Saturday, September 13, 2008

Popup menu auto-locator

Here is another one I noticed today.  If you happen to click on a pop up menu that goes beyond the usual 3 - 5 items, you will surely not like having to scan through the entire list until you find what you are looking for.  Here is one I had to deal with today:

This is from empathy

I was looking for freenode and luckily the list was sorted alphabetically.  Ideally, it would be nice if I can type the first letter from the entry I am looking for to select it so if I press "f", the first alphabetical entry that has "f" should show up.  If I press "fr" then the first alphabetical item that starts with "fr" would be displayed, etc. The same applies for numbers if they are listed.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Having used a Mac and linux for the past 15+ years, I can't but help notice the big difference between how the usability for Mac OS X has matured compared to Linux.

I have decided to document my thoughts and ideas into this blog so I can revisit them or share them with whom ever wants to listen :-).

Before I start, you need to know why I am doing this.  I am a very strong believer in FLOSS and what is stands for but more importantly what it can accomplish.  Currently, Linux is a very viable desktop / laptop OS for the almost-masses.  Technically it seems to be getting better and better.  Almost-gone are the days you need to hunt for your ethernet card to work.  Unfortunately, one area Linux lacks is usability.

To inaugurate my new GNOME category, I am starting with a simple usability item that all GNOME applications should have.  I am talking about a window sizer.

Here is a screen shot so you know what I am talking about:

BTW, this is from FireFox 3.

I can't tell you how many times, I had to hunt for the corner of the application to resize the window.  I do realize not all applications have a status bar, but that can be easily circumvented by either adding one or putting the sizer on the very bottom of the window. Either way, it will make resizing windows much easier.