[JDEV] UI opinions..

arh14 at cornell.edu arh14 at cornell.edu
Fri Aug 6 08:15:33 CDT 1999

On Fri, 6 Aug 1999, Tim Lesher wrote:

> > > 4.  Kill the standard Window menu; use something that takes up less
> > > space, like the ICQ button.
> >
> >    Not sure what you mean.
> OK.  I'm looking at my Outlook Express window.  My menu bar contains seven
> menu items:  File, Edit, et al.  These seven items take up only half the
> width of the window, yet the Windows menu extends the entire width of the

I might not know what you mean either.  You mean the menu labeled 
"Windows" that lets you Tile, Cascade, or arrange vertically and 
horizontally the windows of the app?  I thought this only applied to MDI 
(multiple document interface) applications and/or applications with more 
than one window.  I was not under the impression the an IM would ever 
have the need for this menu.  How does this menu extend the entire width 
of the window...because the term "Windows" is rather long for a menu label?
Maybe I'm not understanding correctly, or this is a new feature of Win98 
I'm unfamiliar with.  The IM title bar should be something like "Toolbox" 
style so it doesn't get junked up with stupid MSOffice bar stuff.

> window.  Now, for a "normal" app like Outlook Express, this isn't a bad
> thing.  However, for an always-up messenger tool, window space is far more
> precious.
> As an alternative, look at the ICQ menu button or the Windows 95 "Start"

Actually a menu label on a menu bar is rather tiny too...I would say 
smaller than a button, and less prone to cluttering.  The tradeoff is 
that if you don't efficiently use all your menu bar space you get this 
large useless 13-pixel high menu band that is unreclaimable.

> button.  They hide a menu and allow access via a button, saving a lot of
> real estate.  I like that for small tools.
> >    Also, it'd be nice if you could get a list of on-line users from
> > the systray in a menu-style. Like just right click on the icon in the
> > systray, go to the "roster" submenu or whatever and see what's there.
> Hmm.... I like this.  What about, in the ubiquitous context menu you get by
> right-clicking on the tray icon, one of the menu picks is a "Send Message To
> >", which expands into your buddy list?  I know I would use that a lot--my

I like this too...maybe no context menu...you just select the name from 
the popup and it presents you with a send message dialog?  That would be 
very nice.  Reduced to: pick Joe.  I very infrequently use the other 
context menu items (user info, etc.), and I can afford the open up the IM 

> usual algorithm is "Oh, I need to tell Joe about xyzzy.  Restore AIM, find
> Joe, double-click on Joe, send message, close message window, minimize AIM."
> This could be reduced to "pick send, pick Joe, send message" if the message
> window can be configured to close or minimize after this "quick send".
> --
> Tim Lesher
> mailto:timl at epix.net

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