Word moving with left-arrow-ctrl broken in wayland

Bug #1720213 reported by Merlijn Sebrechts on 2017-09-28
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description



Ubuntu 17.10, Wayland session.

In the terminal, the keycombination `ctrl-left-arrow` and `ctrl-right-arrow` moves the cursor one word to the left and to the right. In Xorg this works, no matter which key you press first (ctrl or arrow). In wayland, you have to press the ctrl key first, otherwise, the cursor will not move.

# How to reproduce:

type some words in gnome terminal press `left-arrow` key, wait for the cursor to move and, and press `ctrl`.

# What happens

The cursor first moves one character per "tick", and stops immediately when you press `ctrl`.

# What should happen

The cursor first moves one character per "tick", and starts moving one word per "tick" when you press `ctrl`.

tags: added: artful
tags: added: wayland
Egmont Koblinger (egmont-gmail) wrote :

Is the behavior the same in other apps, e.g. gedit, libreoffice writer, firefox, etc...?

Buggy behavior:

- Gnome Terminal
- Gedit
- libreoffice writer
- Nautilus
- Ubuntu Software

Correct behavior:
- xterminal
- Firefox
- Google Chrome
- Atom

affects: wayland (Ubuntu) → gnome-shell (Ubuntu)
Egmont Koblinger (egmont-gmail) wrote :

I can confirm the behavior.

Other similar cases: Press or release Shift while holding a regular letter. In Xorg this resulted in something like "aaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaAAAAaaaa" appearing. In Wayland it stops when you press or release Shift.

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Thank you for reporting this bug to Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 17.10 (artful) reached end-of-life on July 19, 2018.

See this document for currently supported Ubuntu releases:

We appreciate that this bug may be old and you might not be interested in discussing it any more. But if you are then please upgrade to the latest Ubuntu version and re-test. If you then find the bug is still present in the newer Ubuntu version, please add a comment here telling us which new version it is in and change the bug status to Confirmed.

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in gnome-terminal (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete

This bug is still present in Ubuntu 18.04.

Changed in gnome-terminal (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
tags: added: bionic
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

I don't think this bug is valid. If somekey+<delay>+Ctrl works the same as Ctrl+somekey in Xorg then that's interesting, but not normal recommended behavior. Your should always be holding the modifier (Ctrl) first.

So this bug is being marked as "Opinion". If you disagree then please report the bug to the Gnome developers here:


and if they accept it then we can reopen.

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Opinion
Changed in gnome-terminal (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Opinion

I disagree because this is the behavior on all other DE's, on Windows and on Mac, and on most other applications. Only a few applications don't adhere to this, even on Wayland.

Thanks for the link, I'll post a bug there.

Egmont Koblinger (egmont-gmail) wrote :

> Only a few applications don't adhere to this, even on Wayland.

That's probably due to the others still using the X11 compatibility layer Xwayland.

It's indeed an opinion, but my one matches Merlijn's (Merlijn, I'd appreciate if you opened a bug according to Daniel's suggestion (does it really belong to mutter, rather than some more core wayland component?)).

In most software, Ctrl+Arrow walk the cursor faster than the modifier-less Arrow key. I might press and hold the arrow key, and then realize it's going to take a bit too long and want make it faster. It's an obvious an intuitive reaction to press Ctrl as well, or the other way around, to release Ctrl but leave the Arrow pressed when I'm about to reach my destination and want to slow down.

This is pretty similar to how typically holding the Shift speeds up walking in many games - you won't find a game where you have to stop walking for a sec do to this.

The new behavior is not just counterintuitive, but if one gets used to it then also still slower than the old one. Even when someone is fully used to this new behavior, having to release the Arrow and press it again later is a loss of time, partially because of the speed of our fingers, and partially beucase the repetition delay between the first and second emitted keystroke has to elapse again.

This is the kind of usability issue that can easily frequently increase the user's frustration level, by a tiny little bit every time.

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Moved to gtk, per upstream.

affects: gnome-shell (Ubuntu) → gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu)
Changed in gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu):
status: Opinion → New
no longer affects: gnome-terminal (Ubuntu)
description: updated
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