Apple Mac Lion cmd key disabled

In order to avoid having to log out and back in continually under the default Mac VNC protocols, i have been advised by an app vendor to use the Vine VNC system instead. Apparently once connected using Vine VNC, I can switch between apps on the Mac and on the iPad 3 or iPhone 4, and remain connected with the keyboard shortcuts set up in Custom KeyPad app for example, maintaining functionality.

For some reason however, it appears that the cmd key will not be recognised as a shortcut, and the alt key must be used in its place.

Obviously this makes combinations like cmd+alt+[key] impossible, therefore requiring the manual reassignment of hundreds of keybindings.

First I would like to know why such a frequently used shortcut key as ‘cmd’ was disabled in the first place, and secondly, whether there are plans afoot to enable it in a (hopefully near) future release of the Vine VNC system.

The Command Key is fully supported. The issue of which key does what is a matter of perspective. VNC is a platform independent protocol, and implements key codes using the Unicode key mapping.

There is no “Command” key in this mapping and so by default Vine Server maps it to the Windows Alt Key because if you are controlling from a US-101 keyboard the Windows Alt key and the Command key occupy the same physical space.

The same holds true when using Vine Viewer to control a windows machine, if you hit the Command Key (next to the space bar) then it sends the Windows Alt Key. This means that you can use your keyboard “naturally” without having to look at your keys or change your typing pattern.

But conversely, the Mac Option/Alt key is mapped to the Windows “Logo” key. So in any case hitting: Command+Option will give you both keys down.

It would be nice if all the VNC clients and servers chose the same mapping, but some went with physical mapping and some went with “name mapping” since the Mac Option key says “alt” in the title. If you are using a VNC client and server that each mapped the keys differently you can swap them at one level or another.

Many VNC clients let you swap them. The Mac OS X Keyboard System Preference also allows you to re-map which keys go where.

Jonathan, thank you for your response. I changed most of the LeftCmd shortcuts into LeftAlt to make them work with Vine, and then started trying them out to check the behaviour. However the keypresses are not working as expected, for example:

[list]Esc works only intermittently, yet when it fails the QWERTY Esc still works each and every time the CustomKeypad fails, when the key is pressed manually. Essentially, Esc unselects objects just like the QWERTY Esc does, but it won’t activate Cancel buttons in Dialogs like the QWERTY Esc does.
LeftCtrl+LeftOpt+q is received as Ctrl+q
LeftShift+m is being received as Shift+Opt+m
T on its own is received as being Ctrl+T (upper or lower case)[/list:u]

Despite this, the following key combination does work:

LeftCtrl+LeftOpt+LeftAlt (replacing LeftCmd)+i

There seems to be something wrong with Shift, Ctrl, Opt and Esc. Before I go any further with this major reconstruction, can you please clarify whether this is to be expected, and if so, what is the workaround?

That behavior is totally unexpected and not seen generally by users of Vine (or other VNC users). When you hit Escape we inject an Escape event and in every case I can think of it should “just work”.

What version of Mac OS X are you running?
How is Vine Server configured?
Is it running the system server or just the user application?

I tried attaching but it says “You must enter a message when posting”, despite the fact that I put a message in the File Comment field. This leads one to believe that Add Attachment is actually going to post the whole comment.

Anyway, I did what it asked and now I am adding more attachments. I found I could only upload 3, so I will post this and reply again.

All the keybindings work perfectly with the Mac Lion OS. The only downside is that if the server is disconnected, a Logout is necessary to reconnect. That is the only reason I am trying out Vine.

I also found Space char brings up Spotlight instead of activating the designated function in the target app, Sibelius 7. None of these problems occur with the Apple version.

This morning I rebooted and restarted everything, and quit and relaunched the iPad app, and then for a while it was all working with Space, Tab, Esc. Then I edited some shortcuts and the behaviours above reappeared.

Even after rebooting computer again, and relaunching, disconnecting and reconnecting, Restarting Server the keys being sent are being interpreted in counter-intuitive ways by the receiving app.

I have no explanation for these differences, but I can say for certain these never ever happened with the Apple VNC. The one failing of the Apple version is that it forces you to log out if the handshake drops.

next image that wouldn’t attach before

The version of Mac OS is 10.7.4