Thomas Lübking thomas.luebking at
Fri Apr 24 20:38:22 BST 2009

Am Friday 24 April 2009 schrieb Aurélien Gâteau:
> I do not understand what you mean. For me using the mouse wheel on x11
> (as on other os) means getting a page to scroll while my mouse is over
> the page, not over the scrollbar.
yupp, and that is exactly how it worked and works and everyone here wants it 
to work.

what the mousewheel does (afair unlike on windows) and did /not/, is to attach 
to the keyboard focus, i.e. you don't have to "click activate" a window before 
it receives the mouse input (what your auntie nora probably would need.
while this /might/ be a focus model for kwin (personally i'd really like that 
behavior), the quick solution here would be to just xbindkeys the wheel to the 
cursor keys)

beyond that, though your proposal is /one/ use case for MWs, it's not the only 
one. (it may scroll movies, change volume, change weapons,... ;-)
and it's always been used for other tasks.

> Auntie Nora is one of the personas we use at Canonical. 
as a cliché, as [censored]-toy (ieeeh) or is she really a living person?
is she your auntie? ;-P

seriously, saying "we have this usergroup of old, unskilled, fearsome, clumsy 
and a little slow woman" /is/ inappropriate (at least political incorrect) - 
and even if:
as long as you don't bring in "dumb", she'd sooner or later understand how a 
mouse works and that the little arrow on the screen represents her "finger" 
and refers to the area where her mouse actions will end up next.

> > "magical" pagers and taskbars behave identically; roll up a bit and
> > you're back to where you were.
> True for pagers and taskbars, false for desktop background.
true for desktop /backgrounds/ not true if the screen content changes (i.e. 
another window gets in the way) - but another window could easily cover your 
browser window as well.

> Additionally, when you  scroll a document you do not go for one-line
> scroll, which means if your wheel event get sent to the taskbar, god
and if i hacked 
sudo dd if=/dev/urandom of=/
into konsole instead of kmail... omg!

the problem is /not/ that using the wheel to change windows takes a certain 
degree of precision (that you can either provide or not - in the latter case, 
just don't) but that the input was directed to the wrong receiver.

this is why you get feedback (a cursor icon) - if the feedback isn't strong 
enough for you, improve it (yellow-red blinking 64 px rotating cursor...)

if the strong feedback dosn't help you because e.g. you move the mouse while 
you just wanted to scroll -> lower mouse sensitivity, get a better mouse, use 
(in this particular case) a fullscrenn window, don't use a mouse or (as a 
fetaure) have another focus model (that makes the wheel like arrow keys)

i however suggest to not constrain a system globally to solve a particular 
asking to only use restricted input models so that (in an extreme case) even 
the most disabled person can use them with an UI dev that may be even 
inappropriate for him/her is the wrong approach.

suppose you'd say: "web pages must not use sounds, so that they don't interfer 
with screen readers of blind ppl."
while no sounds in a page are the proper way to some... or many... at least 
/me/, the solution is to tell your browser to just not play them - not running 
around and ask web devs to not use sounds, bothering ppl. who actually want 
sound - god knows why.

another (personal) example:
i had (always) trouble with the caps/lock (and imho it's a much worse UI dev 
part than a mouse wheel) so now on my keyboard it does exactly nothing (ok, it 
behaves as normal shift.
to me, my keayboard was broken, i knew how to fix it, so i fixed it. (distros 
may do that for their target users, btw...)


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