Because of their very utility, keyboard shortcuts can be a bit of a minefield. And this is especially true when multiple parties leap in to create conflicting shortcuts across operating systems, browsers, applications and usecases. Here is a chart of the different browser shortcuts. There are similar charts for operating systems. It’s a mess.
To make matters worse, there are even keyboard shortcuts for assisted users. So entire classes of users are affected by any decision to add keyboard shortcuts.
Adding a bad shortcut is therefore much much worse than not having a shortcut.
Let’s take a step back and articulate the problem first before considering solutions such as keyboard shortcuts. What are the most inconvenient things to do with SC?
Oddly, I suspect that what SC does best is also where difficulties arise. SC is best at getting to a particular sutta in the canon within the context of a particular language or translation. It’s just a bit clunky to have to edit the URL or click on the magnifying glass or click on sidebar or click on…
So perhaps the problem is that SC’s major focus is on presentation itself, with navigation being relegated to peripheral islands that suit the needs of individual use cases. In other words, navigation is relegated to a subordinate UI role so that presentation itself can shine. And SC presentation does indeed shine brightly.
If we can agree that navigation/presentation is a major problem, we might be able to discuss solutions.
Google solves this problem modally. Chrome is either searching or presenting content. It makes no attempt to provide the best of both worlds simultaneously. And the keyboard shortcut I use the most is actually CTRL-K, which clears the URL and lets me type whatever to start navigating the world. In other words, a single key switches my browser from presentation mode to navigation mode.
Addressing the issue in this way, we naturally come to ask the question, “What is the navigation interface for SC?” And the answer is interesting because there really isn’t a single navigation interface for SC. There are MANY ways to navigate SC content. Google has ONE.
So perhaps one might have reason to ask, “Would it be possible to create a simple navigation interface for SC that would work for all users and be invoked by a single keyboard shortcut?”
Google does that. Can SC?