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You can't navigate Mac's dialogs with keys? (Or is there something I missed?)
You can use tab, enter, space etc. to navigate dialogs of course. But perhaps you can't use the arrow keys, I don't know.
You can use arrow keys, just perhaps not in the way that Thom wants to use arrow keys. I was bored enough to throw a video together showing it, here:
Basically, the comic's claim that you cannot use the arrow keys for navigation in dialog boxes is false, however, (later in these comments) Thom is correct in stating that you cannot use arrow keys to cycle through buttons (which is accomplished with Tab/Shift+Tab). IMO, it's a lot of quibbling over a triviality, but the assertion in the comic is incorrect.
In my experience, the number of people who use keyboard for navigation (on either platform) is very low. Since 3.11, I used Windows on my personal machines, followed by Linux on my web server, and eventually replaced my Windows 2000 Professional desktop with a Mac. On numerous occasions I have been asked, "how did you do that?" when navigating interfaces with the keyboard instead of a mouse, because it was quicker.
I tend to feel that it's quibbling to complain that Apple does not enable full keyboard access to all controls by default; the users that would take advantage of this feature should be sufficiently advanced in their use of Mac OS X to enable it, much like Windows users who are advanced enough to use Alt+key shortcuts in Windows can enable it to underline the Alt+key shortcut letters in their menus (which is also disabled by default). It's clearly placed in a logical place in the preferences, and it is (in my opinion) quite clearly explained.
Personally, I feel Mac OS X provides a lot more control and room for customization via the Keyboard Shortcuts panel in System Preferences, and agree with a lot of Neebe's comments on its behavior. Why is it an issue that you can't arrow-key to Cancel if you can use Tab/Shift-Tab to select it, and better yet use Esc to cancel out of the dialog box? I definitely prefer being able to use one key (Esc) instead of two.
Thom: I hope that you don't interpret this comment as slagging your comics, I've been reading them since you started posting them on OS News (and will continue to do so), and have been entertained by them. I just feel that it's quibbling to complain that something doesn't work exactly like Windows on Mac OS X, when there is similar functionality (albeit, in my experience, more logically implemented on Mac OS X).
No offense intended, Thom, but I don't see how one could recognize the type of dialog from the cartoon. It isn't so much about your drawing ability, which to be honest, far surpasses mine, but rather one of size. It wouldn't have been a big deal if you had made the dialog disproportionately larger than you did; there is quite a bit of artistic license that can be (and often is) taken in the cartooning world to get a point across. More detail would have made the difference between getting the joke right away vs. having it qualified in the comments.
As to the punchline, I have no real opinion as I'm a keyboard-guy on PCs and a mouse-guy on Macs. I'm not sure why I do that but it's purely instinctual for me.
right back at ya mac, lol
hey also, regarding drawing style, i find it really cool, and for human figures there are a lot of ebooks in torrent sites for drawing cool stuff Edited 2008-02-19 16:30 UTC
You're not missing anything, but Thom is. By default arrow key navigation in OSX dialogs only works between text boxes and lists, but of course there is a setting in keyboard preferences to allow the arrow keys to navigate the whole dialog.
So i guess the joke in this comic is actually on Thom.
You are incorrect.
You cannot use the arrow keys in dialogs, even when you enable that option you mentioned. That option ONLY enables the use of the TAB KEY, NOT the arrow keys.
And it is even disabled by default. Edited 2008-02-19 16:43 UTC
With the keyboard preferences set to all controls the arrow keys work exactly the same as they do in windows, you tab between different elements then you can use the arrow keys to move within that element. Your claim that the arrow keys don't work is wrong.
In Windows, you can use the arrow keys to move from 'ok' to 'cancel'. You can NOT do this in OS X, whether that option is enabled, or not.
And that would be because they are different GUI elements, it's about consistency, since each button is a separate element you use tab to move between them. I Just double checked and it seems that the behavior you describe in Windows only works in some dialogs, mostly warning types, it doesn't work in most save or print dialogs. I suppose it's a choice between inconsistency and convenience. it works some places but not all. I would think that you'd be against that kind of behavior Thom, seeing how you are interested in interface design. But your claim was that you couldn't use arrow keys at all and in that you are wrong. Edited 2008-02-19 17:07 UTC
So your whole argument about arrow keys not working in OSX dialogs comes down to one specific case of not switch the focused button in "OK Cancel" dialogs, that's a pretty weak argument, especially when the same thing doesn't work in most Windows dialogs either. Try arrowing around a save or print dialog in Windows, doesn't work does it, so does that mean that the arrow keys don't work in Windows dialogs?
Actually if you tab so the focus is on one of the buttons you can then use the arrow key to move between them. It acts like the buttons are one element and then the arrow keys move between the elements.
Having trouble finding an Ok/Cancel button dialog, but when I did find one, I was perfectly able to move back and forth between the Ok and Cancel buttons using the left and right arrow keys. I did have to tab to one of the buttons first, but that is the same as on at least some Windows dialog boxes as well.
So how is this impossible on a Mac again?
So OSX uses different keybindings. What's fun about that?
I would've understood it if OSX didn't have any method to navigate diaglogs with the keyboard, but it does and it's simply other keys.
Ok... so I was at least slightly amused by the comic - and then reading the comments I realized - I just got annoyed.
Maybe supporting comments on comics is simply a bad idea.
Maybe we need Stone Soup more than we need a Focus Shift?
I'd like to see this advance beyond Thom presenting work which then gets criticized as a matter of course. I would prefer to see a collaborative effort evolve from this beginning. Where community members contribute a basic idea. Someone says "I'd like to do the artwork on this one". Someone else contributes actual dialog. They get some feedback. Polish it up some more. And present it. Members of OSNews could have fun making it. And members of other sites could have fun reading it, if other sites come to feel that it is worth linking to. Penny Arcade, OSNews style.
Just a thought. Obviously, it would require that people be interested in more than just nitpicking about what someone else does.
I agree. I was starting to think I was the only one who saw this for what it was, a comic!
Because you have so many DAMN DIALOGS! That's why! Duh.
First of all, It's a comic people, chill out
2nd, most of the defenders are Mac Fanboys
and third, if it works or not, meh, it was funny becuase it's a reference to the "hi, im a mac"etc thing apple has on its website, as i see it...lol
so, once again, HA! right back at ya mac!, lol its only a joke peopleee!!
Your post may not be the most eloquent in this thread, but you're one of the few who actually gets the concept of these comics.
thanks to you and your great work man, keep it up!
also, my native language is not english if that justifies a little my lack of "eloquency" hehehe
anyways, thanks and we'll be lookin' forward to the next comic!
I've tried to find these comics funny, and no doubt, Thom, you are trying. But making a joke about using arrow keys on a dialog is just... well, sort of sad.
How about this? Next week, stop the strange technological references to stuff people don't know about, and start pointing out the funny things that happen when you run a website dedicated to operating systems. Surely you've gotten flames for posting certain articles on the site - surely, you've gotten complaints about obscure things. I think that would be a whole lot more interesting and funny than trying to burn Macs because you can't navigate dialog boxes with arrow keys.