Re: combo rant
- From: "Freddie Unpenstein" <fredderic excite com>
- To: pogonyshev gmx net, gtk-app-devel-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: combo rant
- Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 11:43:50 -0500 (EST)
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
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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