offer two state toggle for sticky keys

Bug #695617 reported by Dan Allen on 2010-12-30
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-settings-daemon (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-settings-daemon

Sticky keys offer a simpler way to initiate multi-key shortcuts involving modifiers. While handicapped users can certainly benefit, I believe sticky keys can be very powerful and useful for any user. It's common sense. It requires much less dexterity to enter three keys in sequence than trying to press them down all at once.

However, the use of sticky keys can quickly become an annoyance when modifier keys are left in their sticky state. This happens to me all the time. I press down the modifier, but then perhaps I decide I don't need it. But you have to tend to it or else your next key or mouse button press is going to be combined with the active modifier. You deactive the key by pressing it again and again (or hitting Esc).

What keeps biting me is the necessity to press the active modifier key twice rather than just once.

You have to click the activate modifier twice to cycle through the locked sticky state, then on to the inactive state. In short, there are three states, instead of the desired two states:

- inactive
- active (transient)
- locked

I'm *constantly* banging on the keys to tare them (set them all inactive). I almost never want to use the locked state and cycling through it is a major annoyance. I'd like to be able to eliminate that state as an option.

It should be noted that the sticky keys feature in KDE only has two states: inactive and active. There is no locked state. I think Gnome should at least accommodate that use case.

Dan Allen (dan.j.allen) wrote :

Ubuntu QA is working on addressing a similar issue of the stick keys getting left in an active or locked state.

I think this is a multi-faceted issue (which means the problem presents itself in different ways). I'll provide some insight into the possible solutions:

timeout - most of the time, when you are issuing a key binding sequence w/ sticky keys, its going to happen pretty quickly. So a timeout of a few seconds would alleviate a lot of "lingering" sticky keys problems

two state toggle - this just makes it less steps to get a modifier back in the inactive state

clear - sometimes you just need to reset all the sticky keys rather than try to figure out which keys need to be hit to switch them to inactive. A clear key binding or button would be very helpful in these cases.

I also want to mention my use case, so that it's clear how important this feature is for users and especially developers. If I want to open a Java file in Eclipse, the key combination is:


Trying to press those three characters all at once is a challenge, like playing twister with your fingers. It's so much easier to type one key at a time in a sort of bounce motion:


What we are trying to address in this bug is when you press


Then decide to take a different course. You have to go back and address the active sticky state of <Ctrl> before you do anything else. Currently, I have to bang out:


I'd like to limit this to just one, or let it timeout after a few seconds.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for your bug report. The issue is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug the to the people writting the software (

Changed in gnome-settings-daemon (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-settings-daemon (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers