Re: How to enter a floating-point number ?

From: Michael Torrie [mailto: torriem chem byu edu]
What is the "proper" way to change the text colour of Entry,
SpinButton and CheckButton widgets?
While I understand validating input from things like input boxes,
I think that displaying a checkbutton and allowing a user to use
it improperly is a gui design flaw.

Validating input was just one use I had in mind for changing text colour -- it's a generally handy tool to 
have tucked away in one's toolbelt.  It's pretty hard to use a checkbutton improperly, and I can't imagine 
ANYONE writing a half-way sane form that doesn't desensitise checkboxes that aren't applicable in the present 

The main use I had in mind with regards to checkbuttons, was to indicate values on the form which had changed 
since their initial values had been shown; since the application will essentially be allowing the operator to 
edit a database entry, it would be nice to provide feedback on which fields had been modified -- correctly or 
incorrectly.  As I said, I can't imagine anyone managing to incorrectly fill in a checkbutton, though some of 
the text/numeric fields could be.  And I don't like the idea of bringing up a dialog saying that "fields 
blah, dodad and fubar were incorrectly filled in", and then leaving the operator to remember those fields, 
and hunt them down to make the neccesary corrections.  Sending the focus to the offending field helps, but 
only for one field at a time.  Desensitising all the correct fields would be a pain in the arse, especially 
if the operator, in the process of correcting one field, noticed an error in another which was none the less 
valid.  Highlighing eroneous fields is, as far as I can tell, the best option.

Having said that, failing to fill in an Entry at all would not be indicated very well by a text colour change 
(which I may well decide to do by background colour modification anyhow), but far more useful still in my 
present application, will be highlighting a field that has been modified but not yet committed to the 
database.  And in this present application, all Entry/SpinButton fields are either not applicable (and hence 
insensitive), or contain a value.  So changing the text green, for instance, to indicate a modified value, 
will allow an operator to quickly scan their changes to make sure they didn't stuff anything up before 
committing them to the database.

I do wish people would actually answer the question asked sometimes, and THEN, if they wish, offer reasons 
not to do it that way.  My personal motto is that if you're not qualified to answer a question, then you're 
probably not qualified to explain why the question is inappropriate either.


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