Key repeat settings are hard to find, confusing, and hard to test
I frequently make use of key-repeat, even if only for the space, backspace, and arrow keys, but the GUI for changing the settings is (a) hard to find, (b) non-intuitive (especially the "speed" setting), and (c) hard to test. The default settings for different distributions can be different (e.g., under Arch Linux it is pretty fast, and it's comparatively slow in Ubuntu), so I want to adjust these settings after installing GNOME. After it was moved to Universal Access, I had so much trouble finding the setting that I thought it was removed and googled how to set it via the command line, only to later stumble upon it at its new home.
For instance, if I open GNOME Settings and search for "repeat", "speed", or "delay", there are no results. If I search for "key", then the "Keyboard" and "Region & Language" options appear, and for "Keyboard" it has a description of "View and change keyboard shortcuts and set your typing preferences", which looks promising, but in fact there are no more "typing preferences", only shortcuts, under this item (maybe this text needs to be revised).
Let's assume that I've discovered that the "typing preferences" are now under "universal access" (strangely, it is discoverable if I type "key repeat" in the search of the activities menu, but not the search of GNOME Settings, which I wouldn't have guessed would be the case).
The button to change the key-repeat preferences just says "Repeat Keys ... On", which appears to be a binary toggle. There is no indication (for this and other settings, like "Cursor Blinking", etc.) that there are other options besides On/Off, except maybe implicitly because the appearance is different from the binary toggle for "Screen Keyboard". I don't want to turn "Repeat Keys" off, so I don't want to click the button, but I don't see any other options, so I try it and see what happens...
Ok, finally! This is what I was looking for. The delay to start repeating is too long, so I slide it to the left (aside: there's no indication which way has the higher value... Do right-to-left language users expect that the left side has the longer delay?). The repeat speed is too slow so I slide it to the right to increase the speed. But how do I test it? There's no dummy text box to try out the settings, so I open a text editor. Hmm, is it slower? I slide the "speed" setting further to the right. It's even slower. Ok, maybe it's actually the delay between repeats, so a lower value is better? Sliding "speed" to the left seems to work.
Changes I'd like to see:
- Make the repeat-keys setting more discoverable, e.g., via search in GNOME Settings
- Change the text of the Keyboard settings description to omit "typing preferences"
- Add a link in the Keyboard settings to Universal Access (e.g., "For typing preferences, see Universal Access")
- Indicate what the value of the sliders means (e.g., with the millisecond values on the right)
- Rename "delay" and "speed" to "start delay" and "repeat delay", perhaps, or change the direction of the "speed" slider so higher values mean a faster repeat
- Maybe make speed values corresponding to the frame rate sticky (See https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=765637)
- Add a test entry text box (See https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=641497)
I'd additionally like it more obvious that the "Repeat Keys" (and other) buttons include additional options (e.g., with a "hamburger" button or similar), but this would be a more drastic change that affects nearly all sub-settings, so it doesn't belong in this issue.