[haiku] Re: Suggestions to change double click on window title behaviour

  • From: Johan Aires Rastén <johan@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 22:44:32 +0100

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:49 PM, Eddy Groen <eddyspeeder@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> - It's confusing for new people and when you do it by mistake.
> This is because it differs from the standard Windows and Mac OS behavior.
> There are numerous discussions on OS News about how Mac OS should change
> because it differs from Windows in some respect, or vice versa. Every time
> you start using a new operating system with a philosophy that is not
> inspired by another you are familiar with, will require you to get used to
> it. I personally dislike the behavior of Mac OS you mention about minimizing
> a window on double click; I'd rather have it expand to full screen. That
> does not make it bad design, it means the philosophy is different. Equally
> so I'm not a Windows fan, not because it's bad design, but because I dislike
> the philosophy.

I know it's impossible for me to be 100% unbiased as I'm used to Linux and
Windows, but I'm trying to not just see this from my own point of view. For
example I've seen how complete computer illiterates, like my mother and ex
gf, try to solve what I consider trivial tasks and I try to imagine how they
would use Haiku. But of course, if your only target market is people with a
quite a bit of computer knowledge, it's much less of an issue.

My philosophy is that I have some things I want to do, possibly using a
computer, and then I try to find the OS and applications that enables me to
do these things with least trouble.

And second, I'm not saying double click to maximize is a good solution - or
intuitive - though I think that it's less bad than dbl clk hide. Personally
I'd rather see that double clicking the title did nothing at all by default,
and then users could map it's behavour to whatever they like if they want

> In computers, many things are less intuitive (I assume you are familiar
> with the "drag a drive to the trash bin to eject" functionality under the
> Mac OS. They become formats, again depending on the philosophy a developer
> first had in mind. I am not a true advocate of double-clicking to hide a
> window, but I do see the merit in it; it is actually a great way to reduce
> the amount of windows (mainly Tracker windows) you have opened at any given
> time in any given workspace. That is what this feature is all about.
> I think a lot of things in computers ought to be more intuitive. Just
because we've always done something in one way or because people eventually
learns how to do it and accept it, doesn't mean that we should be satisfied
and stop evolving. I'm certain BeOS was awesome, especially compared to the
OS:es of that time, but I'm even more sure that it wasn't perfect.

So yes, I'd probably get used to dbl clk hide eventually but that doesn't
change my oppinion of it being a bad idea.

> - Even if most people will eventually adapt to it, it's still not very user
>> friendly. You have LMB+drag to move window, LMB click to raise, LMB double
>> click to hide, RMB click to lower and Shift+LMB+drag to move tab (maybe
>> there are even some more that I haven't figured out yet.. who knows?). But
>> if people really dislike decorators that much, why not take it to the
>> extreme and remove the zoom and close buttons too! We could set Shift+LMB
>> double click to zoom and MMB to close window. Most people would probably
>> learn to use it after a while, but would it be user friendly?
> - The efficiency savings of double clicking the title compared to clicking
>> an icon on the title are microscopic. And you save a few pixels, but if
>> they're so valuable then why is the zoom button there?
> Okay I think I should read these two arguments combined. I first did not
> understand what you were getting at with the first one, but the second one
> seems to clarify it. In response to the below argument I will explain what I
> assume was Be's view of minimization and the problems that came with it in
> 1991/1992.

Please allow me to clarify :)

Point 1 : The title bar is an area with no apparent function (it just shows
the name of the window.. a button saying "play" has an apparent function
because it's rendered as a button and it gives an indication of what will
happen when you click it). Click to drag is a good function because that's
how things work in the real world and click to raise is also kind of
intuitive, but it also has 3 hidden functions that you activate by different
click combinations. The only hidden function I can think of that's widely
accepted is right click to open a context menu. Obviously they're all
useful, but I don't think it's good UI design unless you're targeting power
users or something.

Point 2 : If everybody's so attached to dbl clk hide and can't imagine a
world without it, I think Haiku would be better if it also had a dedicated
hide button. Compare to OS:es that maximize on double click - they also have
a maximize button. A button with a label that gives a hint of it's function
is intuitive and user friendly. A shortcut like double clicking a label
might increase productivity for some, but it doesn't replace the need of a
real button.

> - Other OS:es have separate buttons for minimize / maximize. Do you think
>> it's *only* because they copy eachother and have legacy UIs to think of,
>> or might there actually be a concious design decision behind this?
> Philosophy. Note that I am still not convinced about your claim to "bad
> design". Do be aware that Jean-Louis Gassée and almost all Be employees at
> the time of BeOS' inception just left Apple and that somehow they therefore
> must have consciously ignored the already existent minimize feature in
> MacOS. Looking back at that time, minimizing was not fantastic under Mac OS
> and the pre-Windows 9x series... let's not go there.

I don't quite agree. You can't just say every design choice in an OS is
"philosophy" and render it immune to evaluation, critique and comment. So
let's go back in time and look at Windows 98. It was probably designed
according to MS philosophy, but it still had some bad designs. Even MS must
have thought they were bad, at least when they saw Apple had something
better, because they fixed many of them.

> So I can understand that they said: "minimization is not the future, we're
> going for a different philosophy altogether". They did that by taking the
> approach that you have multiple workspaces in which you can open everything
> without minimizing, and that *IF* you somehow do wish to get some windows
> out of your sight, you just double-click it. Actually, I call that GOOD
> DESIGN as opposed to your claims to bad design. They thought it through and
> effectively dealt with a usability issue that was quite persistent at that
> time.

Grouping windows related to different tasks and putting these on workspaces
IS a good design. How would that philosophy be any different if you replace
your sentense with "...if you want to get something out of the way, just
click it's hide button"?

> By now, even with the Dock, minimization under OSX still is bad (I
> mentioned my dislike of it above) and Spaces integration is not all that: if
> I had opened a window in Space1, I minimize it and I click on the minimized
> icon in Space2, it throws me back to Space1. In BeOS, if you hide a window
> and click on it from the Application Expander, it'll open there.
> Minimization under Windows has become default behavior, and you can see that
> it slows the introduction of workspaces under Windows. BeOS logically
> strongly differed from these approaches that were later on changed to become
> more user-friendly.
> Now to answer your question why they then still have minimize buttons: as I
> said above, many things less intuitive become standard formats. Microsoft
> cannot throw minimizing out of the door because it's standard practice for
> their users. Apple discourages minimizing and offers great features like
> Exposé to keep your window management in one Space at least a bit doable.
> BeOS has the double-click feature and encourages workspaces.

Well if workspaces is supposed to be an integral part of how you use Haiku,
it really needs better tools for using them. But that's another discussion..
You might be interested in looking at Gnome 3 Shell project which introduces
some new powerful ways of using workspaces.

> A last note on bad design: you have to be very careful with this term in
> respect to systems design:
> 1. Errors committed by users because they are used to a different
> philosophy cannot be attributed to bad design. If I move from Word 2000 to
> Word 2007 and I spend many minutes figuring out where I can find something
> that used to be so very simple for me, is it bad design? No, it is a
> different approach. Microsoft's ribbon design is a rethinking of their word
> processing environment, much like hiding windows under BeOS was a rethinking
> of the window management environment.

Let me put it this way. Double clicking things in just about any OS,
including Haiku, usually opens stuff. Hiding something is almost the
opposite action and thus I think it's inconsistent.

Well maybe some concepts should be rethinked again :)

> 2. Window management procedures will have to be learnt. Sadly, many people
> today assert that everything that requires you to learn new procedures
> (often through a manual) is "bad design". However, this is not true either.
> If, after having learnt the proper procedure, something consistently goes
> wrong because the procedure is too long (lapses), too fuzzy (slips), too
> counterintuitive (violations) or too error-prone (mistakes), then it is bad
> design. Here, mistakes are made because the expectation is different, where
> you assert that the proper procedure has not been effectively learnt. Thus,
> it is not bad design.

 That might be true for how software is used in a professional or
educational environment, but regular users? No way. I've never met anyone
that actually reads software manuals before clicking random buttons,
googling, asking someone or giving up.

Admittedly, I haven't been around Haiku for long, but I thought it wanted to
be an OS you just turned on and used barely noticing it's presense, rather
than some complex system that you actually have to read a frickin manual to
use. If I enjoyed reading manuals I'd still be using Fedora :)


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