[JDEV] Jabber Client Design Tutorial

Michael Brown michael at aurora.gen.nz
Wed Sep 26 03:10:16 CDT 2001

> >> Don't worry, I'm not going to flame - I agree with what you're
> >> saying, but it's important to say why they (I suppose I should
> >> use the word 'we') build clients that appear ugly to a lot of
> >> people - I for one *hate* having to point and click and follow
> >> cascading menus and have my screen cluttered by silly icons.
> >> I much prefer to control an app with my main input device - my
> >> keyboard - by a combination of keystrokes or whatever.
> >
> >I have never been able to work out why people seem think that GUI's and
> >keyboard commands are mutually exclusive.
> The closest thing that can be used as an explanation for why people think
they are
> mutually exclusive is that in a gui environment such as Windows, you would
be hard
> pressed to find two applications by the same manufacturer, that use the
same keboard
> shortcuts. Some will be the same, but not all. Save is usually Alt-f s,
but that is not
> allwaays the case.
> My personal favorite example is "Find". Microsoft doesn't even get this
one consistent. In
> Word and Excel, if you want to find a string of text, or a number in  a
document, you
> simply hit Ctrl-f. If you are in Outlook, (and I presume Outlook Express)
Ctrl-f is 'Forward'.
> If you want find in Outlook, you have to hit Ctrl-Shift-f.

This is getting way off topic, I'm sorry, but...

I'm amazed to read this.  In my opinion one of the strengths of the Windows
GUI is that most of the keyboard commands are (semi)consistant.  I know that
99% of the time, <Cntl> arrow will move a word at a time, <shift>-<insert>
will paste, <PgDown> will scroll down, holding shift and doing any movement
will select text, pressing the menu key will bring up a context menu,
<Alt>-<F4> will close the current window, <Alt>-<tab> will switch
applications, <Cntl>-<tab> will move though windows within the current
application etc etc.. the list goes on.

Contrasting this to other operating systems I have used where there seems to
be no standards, it is *very* nice.  Vendors will stuff up on the odd client
specific keys - and the "find" in Outlook is one that bugs me too, but
compared to moving between commandlines on a Unix machine, or applications
on OS/390 etc, it is bliss.


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