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

miscdas at miscdas at
Mon Oct 14 12:21:01 EDT 2002

Rob Cozens writes: 

>>> I think you will agree that selecting an item from a displayed list is 
>>> more easily accomplished with a mouse than a keyboard.
>> I think you would agreee that the choice of which technique is easier is 
>> determined by the typing skills of the user and by whether one's hands 
>> are already on the keyboard or already on the mouse.
> Before I can agree, I would need to understand how one would select a line 
> in a list field from the keyboard.  Via arrow keys?  By typing the text of 
> the line in a field until the string produced a unique match from the 
> target field? 
> As you say, whether one is presently focused on the keyboard or mouse is a 
> major consideration.  But honestly, given the choice of keeping your 
> fingers on the keyboard and typing a 50-character URL or grabbing the 
> mouse & selecting it from your browser's Bookmarks menu, aren't you at 
> least tempted to go for the mouse? 
That is a good example. But because you said the URL is ALREADY in the 
Bookmarks menu, I don't do any typing of the URL. I use IE so my "Bookmarks" 
are accessible as follows: Alt-a opens the Favorites menu; EITHER scroll 
down with the arrow key OR type the first letter on anentry to select it. 
Press Enter to launch it. 

So, I have to ask, if you don't have a link to cut-and-paste the URL using 
the mouse(say a friend wrote it by hand on a piece of paper), how is it 
going to get into your Bookmark menu to begin with? 

Your comments that amount to making selections via the mouse versus typing 
eliminates typograhical errors is indeed a good reason to present the user a 
means of NOT typing data. However, all of your examples can still be 
implemented via the keyboard.  All said though, for your particluar 
application that has been designed around "mousing", it is a sound approach. 
And especially for people that are not proficient with the keyboard 

> I guess I'm suggesting focusing your annoyance on the programmer whose 
> design has you switching back & forth between mouse & keyboard rather than 
> on the mouse itself.


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