Dec 5, 2010, 11:51:10 AM12/5/10
Firebug 1.6.0 has keyboard shortcuts for "Go Forward" (Ctrl-Shift-
Right) and "Go Back" (Ctrl-Shift-Left) that pre-emptively capture
those key combinations, preventing regular editing in Gmail windows
from working correctly. When you are composing mail and use those
combos as normally intended -- to highlight the next word to the left
or the right -- nothing happens.
As a workaround, you can open Firebug options > keyboard shortcuts and
change the shortcuts to something else. But there appears to be no
way to remove a shortcut entirely, or to turn off shortcuts for
particular pages or domains. That would be much better. I could not
figure out how to put nothing at all in the shortcuts for "Go Forward"
and "Go Back". The keyboard shortcuts dialog forced me to enter some
key at least. When I simply highlighted the previous contents ("Ctrl-
Shift-Right", for example) and pressed Backspace to delete it
(visually, at least) then clicked "OK" my change was not saved and the
existing unwanted shortcut came right back. I tried using Del instead
of Backspace and it only set the shortcut to Del. Very very unwanted!
This would all be funny if it wasn't an intrusive and unwanted change
with no apparent option to turn it off. My workaround at this point
was to assign both "Go Forward" and "Go Back" to keys I hardly ever
use... I think I used the reverse quotation mark and the tilde.
The Gmail support forums are, since December 2nd or 3rd, filling up
with people complaining that Ctrl-Shift-Left and Ctrl-Shift-Right no
longer work in Gmail composition windows. The devs are patiently
explaining that it's Firebug and people need to change their keyboard
shortcuts. That's well and good, and of course anyone who runs
Firebug should be well aware of change notes for each version. But
ultimately a change like this should never be made that intrusively,
pre-emptively, affects another (and more primary) piece of software.
The same issue is true for Ctrl-Shift used with the Up, Down, PgUp,
and PgDown keys, though they're less commonly used.
A minor fix would be to just rush a minor version update that includes
a checkbox to turn off keyboard shortcuts entirely, and one to turn
them off for a given page or domain.
But the proper fix really is to go back to not stealing key combos
that are *very* commonly used for text editing. If a change could be
made in the capturing properties so that any focused text-editing
window would not lose those combinations to Firebug, that would be
cool. Or a different combination could be used by default.
Grateful Firebug user until this ;)