[HIG] Re: [Nautilus-list] Toggable menu options

Christian Rose <menthos menthos com> writes:

> mån 2002-02-18 klockan 04.01 skrev Owen Taylor:
> > > > "Show Hidden Files", by itself,  with no checkbox next to it, is 
> > > > ambiguous.
> > > 
> > > I agree, but IMHO a gtk+ theme that doesn't display a toggable menu
> > > option easily identifiable as a toggable menu option, whatever the
> > > state, is broken.
> > 
> > Well, I'm afraid that no themes display check menu items in the off
> > state these days... the GTK+ core doesn't allow it (It's very hard to
> > do this in an attractive manner and in fact, in a matter that makes it
> > clear that what you are drawing is the unselected state, not the
> > indicator for the selected state.)
> Is this new in GTK+ 1.3.x? My GTK+ 1.2 theme displays unselected
> toggable menu options in a clearly different way from other menu
> options.

GTK+-1.2 had the amazingly poor design that the app could set on
the menuitem whether the unchecked state was displayed or not.

> If this is new, I think this is a regression since feedback in advance
> that a menu option is toggable is quite important, for all the reasons
> people have already mentioned.

Suprisingly, other operating systems and toolkits seem to get by
without unchecked indicators.
> > I don't think there is much ambiguity if the menu item has appropriate
> > text:
> > 
> >     Show Hidden Files
> > 
> > Clearly, a menu item that I select to show hidden files.
> Not so clearly. John Sullivan pointed out that this is very ambigous in
> the sense that you do not know if it represents the current state or the
> state that you will accomplish by selecting it.

I think "very" is a stretch here. As long as people stick to consistent
menu labelling conventions, I don't see that reading 

 "Show Hidden Files"


 "Hidden files are currently shown"

is that likely a thing to do.

> Also, there is no visual cue that this option is a toggle option in that
> there won't necessarily be any other feedback that this option has been
> selected. No dialog will popup, and depending on the option, there may
> be no other visual feedback upon selection *unless* you open the menu
> again and notice the new checkmark next to it.

Aren't menu items that do have a dialog pop up supposed to get a '...'?

Anyways, the GTK+ theme stuff in this area can't really change at this
point for 2.0.0. (And also, it's important that themes are consistent
in this regard... if some themes have the feedback, and some don't
then app writers will have trouble picking good labels.)


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