[Usability] Re: Error dialogs (among others?) and focus stealing prevention

On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 10:39:48 -0700, Rob Adams <readams readams net> wrote:
> But with a modal dialog a very interesting question is raised -- if you
> don't focus it, what do you focus?  

The designated no-focus-window.

> It makes no sense to leave the
> parent application focused, since it won't accept input.

Yes, which is why the no-focus-window is chosen.

> The modal
> dialog needs to be kept stacked above the parent window, so its very
> likely that it will be covering up whatever input element you were
> typing into anyway.

Which is why you "defocus all windows" and set the demands-attention hint.

>  So the user would be left with only one option: use
> the mouse to focus the dialog.

Or alt-tab.  (Which incidentally, needed fixing to get the order
right).  The fact that the user needs to manually focus a window is _a
good thing_, because it's better for the keystrokes that the user
might be typing at the time the modal dialog appears out of nowhere to
be ignored than to have them be given as input to the out-of-the-blue
dialog and possibly cause an erroneous action.

> Clearly I'm not talking here about modal dialogs launched by a different
> application -- if you're typing into a terminal, you don't want an error
> message from evolution or whatever popping up in front of you.

Right.  Only transients of the focused window should be treated
specially in regards to stacking.

All of this was covered by bug 151996 (well, the alt-tab issue spilled
over to 156251).


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