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Re: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues

From: Jeff Teunissen
Subject: Re: NSMenu* and NSPopuUp* issues
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2003 05:46:06 -0500

Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf wrote:

> On 27.03.2003 11:22:10 "Philippe C.D. Robert" wrote:


> >I'd say that since most Windows users tend to use their apps maximised
> >to fullscreen, there is no radical difference to the Mac menu bar - the
> >difference here though is that on Windows context sensitive menus are
> >much more common and much more used.
> Despite it looks nearly identical there is a HUGE difference: Those
> fullscreen Windows menus are still NOT AT THE EDGE of the screen. On the
> Mac I move the mouse with a short quick twitch of my wrist against that
> top edge and hit the menus while on Windows I have to move the mouse
> slowly so that I don't miss the menu.

Top-of-screen menus aren't much better. A twitch of your wrist does throw
the pointer in the correct direction, but that's _only_ useful for things
at the corners -- precision mousing is still needed to get to any other
menu. It helps with part of the problem, but not the whole thing, so if
the Windows app is maximized, a Mac's menus are not radically better.

NeXT-style menus are, in certain ways, better than either Windows-style or
Mac-style menus.

1. They take up less real space than either of the other two (less valid
against the Mac, but it is nonetheless true)

2. The space that they do use is on the sides of the screen, not the top
or bottom. Consider aspect ratios: 1.33:1 for TV-aspect, 1.78:1 for
widescreen. this means that vertical area is more "expensive" than
horizontal. This is also why the dock belongs on the side of the screen,
not the bottom -- though NeXT screwed that up, putting the dock 3 pixels
away from the screen's edge.

3. The operation of torn-off menus involves no secondary learning -- all
menus work alike, and the use of the close button reinforces that.
Torn-off menus in other environments (when they're allowed) look and act
awkward. This is a consistency problem that does not exist with NeXT-style

4. Mac- and Windows-style menus are only horizontal at the top level, then
they collapse into something very much like NeXT's...but without the title
bar to help out. Consistency problem.

> I speak here out of real life experience since I have to use Win 2k
> while on work but got a Mac at home.

Everyone else is speaking from real-life experience, too. You are not
unique in this regard.

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