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Apr. 30th, 2005

I would be very pleased if the dialog asking whether to replace an existing file in GNOME looked like this.

Rename both with date or Add date to this file or Replace existing file

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
vruba
Apr. 30th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)

A real OS would know all the path dependencies for everything and warn you if the first option would break something.

aredridel
Apr. 30th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
It wouldn't offer it at all, then. And I approve.
vruba
Apr. 30th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC)

I’d be interested to see a GUI without button widgets at all. Toy with the premise that an “OK” button is just another form of the rightly-scolded “apply now” antipattern (look, I used a buzzword). Why not make the three go-ahead options clickable? I only see two problems right off:

  1. GUI-foolish developers will build verbiage around simple lists, thinking that everything needs to be knitted into a declarative sentence instead of left as a simple imperative fragment. You can see this on the web, where nerdy people who’ve heard “don’t link on ‘click here’” think they have to say “Additionally, the foo package is available for download on another page” when it could be “download foo”.
  2. It’s safer to encourage people to at least run their eyes over all the options before comitting.

It might turn out that to make clickable things visually distinct, you’d just re-invent the button widget. If so, I’d at least like to see experiments with putting the clickable things (exit points, replies – whatever you want to call them) in the main text of the dialog.

aredridel
Apr. 30th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
Hm. If anything, I like the Apple way best: Just do it. Buttons immediately act, but that's very obvious.

But then, the opposite could be learned just as well. I kinda like the idea, even if it is wacko.
vruba
Apr. 30th, 2005 11:26 pm (UTC)
This all hinges on how much text you put in a dialog in the first place. Some (especially on Windows) are easily 300 words of potentially-helpful exposition. Others are more like “Really?”.
vruba
Apr. 30th, 2005 11:25 pm (UTC)
I can spell. I just don’t want to.
bikko
May. 1st, 2005 01:13 am (UTC)
And yet soooo many people still link "click here." So annoying.
hitchhiker
May. 1st, 2005 12:46 am (UTC)
I'd be happy if people just overrode the fscking defaults</a> on the often sadly misnamed "OK" and "Cancel" buttons! (And what's with having Cancel to the left of OK anyway?)
aredridel
May. 1st, 2005 07:38 am (UTC)
I always reach for things closest to the dialog edge, dunno about you.
hitchhiker
May. 1st, 2005 07:47 am (UTC)
Closest to centre of screen, I think, since my cursor is usually there by default (so much for Fitt)
aredridel
May. 1st, 2005 07:50 am (UTC)
Interesting. I wonder which is more common.
aredridel
May. 1st, 2005 07:39 am (UTC)
Actually, OK/Cancel is something I'd love to see disappear, Apple-style. It always makes me feel tingly when things work that way... "Do Foo" and "Stop" rather than "Do foo? Ok/Cancel"
hitchhiker
May. 1st, 2005 07:44 am (UTC)
I've never used an Apple, so I'm not sure what a win disappearing it would be (not disagreeing with you; I just don't know either way). But I'm not disenchanted with the two button metaphor per se, merely with the insistence on shoehorning the default "OK" and "Cancel" text into every possible dialogue, even when that strains the sense of it to the breaking point.
aredridel
May. 1st, 2005 07:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, there's that. In this case, it actually makes sense to me, but in so many cases, it's just Wrong.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )