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#250 meta-key shortcuts don't work with xforms UI elements

Rootless (76)

Programs that use xforms, such as lyx, can be used almost
entirely with the keyboard, since xforms provides meta-key
shortcuts for almost every labeled UI element, such as
menus or labeled buttons in dialog boxes. Unfortunately,
this has never worked with XDarwin (or Apple's X11) on
MacOS X, and I have confirmed this with other fink users.

With a little debugging, it appears this is, indeed, an
XFree86 on MacOS X issue, as opposed to some issue with
the ports of xforms or lyx, as the problem persists even
when, e.g., lyx is run on a remote host and displayed on a
MacOS X host. Also, the problem goes away when lyx is run
inside a VNC X server, further confirming an issue within

As a simple illustration of the problem, use fink to install
lyx, start the program and then try to use the meta-key
shortcuts to cause one of the menus to pop up (such as
Meta-F for the File menu). None will work (but they do
under other unicies, such as Linux and Solaris).



  • Logged In: YES

    Off the top of my head, this sounds like a keymap issue. Make
    sure the key you call Meta really is generating that modifier. You
    should check with xev and make sure you are generating the
    events you think are generating with the keys you are hitting. If
    not, you might want to tweak your keymap with xmodmap.

    • status: open --> closed-works-for-me
  • Logged In: YES

    No follow up for several months. Presumably the xmodmap
    adjustments fixed the problem.