Re: WM standards

What is HIG?

HIG is the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines document (currently in draft
format).  The section on standard keyboard shortcuts is here:

I will look into it.

Well, on Windows at least, Full Screen mode pretty much always leaves
you with a graphical pushbutton for getting back to non-full-screen
mode, although each app handles it differently.  In IE6 it's one of
three small buttons in the top right of the screen, for example, whereas
in Office it's in the form of a floating toolbar IIRC.  Also in Windows
Full Screen mode, pressing F10 pops up the application's menu bar, and
there's often an option on any right-click menus for getting back to the
normal window size.  So you're spoiled for choice really :)  

For some serious work, to have a 99% full screen, with
a little button visible, or to have 90% full screen,
with a whole window bar visible is basically the same:
unusable. The only thing that really matters is 100%
full screen.

For example, imagine that you want to photograph some
complex image drawn in your gamma corrected 21in monitor, 
with a 35mmm Nikon or whatever. You would amazed how much this 
method is actually used to get high quality pictures 
for congresses and the like. Use a tripod, a black sheet 
around the camera and the monitor, switch off the lights
(so the screen frame will merge with your black background), 
take a slide color, now project this slide color on a 
big wall: you will get a high quality picture that 
you cannot match with a digital camera or screenshot 
(don't even compare the colors in your laptop with 
this color slide). Now would you like to show your 
protein slide or your aircraft slide with... a 
Start button on it?

I will try F1---F12, but not before ;-) are there good reasons to
not use Escape?

Well, it's certainly possible that the application may need to use Esc
for its own purposes, usually for cancelling an in-progress operation
(e.g. loading a web-page, running a search).

Good point, but all these cases are less critical
(in this context) that a 100% full screen mode,
because you can always add some sort of visual
clue, at very least you can try to kill the app,
launch a xterm, wathever, but when you have a
screen completely black... (and your 3-button mouse
cannot/should not pop up advice menus, because 
it is rotating, scaling, moving objects in the 
3D full screen) you better off give users some 
good chances of finding an escape, and what better 
than... Escape?

Now, I fully admit that most desktop applications
don't need a full screen at all (why on Earth
would you want your text processor to go to...
full screen mode?), this is important in:
- photographic apps
- engineering, scientific apps
- games

That said, I'm not convinced that F11 is a great choice either... some
laptop keyboards don't have function keys at all, and some keyboards
only have ten.  I chose it for inclusion in the HIG mostly because a lot
of apps on other platforms use it, but if there is a better suggestion
then I'm quite happy to change it.

I am not sure that one size fits all is the
best solution in this case. Escape should be
used in the most critical situations, and this
depends of the particular app. If a particular
app implements a real 100% full screen mode,
then I think that Escape still looks as a reasonable

Now you can argue, if something is hanging around,
the user might be tempted to press Escape, and now
he gets two problems instead of one: the program
is still hanging around, and in full screen mode... ;-)


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