RFC: Making focus information visible for panes

Jarosław Staniek js at iidea.pl
Sun Nov 26 15:50:20 GMT 2006

Hello, this is a request that can fit not only in the usability department but 
also in the accessibility:

Try to run an app that makes use of tabs and a left-hand pane, e.g. Qt 
Assistant 4. You can focus the current window (then, not only Tab key works 
but also recently find-as-you-type search mode). 

The problem is that users can never get a hint where the focus is (main pane 
or the side pane). My proposal is to require (from app authors and from KDE 
Style creators) to show the focus by highlighting the current tab (with KDE 
Highlight color, currently blue) if it's focused, and highlight the 
KMainWindow's dock's header in the same way.

I have the same problem in Kexi and cannot fix it without doing nonstandard 
hacks. Same with Qt Designer (it has more panes), KMail, KDevelop and many 
more apps. Without this improvement, applications are poorly accessibly by 
using only keyboard.

Additinal thing is to define a shortcut (and probably show it in each pane 
with underscore), since many keyboard users detest using "switch to next 
pane" action.

The details are for discussion (sorry if this is already adressed, but current 
implementation of KDELibs4 lack this, and maybe this is also Qt4 issue)
Let's make this working early enough and make it clear for developers (in the 
HIGs) that there should be visible focus hint if the application is slitted 
into panes.
regards / pozdrawiam, Jaroslaw Staniek
 Sponsored by OpenOffice Polska (http://www.openoffice.com.pl/en) to work on
 Kexi & KOffice: http://www.kexi-project.org, http://www.koffice.org
 KDE3 & KDE4 Libraries for MS Windows: http://kdelibs.com, http://www.kde.org

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