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

Adriaan de Groot groot at kde.org
Wed Sep 22 09:29:09 BST 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Wednesday 22 September 2004 05:58, Michael Pyne wrote:
> 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.

One conceptual problem with this patch - and I agree with Frans here - is the 
introduction (and immediate decentralization) of the notion of an "important" 
text. Without strict guidelines, the notion is way too fuzzy, and I see 
confusion sneaking into this thread already.

The toolbar is for important, often-used actions that the user wants quick 
access to (and doesn't access in another way -- in that sense, I _personally_ 
could lose the cut, copy and paste icons on every toolbar, since I either use 
X11 or ^C/^V for that). So let us presume that every action on the toolbar is 
important to the user.

Some actions might be deemed important in the context of the specific 
application because they constitute the core of the app's functionality. 
"Send Message", for instance, but that one's also not on my personal toolbar 
because I have ctrl-enter for that (um, let's not restart _that_ discussion).

Now, the patch doesn't address either of these two notions of "important". 
It's an important _text_. Er.

Why would the text be extra important? Because the action is important to the 
application's function? Because the icon for the action is lousy and hard to 
recognize? Because the action is poorly thought-out and needs extra 
explanation over and above its tooltip?

For the first case, where the action is central to the app's functioning, you 
can argue two ways: the text is _less_ important because its explanatory 
function is quickly lost as the user gets used to the icon ("dag-nabbit, I 
can turn off all the texts _except_ the ones where I don't need 'em"). The 
text is _more_ important because it enlarges the size of the toolbar button, 
making it easier to hit. Neither of these two cases particularly suggests to 
me that the classification of texts is going to help much (er, unless we have 
"hide important texts" "hide unimportant texts" "hide both" "hide neither", 
and apps authors use "important" with this exact semantics).

The remaining two cases don't really match the vernacular meaning of 
"important", either.

Perhaps the OP can give some examples where this would make sense?

- -- 
Don't worry, 't ain't no shame to be stupid - ol' mouse.
    GPG: FEA2 A3FE Adriaan de Groot
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