[haiku] Re: Mouse "Click to focus" mode: what is it for?

  • From: "Jorge G. Mare/aka Koki" <koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 19:26:36 -0700

Hi Michael :)

Michael Zucchi wrote on Fri, 19 Mar 2010 11:19:19 +1030
> Always bringinging the window to the front when you click on it
> reduces one of the main benefits of gui windows - the ability to see
> multiple views at once, and for you to arrange them in the most useful
> way possible.  The outcome is basically with this 'click raises
> window' mode using windows as windows is actually very difficult, and
> you're forced to simply run every application in full-screen mode.
> Without it, it is possible to get more effective screen real-estate by
> arranging overlapping windows so you can see the important bits -
> having them raise as soon as you click on them messes this arrangement
> up and makes the effort futile.  e.g. you can easily have
> documentation or a shell open in a small window overlapping the
> right-hand side of your editor where you usually don't have code.

In the default focus mode, you can have multiple views at once and use then 
effectively; I do that all the time, by putting windows side by side or one 
above the other, switching between them with the twitcher. From time to time I 
will overlap windows and switch between them using the keyboard. Honestly, I 
really don't see the constraints of not being able to use windows that you 

Whether we like it or not, the standard and widely accepted mouse click 
behaviour is that whenever a user clicks on a window, it is because he/she want 
focus and full visibility of that window. This is what most users would expect. 
I will grant you that there may be cases where it could be useful to get focus 
without bringing the window to the front, but these seem really rare and not 
something that most people would actually use.

That being the case, and considering that Haiku strives for less rather than 
more options for the sake of simplicity, I wonder if these very exceptional use 
cases warrant an extra focus mode that adds complexity to the user experience. 
Of course one could simply ignore this third focus mode, and live on. But this 
really adds a level of complexity to something so simple as configuring your 
mouse; that someone like me, who is very familiar with BeOS/ZETA/Haiku, has to 
ask what this option is for is living proof of that.

Perhaps instead of an additional focus mode, this functionality could be 
exposed via a key modifier; that way, you avoid adding complexity to the Mouse 
preflet and the very few users who like this mode can still use it on demand.


Jorge / aka Koki

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