The space key has limitations

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/08/07 02:59 -04:00, original URI:

Arash asked (via the Contact link rather than the proper place, the Suggestion Box):

I was wondering why it is not possible to assign any Shifted state to the Space key using MSKLC? (I'm not sure about the terminology, basically I'm asking about Shift+Space). You may think this is not a very celever idea but as you may know, in languages like Arabic and Persian (Farsi), users very frequently use a ZWNJ (Zero-Width Non-Joiner) character (Unicode: 0x200C). In Persian, this character is even as frequently used as some of the letters of alphabet: almost any sentence in present time uses at least one instance of this character! By some obscure reasons, in the version of MS keyboard layout for the Farsi language, the Ctrl+Shift+2 has been assigned to this character which is far too complex for a normal user to "discover". And guess what, the most traditional and in my opinoin the most convenient combo to enter this character is Shift+Space (this is why in Persian people call this character psudo-blank). With MSKLC it is not possible to assing any shift state to the space key and to create my personalized keyboard layout to get ride of this and some other problems with the default layout, I had to patch some files. So why we MSKLC does not like this combo?

The reason for the limitation is that there need to be some limits on what is assigned to the keyboard's spacebar, because there are expectations that applications have when a VK_SPACE heads their way. The current rules in the most recent version of MSKLC are:

Now as Arash points out, there are a few other characters that could probably be added to this list, and the list or the way that these limitations work is something that can be looked at in a future version, but only after we get the feedback. That message can definitely be considered such feedback, though -- so you will likely see what you want next time....

There were actually people inside of Microsoft who I asked point blank whether they knew of other characters that ought to be there and they said NO, only to come by within a few months to complain about the bug inherent in that character not being allowed. At least they have the grace to be embarrassed when the problem is pointed out to them. :-)

This post brought to you by U+0f0b (a.k.a. TIBETAN MARK INTERSYLLABIC TSHEG)

# Centaur on 8 Aug 2005 5:13 PM:

MSKLC does, however, allow to put something on AltGr+Space. I have put the nonbreaking space there.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Aug 2005 6:35 PM:

Indeed -- its the SPACE and SHIFT+SPACE that have the most rules....

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2006/06/21 Give me a break [Char] !

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