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

On Wed, 30 Mar 2005, Samuel Abels wrote:

> Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 23:03:54 +0200
> From: Samuel Abels <newsgroups debain org>
> To: Alan Horkan <horkana maths tcd ie>
> Cc: usability gnome org
> Subject: Re: [Usability] Can't Handle it anymore!  (Consistent toolbars?)
> On Wed, 2005-30-03 at 17:41 +0100, Alan Horkan wrote:
> > One last question (or reiterating my previous question) should menubars
> > all have handles too?
> They are probably rarely used on toolbars, so IMO there is not much need
> for the same on menus.

I was looking at non gtk program the other day that had it.  It wasn't any
less useless than having it on toolbar and if you can overlay toolbars or
put them end to end it helps to include it.

(Back when I used Windows 98 and the crap flood of the internet didn't
cause Internet Explorer to be intolerable I liked that I could go into
fullscreen mode and put the menubar and the standard toolbar end to end
and also set to autohide to make the maximum use of the available space on
my crappy monitor.)

> > While they are largely useless I'm thinking they should for consistency
> > and the hope that future versions of gtk will make them slightly less
> > useless.
> What could make them more useful?

If toolbars could be docked, layed out end to end.

The abscence of this functionality means applications like abiword have
little choice to have one huge toolbar rather than break it up into
smaller toolbars.  It is still annoying for users to need to customise the
toolbars and applications should certainly aim to keep it simple but
the toolkit making it easier to rearrange or otherwise customise the
menus wouldn't hurt.  (The abiword toolbars allow users to move and remove
items and the developers are considering other ways to simplyfy the

I've read complaints about Adobe Acrobat reader for Linux not using
standard GTK widgets for their toolbars but the abscence of this
functionality but I cannot say I blame them.  I'm sure the desire to have
their toolbars work similarly on all platforms and an unwillingness to
sacrifice the more flexible behaviour is part of the reason for it.  If
the toolbar behaves exactly the same as the version of Acrobat Reader 6
did on Windows you will notice that non priority items get hidden if the
toolbar is short of space (things like the zoom drop down and various text
labels) which is kind of neat.


Alan Horkan

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