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Re: Gtk version getting closer

From: Jan D.
Subject: Re: Gtk version getting closer
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 13:34:06 +0100 (MET)

> Where the menu item's text is self-explanatory, there usually is no 
> tooltip that pops up.  In other words, tooltips for menu items should be 
> defined only where they are really needed.

This isn't always the case.  Maybe the help texts should be
reviewed and expanded/removed as a result?  For example,
in Options we have:
  "Save Place in Files between Sessions"

The tooltip for that is "Save Emacs state for next session".
I think that the menu entry is much clearer hear, the tip is confusing.

Much of the tips doesn't add anything IMHO.  If a user has used any
other GUI-based application, things such as "Open File", "Insert File",
"Save As" does not need any tip.

Sometimes the tips uses a different concept than the menu item.  In
the Tools -> PCL-CVS submenu, we have "Examine Directory".  The tip
says "Examine the current state of a workarea".  Directory is
understandable, but what is workarea?  If it is the same as directory,
why not use directory?  The PCL-CVS submenu itself can be made clearer
by renaming it to "CVS operations" or something like that.

Also, there is the problem with inconsistency.  Some menu items have
tips, other doesn't as pointed out elsewhere.  I do agree with the
view that the user might think something is broken when no tips
appear for some things.  For submenus there are no tips.  The PCL-CVS
entry could use one, since PCL-CVS is kind of cryptic.  But of course
I'd prefer PCL-CVS to be renamed in the menu instead.

The tips appear in the wrong places (i.e. under the pointer)
sometimes.  I don't have a Lucid version available, but in the Motif and
Gtk version you can click and release on a menubar item to make the menu
appear.  Then you can navigate the menus with arrow keys.  The
tip displayed is for the menu item marked with the arrow keys, but
the tip appears where the pointer is.  The pointer can be on the other side
of the screen, so this looks funny.

I do think tips can have a negative effect on menu item strings.  It is
too easy to make a menu with cryptic strings and then fully explain the
items in the tip instead.  This forces the user to select the menu item
and then wait for the tip to appear for the full explanation.  If tips
did not exist, more thought would be going into selecting good
menu item strings.

I really would like to see tips for menus removed, but a customize
item to turn them off for menus is okay too.

        Jan D.

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