[ardour-dev] User Interface Suggestion -- Menu Command Buffer

Hatoyama Isamu ardour at congacircles.com
Fri Jun 8 23:17:32 PDT 2007

Many times, I feel that having to drag over a mouse to a drop down menu and move down to the correct menu takes too much time and distracts me. By the time I reach the menu, my mind has drifted off to something else for a moment.

I was thinking it might be cool to have something similar to Emacs command buffer. This buffer would be used for directly accessing menus. But instead of using obscure keyboard shortcuts, it would use keywords.

For example, let's say Ardour has a menu called "Automation".
You would type something like Ctrl-X and then type in "Automation".
The Automation menu would directly pop-up. You wouldn't have to go through Tools -> Midi -> Automation or anything like that.

"Automation" would be the full-length keyword. To make things quicker, you could have a "full name" and maybe a shorter name.
So for example, you could type "Ctrl-X automation" or "Ctrl-X atm".
and it would mean the same thing.

Even better, you could assign common command buffer commands to a single key. So you could bind "Ctrl-X atm" to Ctrl-F1 or something similar.

Not only would you be able to access menus in the drop down list at the top of the screen, but you could also directly access sub-menus as well(instead of having to click through 3 or 4 menus to get
where you want).

In the beginning, you could have this work for the standard menus.
But you could also have user-defined keywords for things like plugins. Imagine if you had a plugin called "reverb". You'd highlight a portion of the audio, hit "Ctrl-X reverb" and it would immediately bring up the reverb plugin (with the selected audio as input if you want to).

Anyway, that's the gist of my idea. I think keywords would be very intuitive for people and would work well across many platforms. You wouldn't even have to worry about keyboard shortcuts convention across different platforms. And I think it's much more efficient than using the mouse in many cases.

Hope I'm not wasting anyone's time.

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