Re: Native file chooser dialog on Windows

Cody Russell wrote:
On Fri, 2009-05-15 at 13:51 -0400, David Cantin wrote:
I don't known about this, but from an usability point of view, using
native dialog should help applications users because they can use
skills they have learned while they were using others applications..

Those details are always sensibles when using a foreign gui toolkit.

I will look into what Tim Evans have said.

If you implement a dialog using gtk+ widgets that is laid out like the
native dialog, has the same accelerators, etc.. then users can take
advantage of these skills as you describe and we can use features of gtk
and it will look absolutely natural in the application.

The problem with this is in the details, and getting them right for various versions of Windows. If we continue to use the standard gtk file chooser widget, it looks quite a bit different, but at least it's *supposed* to be different.

If you create a look-alike dialog, and it's not *perfect*, people will get thrown off. Maybe the autocomplete behavior of the entry box doesn't work *exactly* the same. Maybe one of the accelerators is wrong. Maybe the icon positioning is slightly different. Maybe the dropdown list at the top works differently. There are plenty of other examples, and they all serve to be small jarring differences that possibly end up confusing the user more than having a totally different file chooser.

Having said that... creating even a close-but-not-perfect copy of the Windows file chooser still sounds like a pretty attractive option.

(Does the chooser look the same on all versions of Windows if you ignore theming? Win2k? WinXP? Vista? Windows 7?)

This is also an issue on MacOS X... Mac users are even more crazy about all applications fitting into the (not really standard) standard platform look and feel than Windows users are.


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