[JDEV] [OT} Jabber Client Design Tutorial

Jay Curry rusty at curry.net
Wed Sep 26 19:39:02 CDT 2001

"Michael Brown" <michael at aurora.gen.nz> wrote:
>This is getting way off topic, I'm sorry, but...

Agreed, hence updated subject.

>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.

If <Alt><F4> = "close current window" for you, they changed the UI again. that was <
Ctrl><F4> where <Alt><F4> was "close current applicaiton"

>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.

Of the systems I have used, I think both OS/2 WPS and MacintoshOS had the best 
consistency. Part of this was the closed architecture, part of it was a concious decision 
up front that having a consistent UI was very important.

Personally I would rather be able to set up a key command function table that all 
applications would reference for best matches for the appropriate application 
command. The table would be tied to the login so that if you liked the WordStar 
keyboard commands and I liked the EMACS commands, we could each use the same 
system with our respective logins. Menu commands that the application author thinks 
should have certian keyboard shortcuts should defer to the users preferences. If I want 
Alt-S to mean "launch Norton AntiVirus and scan for viri on all disks" I do not want an 
application vendor to take over that keyboard shortcut just because he or she thinks it 
should be used for saving a file.

System developers and help desk people would prefer to have a single standard set of 
commands that everyone could learn. New users would rather have a consistent and 
useful menu system. (Why for example is "about this application" under help in some 
apps, under file in others. Personally I think it should be tied to a help button that acts 
only if you click first on the help button then on the title bar for the application.)

However if you can skin a visual interface, you should be able to skin a keyboard 
interface as well. But then that's just my opinion.

And it is off topic.


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