I love bleeding edge as much as the next guy.. but keyboard handling in X? It's not like i have any issues with my keyboard, and I doubt many of us have (especially things that could just be fixed by adopting XKB2).
I can't even find out what's so special about XKB2. Apart from some sites that just breifly mentions XKB it is just a whooole lot of hits referring to this article.
Most problems only hit multilingual users, like this one - http://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=865 - that prevents you from using ALT-SHIFT for layout switching (like in MS-Windows) and as a modifier for other shortcuts, like ALT-SHIFT-TAB for going backwards in the window list.
Other problems can be seen even by US bound users, like the inability to use the "Windows Key" ("SUPER" in X11 lingo) as both a standalone key (for opening the application menu) as well as a modifier. Or the fact that the modifier behavior is different if you hold CTRL and then SHIFT vs. holding down SHIFT and then CTRL.
I'm not sure what XKB2 entails, but if even if it doesn't fix any problem out of the gate but just lays out the foundation for future fixes, I want to see it in as soon as possible because it means that XKB problems will be solved earlier - currently all XKB work on X.org is stuck because everyone is waiting for XKB2.
For one thing it's needed to have all the special keys working in Xorg on laptops like the ThinkPad. http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to...#Xorg_problems very briefly discusses that problem. I've heard that there are many other problems related to the way XKB currently handles key events, particular for multikey combinations in non-US languages.