Earlier this week I took delivery of a new laptop at work. Because I use Colemak with my Microsoft Natural 4000 keyboard and qwerty when the ergonomic option is not available (unfortunately I find flat keyboards and Colemak just don’t mix, though the Colemak/ergo combination is light years ahead in terms of comfort) this means I am likely to be switching to and fro between the two layouts a lot more on the same machine.
Unfortunately, the Windows keyboard switcher is completely insane in this respect. It’s maddening that it sets your keyboard layout separately for each individual window rather than letting you set it across the board for all the windows that you have open, and even more so that it doesn’t give you an option to change this behaviour.
But it gets worse. In IE8 you can set the keyboard layout individually for each tab. This meant that at one point this morning I had Colemak in Twitter and qwerty in the browser’s address bar.
Yes, I know there’s the whole thing about each tab being in a separate process, but Google Chrome has a similar architecture and gets this right. Microsoft: this is a bug, not a feature. Please fix it.