[PATCH] "Show only important text" mode for toolbars

Frans Englich frans.englich at telia.com
Wed Sep 22 05:49:01 BST 2004

On Wednesday 22 September 2004 03:58, Michael Pyne wrote:
> On Tuesday 21 September 2004 11:43 pm, Frans Englich wrote:
> > I don't know the purpose of the text-along-icons option(enlighten me);
> I think the canonical example would be buttons like Send in KMail and
> Back/Forward in Konqueror.  I would like to see this added if only so we
> can simplify the toolbars a little in some KDE programs, and then use the
> extra space for the "major" actions.
> IMO these buttons should be bigger than the rest of the buttons on the
> toolbar, which doesn't happen with any of the current buttons (except for
> Text Under Icons for icons with long text).  

But toolbars should from the beginning only contain often needed actions. In 
other words, we still have the problem that we KDE developers think that we 
hackers' special needs, and strong votes on our mailinglists, speaks for a 
wide use/audience.

But it still brings major drawbacks such as: A broken visual sequence; that 
labels possibly are percepted as independent objects(since it's 
inconsistent); and that different mouse steering is required for different 
buttons, meaning it is very demanding to make it subconscious(not that I 
think it have any impact on Fitts' law :) ).

> This solution allows us to 
> make the important buttons larger (Fitt's Law) while not wasting vertical
> space.

But if we want better mouse performance, it is exactly on the the vertical 
level we want large objects, since that is what improves the vast majority of 
cases(you don't orientate from button to button, but from document to 
button); I don't think this affects Fitts' law because it's only 

I would rather make the default size larger(32x32) -- that would be a big 
improvement. If we then decide to solve the generic toolbar problem of them 
being crowded, by addressing our general problem of basically never saying 
"no" and adding stuff for the fun of it -- then our toolbar problems are 
perhaps solved. We are perhaps running after the symptoms, instead of the 
real cause.



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