No words seem to make the picture any clearer

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/05/21 14:12 +00:00, original URI:

Let's try something out today, a little thought experiment.

Type the following three keywords into Bing (who are we kidding, type them into Google; either will work and we know that you are going to use Google anyway!):

MSKLC Windows 8

Your first link will be a "nice" little collection of bugs that talk about problems visualizing a keyboard layout. It will take years to go through the process and have very few results, none of which are very helpful:

• there will be a contractor working for Microsoft Customer Support Services who will notice that MSKLC as a download is not officially supported on Windows 8 as a download. While technically true and also true of Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and pretty much any version that didn't exist when MSKLC 1.4 first was released. This response is entirely untrue, and unhelpful as a bonus.

• there will be an experienced customer who proves it works on the platform because they just did it. This has the benefit of being true but is also not helpful.

• subsequent contributions will alternate between people who confirm that MSKLC works just fine on Windows and MSKLC has an unrelated problem for a particular keyboard layout. They are all probably true but none of them are helpful either.

• Finally, the original customer will say that he solved the problem and can now visualize keyboard layouts. There will be a hint that DPI is involved but with no links or references it will be largely ignored and thus will also not be terribly useful for others.

I will start with the actual screenshot of the problem, the picture for which there are no words.

There will then be two blogs with the same art. In 2007, I blogged about

A picture that can't easily be described with words

Then in 2010, I revisited it in

A picture that *still* can't be easily be described with words

The problem remains the same, and Microsoft by not fixing a bug that we knew about just before the 1.4 MSKLC release we have collectively undermined our own download, never mind the millions and millions of downloads of MSKLC.

Microsoft should do better here. There should be words to describe the picture.

# Jan Kučera on 2015-05-22 05:55:11:

Well the MSKLC keyboards still seem to not be available on Windows 8.1/10 for me... [face screaming in fear] For DPI issues, using WPF might have worked better. [face with stuck-out tongue]

# Jan Kučera on 2015-05-22 05:56:12:

And it seems emojis are being stripped out of the comments..

# Michael S. Kaplan on 2015-05-22 12:01:53:

The keyboard layouts work for me with Windows 8.1. ;-) I had originally spec'd out a rewrite using the same underlying engine but a WPF based user interface, but I was once again overruled by forces above me. Ah well, such is life....

# Michael S. Kaplan on 2015-05-22 12:03:40:

I blame WordPress for the emoji stripping until proven otherwise! ;-)

# Jan Kučera on 2015-05-25 04:26:56:

Okay then maybe it just doesn't like the keyboard I made. :-) I was actually thinking about making it WPF UI for it, too. Would MS Open Tech be an option? Apparently MySQL needs special column type to handle non-BMP stuff, so it is both WordPress and MySQL I would say!

# Michael S. Kaplan on 2015-05-26 11:59:46:

Not as far as I know...

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