It’s a modifier key, dammit!

[Previously published here.]

Sometimes the small hates are the most consuming ones.

My desktop uses Gnome. I mostly like it; it’s certainly not hate-free, but it’s not the topic of today’s rant.

OpenOffice.org.o.OoOO.Oooo runs on my Gnome desktop. I don’t really like OpenOffice, but some idiot has sent me a picture as, of all things, a PowerPoint presentation, and I need to be able to look at the benighted thing. So. Now I can Alt+Tab between the thing I’m actually working on, and the stupid picture stuffed into the stupid PowerPoint document.

Check something in OO. Switch back to code. Check something in OO. Switch back to code. Check something in OO. Swit– no, wait, what was that in the PowerPoint document again?

Oh, but now what’s happened is that I hit the Alt key, then released it without doing anything else. Whoops, bad mistake. Because, unlike every other application I ever use, OO feels the need to make that mean “activate menu bar”.

Please note that there are already two fucking keyboard shortcuts for activating the menu bar (F6 and F10), not to mention that Alt+F has exactly the same behaviour as F10 then F. But two shortcuts are apparently not enough: OO also has to make one of my precious, precious modifier keys behave in a completely stupid and counter-intuitive manner.

Now, I know why OO does this: it’s to emulate the broken behaviour of Windows. But, here’s the thing: if I wanted my system to behave like Windows, don’t you think I’d be using Windows? And on the contrary, if every other menu bar I ever use doesn’t make me want to STAB PEOPLE IN THE FACE, don’t you think that fitting in with that would be a good plan?