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RE: UI issue: inactive menu entries and icons

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: UI issue: inactive menu entries and icons
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 08:47:29 -0800

> > [David] I find it disturbing that inactive menu entries and toolbar
> > icons won't display their tooltip.  "What is this about?" is an
> > interesting question also when an item is inactive.  I actually find
> > this _particularly_ interesting since I would like to figure out
> > what would make such entries active.  Not getting the tooltip for
> > them makes this more difficult.
> [Stefan] 90% agreement.  I'd just push this further and suggest that we
> add a "inactive-help-echo" property which would be displayed in place of
> the help-echo when the item is inactive.  This alternative help could
> indeed explain why it's inactive and/or how to activate it.

I almost wrote something similar [but that would be a new feature ;-)]. It
is not uncommon to want to know under what circumstances some inactive menu
item would be available. However, the "inactive-help-echo" should also
include some info on what the active menu item does.

I suspect that people might not always be diligent about adding an
"inactive-help-echo" value. As a fall-back for such cases, the Lisp
condition for enablement could be used. Ugly perhaps, and not understandable
by all, but maybe better than nothing - and some :enable conditions are
clear to everyone.

> [David] In the rare cases where this would be desirable, help-echo can
> be set to a function or cond checking the condition.  So I don't think
> we need an extra property for it.

I don't think the desirability of this would be rare. On the contrary, I
don't see why it wouldn't be the rule that people might like to know when an
inactive menu item would become available.

If it were the rule, the question would become "Why not always include this
info as part of the `help-echo' property, and forget about another
property?" That's possible too, but this added info is only interesting when
the menu item is inactive. I like Stefan's proposal best, so far.

[BTW, I thought we weren't supposed to discuss new features now... Or is
this somehow considered a bug? The subject line says "issue"...]

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