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RE: Key bindings proposal

From: Xah Lee
Subject: RE: Key bindings proposal
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 08:19:51 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100711 Thunderbird/3.0.6

Uday wrote:
> But I am opposed to commercialization.  The Windows keys were not on
> the IBM PC keyboard.  Microsoft added them.  They are good modifier
> keys.  So, I have no problem with Microsoft adding them.  My
> opposition is to Microsoft branding them, charging royalty to the
> keyboard manufacturers, and locking up the keys in Windows-specific
> ways so that they are *not free*.  And, software freedom is what we
> are here about.  So, it is a surprise to me that the people here don't
> attack this violation of freedom as vigorously as possible.

not sure this is true, Uday.

Microsoft is also a keyboard manufacture, starting in mid or early 1990s.

i don't know the history of how the Win key/logo got so wide spread, but once they made their logo into their own keyboards, and if other keyboard makers want to use them, certainly they are subject to licensing.

Apple always has a Apple logo on their keyboards on the Cmd key, only about 3 years ago it's officially removed. Those who make 3rd party Apple keyboard are subject to licensing fee too, am sure, and probably also a royalty.

thinking about this... i think FSF might make a keyboard where the Win/Cmd key is a GNU logo. Actually i think that's a good idea because the Win logo key on keyboard is a commonly heard complaint from GNU/linux programers. Actually i think this is quite a doable market... Several kbd makers started to have a cult following due to the fact they sell kbds without the win logo, e.g. Daz, Happy Hacking, and are frequently buzzed about in programing forums and in gadget review sites.

(Google recently ban'd MS's OS for their employees (google announced it from their blog, and subsequently reported all over by news agencies). Allegedly, they allow just linux and mac. (if any doesnt know, Google is probably the largest user of GNU/linux in the world, not just as servers, and they are making their own OS based on GNU/linux called Chrome OS) I'd say such a kbd would be popular fairly quickly, especially if FSF takes the initiative to create them.)

(PS the Win key and Apple key both send the same keycode am pretty sure. This is because you can plug in a PC keyboard to Mac, or Apple kbd to PC, and the Win/Apple key functions without any special driver.)

sorry for the diversion... thinking about putting the gnu head as a logo on the key... it'll needs to be a streamline version, perhaps a silhouette of the gnu head. (am a aficionado of logo artwork and computer keyboards, have written perhaps 50 articles on them.)


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