On Thursday 27 May 2004 20:18, Andy Ross wrote:
> Josh Babcock wrote:
> > So maybe airplanes shouldn't be in the interface business.  Maybe we
> > should spend our energy agreeing on property conventions and Nasal
> > scripts.
> Even better would be to take a big audit of all the existing bindings
> and re-assign them from scratch.  We've accumulated all sorts of
> inconsistencies and usability glitches over the years.  Here's one
> right here:
> > a    Tailhook down
> > A    Tailhook up
> > L    Toggle slats
> IMHO, we want to adhere to *either* the traditional toggle convention
> *or* the no-shift-means-down/shift-means-up idea.  Using a combination
> in the default mappings is confusing.  Likewise, we have other
> bindings (magnetos, flaps) that use yet another convention ("key
> pair") to indicate increase/decrease.
> I'm sure this will generate a good viscious flame war, but IMHO it
> ought to be done sooner rather than later.  We're starting to attract
> real newbies, and they are already having a hard time with our default
> interface.
> And while we're at it, we need to do the same thing for the joystick
> bindings.  I bought a new stick recently to replace my X45 (a Logitech
> Extreme Digital 3D) and discovered that our default bindings for it
> are absolutely nothing like the ones for the X45.  It does "snap view"
> with the hat instead of panning, for instance.
> > Lastly, while we're at it, get rid of any key bindings define in the
> > code and put the mappings in keyboard.xml.
> This is done already.  There are no more hard-coded key bindings in
> the C++ code.  Outside of bindings done for aircraft, everything is
> in keyboard.xml.
> Andy

I hope there's no flame war over this - it's too important.

Part of the problem with coming up with a good keyboard mapping scheme is that 
a comprehensive survey of the requirements needs to be done before anything 
can be planned e.g. are slats simply toggleable (erk!) or do they need to be 
stepped up/down?  (I guess this particular example could be accommodated via 
Nasal, as used for the flap indents - I've already done this for the B-52F, 
which only has two flap positions, so essentially they're being toggled)

Perhaps a wiki could help to gather the information, then many people could 
enter the requirements they know about and it would avoid having to make a 
single person responsible for finding everything out and possibly missing 
something, which would lead to a flawed solution.

Then there could also be an issue with some keyboard combinations being 
difficult to use when the context is taken into consideration, i.e. is having 
to use Shift/Control combos to control things a good idea at critical points 
in the flight, such as take-offs and landings?


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