2 unstable releases

0.2.0 Sep 4, 2022
0.1.0 Aug 28, 2022

#1579 in Hardware support

MIT license

15KB
267 lines

macroboard

Utility to turn any keyboard into a macro key board on Linux (via libinput).

Features

  • Create one-key or key-combination keyboard shortcuts

  • Support an unlimited amount of keyboards

  • Differentiate between all keyboards

  • Run closures on press and release of your shortcuts

  • Works on Linux! (both Wayland and X.Org[^1])

  • Option to keep the keyboard functionality of the macro keyboard while in use

  • No paid license, everything is free software!

[^1]: Only Wayland has been tested in development so far.

Known issues / contribution opportunities

  • Specified key codes map to keys as if the layout was QWERTY. If you use a different layout, you can adapt your key codes so that they map properly (a PR to fix this would be very welcome).

  • The key combination detection algorithm is sufficient for a macro key board but is a bit unpolished. I might give it a bit more time, again PRs are welcome! :)

About Windows support

The Windows API is utter trash, there is no good way to achieve the functionality of this project on Windows as open source software.

If you need a macro key board on Windows using macroboard, set up a Linux machine on which you plug your keyboard. Then, network the Linux machine with the Windows machine to send events from Linux to Windows. I know, this is very sad.

lmao why?

There are two main requirements for an operating system to support macroboard in a useful way:

  • Provide a way to differentiate keyboard inputs from one keyboard or another. Good news, Windows has a low level API to do that: RawInput.
  • Provide a way to block inputs coming from macro board keyboards. Good news-ish, Windows provides a very inefficient but sufficient (I guess) way to do this: global hooks.

Nice. Just one small problem: those are two different APIs that cannot co-operate in a reliable way. The only option left is to write a custom driver to implement Linux-like functionality in the Windows NT kernel, which is hard to do in a secure way and costs multiple hundreds of dollars to publish because of certification requirements. I am not doing that.

I used to have okay feelings about Windows as a platform before this experience. I would now like to quote Torvalds' famous words towards Nvidia and direct them at Microsoft on this one.

Dependencies

~1.3–2.2MB
~40K SLoC