What MSKLC can't do (since it is not supposed to)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/08/05 21:00 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/08/05/448225.aspx

Someone sent me the following about problems they were having with MSKLC related to a specific keyboard they were trying to create (it would have made more sense in the Suggestion Box, but...):

1. Virtual keys aren't being resolved. e.g. if I remap key A to B, I expect Ctrl-A to be remapped to Ctrl-B, but that doesn't happen. I'm currently using Keyboard Layout Manager Medium to work around this problem, but there must be a better way.

2. There's no way to define the Caps-Lock key within the layout. I currently use a registry setting to work around this problem. I'm wondering whether this is a Windows limitation, or a limitation of MSKLC.

The answer to #1 is that there is no direct relationship between the Virtual Key and the Character(s) assigned to a key such that changing the latter has any effect on the former. Since there exist more languages that do not use the Latin letters and since you can actually assign multiple keystrokes, there obviously cannot ever be a 1-to-1 mapping between these items on all keyboards.

Now there is UI in the Advanced view of the Key Stroke Info dialog to change the Scan Code of a key, but there is no direct UI to change the Virtual Key assignments. It is just not something that MSKLC supports in its current version, though it is a possible feature to consider in a future version (obviously to be weighed against all of the other potential features)....

For #2, no you cannot move the CAPS LOCK key. That really doesn't fit into the model of what MSKLC was designed to do, so I doubt that moving around keys like it, SHIFT, ALT, CTRL, etc. really make the grade even for future versions unless the scope of the tool (built by the International team to help with both internationaliztion and accessibility issues) was expanded....

You probably do want to look into the DDK definitions for the road you are going down -- you are trying to develop not just a keyboard layout definition but a whole new keyboard definition for the hardware too. This is a noble and difficult goal, but definitely more than MSKLC was designed to do....

(this post was pre-recorded)


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