Re: combo rant

It is the trade-off of the policy that "the selected item is under
the pointer in the just shown popup, period." I think it is
generally good, but this is an example of where it shows its
drawbacks. However, for the sake of UI consistency, I believe it
should _not_ be changed. I.e. it be "under the pointer, period",
not "under the pointer, but only if..."

So, why can't we just move the mouse?

If the popup window fits (or is over-large enough), with the current item where it should be, then good.  Do 

In the cases where the popup hits a screen edge and has to be moved (those situations where in the present 
system would make part of the popup empty), then here are two options based on controlling the mouse, to 
throw into the mix;

1) if we can't put the current item beneath the cursor, then simply move the cursor to the current item.

2) allow the popup to be created partially off-screen, then scroll the popup when the user tries to move the 
mouse towards the off-screen end.  I saw that done very successfully in one Windows program that did a very 
GTK-like combobox.  The mouse should always be free to move towards the center-line of the widget, but trying 
to move away from that center-line will scroll the popup in the opposite direction if it's not yet in its 
nominal position.

These kinds of functionality SHOULD be optional.  Most people shouldn't find it too difficult to grasp, but 
some using different input devices (a touch screen, for instance), may find it less intuitive.  But for 
mouse, trackball or keyboard users, I think either option would be fine.

But whatever happens, I agree, those little arrows at the ends are crap.  My system gets dog damn slow at 
times, even the mouse starts to jump and skip.  And trying to use those little arrows is hopeless.  And 
that's when I'm not trying to use my GUI remotely!  I'd rather have the "current item" start somewhere else 
than have a mostly empty popup -- it just plain old looks ugly.

I notice that such things as the screen saver lock the mouse in to a certain rectangle.  Some window 
managers, even a couple graphics card drivers I've had in Windows, have been using the scroll on out of 
bounds moves concept for years to support a viewport into a larger screen.  So the concept isn't that unusual.


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