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  1. #1

    Keyboard shortcuts underlying mechanism (in Gnome for instance)


    I'm trying to understand what is happening exactly when I setup and use custom shortcuts in say Gnome 2 (but any other desktop environment is fine).

    Gnome for instance offers this 'keyboard shortcuts' menu in which one can setup their own shortcuts. I have found programmatic ways to get/set those as well (gconftool-2), and they seem to essentially be wrappers around xml files.

    From that point on I'm unsure what's going on, what reads those files and how does the system acts upon them. Is it an x server thing? is it a kernel thing?

    I find plenty of doc about how to setup shorcuts but very little about how they actually work! Is there a programmatic way to manipulate such shortcuts (in C for instance), bypassing the gnome layer?



  2. #2
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Harrow, UK
    Gnome is built over the gtk widget library and that has ways of setting keyboard shortcuts under the label of "mnemonics". So it's probably done on that level. You can find a good gtk manual at
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

  3. #3
    Thanks hazel, and sorry for the late reply! I am now considering xbindkeys rather, as it looks more portable. I wish I could find something that would work for any x server though, as xbindkeys doesn't seem to be available for mac!

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