The Transcendental GUI (was a thread from REALbasic vs. Revolution)

Rob Cozens rcozens at pon.net
Sun Oct 13 11:20:01 EDT 2002


>So no keyboard driven options?  I am a touch typist, and have little 
>love for the mouse. I find it particularly annoying that much of the 
>Web REQUIRES mouse actions.

Yes, we have no keyboard driven options.  OenoLog is designed so that 
the user need never switch between the keyboard and mouse when 
processing a transaction.

The majority of transaction input (as opposed to setup input) is 
determined by selecting individual items (ie: wine lot, grape type, 
source/destination barrel or tank, inventory supply, etc.) from 
various lists.  I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I think 
you will agree that selecting an item from a displayed list is more 
easily accomplished with a mouse than a keyboard.

There is no alphabetic character input required to complete 
transaction processing (though optional comments can be entered at 
the end of input).  Whenever numeric input is expected, OenoLog 
displays a numeric keyboard palette so the mouse can be used to enter 
the number.

I am a hunt-&-peck typist, and since the early days of the Mac I have 
constantly looked to see how much I could accomplish with the mouse 
alone.  The techniques used in OenoLog work because, after setup, 
there is minimal alphabetic input required.  I have yet to find an 
acceptable technique for entering alphabetic characters via the mouse 
(displaying a keyboard palette isn't viable for characters as it is 
for numbers).

There is one issue that I bet annoys you touch typists as much as us 
hunt & peckers: input screens that go from a keyboard-entered field 
to a mouse-action field back to a keyboard-entered field back to a 
mouse-action field, etc.  OenoLog setup screens are designed so that 
all keyboard-entered fields come before or after the mouse-action 
fields.

I do try to use keyboard driven options in text-intensive operations. 
For example, next message/previous message buttons originally 
included in Serendipity Library's Message Translator substack were 
replaced with arrow key handlers so the user would not have to switch 
between the mouse & keyboard during a translation session.

There is one other issue regarding keyboard options I will note 
before closing:  they complicate considerations for multi-lingual 
implementations...especially for user-translatable applications. 
Serendipity Library & associated stacks contain no menu shortcuts or 
mnemonics, because I felt it complicated the menu & menuItem 
translation too much for inexperienced users.  However, the menu & 
menuItem text is identified as such on the Translation screen; so the 
experienced translator can add keyboard shortcuts or mnemonics to 
those menus.  (OenoLog has no menubar.)
-- 

Rob Cozens
CCW, Serendipity Software Company
http://www.oenolog.com/who.htm

"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)



More information about the Use-livecode mailing list