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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:49 pm 
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pierocks wrote:
I find the "focus follows mouse" model to be extremely annoying. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but when I click on a text box to give input, I like to "toss" the mouse pointer out of the way so it doesn't get in the way when I'm typing. This often means "entirely away from the window I want to interact with", which on an older unix box this results in my text input going someplace unexpected or vanishing all together.


Not agreeing with you or disagreeing with you... but a guy I knew at uni had grown up on the "focus follows mouse" model UNIX machines... When he met his first click on the window to focus machine he did not handle it at all... "I know where my mouse is... I have to click to focus ..? so s-l-o-w" he'd wail..

I guess it depends on what you had when you started .

R.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:02 pm 
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PymbleSoftware wrote:
pierocks wrote:
I find the "focus follows mouse" model to be extremely annoying. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but when I click on a text box to give input, I like to "toss" the mouse pointer out of the way so it doesn't get in the way when I'm typing. This often means "entirely away from the window I want to interact with", which on an older unix box this results in my text input going someplace unexpected or vanishing all together.


Not agreeing with you or disagreeing with you... but a guy I knew at uni had grown up on the "focus follows mouse" model UNIX machines... When he met his first click on the window to focus machine he did not handle it at all... "I know where my mouse is... I have to click to focus ..? so s-l-o-w" he'd wail..

I guess it depends on what you had when you started .

R.


If you're that concerned about speed, why use the mouse at all? It's faster to just tab through your windows with the keyboard :-)

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:10 pm 
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pierocks wrote:
PymbleSoftware wrote:
pierocks wrote:
I find the "focus follows mouse" model to be extremely annoying. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but when I click on a text box to give input, I like to "toss" the mouse pointer out of the way so it doesn't get in the way when I'm typing. This often means "entirely away from the window I want to interact with", which on an older unix box this results in my text input going someplace unexpected or vanishing all together.


Not agreeing with you or disagreeing with you... but a guy I knew at uni had grown up on the "focus follows mouse" model UNIX machines... When he met his first click on the window to focus machine he did not handle it at all... "I know where my mouse is... I have to click to focus ..? so s-l-o-w" he'd wail..

I guess it depends on what you had when you started .

R.


If you're that concerned about speed, why use the mouse at all? It's faster to just tab through your windows with the keyboard :-)



He was a very strange guy.. I could tell you stories. But speed was everything for him and he didn't always adapt well.

R.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:04 pm 
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Click to focus is much more sensible in use than focus follows mouse. It is very annoying when the mouse cursor wanders off the window, and all the typing is wasted.

I could also argue, that the middle mouse button menu is much better and more efficient than fixed menu top of the window or screen.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 am 
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pierocks wrote:
If you're that concerned about speed, why use the mouse at all? It's faster to just tab through your windows with the keyboard :-)


I'm not jumping on you specifically, but this is a mentality Windows users often present to me that I don't understand at all. If I have fifteen windows spread across the screen, I don't understand why it's supposed to be faster to hit Tab over and over again until the right one comes up when I could just bring it forward with a single motion of the mouse. I think the reasoning is that you don't need to move from the keyboard to the mouse, but I keep both devices easily accessible and never saw reducing mouse usage as an important goal. There seems to be a fundamental assumption in the Windows/non-Mac world that the keyboard is always faster than the mouse, in every situation, which doesn't make sense.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:03 pm 
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I don't agree with most of what's been said in this thread, although there are some things I think could use attention in the Mac OS X interface.

1. The menu bar at the top of the screen, which.. I mean, I get why it's there. I get why it's one of the primary reasons that point-to-focus isn't a totally reasonable option to offer. But on a big screen, it's a looooong way to go with the mouse. On NEXTSTEP you had the menu that could be moved around the screen or called up with the right mouse button. I miss this, even though I understand why it was not carried forward for OS X. Context menus are more valuable overall I think, though it would be nice to have SOME kind of solution for having to mouse all the way to the top of the screen every time you want to use a menu.

2. The lack of a "shelf" on finder windows. On the NEXTSTEP file browser you pretty much had to use the shelf to do any kind of file management. It was a big shock for me at first, since I was coming from OS/2 where you could just pick stuff up from wherever and move it around. But I quickly got over it. The NeXT file browser was effective and (more importantly) consistent, so after a couple of days I found the Browser vastly more efficient than WPS or the Windows File Manager for managing files. OS X Finder is a lot more flexible in how you interact with it so the _necessity_ of having a shelf isn't there, but it would still be handy to have it there to use.

3. Left function keys, a la Sun OpenWindows. I found having L-keys for things like Open, Front, Props, Cut, Copy, Paste, and others, to be _extremely_ useful. Command Z/X/C/V is close enough for undo, cut, copy, and paste (and Windows is horrible in this regard). I would love to have Open and Front keys, though arguably this is more helpful with point-to-focus than with click-to-focus. I also get why there aren't these keys; it gives the "oh, proprietary" people one more thing to moan about. Props doesn't exactly relate to the OS X interface but some equivalent there could be good. The eject key is a nice addition, volume and brightness I don't use much myself except on the laptop, but I think are reasonble. The PC folks offering "Media" and "Internet" keys... not so much.

4. Arrange In Front. On NEXTSTEP one of the standard UI calls brought all windows for the current app to the foreground, and arranged them in a cascade. Once I figured out what situations this was useful in, it was revelatory. I miss it dearly in OS X and it wouldn't be a big deal to add, really. The complication here is toolbox type windows, which were typically not affected but possibly required the developer to do something to explicitly exempt them. I didn't get far in developing for NEXTSTEP so I can't comment on that one.

This was a longer list when I started typing, but I lost track of most of it while it was in progress. (@; FWIW I use the column view in Finder almost exclusively, though it's nice to be able to easily poke it in a non-permanent way if I want to, for example, see files sorted by date or by kind. What I'm glad OS X kept, off the top of my head -

1. Hide All. Hide Others is an interesting twist I haven't explored much to figure out its actual value.
2. Services (once they were put back in 10.3 (10.2?), though in 10.6 now they are somehow less helpful to work with possibly as a result of trying to be more clever)
3. Icon notifications

New stuff that really knocked it out of the park -

1. Expose.

I think that's it. Spaces---it's handy, but not actually that interesting.

In my personal opinion the new Wacom Intuos tablets are an excellent way to optimize not only pointing in OS X but also some mildly awkward corners of the UI. I'm not much of an artist, so the pen improvements haven't meant a lot, but upgrading from my old Intuos 2 was... I should've done it a long time ago. Fantastic. Plus - it implements a pie menu! Comedy gold. Basically, I'm effectively using it as if it were an old-school digitizing tablet (a la Kurta or Summasketch) and this helps a lot with the menu at the top of the screen problem, though it shouldn't be necessary to buy an expensive optional peripheral to get relief here.

Re - moving the mouse away from a text input field. OS X hides the mouse cursor when you start typing. Always has. Dunno about Windows, it's been too long.

Also - enabling some of the assistive devices in Universal Access gives some handy features even if you're able-bodied. Screen and pointer zooming are PAINFULLY absent on Windows, and some interesting keyboard options used to be there - they've been moved to the Keyboard preferences ("Enable Full Keyboard Access" is one), and others (such as, start typing the first few letters of a file name in the Finder to have the selection jump to the first match) have just been made default behaviors. Others are still missing, such as a way to select non-default dialog box buttons using the keyboard. Or possibly I just haven't figured out how.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:07 pm 
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Ahhh... thanks for reminding me of this ....

Has anybody noticed the very different behaviors of:

command-tab vs. command-` ?

command-tab has a "memory" - meaning that you can go to one app, and then cycle through to a completely out of order, different app, and after that, you can command-tab back and forth between them. So no matter what order things are in, you can always pick two apps to cycle between. I think of this as "correct" and it matches most operating environments I have been in.

But command-` is different - it goes sequentially no matter what - if you have 15 safari windows open, and you need to cycle back and forth between two of them, not only do they have to be next to each other in creation order BUT you also have to add a shift key to go backwards. This sucks.

I think this has to be a bug - they are very related behaviors, so one of them has to be wrong.... I think it just goes unnoticed because the typical mac user is just clicking and moving the mouse all day ...


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:03 pm 
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and ... going way off topic and just griping ... I would KILL FOR sftp:// or fish:// or ssh:// URLs working in the Finder, under the "connect to server" menu item ... FUSE just isn't the right choice, or even feasible in every situation, and I would really like to browse remote SSH connections in the Finder...


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:38 am 
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kjaer wrote:
1. The menu bar at the top of the screen, which.. I mean, I get why it's there. I get why it's one of the primary reasons that point-to-focus isn't a totally reasonable option to offer. But on a big screen, it's a looooong way to go with the mouse. On NEXTSTEP you had the menu that could be moved around the screen or called up with the right mouse button. I miss this, even though I understand why it was not carried forward for OS X. Context menus are more valuable overall I think, though it would be nice to have SOME kind of solution for having to mouse all the way to the top of the screen every time you want to use a menu.


I run two large monitors on my Mac and I've never had a problem with the menu bar. The way mouse acceleration works on the Mac has always been well-suited to getting from anywhere on the screen up to the menu bar with a single flick of the mouse, at least by my experience. That being said, there were some third-party extensions for the classic Mac OS that duplicated the menu bar as a contextual menu, similar to NeXT. I'd definitely enjoy having that available in OS X.

kjaer wrote:
2. The lack of a "shelf" on finder windows. On the NEXTSTEP file browser you pretty much had to use the shelf to do any kind of file management. It was a big shock for me at first, since I was coming from OS/2 where you could just pick stuff up from wherever and move it around. But I quickly got over it. The NeXT file browser was effective and (more importantly) consistent, so after a couple of days I found the Browser vastly more efficient than WPS or the Windows File Manager for managing files. OS X Finder is a lot more flexible in how you interact with it so the _necessity_ of having a shelf isn't there, but it would still be handy to have it there to use.


I don't like the model of doing file management across directories within a single window to begin with, but for that model, I agree that a shelf is better. The Windows, and now OS X, equivalent to this is Copy/Paste, but the concept of a shelf is more appropriate... just stop and think for a minute about the idea of "pasting a file." Cut/Copy/Paste were never intended to have anything to do with file management.

kjaer wrote:
3. Left function keys, a la Sun OpenWindows. I found having L-keys for things like Open, Front, Props, Cut, Copy, Paste, and others, to be _extremely_ useful. Command Z/X/C/V is close enough for undo, cut, copy, and paste (and Windows is horrible in this regard). I would love to have Open and Front keys, though arguably this is more helpful with point-to-focus than with click-to-focus. I also get why there aren't these keys; it gives the "oh, proprietary" people one more thing to moan about. Props doesn't exactly relate to the OS X interface but some equivalent there could be good. The eject key is a nice addition, volume and brightness I don't use much myself except on the laptop, but I think are reasonble. The PC folks offering "Media" and "Internet" keys... not so much.


Good idea, but obviously not going to happen due to Apple's current obsession with making the smallest possible keyboards. I hate those keyboards.

kjaer wrote:
4. Arrange In Front. On NEXTSTEP one of the standard UI calls brought all windows for the current app to the foreground, and arranged them in a cascade. Once I figured out what situations this was useful in, it was revelatory. I miss it dearly in OS X and it wouldn't be a big deal to add, really. The complication here is toolbox type windows, which were typically not affected but possibly required the developer to do something to explicitly exempt them. I didn't get far in developing for NEXTSTEP so I can't comment on that one.


I've never been a fan of auto-arranging windows and don't think it really fits within the Mac interface, but it's interesting that NeXT did that. Of course, bringing all the windows of a given application to the front (without changing their arrangement) is a long-standing Mac behavior.

kjaer wrote:
1. Hide All. Hide Others is an interesting twist I haven't explored much to figure out its actual value.


Hide Others was very useful to me on smaller screens in the past, but I haven't used it intentionally in a long time. I'm glad it's still there, though. As for "Hide All," that's basically what the Exposé "Show Desktop" feature accomplishes, with the ability to easily restore everything that was hidden (one reason I stopped using "Hide Others" much was that you had to manually bring everything back).

kjaer wrote:
2. Services (once they were put back in 10.3 (10.2?), though in 10.6 now they are somehow less helpful to work with possibly as a result of trying to be more clever)


Services have been in every release of OS X (including the beta), it's just that most users and developers are unaware of them or ignore them.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:22 am 
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Some UI complaints probably have an objective basis, but I think most stem from what we are comfortable with. Like some others here, I hate focus-follows-mouse, but I'll take that a step further. As an old Amiga hand, I like click to focus, but I don't want focus to raise the window. I like the window I'm typing into to not obscure the window that has the information I'm transcribing, but I get that a born Mac/windows person would find that extremely annoying.

I also hate the OS X moved the window-close and window-minimize buttons right next to each other. That seemed like a bad idea.

There are probably other things, but ultimately as long as their behavior is consistent, I don't mind if it works differently.

Plus, if you want to talk inconsistency, look at *nix, to go recursive, cp uses '-r' but chmod requires '-R'. I still prefer the Amiga CLI for simplicity and power.

Geof

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:51 am 
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ratfink wrote:
Some UI complaints probably have an objective basis, but I think most stem from what we are comfortable with. Like some others here, I hate focus-follows-mouse, but I'll take that a step further. As an old Amiga hand, I like click to focus, but I don't want focus to raise the window. I like the window I'm typing into to not obscure the window that has the information I'm transcribing, but I get that a born Mac/windows person would find that extremely annoying.


You're right, it is possible to make objective statements about UI, but most of the things people say about UI boil down to praising what they're used to and criticizing what is unfamiliar. I think this is why Mac OS catches so much flak. In terms of UI, there is really Mac OS and everything else because of how closely UNIX GUI development has followed Windows over the years. A lot of people who are used to "everything else" are buying Macs these days, and I'm not sure many of them fully understand the kind of conceptual gap they're crossing.

Whatever the case, it's important that UI discussions stay focused on the reasons for doing things and not degenerate into "well, that's just your opinion, man." People who aren't deliberately thinking about UI have a tendency to adapt to bad behaviors without realizing it, and won't be able to tell you they don't like their GUI because of _____.

Regarding window focus - I've found that I like focus follows mouse in IRIX and pretty much nothing else because IRIX feels like it was designed to work that way. I use my IRIX machine as a secondary desktop next to a Mac, though, and I think I'd go crazy if my main computer did focus-follows-mouse. I didn't know AmigaOS worked the way you describe; I could see myself enjoying an ability to activate a window by clicking while keeping it in the background, but not on Macs because it breaks the ground rules of the GUI.

ratfink wrote:
I also hate the OS X moved the window-close and window-minimize buttons right next to each other. That seemed like a bad idea.


This. I hate how all the buttons are on one side now. Windows is far worse because its buttons are literally right next to each other with no spacing, but Mac OS lost big usability points when it became possible to accidentally close a window by overshooting the zoom or minimize buttons.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:24 pm 
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ianj wrote:
I don't like the model of doing file management across directories within a single window to begin with, but for that model, I agree that a shelf is better.


Well, you've never had to do it in a single window, even on NEXTSTEP. Dragging to manage files in a single finder window is totally the pits, and even though it's no big deal to open another one to do some activity and then close it, it irritates me in tiny ways to actually do it.

Actually, before 10.6 I had trouble occasionally with a copy done in a single window where the file would appear in both locations but disappear from both when I moved the original to the trash! Never worked out why that would happen, and it caused me some data loss, so I'm in the habit now of using two windows.

ianj wrote:
The Windows, and now OS X, equivalent to this is Copy/Paste, but the concept of a shelf is more appropriate...


I have always been horrified at this in Windows. I know why they copied it in OS X, but man. *shudder*

ianj wrote:
As for "Hide All," that's basically what the Exposé "Show Desktop" feature accomplishes,


Thanks for pointing out that what I ACTUALLY meant was "hide this app".

ianj wrote:
Services have been in every release of OS X (including the beta), it's just that most users and developers are unaware of them or ignore them.


You are right that services were there, but almost all of them were missing. "Look up in Dictionary" was the biggest one, followed closely by "New Textedit window containing selection" and "Open URL in OmniWeb". Safari finally has an "Open URL" service since version 3 or so. I remember quite clearly having big problems with this when I switched my primary platform from NS 3.3 to OS X 10.2 in 2002. Maybe the Textedit service was there but didn't work? I forget.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:22 pm 
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jsloan wrote:
and ... going way off topic and just griping ... I would KILL FOR sftp:// or fish:// or ssh:// URLs working in the Finder, under the "connect to server" menu item ... FUSE just isn't the right choice, or even feasible in every situation, and I would really like to browse remote SSH connections in the Finder...


I do wonder if that functionality is extensible, because I would love it too. I use smb://, afp://, vnc:// all the time. I'd also like rdp:// (sadly I do have a couple of windows servers under my wing)

Geof

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:48 pm 
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ratfink wrote:
jsloan wrote:
and ... going way off topic and just griping ... I would KILL FOR sftp:// or fish:// or ssh:// URLs working in the Finder, under the "connect to server" menu item ... FUSE just isn't the right choice, or even feasible in every situation, and I would really like to browse remote SSH connections in the Finder...

I do wonder if that functionality is extensible, because I would love it too. I use smb://, afp://, vnc:// all the time. I'd also like rdp:// (sadly I do have a couple of windows servers under my wing)

That would be useful, although the workaround of configuring Safari or Firefox to work with a helper app isn't much more work, i.e. instead of hitting cmd-k in the Finder and then typing in the url, I end up hitting cmd-tab to switch to a browser, then cmd-l to get the location bar, then I enter the url of choice. An sftp url then can open in drag-and-drop aware app like Cyberduck or Interarchy, which is sufficiently Finder-like for me, and it really ends up being only one more keystroke than if the Finder's "Connect to Server" supported it directly. Not as elegant, of course, but not too bad.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:28 am 
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ianj wrote:
I didn't know AmigaOS worked the way you describe; I could see myself enjoying an ability to activate a window by clicking while keeping it in the background, but not on Macs because it breaks the ground rules of the GUI.


On RISC OS it works like this:

- Click on window to get input focus, window retains it’s position.
- Click on title bar of the window with left mouse button, window comes front and can be normally dragged with left mouse button.
- Drag with right mouse button from the title bar of the window, window moves but does not come front.


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