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

Peter Rockai (mornfall) mornfall at danill.sk
Wed Sep 22 11:06:37 BST 2004

On Wednesday 22 September 2004 10:29, Adriaan de Groot wrote:
> 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.
I never use half of the actions that are deemed important by some of the 
developers (well, they definitely are present on default toolbar)... I also 
happen to use IconTextRight mode (note the patch is intended to work with 
*both* icon with text modes). I sure have customized toolbars, but even then, 
things like Increase Icon Size or Increase Font Size are relatively 
unimportant, easy to spot without text but useful enough to be present on 
toolbar and are annoyingly large with text on them...
> 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).
The patch allows to assign this property to KStdActions by default, but leaves 
possible for apps to override it. This means, every action in every 
application can be set up one or the other way. If you have an idea on how to 
"centralize" this (and explain why it would be important), i'm listening and 
willing to change the code...
> 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).
Well, hide both and hide neither are already there in the "icon only" and with 
the text+icon modes. I added "hide unimportant text" option here. The 
rationale is, that important actions can get both text hint and bigger 
buttons while not making the whole toolbar 1200 pixels wide... Together with 
32x32 icons on toolbar and text-on-right, the buttons get quite large (good 
for easy hitting), but still not waste that much space. The text also makes 
it easier to distinguish actions like Send/Queue in kmail (looking up at its 
toolbar), since they both have an envelopeish icon. Also, if you are unsure 
of an icon, for more important actions you save time by not having to wait 
for tooltip. As for hide important texts, this is IMHO moot, since less used 
actions can afford to slow down user as much as waiting for a tooltip.
> The remaining two cases don't really match the vernacular meaning of
> "important", either.
Well, if you can come with a better naming, i can change it. Whatever.
> Perhaps the OP can give some examples where this would make sense?
Sure, see above ^ :).

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