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(WWWOT)true shiftlock key?

by jptxs (Curate)
on Oct 15, 2001 at 01:11 UTC ( #118780=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

this is really silly, but I have to know if I'm alone here. writing a script for a client the other day, it occured to me that several keystrokes could have been spared by a true shiftlock key.

I remembered when I was about 8, typing in my grandfater's home office (yes, he was way ahead of his time). I had an assignment to hand in and it had to be typed (actually, the typing was mostly the point). He showed me how his Streamliner Typewriter worked. I actually marveled at the shiftlock key as is altered the workings so grandly, lifting all the hammers up all at once.

While at the client, I realized for three whole lines the only non-shifted character I had typed was '='. I had capslock on, but had to hit/hold shift many times for '$', '>', '#', etc. Would have been great to hit shiftlock and then just shift for the '=' three times.

Anyone else ever think about it?

Anyone else know a way to make a shiftlock without being a device driver hacker?

Any else think I should have better things to think about?

=] <--non-shifted smily i've grown to use to avoid a keystroke ;]

We speak the way we breathe. --Fugazi

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Re: (WWWOT)true shiftlock key?
by Albannach (Monsignor) on Oct 15, 2001 at 06:08 UTC
    You're definitely not alone, but on the other hand we may both be insane ;-)

    I've often cursed the CapsLock key (at least they don't try to pass it off as a shift lock when all it does is capitals). Frankly I think about 999 out of every 1000 times I (or nearly anyone) hits it it is unintentional (unless of course you re-define it as the Ctrl key as it should be), and I can't recall the last time I actually wanted to type so many sequential capital letters that CapsLock would have actually been useful. Geez, even on my PalmOS device I can toggle the case of already-typed text.

    To go just a bit further, why do we have numbers above the keyboard anyway? Perhaps on crowded notebooks it makes sense, but every desktop keyboard I've seen for years had this really handy numeric keypad on the right (to the annoyance of some lefty friends of mine...). I bet more than 50% of my typing errors would vanish if I didn't have to hit shift for punctuation.

    I'd like to be able to assign to an luser

      i agree that the placement of the capslock key is abysmally stupid (i've got mine remapped as control like it should be too).

      you probably already know this but someone might not and i remember going "oh yeah... that makes sense..." the first time someone explained to me the reason for its existence. the capslock key is for people who, for whatever reason -- arthritis, missing hand, etc -- aren't able to hit two keys at once. if you only have one finger and you want a capital G, you're going to have a hard time getting it with just a shift key; instead they can hit capslock, g, then capslock again.

      so there's my useless knowledge contribution of the day. enjoy.

      of course it really could have gone somewhere less annoying...

      anders pearson

      As far as the numbers above the qwerty keys, there are two reasons those are there AFAICT:
      1. History (the original typewriters didn't have keypads)
      2. Quickness (eight fingers can be faster than 2-4 at entering numbers)
      Unfortunately the numbers above the qwerty keys do me no good for quickness since i actually have fewer than 10 fingers, so i agree with you that they're an annoyance :)

      my $0.02,

      I did one better than remap. I have a Sun Blade here for testing and I use the keyboard that came with it on my main linux machine (the only one I really use a keyboard on at all). That takes care of many of the silly PC things...

      We speak the way we breathe. --Fugazi

Re: (WWWOT)true shiftlock key?
by kwoff (Friar) on Oct 15, 2001 at 06:01 UTC
    Do you use emacs? Do you know elisp? :)
      no, and no. =] sorry.

      We speak the way we breathe. --Fugazi

really OT... a shiftlock key solution (was Re:(WWWOT)true shiftlock key?)
by AltBlue (Chaplain) on Oct 16, 2001 at 17:24 UTC
    here is a simple solution for *NIX & XFree86: use xmodmap and hack the keycode of Caps_Lock to Shift_Lock (YES, the keysym exists :)))
    clear lock keycode 66 = Shift_Lock add lock = Shift_Lock

    ... a similar solution you can obtain on linux console using the tools from console-tools package.

    rant: neh, as i 'dislike' Caps_Lock, the same goes for Shift_Lock (ouch, my CapsLock key is quite dusty being not touched for a long time :)) ... but I reckon it can be a little useful =\

    AltBlue .

Re: (WWWOT)true shiftlock key?
by kevin_i_orourke (Friar) on Oct 15, 2001 at 19:42 UTC

    If I recall correctly keyboards in some countries have shiftlock instead of caps lock, Germany being one example.

    On German PC keyboards (quite apart from the QWERTZ layout) what is usually the caps lock key changes behaviour in two ways:

    • it doesn't toggle, to turn off lock you press shift (much like a mechanical typewriter)
    • it acts as shift lock

    So this kind of behaviour can probably be configured fairly easily, depending on your OS. Can't give you any specific help though, try a web search...

    Kevin O'Rourke

      Well, you do recall correctly. German keyboards do indeed use shiftlock not caps lock and frankly IMO its one of _the_ most annoying things that I've ever had to deal with. If you accidentally touch it everything goes capital and if you are trying to type in say a caps/numeric password you _dont_ get what you wanted anyway.

      Even though I work in Germany I use either a US/Canadian keyboard or a UK keyboard. The reason I do this, despite the fact it means that in day to day use I deal with 4 different types of keyboard (I have a UK laptop as well as various desktops) is that German keyboards are unbelievably annoying to program with (at least to me) because of the placement of the various brackets which as we all know are very common in programming and especially so in Perl. On a German keyboard they are arranged

      / ( ) = Shift 7 8 9 0 Normal { [ ] } Alt Graphics
      Which means if you have a construct like (localtime)[3,4,5] you have to use two different shift type keys, with the Alt-Gr key being _only_ on the right hand side. Grrr. The fact that I dont have to deal with the damn shift-lock is an added bonus.

      Incidentally, I have a feeling that many of the thoughts expressed in this thread are a case of 'The Grass is Greener'.


      You are not ready to use symrefs unless you already know why they are bad. -- tadmc (CLPM)

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