[Usability] Re: Keyboard navigation- outstanding issues

Padraig O'Briain wrote:

> > Will people ever want to set "allow_tabs" to TRUE for GtkEntry widgets
> > or allow_tabs to FALSE for GtkText widgets?
> I will leave it to Calum to justify them.

Thanks a bunch  :)

Trawling through the recent debate we had over the past few days, we
concluded that it's unlikely that anybody would ever need to enter a tab
character in a GtkEntry widget, but not impossible.  (E.g. there are
text fields in the M$ Visual Studio menu designer GUI where you have to
type \t to sepearate the menu title from its accelerator-- not a great
example, admittedly, but an example of where you *might* want to be able
to type a Tab character instead).

As for GtkText, mpt said for example that if he was writing an email
composition window, he'd want to outlaw the use of Tab characters in the
message body for fear of "tab damage", and he'd want Tab to cycle
between the recipient, subject and message body fields instead.

So... is the flag-setting idea "compellingly useful"?  Hard to say, most
of the people who took part in the debate said it was their preferred
solution, but (other than mpt) without giving any concrete examples of
where they'd want the non-default behaviour.  So it's probably not
something that would be needed very often.  (Enough people use it that
it's a feature of MFC, however, and it has a fairly prominent checkbox
in Visual Studio's textbox property window).

Would it be sufficient if things were hard-coded instead, so that Tab
always tabbed out of single-line fields, Ctrl+Tab (possibly) always
inserted a tab character in single-line fields, and vice-versa for
multi-line fields?  Probably, in most cases.  It would just mean people
had to do their own hacks if they did need the alternate behaviour. 
Which usually results in people doing things inconsistently, e.g.
forgetting to make Ctrl+Tab do what Tab used to do, or inventing some
other accelerator for the alternate behaviour instead.  And more
importantly, in either case, not ensuring their resulting "custom"
widget is accessible via ATK/GAIL.


CALUM BENSON, Usability Engineer       Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum benson ireland sun com    Desktop Engineering Group
http://www.sun.ie                      +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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