OK, I know that this is a windows thing, but PLEASE go here and try this if you have a windows boxen: http://www.stereopsis.com/bumper/ Essentially, it is a really cool little fix that makes windows more compliant with Fitt's Law. Fitt's Law (in a nutshell) says that the easiest thing to hit is something that is big and close. What is the closest thing on a screen? The edge, because you don't have to slow down or navigate to hit it; you just throw your mouse to the edge, and you have hit it. This little program uses the edge as a forward and back button (more below). One of the reasons the Macintosh menu bar is so cool is because the menu items rest on the edge of the screen, so each member of the menu is 'infinitely big'. It is SOOOO much easier and faster (up to 5x as fast) to hit a Mac menu item than a Windows or Gnome-style menu item because instead of having to negotiate and aim the mouse at a particular point, the Mac menu item is on the edge of the screen. One of the problems that Windows (and Gnome) has is that it does NOT use the edge for any useful purpose. Helix menu items (favourites, programs, etc) are just a few pixels away from the edge, essentially ruining, by just a few pixels, a great interface design. Items on the Gnome Taskbar are similar: they are just a few pixels away from the edge. Windows has the same problem: they INTENTIONALLY keep things from the edge, even though it is better interface design. Why????? The little program fixes that by not allowing the mouse to hit the bottom 3 pixels of the screen, essentially allowing the taskbar to follow Fitt's Law. Also, it allows one to use the right edge of the screen as a FORWARD button and the left edge of the screen as a BACK button in Internet Explorer. After having used it, it is TONS faster and easier on the hand to use this method for FORWARD and BACK. Why is this good? First, use it. VERY nice feel! It is so much faster to simply move the mouse to any part of the edge of the screen rather than hitting the bck button. MY SUGGESTION (finally): We could use the edge of the screen as user-defined hot key. Imagine being able to define the ledt edge of the screen for things you use often, like copying or pasting, or navigation, or ANYTHING. Any unused edge could be a quick way for people to do their work instead of it sitting there. Obviously, this should be USER defined and optional, but it would be really cool to be able to have any given edge be useful for something. As far as coding goes, it would require simply that hitting the edge with the mouse would mean triggering an event: maybe even mapping it to a keypress, which would then do some action. I think the code should already be there, because of edge flipping; But instead of edge flipping automatically being used to switch virtual windows, it could be trapped for a user-defined function.
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