Re: Desktop as Nautilus

Kalle Vahlman wrote:
> On 3/15/06, Xavier Bestel <xavier bestel free fr> wrote:
>> I have recently acquired a 24" screen and I must say things are not so
>> simple. Fitt's law works for "small" screens, but not for big ones.
> <nitpick>
> You probably mean "this application of Fitt's law" here. Fitt's law is
> not about corners, it's about distance and size of target.

You mean "Fitts' Law", not "Fitt's Law". :-)

But yeah, we should call the edges-and-corners thing "Tog's Law".

> But of course it's not as beneficial on huge screens due to the
> restrictions of the pointing device.


    1. Tog's Law assumes that you have "enough" mousing space (given the
       speed and acceleration settings that are reasonable for small-
       scale use on your screen). This fails if you have a huge monitor
       and lack a correspondingly huge mousing area, eg, because your
       physical desktop is cluttered, or because you use a keyboard and
       mouse tray for ergonomic reasons, and it only has a limited
       amount of space for mousing in.

    2. It also assumes that you're using an input device that behaves
       like a mouse. Touchpads are mostly similar enough (at least on
       laptop-sized monitors), but the Thinkpad joystick thingy is
       sufficiently different to make the edges of the screen feel much
       farther away.

    3. For that matter, it assumes the user *realizes* that the input
       device has acceleration, which some (many?) users don't
       (especially with touchpads).

    4. It's easy to get to the edge of the screen, but it's "hard" to
       get back where you were before. This isn't that big a deal on a
       512x384 original Mac screen, but it is on modern screens. (In
       fact, given that Fitts' Law has a precise mathematical
       formulation, you could calculate the exact monitor size at which
       the Mac-style global menubar becomes less efficient on average
       than Gtk-style per-window menubars. Of course the standard
       Windows model where you maximize every window, but have the
       menubar below the titlebar model manages to capture the worst of
       both worlds.)

-- Dan

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