Re: Keyboard usage on some Gnome windows not working

On Thu, 2005-10-20 at 08:49 -0200, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> On 19 Oct, 2005, at 2:49 PM, Bill Haneman wrote:
> >
> > Matthew said:
> >>
> >> In Windows 2000 and (I think) Windows XP, all access key underlines  
> >> are hidden by default.  
> >> <  
> >> hideunderlines.aspx> This makes the interface less ugly, and possibly  
> >> also somewhat faster for people who aren't disabled (as it  
> >> discourages them from thinking that finding and typing the access key  
> >> is faster than using Tab or the mouse).
> >
> > I am hoping there are missing <sarcasm> tags around that last comment  
> > :-)
> > ...
> No, there aren't. <>
> I see there is some research showing that the keyboard is faster for  
> common commands  
> < 
> publication_id=1508&lang=en>, but that wouldn't include access keys  
> unless you were encountering particular dialogs or alerts very often.

The keyboard is clearly faster at many tasks.  For instance,
I type anywhere from 130 to 150 wpm, depending on the day.
If you tell me I could mouse that faster with GOK, I will
laugh at you and ignore every post you make from now on.

If I'm typing something in a text editor, and I want to
save my work, I hit Ctrl+S.  This is a very easy and very
common shortcut, and it's ingrained in most people's muscle
memory.  Furthermore, since I'm already typing something,
my fingers are already located on the keyboard, very likely
placed nicely along home row.  Context switches can be very

Access keys are surely not as simple as shortcut keys, and
it wouldn't surprise me if they're slower when you have to
scan things while using them.  "I want File, that's Alt+F.
And now Save As, that's A."  But once memorized, Alt+F A
is fairly easy, even though the Alt key is typically in an
awkward position on keyboards.

If my hands are already on the keyboard, along home row,
I can hit Alt+C (Cancel on a lot of dialogs) really, really
fast.  Like, before-you-can-blink fast.

When Tog says "The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is
faster than keyboarding." I'm curious what he means.  I'd
really like to see what tests were performed and what the
actual results were, rather than a one-line synopsis.  As
a mathematician, I'm suspicious of pretty much any one-line
statistical synopsis.  Imagine this test:

"A group of average users with varying keyboard skills were
asked to do tasks related to managing files and folders in
a graphical file manager.  They were first asked to perform
these tasks using ONLY the keyboard, then ONLY the mouse."

That's not a far-fetched scenario, and it would give a nice
one-line synopsis like "The stopwatch proves it: the mouse
is way faster."  Unfortunately, it's useless.

People can use the keyboard when they think it's best and
use the mouse when they think it's best.  And that's not
necessarily tied completely to the task.  It could just
be a matter of where their hands are.


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