[Usability] Can't Handle it anymore! (Consistent toolbars?)

I've been playing round with Gnome 2.10 and the inconsistent toolbars have
drawn my attention.

I've noticed that developers are increasingly getting rid of the
GtkHandleBox from their application toolbars.  Was this a conscious
decision, was there some sort of plan (a detail in the HIG update I
missed?) or did lots of developers all independantly come to the same
conclusion that it was a waste of space?

It isn't a very important feature but I would like toolbars to be a little
more consistent.  Some applications dont use handle boxes at all, some use
them only on their toolbars and others use them for toolbars and menu

Perhaps part of the problem is that GTK doesn't provide enough
infrastructure for laying out toolbars (a proper toolbar dock system) so
that removing this minor feature is no big deal. (I think it is necessay
to point this out but there is no need to dwell on it or anyone taking the
criticism personally.  Not enough hours in the day).  If there was a
mechanism to hide the handles developers wouldn't have aesthetics as an
excuse to want to work around and remove it.  Microsoft Internet explorer
has long had an option "Lock Toolbars" which nicely hides the Toolbar
Handles and help prevent any accidental rearraranging or customisation of
the toolbars.

I think we could have handles on all toolbars and menubars and not bother
anyone if the underlying infrastructure in the toolkit was better.  I dont
think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the concept.

So if this a usability issue that I should file lots of bug reports about
and draw to the attention of developers?

Or is it something we should write up in the HIG and recommend people not
use handle boxes at all given their current limitations? (Pessimistically
I think it might have to be the latter as no one is compelled to make the
necessary improvements to GTK.)


Alan Horkan

GtkHandleBox (umm I was hoping to point to a screenshot in the
widget gallery but it isn't included)

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