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

On Tue, 2005-29-03 at 22:35 +0100, Alan Horkan wrote:
> 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?

I am one of those developers, my decision was mainly based on the fact
that I believe toolbars to be a very technical thing providing only
insignificant improvement - you can do the same without the box, and
without the handle the windows IMO look better and even easier to use
(considering that less widgets = more usability).

(Look at Muine (which is not my application), for an example; )

I admit that I implemented the same even though expecting the HIG to
recommend against it, however, I just checked back and haven't found
that explicitly stated there.

> 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.

Maybe in some cases that applies, I personally found toolbars to be
sufficiently easy to use and I didn't use it anyway for the above

> 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 would like that very much, and this would definitely make me use the
toolbar widget in my applications. That preference would be great even
if the option was not exposed in the GUI (like, a gconf key).
In fact, I even created a theme which makes handles almost invisible.

Of course, the handle is still there, but it doesn't look that way. You
can still tell from the spacing though, this is also only possible with
some of the theme engines.

|      Samuel Abels       |    |
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