inactive selection change

Matthew Woehlke mw_triad at
Wed Nov 21 17:03:24 GMT 2007

John Tapsell wrote:
> Can we please just not change the color,

Everyone is changing the color of inactive selections these days. This 
is even stated as a requirement in Apple's HIG. Of course, the objective 
is to have something that clearly says "inactive selection"; since KDE3 
does not make a distinction, using Window colors straight seems to be 
confusing people (despite that this seems to be the way everyone - 
Apple, M$, GTK) else does it. Hence the patch; let's take a lead and 
have an inactive selection that is clearly an inactive /selection/ :-).

> and instead drag a border or
> something - wasn't that the way it was?

I'm not sure what you mean by "drag a border".

> The reason is because i have a search box and a list view.  When you
> press up and down in the search box, it moves the selection in the
> list view.   This happens in any app that uses the kde search line.
> It allows the user to easily move to the item that they want.
> So in this sort of case, it's really not all that important whether
> the list view is focused or not.

I'm not sure this is correct. In this case, the user knows that some 
keys will affect the list, but it sounds like others may not. You could 
argue that in this case, the list should appear active (but only when 
the search box is active, i.e. when up/down arrows will actually go to 
the list). I would check with our usability people though; also, I'm not 
sure how hard it would be to code that, but if it can be done, I think I 
would be OK with it.

Anyway, I'm going to commit this; so far I have only your comments 
(which don't seem to be against the patch itself), Tom McGuire's request 
to commit it, plus scattered complaints that the inactive selection 
doesn't look much like a selection and/or can blend in with alternating 
rows in lists (oops, who picked *that* color for alternate background? 
;-) ). So I'm reasonably confident that a: this will help, and b: it's 
reasonably safe against making illegible color combinations (after all, 
it's the same way we make the other six background colors).

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
(with apologies to Arthur C. Clarke)

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