setting pointer location

Rob Cozens rcozens at
Fri Dec 27 11:03:00 EST 2002

>  At the risk of getting Rob
>Cozens on me for interface guideline tiranny ;-) --
>though setting the screenMouseLoc is possible, most
>users find it quite confusing that the cursor is
>suddenly somewhere else.

Jan, David, et al:

Oh great!  After all my ranting against HIG police, I'm now 
associated with them.   :{`)

Anyway, I also have heard from day one "don't confuse the user by 
moving the mouse loc when they don't move the cursor."  I have also 
wondered since day one if anyone has proved this assertion has any 

Prior to the advent of the mouse, many of my data entry (eg: Oakland 
PD Crime & Arrest reports) screens jumped past fields or to fields in 
different order depending on the nature of the information entered in 
the proceeding field.  For example, the cursor would stop at or pass 
over the "weapon" field depending what legal code section was 
violated.  Input operators did not have to make a determination 
whether or not it was necessary to enter a weapon because the 
computer made it for them.  This system was used by entry-level data 
entry clerks for over 15 years.

In HyperCard and Revolution, I control cursor positioning by locking 
all fields initially and unlocking & tabbing to individual fields.

I personally think the HIG guideline against moving the cursor should 
NOT be accepted at face value: if it makes sense to you in your 
design, do it and see how it turns out.

Rob Cozens
CCW, Serendipity Software Company

"And I, which was two fooles, do so grow three;
Who are a little wise, the best fooles bee."

from "The Triple Foole" by John Donne (1572-1631)

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