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Fwd: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues
Fwd: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues
Thu, 27 Mar 2003 12:14:22 +0100
Begin forwarded message:
From: Philippe C.D. Robert <address@hidden>
Date: Don Mär 27, 2003 11:03:56 Uhr Europe/Zurich
To: Chris Hanson <address@hidden>
Subject: Re: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues
On Thursday, March 27, 2003, at 02:04 Uhr, Chris Hanson wrote:
At 1:03 AM +0200 3/24/03, Serg Stoyan wrote:
I suppose, that horizontal menus in OS X is for MacOS compatibility
rather than usability. That is, for easy moving old MacOS users to
I think you suppose incorrectly.
The screen-edge menu bar is one of the most significant usability
achievements of the last 25 years. Apple's not going to throw it out
unless the alternative is *very* substantially better. While
OPENSTEP's menu palette has some of the same usability advantages
when it's bound to a screen edge, it isn't substantially better.
This has been discussed a lot, and I am not sure we want this thread
to come up again here, but I cannot resist replying...:-)
Apple's horizontal menu bar works good on small screens (even on my
12" iBook it is a pain to use, for me at least), but if you use large
resolutions and/or multiple screens it becomes horrible to use. It is
no wonder that most of the new GUIs which have been developed later in
time targeted for systems with larger screen sizes used to avoid this
kind of menu style. Irix comes to my mind or BeOS or even Windows
(menus attached to single windows suffer from other issues). Other
systems which had a Mac like menu moved partially away from it, like
TOS for example.
So I guess Apple could just not drop all of their well known UI
elements which "define a Mac" (the 1 button mouse falls into the same
category), and from a PR and marketing perspective this might even be
But this is just my $0.02 ...:-)
Philippe C.D. Robert
Here are my $0.02 as well....
For me it is much a question of screen real-estate. We deal constantly
with documents in Letter or A4 size (or an approximation thereof), and
long source code files, and for these very often used items we already
have plenty of space in the horizontal directions (left & right); our
screens are wide enough to allow their display and allow for horizontal
positioning/centering. However in the vertical direction most screens
cannot display a full page from a Letter or A4 document (check out your
Apple screen's vertical resolution), and the addition of a horizontal
menubar only steals more space from the document. The advantages (if
there are any) of the horizontal menubar are IMHO truly out weighed by
the disadvantages of having to constantly vertically scroll through the
document. With the adoption of the wheel-mouse on Windows systems,
this has been made less of a problem, but it is still a problem.
Just look at the the typical X11/Motif based program that has that big
fat menubar above the text widget in the main window. The majority of
these programs are not multiple-document architectures, therefore if
you want to edit three files you open three main windows each with its
own horizontal menubar. This is maybe an bad comparison, but it still
almost makes me cry every time I start such a program. And then you
have something like the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) than takes
away another 3 centimeters of vertical space. In any event there is
just a lot of wasted screen space out there.
A similar discuss can be started regarding where to put a vertical
scrollbar. NeXT had it on the left side of the text object, the defaut
X11 xterm has it on the left side, and if I remember correctly even
Rhapsody had it on the left. This would IMHO seem logical because we
spend most of our time near the left margin in text documents and the
menu File and Edit pulldowns/popups are also on the left side of most
menubars. So why then, do all systems now have the scrollbar on the
right? Who's study proved that this design/architecture is better?
Are they the same ones that want to determine the menubar layout too?
And what to you do if your main menubar has, let's say, 20 main menu
items (it's possible)? With a vertical menu structure you have enough
space to display them all. With a horizontal menubar you have
abolutely no chance unless you start to abbreviate some of your names
or have a monster screen. And for those of us/you that plan on
providing your appilcation in a different language, good luck. When
you begin to translate your menu names you'll find that small words in
english, e.g. View, can become very long in another language, e.g.
Darstellung (german). I don't believe anyone is capable to see far
enough ahead to begin to image how language translations will affect
the size/length of a horizontal menubar.
To make a long story short....Please give it some more thought before
making the ultimate decision.
Ok, that was a bit more than $0.02.... Thanks just the same!!!!
Fwd: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues, Chris Beaham, 2003/03/27
Fwd: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues,
SW Developmment <=
Re: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues, Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf, 2003/03/31
- Re: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues, (continued)