Re: Keyboard usage on some Gnome windows not working

On Mon, 2005-10-10 at 15:53 +0100, Calum Benson wrote:
> On Sat, 2005-10-08 at 15:28 +0200, Frank Niedermann wrote:
> > 
> > It is possible to close some Gnome windows with the escape key (example:
> > System / Preferences / Keyboard shortcuts) but it is not possible with
> > some other windows (example: System / Preferences / Keyboard).
> The HIG is pretty clear about when Esc should close a window: if it's a
> dialog with a Cancel button, Esc should do the same as clicking Cancel.
> Esc shouldn't close the window under any other circumstances-- it
> shouldn't do the same as Close, or any other 'positive' closing action.
> However, this isn't a terribly popular guideline, so some developers
> bend the rules a bit :/  We may (or may not) reconsider for the next
> version of the HIG.
> ...

Unfortunately, GNOME has yet to make a clear distinction between dialogs
and windows, and this causes subconscious confusion about how they work.
In brief:

      * Dialogs have a close button in their title bars, which makes
        them look unnecessarily similar to windows. (It's also
        ambiguous, because some people assume the close button means
        "Cancel", while others assume it means "Get out of my face", and
        sometimes these are opposites.) 

      * Many windows have "Close" buttons at the bottom, which makes
        them look unnecessarily similar to dialogs. (It's also
        ambiguous, because the presence of both "Close" and the close
        button in the title bar suggests that the buttons do different

      * GNOME has no standard, easy-to-use shortcut for closing
        non-dialog windows. Ctrl+W isn't standard (it doesn't work in
        programs like Totem, Calculator, Character Map, and Terminal),
        and Alt+F4 isn't easy to use. (Escape isn't really an option, as
        tens or possibly hundreds of millions of people are used to
        Escape doing something else in Web browsers and/or

      * The Gimp has a "Dialogs" menu providing access to (by my count)
        25 windows, none of which are dialogs.

Fix these problems, so that the distinction between dialogs and other
windows is clearer, and the "how do I close this?" problem should go
away. For bonus points, establish a clear visual distinction between
alerts, dialogs, progress windows, floating windows, document windows,
and utility windows, so that it's easier to see at a glance what a
window is for.

Matthew Paul Thomas

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