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Short cuts

John Gruber flames Panther’s handling of customized keyboard shortcuts, and with good reason; frankly, it sucks. Personally, I’ve long preferred Unsanity’s Menu Master (where by “long” I mean “as long as it has been around… which isn’t that long”); but alas, that hasn’t been updated for 10.3 yet.

What really gets my goat, in a fashion far and away more stupefyingly enraging than fucked–up customization, is incredibly poor support of standard, documented keyboard shortcuts. If it weren’t for that small percentage of incredibly wrongheaded developers, I wouldn’t need to customize the “Preferences” shortcut from whatever key combination they pulled out of their hat. Part of the allure of the Mac is the consistency and predictability of the system; so lets get off our asses and make sure consistency is maintained! Check out the AHIG reference for keyboard shortcuts and tell me how many of those things are misimplemented or ignored by 90% of applications. Toggle the toolbar with Command–Option–T? Don’t see that too often. Close all Windows, Minimize all Windows… it requires one more modifier key, people: implement! How about Zoom Window? It doesn’t even have a standard keyboard shortcut.

With all that in mind, why is it that this kind of shortcut is implemented on an app–by–app basis by the developer? It is my bizarre though humble opinion that window controls such as this should be handled by the OS independent of the application to maintain system–wide consistency. Being realistic, I must concede that this is a pipe dream and suggest that perhaps keyboard shortcuts be better implemented in the standard Interface Builder application template. Better yet, developers should either educate themselves and actually care about their application’s UI, or hire a UI consultant to do it for them.