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Re: [Traverso-devel] Key shorcuts re-evaluated

From: Philipp Überbacher
Subject: Re: [Traverso-devel] Key shorcuts re-evaluated
Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2011 12:29:13 +0100
User-agent: Sup/0.12.1

Excerpts from Remon Sijrier's message of 2011-03-04 21:48:57 +0100:
> Hi list,
> It has been quite silent for a while, so I thought, lets make some noise here!
> I've been using the keyboard 'shortcuts' in Traverso for a long time now, and 
> I'd like to propose a change, based on using the concept for a long time and 
> valuable user feedback.
> Currently you can dispatch a 'shortcut' by means of pressing one key, or 2 
> keys at the same time, holding a key, or press and hold 2 keys at the same 
> time.
> Examples are: [ G ] for changing the gain, < G N > to normalize an audioclip 
> gain value, [ D ] for dragging clips around, [ D V ] for vertical dragging 
> clips around, < S > to select clips (and now also curve nodes) etc.
> The downside of the whole system is that you have to press/release the 
> shortcut in a given amount of time, around 150 milli seconds.
> Users find this hard to do, and for 'quick' actions it's in fact not quick. 
> Example: muting 4 tracks. If you go quickly over the 4 tracks with the mouse 
> pressing the mute shortcut key on each track, the 150 millisecond timeout 
> actually delays it enough to only mute 1 or 2 tracks due missing the 
> 'press/release' timeout, the mouse no longer hovers the pointed track when 
> the 
> timeout arrives.
> OK, so the proposal is this: Simplify the shortcut system to just one key at 
> a 
> time that fires off instantly as soon as you press it.
> This means you no longer can do < E P > or [ F G ] and so on.
> Instead, functionality will now be centered around one key only.
> E.g.: G  will be the Gain key. When you press it, you can change the gain by 
> moving the mouse or using the up/down arrow key, or you can change the gain 
> value by using numerical input. After releasing G the new value will be 
> applied.
> P is the Pan key, press P and use mouse or left and right arrow key to change 
> the pan, or press R to reset pan.
> S is Select
> If you press/release it it'll (de)select the item that has currently the 
> 'focus' if you keep it pressed, you can extend the selection by using arrow 
> keys, clear it by pressing C and so on.
> The primary idea behind it is that each key once being pressed can execute 
> new 
> functions when another key is pressed. 
> These keys will show up in the 'context help' widget once you have the key 
> pressed, basically giving unlimited 'shortcuts' in a very understanding and 
> easy to learn way, without doing difficult key presses.
> Examples: 
> Now is the time to agree, complain or do nothing :D
> Besides working on the workflow features in T, I'll try to fix the routing 
> asap 
> which means fixing the jack support and getting all the new features in git 
> stabilized, polished or disabled, depending on how much time it takes to 
> finish 
> the important bits.
> Best regards,
> Remon

Hi Remon.
I think the idea is great. Your analysis of the problems of the current
system sounds sound to me.

The downside of this change is that users will need to learn new
shortcuts but I wouldn't worry about it too much, the change is well
worth it. Maybe it's a good time to re-think the shortcut keys in
general to make them as obvious as possible. Not sure it's really
necessary though. The descriptions should be mnemonic though, example
from your screenshot: "Move Clip" - [D]
should probably be: "Drag Clip" - [D]
This way it's easier to remember the [D]. I know that thinking about
shortcut keys can be tiresome, but maybe users can help you with that.

Best Regards,

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