[Usability] Re: Fixing the foobar wrt fitt's law

I have some other things im doing with the foobar right now, so Im
pretty familiar with the code at this point (1.4 of course) If nobody
else is interested, I'll throw some hacking time at it.


On Wed, 2001-10-03 at 16:50, Seth Nickell wrote:
> I switched to using the menu panel (aka foobar) about 3 months ago,
> because its what Ximian ships and hence what a lot of users are now
> getting. I thought I would dislike it, and did for the first few
> days...but I've grown to like it at this point, as have many people.
> Something very similar to the Ximian 1.4 arrangement is currently the
> Usability Project's suggestion for the GNOME 2 default panel
> configuration. 
> *however* one aspect about it has been driving me up the walls. The
> menus do not extend to the top of the screen, and in particular you
> can't access the Programs menu by flinging your pointer into the upper
> right corner. (its also annoying that you can't pulldown the tasklist by
> flinging into the upper right corner, but for now I would settle for
> quick access to Programs).
> The real-estate at the four corners of the screen is incredibly
> valuable, can we please not waste it on borders? (I realize this may
> require hacking the menubar or menu widgets, but I really think it would
> be worth it). I would love for some brave hacker to volunteer to fix
> this problem so we can all mouse easier at night (and during the day).
> Here are some bug reports related to this:
>   http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=50163 (menus)
>   http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=55491 (tasklist)
> But the same is largely true for any applet on the panel (launchers,
> menubar tasklist, heck even the keyboard layout switching applet).
> -Seth
> And if you need more convincing that this worthwhile... The following is
> an excerpt from http://static.userland.com/gems/joel/uibookcomplete.htm
> (the as a whole article contradicts generally more sage references on
> usability in places, and does suggests some things I disagree with, but
> is fairly good reading nonetheless).
> "Tog invented the concept of the mile high menu bar to explain why the
> menu bar on the Macintosh, which is always glued to the top of the
> physical screen, is so much easier to use than menu bars on Windows,
> which appear inside each application window. When you want to point to
> the File menu on Windows, you have a target about half an inch wide and
> a quarter of an inch high to acquire. You must move and position the
> mouse fairly precisely in both the vertical and the horizontal
> dimensions.
> But on a Macintosh, you can slam the mouse up to the top of the screen,
> without regard to how high you slam it, and it will stop at the physical
> edge of the screen - the correct vertical position for using the menu.
> So, effectively, you have a target that is still half an inch wide, but
> a mile high. Now you only need to worry about positioning the cursor
> horizontally, not vertically, so the task of clicking on a menu item is
> that much easier.
> Based on this principle, Tog has a pop quiz: what are the five spots on
> the screen that are easiest to acquire (point to) with the mouse? The
> answer: all four corners of the screen (where you can literally slam the
> mouse over there in one fell swoop without any pointing at all), plus,
> the current position of the mouse, because it's already there.
> The principle of the mile-high menu bar is fairly well known, but it
> must not be entirely obvious, because the Windows 95 team missed the
> point completely with the Start push button, sitting almost in the
> bottom left corner of the screen, but not exactly. In fact, it's about 2
> pixels away from the bottom and 2 pixels from the left of the screen.
> So, for the sake of a couple of pixels, Microsoft literally "snatches
> defeat from the jaws of victory", Tog writes, and makes it that much
> harder to acquire the start button. It could have been a mile square,
> absolutely trivial to hit with the mouse. For the sake of something, I
> don't know what, it's not. God help us."
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./configure --prefix=/dev/mocha --enable-caffeine

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