[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

The minibuffer vs. Dialog Boxes (Re: Making XEmacs be more up-to-date)

From: Per Abrahamsen
Subject: The minibuffer vs. Dialog Boxes (Re: Making XEmacs be more up-to-date)
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 13:40:43 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090006 (Oort Gnus v0.06) Emacs/21.1 (sparc-sun-solaris2.8)

Crossmailed between emacs-devel and xemacs-design.

Andy Piper <address@hidden> writes:

> However, we should provide dialog boxes if people do things in a gui
> way, 

Actually, I believe the trend in HCI research is to avoid or minimize
the use of dialog boxes.  They really _are_ in the way, also in a GUI.
This doesn't mean the current (X)Emacs interface is good, it certainly
isn't intuitive to a new user.

So I think we really ought to forget about dialog boxes, and instead
concentrate on making the minibuffer interface more accesible.

Here is some suggestions:

1. Put the minibuffer in the top by default.  It is more visible
   there, and users of MSIE or Mozilla (and apparently some modern
   IDE's) will not be surprised to find an input field there.

2. Add some strong visual clue (color, animation, whatever) when focus
   change to the minibuffer.  The toolbar should probably also change
   to "relevant" buttons for the action, and for those actions that
   are relevant, a 

3. Maybe even have a dialog box (!) pointing to the minibuffer when
   activating a menu entry that traditionally pop up a dialog.  The
   box should have an "OK" and a "Don't pop up next time" button.

3b Alternatively a "novice" mode, where an arrow point to minibuffer,
   and a tooltip like message explain what is going on.  Many games
   teach their UI in that way.  (What a cool way to organize the
   standard (X)Emacs tutorial!  But I digress).

Dialog boxes are so 1980's.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]