Re: Balsa is great for small screen devices (netbooks)

Hi Carlos!

On 03/01/2011 11:03:44 AM Tue, Carlos Franke wrote:
Dear Balsa developers (and users),

I started using Balsa on my netbook some days ago, and I am delighted! With the foldertree, the display and header lines and the status bar turned off (which is easy), Balsa is just fabulous for my small screen. Also the identity management is very clean and I like some other stuff, but the suitability for small screens beats it all. In my opinion, Balsa could be specifically advertised as being suited for small screens.

I have not completely got the hang of keyboard navigation in Balsa, though. Is there documentation for that? Are all functions accessible by keyboard at all? In particular I am looking for a keyboard command to switch between mailbox tabs in the main view (I use them rather than the folder tree for navigation as they take less space).

Thanks for this app, and thanks for any assistance!

Welcome to Balsa--glad you like it!  Some of us use Balsa on netbooks, so we soon found the need for options to hide more pieces of UI.

Keyboard navigation is a mix of Balsa defaults, shown in the menus, and Gtk defaults, for which I don't know a good source of documentation.  Yes, keys for switching mailbox tabs would be nice; the most popular seem to be Ctrl-page-up and Ctrl-page-down (FireFox, Epiphany, Gnome Terminal, ...), and unfortunately those are used for paging the message, the message list, or the mailbox list, depending on which widget has the keyboard focus--those are the Gtk defaults, and quite logical.

The native keynav for GtkNotebook seems to be the cursor left and right keys, but first you have to get the keyboard focus onto the tab.  In Balsa, that seems to take up to 5 tab key hits, depending on where the focus is when you start.  And as soon as you switch one place, Balsa puts the focus in the message list, so you have to start tabbing again!  (That was supposed to be helpful: when you change mailboxes, the most likely place to want the focus is in the message list, right?!)

I'm testing a build that disables that focus grab right now.  It didn't change the pointer/touch-pad use at all, and the keynav seems to be usable, just different.  I can provide a patch, if you're interested in building from git or a tarball.



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