Christian Brunschen writes
I think you misunderstand the scenario I'm sketching at.
You seem to be suggesting a scenario with one 'main' configuration, and the ability to focus briefly by selecting a certain part of the panel, with the default panel resuming operation after the user 'deselects' the panel - with a certain time of inactivity triggering automatic deselection, to handle the case where the user forgets to deselect it.
That is not what I had in mind. I was thinking of a scenario where the user would use one or two keys on the keyboard to switch between different keyboard configurations, and that this change would be persistent until the user actively changes the configuration back themselves. I was not thinking of the user mousing around in the cockpit to select a certain part of the panel per se; just to give the user the ability to switch between different keyboard / mouse / joystick configurations. 'focusing on one part of the panel' was just a perhaps somewhat contrived example of a scenario where swapping out a large part of the keyboard controls would make sense.
Your idea of being able to select a part of the panel, which would bring a panel-specific keyboard configuration into place while that part of the panel is selected (and automatically deselecting it if necessary), is really an orthogonal idea - but a very interesting one in itself. A GPS might be able to offer actual typing input to the user, which might be very useful indeed.
But to reiterate, I wasn't suggesting quite what you thought I was. Really, I think my suggestion is *mainly* useful for switching between different *joystick* configurations - such as for the motorglider example I suggested (switching the purpose of the throttle lever between controlling the engine and controlling the airbrakes). I just think that on principle, the same facility should be made available for the keyboard as well.
I happen to not really like having to use modifier keys to access different functions from the keyboard, especially if I'm keeping my hand on the joystick to control the plane. Also mousing around the cockpit to select a part of the panel to focus on doesn't really appeal to me as it, too, would possibly disturb my control of the plane. But using the keyboard with one hand, using keys to switch between different keyboard configurations to allow me quicker access to the specific functions I've set configured, would make it not just possible but actually *easy* to control even the complex functionality available in some planes.
Maybe I am not reading this thread correctly but arnt most of the functions allready on the keyboard. In a thread a couple of weeks ago I suggested putting aside about ten keys for aircraft specific things which the modeller of the aircraft would specify in a readme file that would be in the file with the model. As for selecting things on the panel I thought we could already do this via hotspots.I know that is only on 2D panels but we can do it. As for mousing around in the cockpit.I would think that every real pilot every day mouses around in the cockpit.Except that what he uses is not a mouse but is called a hand.As we cant normally use a hand because we dont have touch screens we have to use a mouse. Do I understand that there is a proposal to have more than one keyboard layout and for them to be selectable. That would seem to me to be more complicated than the current set up
// Christian Brunschen
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