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

  • From: Michael Zucchi <notzed@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 15:29:23 +1030

On 19 March 2010 12:56, Jorge G. Mare/aka Koki <koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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 
> claim.

Doesn't that change the depth ordering though?  (no, i don't have
haiku in-front of me right now)  If not, hidden keyboard accelerators
are somewhat more complex than an extra line on a drop-down box.

> 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.

You're joking right?  Seriously?  One extra option from 2 is
'complexity'?  How much effort do you think it would take even a 10
year old child to turn it on and well, just see what on earth it does?
 That you had to ask on a public list about something that a 10 year
old could work out in 20 seconds probably doesn't say much about it's
complexity.  Since when have computers turned into bicycles with
training wheels that you can't take off, even once you've out-grown

If the complexity of this single extra option in a dialogue window
that you *probably only ever run once* shortly after installing a new
computer is too much for you to bear, how ever do you cope with the
modern world we all find ourselves living in?  This age when there's
30 differently branded tubes of the same toothpaste to buy or all
those different colours of motor cars to choose from?  Probably the
same way everyone else does - find one you like/can afford, stick to
the one you know, and ignore the rest.  This is not a novel concept,
this is life.

> 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.

Well personally I was just explaining why it is useful - from someone
who uses computers for 12 hours most  days but neither uses microsoft
windows, nor apple macintosh operating systems (and has only rarely in
the past) - what haiku does is up to them.  To be honest I would think
even macintosh users are sophisticated enough to ignore it or even
experiment with the option if it was offered, without getting confused
(a joke!  actually almost all users still *love* basic knobs like this
'oh look, they thought of *me*'!).   Not that I need to add any other
reasons, but having an explicit click-focus is pretty useful if you're
prone to knocking the mouse/have motor control issues/use a
touchpad/are in an unstable environment, etc (vs focus follows mouse).

Frankly I find your argument that since windows xp doesn't do it that
way the option should be removed pretty weak.  The only assumption one
can make is that you're talking about windows xp when you say 'what
the majority of users are used to' since that is precisely what they
are used to - this week at any rate.   They're also used to a horrible
slow buggy system full of viruses, so not everything people are used
to is correct, let alone desirable.

It seems to me you have your mind made up and your 'question' about
why you would need it wasn't really a question at all, and I simply
wasted my time providing a relatively detailed and courteous reply on
what is a nice day off work.   And here I go again - but only because
you replied directly to me.  Sorry I did now, i'll go back to lurking.


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