Changing my mind: reverting my menubar, toolbars and statusbar changes

David Jarvie djarvie at
Sun Nov 7 13:16:30 GMT 2010

On Sunday 07 November 2010 09:31:44 Ingo Klöcker wrote:
> On Saturday 06 November 2010, Ingomar Wesp wrote:
> > Aurélien Gâteau wrote:
> > > I have been quite busy trying to convince everyone actions to
> > > toggle UI items such as menubar, toolbars, sidebars or statusbar
> > > should be labeled "Show/hide Foo" depending on the visibility of
> > > Foo rather than implemented as a checkable "[ ] Show Foo" item.
> > 
> > Having followed the discussion and how you fought to get this change
> > in, I'm a bit saddened that it turned out to not work so well in
> > practice.
> > 
> > Maybe we can tackle the underlying issue in another way. If I
> > understood the problem correctly, it basically boils down to
> > 
> > [X] Show Foo
> > 
> > textually implying the opposite of the action that the user is going
> > to trigger if (s)he clicks it. If we keep the checkboxes, maybe we
> > are able to change the text, so that it is obvious that it describes
> > the current state rather than an action by changing the verb into an
> > adjective:
> > 
> > [X] Foo shown
> > [X] Foo visible
> > [X] Foo enabled
> > 
> > Just an idea...
> IMHO that does not really fix the problem. I think the real problem is 
> that we think that an additional qualifier like "Show" or "shown" is 
> necessary. As if our users would not understand what the state of the 
> checkbox preceding the menu entry signifies.
> I just had a look at Firefox (maybe others can check applications from 
> other "vendors" like Apple, Microsoft, etc.)
> Firefox has the options to show/hide certain UI components in the View 
> menu (while we have them in the Settings menu). In this menu Firefox 
> simply lists the UI components names without any verbs, adjectives, 
> etc., i.e.
> View
>      Toolbars
>       [x] Navigation Toolbar
>       [x] Bookmarks Toolbar
>  [x] Status Bar
>      Sidebar
>       [ ] Bookmarks
>       [ ] History
> Does it really matter that Firefox has those options in the View menu 
> while we have them in the Settings menu? I don't think so.
> So, why don't we simply get rid of "Show" (and the "Shown" in Settings-
> >Toolbars Shown). IMHO those qualifiers are totally superfluous in 
> combination with checkboxes. Our convention to add the "Show" does stem 
> from a time where we could (and did) hide the checkboxes of checkable 
> menu entries. Apparently, with Qt 4 the checkboxes of checkable menu 
> entries cannot be hidden. Since we are already at Qt 4.7 it seems very 
> unlikely that QtDF will ever change this. So why insist on a convention 
> that does not make any sense anymore?

I agree about removing "Show" etc. But if this is done, the menu items should be moved to the View menu. In the Firefox example you give, the menu name (View) puts the meaning of the menu items in context and acts as the verb, giving the necessary hint to the user that the checkboxes determine the view state of the respective items. Removing the verb and leaving them in the Settings menu would IMO make their meaning a bit unclear.

David Jarvie.
KDE developer.
KAlarm author --
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