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Re: Gtk version getting closer

From: Jan D.
Subject: Re: Gtk version getting closer
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 11:15:43 +0100 (CET)

> > 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.
> The main reason for tooltips in menus is that menu items are usually
> limited in length.  Tooltips can be longer, especially since the font
> used for them is (or should be) smaller.

If one sets a default font for everything in .Xdefaults, or use
for example CDE, KDE (and perhaps Gnome) tools for setting style,
the tooltip will pick up that default font.  That usually makes the
tooltip font larger than the menu font.  I see this all the time
with various OS:es and users.  I don't think any assumption about font
should be made at all when writing menu strings or tooltip strings.

There is nothing "wrong" with a long menu string.  After all, it only
pops up when the menu is selected and does not take screen space otherwise.
And when the menu is selected, it is the focus of attention, so it can
take up as much space it needs.  In the Option menu, many menu strings
are longer than their tip.  And in many cases, the tip would have
made a better menu string, IMHO (for example Syntax Highlightning).

The alternative is to have a long tooltip.  Then one has to wait for
the tooltip to appear, shift focus of attention to the tooltip (which
may be on the other side of the screen), and then shift attention back
to the menu.

All this move of attention is what makes an UI seem strange.  True, the same
happens with the toolbar, so ideally, it should have (the option to have)
text under the icons.

        Jan D.

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