Christian Brunschen said:

> Just one personal opinion ...
> What would be really good is if it were possible for the *user* to 
> define an arbitrary number of keyboard / joystick configurations. These 
> could also be named and grouped together; and there should be an easy 
> way to switch between these configurations, from the keyboard or 
> joystick itself if so desired.
> This would allow the user to set up different control configurations 
> for flying different types of aircraft. For instance, a plane that 
> doesn't have a retractable undercarriage won't need those controls at 
> all, and the keys that would otherwise have controlled the 
> undercarriage could then be used for something else.
> Also, it would allow people to set up different control configurations 
> for different flight regimes with the same aircraft. For instance when 
> flying a motorglider, you might want to switch between 'powered' and 
> 'gliding' flight regimes, and have the throttle lever alternatively 
> control the engine or the airbrakes; Setting up different control sets 
> and being able to switch between them easily would make that sort of 
> thing very easy and would probably be very useful and improve the user 
> experience a lot.
> Behind all of this, there would of course be a _default_ configuration 
> for the keyboard, for each type of joystick, etc, but the user should 
> be able to set up as many of their own configs as they want.
> And the configurations woul also be able to vary by which physical 
> controllers were actually available. A laptop user might have a big 
> hefty joystick at home, but might also want to fly 
> 'keyboard-and-mouse-only' when elsewhere; and might need different 
> keyboard configurations for these settings.
> The reason I mentioned grouping configurations together is to allow the 
> user to specify, say, that three configs - 'fighter takeoff, fighter 
> dogfight, fighter landing' - all belong together. Combine this with a 
> 'cycle to next configuration in set' function which could be assigned 
> to the same button in each fighter config, the user could easily switch 
> back and forth between regimes as neccessary - without involving the 
> four helicopter and two motorglider configurations they've _also_ made, 
> but which are of course irrelevant when flying a fighter plane. The 
> particular configuration group could be chosen in a menu (being a 
> relatively infrequent operation). Aircraft might also be able to 
> provide hints, so that a suitable control configuration set could be 
> loaded automatically.
> But I digress ... I hope you don't mind these musing from an 
> interested-but-not-actively-coding reader of this mailing list.

Sounds like a cool idea.  Reminds me of how much television I'd have to
watch to ever get good at using that universal remote control :-)

Modelers could perhaps build at the "aircraft specific" versions, so
that they are there, and the program would default to ignoring these.  Users
who wanted the alternate versions could then deliberately enable them. 



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