AZXCV Command Key Remapping in 3092

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by KBrack, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. KBrack

    KBrack Bit Poster

    Messages:
    10
    It seems that the command key remapping has been changed to include the CMD-S option. Any other changes there?

    I took a look a the Keyboard preferences option to see if it were possible to turn that feature off, but didn't find anything. I really would prefer that be turned off or allow us to specify any key that could trigger the remapping. I need to use Control-F to invoke a find command and I'd like to add that - or just turn the whole thing off and use Trade-keys, which I've been using on any Windows machine that I have to use.

    Anyway thanks for adding the S, now my documents aren't scattered with random s characters where I've attempted to save!
     
  2. karfel

    karfel

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    6
    I haven't tried it yet, but patching individual letters is NOT the way to go. PLEASE make this an option, or just swap the command and control keys completely (the latter might still cause some troubles, given the variety of keyboards etc out there).

    It's a shame as the list of new features is otherwise extremely compelling, but all productivity goes out the door if you have to keep second-guessing your typing.
     
  3. luz

    luz

    Messages:
    87
    I completely agree!

    I've said this a dozen times in this forum already - Parallels PLEASE make ANYTHING that affects keyboard layout an option. There's nothing worse than an ill-mapped keyboard to work with.

    Parallels really listens to many suggestions from the forum, but regarding the keyboard they seem to have a mostly deaf ear. I'm using Parallels since the first beta, and am extremely happy with it - but 95% of all troubles I had was (and is) with the ever changing keyboard mapping. Mostly "improvements" that work for some people, but are bad for other users.

    ASZXCV now completely breaks Parallels for my use. Please make it optional (or tell me how to disable it if it already IS optional). I simply can't install any Parallels version which has this feature on hardwired, as much as I would like to use USB 2.0 and coherence :(
     
  4. Lohmeyer

    Lohmeyer

    Messages:
    15
    Dealing with keyboard issues has been my number one problem with Parallels (even the non-beta versions). The ability to Command-Tab between apps, or do other key combos that use the command key has been excessively annoying with Parallels because the Apple command key is mapped as a Windows key (opens up the Windows start menu). Even on my regular Windows machines, I don't use the Windows key. On a Mac, it makes even less sense.

    To compare to Virtual PC (which did it well), any time you press the Apple Command key, keyboard and mouse focus should change to Mac OS X. That way, all Command-<keys> will be OS X key combos as if pressed in Parallels while the VM is not focused. Then Parallels (and the user through Preferences) can choose what Command-<keys> should affect the VM. Otherwise, the key combos should be passed to OS X.

    As the previous poster mentioned, Parallels should provide the option to setup all keys the way we want to set them up. To me, this should also include key combos like CTRL-ALT-DEL. It's a double annoyance that I have to defocus my mouse/keyboard somehow (switching to windowed mode for example), then go to a Parallels menu to send a CTRL-ALT-DEL combo to bring up the Windows task manager, for example (or other Windows special keys like BREAK).

    There's lots of great improvements to Parallels coming out (thanks for the great effort!). I hope that updating the keyboard interaction is on the list of future improvements.

    --Thanks.
     
  5. diamondsw

    diamondsw

    Messages:
    31
    A simple preference would handle this best:
    - Use Command key for Mac OS X
    - Use Command key as Windows key

    Done. No more guesswork, and the user can have it either way.
     
  6. Sirreal

    Sirreal Bit Poster

    Messages:
    18
  7. karfel

    karfel

    Messages:
    6
    I used KeyTweak succesfully before these beta releases -- the problem is that the new versions override Windows (and hence KeyTweak), and I'm left with command-AZXCVS simply typing those letters, while all others (WOP etc) work as before because they haven't been over-ridden.
     
  8. KBrack

    KBrack Bit Poster

    Messages:
    10
    Yes, the bad thing about this particular implementation is that it breaks the standard Windows keymapping utilities - KeyTweak, Trade Keys etc.

    I think that the option to provide a setting like diamondsw proposed would work well:
    - Use Command key for Mac OS X
    - Use Command key as Windows key

    This would also allow standard windows operation so if we need to use a full featured remapper we still can.

    I'm hoping that the ability to control the keyboard would be built into the preferences, but I'd sure be willing to execute a few terminal commands if I could use that to turn it off.
     
  9. luz

    luz

    Messages:
    87
    I wrote in serveral threads about keyboard related issues. However, it all boils down to the same thing:

    Keyboard mapping is extremely important for efficient work, but what is a good mapping for a multi-OS-in-one-machine environment is highly user dependent. There's no way to do it right for everyone, the only real solution is to make it FULLY configurable on a per-VM basis.

    Just adding "improvements" in every release like all the different AltGr mappings we had or now the "helpful" ASZXCV mapping without the choice not to use it means ongoing annoyance to those users who have trained to use their keyboard a certain way.

    So again - this needs to be configurable. But instead of just complaining I'll outline how I think this could be done. The fantastic thing with Parallels is that they really listen to suggestions, and that precisely written down ideas have a good chance to find their way into the product. So I'll detail my thoughts (collected over the last few months of daily use of Parallels since the first beta) of how this should be implemented here - maybe it helps.


    To base everything on, there should be a hardwired mapping as "pure" and "physical" as possible. This means that an Apple USB keyboard should behave exactly the same in a XP VM as if it was connected to a real XP machine. This is pretty much how it worked in the early betas (execpt that these did not distinguish the left and right shift/ctrl/alt/cmd keys).

    Also by default, the VM should send ALL keystrokes to the guest, with the ONLY exception of the "release input" combination which of course must always be availabe - otherwise we'll be trapped in the VM. This means: NO shortcuts (like Apple-TAB, Apple-N, Apple-G etc.) should be intercepted by the VM by default.

    These defaults give a completely separated VM operations. The forum shows that there are users who definitely want a XP VM act exactly as a real XP PC. They will be happy with this "hardwired" or "physical" base mapping.

    Other users (including me) prefer various levels of seamlessness between host and guest OSes.

    My suggestion is that each VM would have an editable list of "custom mappings". Basically, this would be a list with assignments like:
    Code:
      MacKey (Combination) = GuestKey or HostCommand
    MacKey and GuestKey could be any key identifier (like A,B,X,C but also LeftShift, LeftApple, Fn, F1..F12, etc).

    HostCommands would be what is in the Parallel's app's menus, like "New VM", "Open VM", "OS Window", "VM Configuration", "Customize". But not limited to those - ideally any Parallels Command should be available here (like "connect CD", "Coherence" etc. etc.). And a special HostCommand would be "Pass to MacOS".

    With this, everything will get possible, and in a sytematic way.

    To get Parallels release 1970 functionality, the custom mappings would be as follows:
    Code:
      MacKey (Combination) = GuestKey or HostCommand
      --------------------   -----------------------
      Apple TAB            = Pass to MacOS
      Apple Q              = Quit Parallels Desktop
      Apple N              = New VM
      etc. etc.
    To add current 3094 beta's ASZXCV mapping:
    Code:
      Apple A              = Ctrl A
      Apple S              = Ctrl S
      Apple Z              = Ctrl Z
      Apple X              = Ctrl X
      Apple C              = Ctrl C
      Apple V              = Ctrl V
    Those (like me) who prefer to have the Apple key GENERALLY act as Ctrl could add instead:

    Code:
      LeftApple            = LeftCtrl
      LeftCtrl             = LeftWindows
    
    And those who want Alt act as AltGR:

    Code:
      Alt                  = AltGr
    
    But that's not all. For example I use Synergy on the Mac to control iTunes, and have assigned F11, F12, F13 to prev/next/pause. I would simply add

    Code:
      F11                  = Pass to MacOS
      F12                  = Pass to MacOS
      F13                  = Pass to MacOS
    This would make Parallels pass these keys to MacOS (and from there to Synergy), even if the VM has focus. Same for Exposé, Spotlight, Dashboard etc. keys. There are thousand valid reasons for and against having each of these features available while working in a VM, in any combination.

    IMHO, with this generic approach, all keyboard mapping variants we've seen since Beta 1 could be configured, plus all requests for other mappings I've seen in the forum so far. The UI needed for it would be simple and straightforward. I created a simple mockup to give an idea how it could look:

    [​IMG]

    That panel should be a per-VM thing, at it should be accessible in the VM Editor and while the VM is running (like the "Coherence" panel in 3094).
     
  10. KBrack

    KBrack Bit Poster

    Messages:
    10
    Release 3106 Beta 3!!!!

    Fantastic! Thanks so much guys.

    I'm now using the swap CMD and CNTL keys with great results so far. However, if I find an incompatibility, I know I can turn all remapping off. Perfect!
     
  11. luz

    luz

    Messages:
    87
    3106 - thanks for the keyboard mapping options!

    Many thanks, Parallels, for making the ASZXCV remapping and cmd/ctrl swap configurable! This solves the problems that made me stay with 1970 so far - now I could install 3106 and enjoy coherence - it's great!

    Of course I still hope for a fully configurable remapping mechanism in a future version (see suggestion above in this thread) to give everyone a keyboard experience as smooth as the rounded corners in coherence... :) :) :)
     

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