My Problem Was One Of Control

For my computer-controlled camera project, I thought it would be good to let the user control position via arrow keys on the keyboard. My quick-and-dirty first attempt failed, so I dived into UWP documentation. After spending a lot of time reading about nuts and bolts of keyboard navigation, I finally found my problem and it’s one of the cases when the answer has been in my face the whole time.

When my key press event handlers failed to trigger, the first page I went to is the Keyboard Events page. This page has a lot of information up front and center about eligibility requirements to receive keyboard events, here’s an excerpt from the page:

For a control to receive input focus, it must be enabled, visible, and have IsTabStop and HitTestVisible property values of true. This is the default state for most controls.

My blindness was reading the word “control” in the general sense of a visual element on the page for user interaction. Which is why I kept overlooking the lesson it was trying to tell me: if I want keyboard events, I have to use something that is derived from the UWP Control object. In other words, not “control” in the generic language case but “Control” as a specific proper name in the object hierarchy. I would have been better informed about the distinction if they had capitalized Control, or linked to the page for the formal Control object, or any of a number other things to differentiate it as a specific term and not a generic word. But for whatever reason they chose not to, and I failed to comprehend the significance of the word again and again. It wasn’t until I was on the Keyboard Accessibility page did I see this requirement clearly and very specifically spelled out:

Only classes that derive from Control support focus and tab navigation.

The CaptureElement control (generic name) used in the UWP webcam example is not derived from Control (proper name) and that’s why I have not been receiving the keyboard events. Once I finally understood my mistake, it was easy to fix.

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