More arrow key swapping modes

Strictly speaking, the proposed design with arrow key swapping modes isn’t entirely symmetrical.

In an LTR paragraph, toggling between the two modes doesn’t cause any change. In an RTL paragraph, toggling between the two swaps them.

Let’s take two utilities that each take some time to complete, and one prefers one mode while the other prefers the other mode. These two are run after each other from a shell script. While the first utility is still running, the user types ahead an arrow key that will be handled by the second utility. In LTR this works as expected; in RTL the cursor ends up walking in the unexpected direction.

A mode that unconditionally swaps the two arrow keys wouldn’t suffer from such a problem, but would be impossible to hook up to be executed at the proper times.

A fully symmetrical approach would require either at least 3 modes, plus distinct keycodes for the auto-swapping behavior (that is, to separate logical from visual behaviors) which would be problematic with the input handling of most apps; or would require 4 modes if we wished to stick to the existing keycodes.

It feels an overkill to me for such a negligible corner case, a design that probably no application would care to use properly. Here I’d sacrifice the theoretically perfect design for a practical one.