[Sugar-devel] behaviour of F-keys on XO HS

Gary Martin garycmartin at googlemail.com
Thu Jul 15 20:09:29 EDT 2010

On 15 Jul 2010, at 23:59, Tim McNamara <paperless at timmcnamara.co.nz> wrote:

> On 16 July 2010 10:50, Daniel Drake <dsd at laptop.org> wrote:
> Under non-sugar environments (e.g. GNOME), myself and Paul are in
> agreement that in order to change brightness and volume, you should
> press e.g. Fn+F9 (to decrease brightness).
> This matches behaviour of "normal" laptops, including the Dell that
> I'm writing on. Linux already has mechanisms (once through hal, now
> through udev) so that when I press Fn+F8 on my Dell, X receives the
> "volume down" key press (instead of the Fn+F8 key press), matching
> what is printed on the keyboard.
> This convention appears to be changing. My very recent HP notebook requires th Fn button to be pushed to reach the function keys. Everything is reversed.

+1 on Tim's observation, all three Apple laptops I've owned have brightness/volume/exposé/dashboard/etc mapped by default to a single key press, if you want an Fn key you need to hold the Fn button down. There is a system preference to toggle this behaviour, but the majority of Mac applications avoid the use of function keys (same as most Sugar Activities do).


> While I don't have the empirical evidence to support a claim that users prefer to have quick access to volume & brightness, I think this could be an argument to say that whatever the path of least resistance (in terms of developer cycles) is fine.
> Tim
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