4 Feb 2001 GJF   » (Apprentice)

Re: The Perfect User Interface

I'm afraid I quite like the alt-key approach to selecting menu items used in Windows, as the underlines on the menu items prompt you which keystrokes are required. I prefer this interface to the direct "hot key" approach. For example, I would be more likely to use alt-F,P to open the print dialog than the alternative ctrl-P - even though the ctrl-P command is more direct - it just isn't consistently available in all the apps I use.

But, number one on my wish list for X Windows is to have ^x, ^c, ^v, the cut, copy and paste commands to work in all possible X applications, more or less like they do on Windows even if only for text transfer between apps. N.B. Windows had to abandon an earlier choice of key bindings (ctrl-Insert and some other keys I can't remember) and take on the ^x, ^c etc which is (I think) the IBM Presentation Manager Standard.

I like the facade idea, it is similar to the concept for Language Manager (an old commercial product of the company I work with). Language manager internationalises the menus of an application at run time. That means - if you don't like it you can change it - relatively easily and without recompiling - and the one application allows you to translate any other (Windows 3.1 only) application. It seems to me that it should be possible to place a layer between the Widget set and the application that would translate menu items and widget text, (or change the key bindings). The problem being that X has so many different widget sets - you would have to integrate with all of them. I've never programmed X Windows, so please tell me if I'm on the right track?

By the way, I have got the go ahead (funding) to build my community web site, so I am definitely looking at doing some work on mod_virgule and on an RTF to HTML converter (with style sheets) application.

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