[OT] Pigs Fly
jperryl at ecs.fullerton.edu
Wed Aug 3 01:22:18 CDT 2005
Still, you will have those who are learning it for the first time (e.g.,
my heart surgeon previously mentioned, children, etc.) for whom a single
buttoned mouse is preferrable.
Also -- for how many of the 'average' users will right-clicking be well
> While learnability is important, learning happens exactly once. From
> then on it's all about productivity for the rest of one's computing life.
-Yup, which goes on to translate as "if learning doesn't happen..." hence
the importance of the uni-button mouse. It is agreed that 2- and 3- and
n-button mice are for advanced audiences' and their productivity
enhancements... if they don't learn uni-button mice, well, ... you have
> By providing a mouse that people's productivity can grow with, Apple may
> indeed be risking the learning curve for a subset of their market. But
> given Apple's dedication to learnability I have to trust their judgement
> on this.
--I agree with this. It functions as a uni-button mouse but adapts for a
multi-button mouse user. Very Apple.
> Besides, even if I disagreed with them, would they listen to me?
--In singular, I don't know. In aggregate, yes (witness the furor over
the 'candy' apple doing nothing in the menu bar in the OS X beta).
> > Another issue I have with the right-clicking is that it sometimes
> > seriously violates Schneiderman's articulation of the direct manipulation
> > paradigm in that the user can sometimes right-click on nothing in the
> > middle of nowhere.
> Where in a modern GUI is "nowhere"? Even the Desktop is a place, and
> has properties.
--That's an abstraction, not a concrete thing. Right-clicking on
_nothing_ violates the concept. The articulation is 'visible items of
interest' in which nothing is not an item of interest.
--And, in any case, the purpose (unless anyone can correct me; corrections
clearly sought) is that right-clicking is for a short-cut. The problem is
that on Window side, too often it is suggested as the ONLY route.
--I have no problems with short-cuts. As long as more conventional
solutions are provided. That way, both (or all) camps are provided for.
> Apple's new mouse a multi-button mouse in terms of functionality.
> Whether Apple succeeds in a cleaner design to provide that
> functionality, or instead confuses people by making the delineation
> between left and right unclear, remains to be seen. Sometimes they get
> it right (the iPod wheel) and sometimes not (the hockey puck iMac mouse).
--I sincerely doubt that Apple can make left versus right-clicking any
more confusing than it already is. What is important is that it remain a
secondary access rather than a primary access to commands, info., etc.
--Here's the gist of my argument:
(1) You see something of interest;
(2) You click on it;
(3) Something happens.
You (and/or others) would seem to suggest that it's better that:
(1) You see something
----Or a void
(2) You click on something
----Or the void
(3) Something happens
----Or something else happens
And, for the user, either what they want happens or they get confused.
It is inarguable that, for expert users, anything exceeding 1 mouse button
is 'expert' and hence more productive (even up to an 8-button chording
device for court reporters).
The question is that, where for x = 1 + n, what does "n" equal? For
Windows (semi-expert) users, the answer is clearly n=1. But for unix
users, it is n=2. For other expert users, it us n=7.
Where is the line to be drawn? Clearly as "n" gets larger, so does the
possibility for error/confusion.
More simply put, how would the legion of Windows users feel about the
imposition of a mouse button = 3 feel?
My Windows students indicate tha N=1 (thus, x= 1+1) is the correct number
of buttons. Less than that is lame, more than that is confusing.
Unix students indicate that n should = 2 (thus, 1 +2 = 3) mouse buttons.
Less restricts expert usage, more would be confusing.
Hence my argument.
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