Re: metacity: removing alt-shift-up/down

On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 12:45:27 +0100, Murray Cumming wrote:
> Alt-Down for "Open" in Nautilus was well established before GNOME 2.6.
> GNOME 2.6 just adds Shift-Alt-Down to say "and close the current folder
> too".

This depends how you define well established. I'd never even thought of
trying that combination until just now. It does work, but appears to do
exactly the same thing as the far more guessable enter key does. And
seeing as on all keyboards I've ever encountered Enter is practically
right next to the arrow keys, I don't think the moving the hands argument
is a good one.

> The point is to use the arrow keys, moving the hands as little as
> possible during navigation. It's a well established and loved Mac Finder
> feature.

I use the arrow keys and enter all the time when editing text (like the
contents of this message) and there isn't any superfluous hand movement
going on (I'm watching now). You can say it's a well established Mac
feature in the Finder, but being able to move windows around virtual
desktops is equally a well established UNIX/WM feature. Why should one
keyboard shortcut take precedence over another (seeing as any keyboard
shortcuts are to some extent a "power user feature").

> The average user does not care about obscure window manager details. He
> just uses the defaults, and doesn't even know about most of the default
> window manager keybindings.

Again we have this "average" user, who doesn't really exist. That's the
whole idea behind personas, isn't it? There are no average users. There
are some who are terrified of computers and would never use keyboard
shortcuts anyway, and there are some who are comfortable with them and who
want to use the keyboard to speed things up. 

Please don't just ignore people who raise questions about usability
decisions on the grounds that "they post to d-d-l therefore they aren't
average therefore there's no need to listen to them". If that is what
people are going to do, there's no point even raising usability issues on
mailing lists in the first place.

Anyway, the way I see it is:

* Using some key combo with the arrow keys to move windows between
desktops makes a lot of sense and is a useful feature (because desktops
are directional)

* Using Alt+Down to open a folder is not guessable, is
not intuitive (at least not to the 99% of people who never used Mac
Classic) and means that for consistency you have to lose the arrow keys
with the alt+shift combo. There are several other key combos that could be
used that would be more guessable and wouldn't mean changing the defaults
on users yet again. Alt+Enter isn't any harder to hit than Alt+Down, at
least on my keyboard.

So, seen from this perspective the alt+shift+down decision makes no sense
to me.

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