Subject: Auto-repeat in X11R5 server? (arrow keys etc.)
To: None <port-pmax@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Steven Winikoff <>
List: port-pmax
Date: 05/30/1997 17:31:17
Okay, I give up!  This really ought to be a simple question, perhaps
even a FAQ, but I can't seem to find the answer myself. :-(

Here's the problem description:

  - the platform:

       a DECstation 2100 with an LK-201 keyboard, running the March 16th
       snapshot, with the X server and clients from
       (directory /pub/NetBSD/arch/pmax/ported-software); the system has a
       colour frame buffer, so we're using the Xcfbpmax server

  - the goal:

       I'm trying to enable auto-repeat on all four arrow keys.

  - what's wrong:

       For some reason, nothing I do is able to influence the up and
       down arrows...


  - My first attempt was to use xset.  The four arrow keys are reported
    by xkeycaps as having the following keycodes:

        left == 0xA7 == 167
       right == 0xA8 == 168
        down == 0xA9 == 169
          up == 0xAA == 170

    Thus, I tried

       # xset r 167
       # xset r 168
       # xset r 169
       # xset r 170

    This accomplished nothing at all; in particular, none of the arrows

    The next step, after a bit of research, was to write a program which
    calls XChangeKeyboardControl() directly.  (I'll append the source in
    case anyone cares. :-)

    This managed to get the left and right arrows to repeat, but not the
    up and down arrows.

    I then expanded my program to attempt to enable auto-repeat on
    *every* keycode from 0 to 4999 decimal.  Overkill, I know, but by 
    then I was (more than) a bit frustrated... :-)

    The result?  Well, after running the expanded version, auto-repeat
    was enabled on all keys on the keyboard *except* for the following:

          - the up and down arrows(!)
          - *all* of the top row function keys (ie F1 - F20)
          - the "Find", "Insert Here", "Remove", "Select", "Previous
            Screen" and "Next Screen" keys

The plea for help:

    At this point I'm completely mystified.  Why does the right thing
    happen for some keys but not others?

    For what it might be worth, by using XChangeKeyboardControl() to
    turn auto-repeat off and back on again, I was able to prove that my
    program really did affect the left and right arrows, but not the up
    and down arrows...  Help, please!


     - Steven


   Here's the program I used to enable auto-repeat for all keycodes from
   0 to 4999.  It's basically drawn from the source for xset, but
   specialized for this task:

8<----------------------------   cut here   -------------------------->8
#include <X11/Xlib.h>
#include <X11/Xutil.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
   Display          *dpy;
   XKeyboardControl  values;
   int               i;

   /**  connect to the server:  **/

   if ((dpy = XOpenDisplay("")) == NULL)
      fprintf(stderr, "rep:  can't connect to X display server\n");

   /**  we want auto-repeat *on*!  **/

   values.auto_repeat_mode = AutoRepeatModeOn;

   /**  enable each key:  **/

   for (i=0; i<5000; i++)
      values.key = i;
      XChangeKeyboardControl(dpy, KBAutoRepeatMode, &values);

   /**  exit:  **/


} /* main() */
8<----------------------------   cut here   -------------------------->8
Steven Winikoff      |       smw@         | "I don't want to run the
Sr. Systems Manager  | | world; I merely want to own
Computing Services   |                    | a substantial portion of the
Concordia University | (514) 848-7619     | preferred stock" - Alan Dean
Montreal, QC, Canada | (10:00-18:00 EST)  | Foster,  Cat-A-Lyst