FROM: One HKL per threadgroup, TO: one HKL per user!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/10/31 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

I have spent the last 18 years on and off working with the Windows input model, where every thread, or to be moire precise every threadgroup has its own HKL/input locale.

The first time this changed is in Windows 8, where by default a change to the input locale changes in every process and threadgroup to that same input locale.

For the small number of people who like the old model, there is an Advanced setting that can get you there:

Let me see a different input method for each app window

There it is, the Let me see a different input method for each app window setting.

I suspect most people won't miss this feature, though.

i allways felt kind of silly defending it, if you must know.

The new behavior is much more widely intuitive to people, so I expect people will forget the old behavior over time....

It makes more sense to you, right? :-)

Imre Koszo on 31 Oct 2012 9:25 AM:

Hey Michael, good blog. I'm not sure I will like the new default. As a Hungarian I am constantly switching between the UK English and Hungarian layouts - I prefer the former for coding and writing English text and the latter when I'm typing in my native language. These happen in parallel mostly - I'm coding in a couple of instances of Visual Studio, writing an email to my colleagues in English and skyping with my wife in Hungarian.

I like the old behavior of the windows remembering the setting - switching from code to skype is only an alt-tab away now, but with the new default it would be alt-tab, alt-shift. I sometimes use Ubuntu where the new win 8 behavior has been around for a while (maybe always even, I'm not a linux pro) and it always creates more confusion than comfort for me.

Perhaps for home users who generally only use a single input language it's the other way around, I don't know. Get better soon!

Chris Smith on 31 Oct 2012 9:47 AM:

... and thank you SO much for fixing this - I've been hoping this would happen since you blogged about my bug on this way back in 2006:

I just wish that the default "ctrl+shift" toggle between layouts had been removed at the same time - this still causes so many accidental changes and blocks lots of keyboard shortcuts unless it is turned off manually (and it is a VERY hidden setting) - especially as it has been obsoleted in Win8 by Win+Space anyway!

rs on 3 Nov 2012 12:21 AM:

> It makes more sense to you, right? :-)

Yes, it does, definitely. Particularly when you consider switching keyboards. For some time, when working at home, I used to plug in a keyboard with a different layout. The old behavior was so annoying that I created a tool that would post WM_INPUTLANGUAGECHANGEREQUESTs to all windows, which was a hack anyway.

Jan Kučera on 3 Nov 2012 10:49 AM:

Unfortunately, it does not. I have to agree with Imre Koszo, and I kind of think that it will be yes for English native people, and no for the others. With the old model, you can write a document in one language and chat in another for example. Type URLs in the address bar of IE yet still work with the page in your language. And the less Latin characters are on the discussed layouts, the bigger is the inconvenience.

However, I believe that it must be difficult to defend such design for people working with one language only (likely the majority), and I have seen confused users with their choice being reset every while. So for me, as long as there is an option, I am happy, and it makes sense to me to have one language per user as default.

Imre Koszo on 5 Nov 2012 1:52 AM:

> So for me, as long as there is an option, I am happy, and it makes sense to me to have one language per user as default.

+1, couldn't agree more Jan

Matt on 30 Nov 2012 8:15 AM:

This definitely makes sense to me. I switch between English and Mandarin on a daily basis, and every time I copy a string from one program, drop it into another and find I'm typing in the wrong language.... Grrrr...

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