Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Jun 2012 19:24 UTC
Windows One tiny thing I wanted to mention about Windows 8: ever noticed how context menus in Metro appear above the mouse cursor instead of underneath? I'm assuming this is done because of finger input (by opening above, your finger and hand doesn't cover the menu), but with a mouse, it's just plain weird. Fun little detail though - shows you how much thought has gone into the touch aspect of Windows 8.
Order by: Score:
Both?
by btrimby on Wed 6th Jun 2012 19:50 UTC
btrimby
Member since:
2009-09-30

It appears to be sensitive to where you are on the screen.

If there is room on the screen to put them above the cursor, it does so. Otherwise it puts it below.

Just another example of messing with the way I do stuff, oh well.

For example, I never realized it until someone blocked the context menu on their website, but if I'm just browsing casually, I tend to primarily use the mouse. And I tend to do the following to go "Back" in a web browser: Right-click, Select "Back."

I can't seem to do this in Metro. Oh well. I have no plans to use Metro in the future except basic familiarity and to test.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Both?
by zima on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:00 UTC in reply to "Both?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Duh? ;) Context menus in previous Windows releases also switch behaviour, if there isn't enough room on the screen (to put them below the cursor). A matter of convention, more or less.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Both?
by btrimby on Thu 7th Jun 2012 03:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Both?"
btrimby Member since:
2009-09-30

Fair enough. Its now the opposite of what it did before ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Its because
by Nelson on Wed 6th Jun 2012 19:56 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

to Metro applications there aren't really "Mouse" events, "Pen" events, or "Touch" events. There are just "Pointer" events. It's a unified system.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Its because
by edwdig on Sat 9th Jun 2012 00:53 UTC in reply to "Its because"
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

That's only kinda true. They're all reported as pointer events, but the event parameters include a type field that lets you tell how it's handled.

The system also has some things that react different based on the input source. Button focus is handled a little differently based on input method. There's also the new holding feature - if you touch something and hold your finger on it, it'll trigger a help popup. That only happens with touch.

I really don't remember the instances off hand, but I know pen input has some unique quirks too.

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Wed 6th Jun 2012 20:08 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Metro could easily fix this just by detecting if the screen is a touch or not.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by cfgr on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:05 UTC in reply to "..."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Easier: detect if there's a mouse plugged in or not.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by Nelson on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It doesn't need fixing. Seriously, this is beyond stupid.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by cfgr on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

There is no reason to break conventions just for the sake of breaking them. That's just stupid. It makes sense to have the popup menu above the touch event, but not for a mouse click if that's the normal behaviour.

I understand the idea behind Metro, I just think it's very poorly executed. They want to build a system that can turn laptops into tablets but they seem to forget that once you arrive at your desk, you want to use that laptop as a workstation. Metro makes the latter harder.

I wouldn't mind as much if Microsoft showed clear intentions to optimise the conventional desktop so actual work can be done conveniently on the same device. However, every signal from them seems to point in the wrong direction. It's all about picking the right tool for the job, Metro is not the right tool for actual work. And that's OK, as long as it's possible to pick another tool for the job.

KDE is going the right way. Even Linux and the Unixes are going the right way as you can perfectly install multiple desktops and nothing stops you from switching between them for tablet/workstation use.

Edited 2012-06-06 21:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: ...
by Nelson on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

There is no reason to break conventions just for the sake of breaking them. That's just stupid. It makes sense to have the popup menu above the touch event, but not for a mouse click if that's the normal behaviour.


Let me make a few things clear:

- This is only for Metro Styled context menus. Win32 rendered ones are the same
- Metro Style guidelines dictate that most frequently used items are near the bottom (opposite of Win32)
- Metro Style guidelines dictate that a Context Menu contain no more than six (6) menu items.

Since this is true, your mouse travels the same distance it otherwise would have with a Win32 context menus.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by cfgr on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

- This is only for Metro Styled context menus. Win32 rendered ones are the same

You completely miss my point that Microsoft is pushing towards Metro everywhere.

- Metro Style guidelines dictate that most frequently used items are near the bottom (opposite of Win32)

That's the thing. It dictates stuff that's stupid from a workstation point of view. If they did it the smart way, they would just show the menu upside down above the event in "touchscreen mode", and show it normally in "classic mode". But support both modes.

- Metro Style guidelines dictate that a Context Menu contain no more than six (6) menu items.

Same thing. It's about Metro dictating things that are good for tablet use and utterly stupid for workstation use.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: ...
by Nelson on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


You completely miss my point that Microsoft is pushing towards Metro everywhere.


Yes, but that being bad is predicated on Metro being inherently bad everywhere. My post argued that it wasn't, because it was no inefficient for the Mouse to hit its target Menu Item.

You failed to address this, so I'll state it again:
How is it terrible, if the mouse has to travel the exact same distance?


That's the thing. It dictates stuff that's stupid from a workstation point of view.


How is it stupid?

If they did it the smart way, they would just show the menu upside down above the event in "touchscreen mode", and show it normally in "classic mode". But support both modes.


Why? I don't get the benefit except adding confusion by having it be upsidedown for one circumstance, and rightsideup for another circumstance.

I'm sure you're aware Mouse, Pen, and Touch can be used simultaneously right?

So you'd run into this situation:

Mouse only setups show the Context Menu rightsideup.

Touch only setups show the Context Menu upsidedown

Touch screen laptops show the context menu upsidedown, EXCEPT when used with a Mouse which shows them rightsideup?

You see how this quickly gets confusing? As opposed to simply following a UI guideline.

Input in Windows 8 is unified because of a joint effort between the API and the UI design.


Same thing. It's about Metro dictating things that are good for tablet use and utterly stupid for workstation use.


I don't think striving for simplification is stupid. Being able to express complex ideas in simple terms is a user experience gift. As simple as needed, but no simpler.

Metro forces you to think about different ways of presenting data. You can't just shove 20 options in a context menu, or throw a datagrid every time you want tabular data in your LOB app.

All you do is delegate the responsibility of synthesizing data to the end user, which is the exact opposite of what user experience people want to do.

Think a little bit more about exposing data. Metro has powerful contextual tools (Context Menu, App Bars, Semantic Zoom, etc.) which can take complicated sets of information and display them in less dense formats.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: ...
by cfgr on Wed 6th Jun 2012 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

I'd like to see you using a mouse and touchscreen simultaneously.

Anyway, you're completely arguing beside the point. Workstations and tablets are different things with their own advantages and disadvantages. They work in completely different ways. Forcing the style of one on the other inherently ignores that. Everything else you say is just pointless as it is completely different discussion. Keep it for another day.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by zima on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Bluetooth mouse? ;p

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by cfgr on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Well, if there's a thing that can move that pointer ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: ...
by zima on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

What if I lost it? ;) (as in, lost it somewhere in the room - but it's still communicating with the PC, it can move the pointer as far as the PC is concerned)

Don't tell me that never happens to you ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by cfgr on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Well, that doesn't mean touchscreen is disabled anyway, just that some things behave slightly different - more optimised for mouse use.

And no, I've never lost a mouse, actually I prefer them wired as I get tired of having to switch batteries just when there's that wonderful headshot opportunity ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: ...
by zima on Wed 6th Jun 2012 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well you just pop-in a recharged battery before virtual murderous rampages... ;p

Personally I'm more tired of how failure-prone a typical mouse cable is (I don't think anything else ever broke in any of my mouses; each of them eventually disabled by cable failure, at least temporarily, before repairs).
And also, I'm tired of how tasty they seem to be to various home animals ;/

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: ...
by cfgr on Wed 6th Jun 2012 22:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

And also, I'm tired of how tasty they seem to be to various home animals ;/

Haha, I can't argue with that. You win!

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: ...
by ssokolow on Thu 7th Jun 2012 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Personally I'm more tired of how failure-prone a typical mouse cable is (I don't think anything else ever broke in any of my mouses; each of them eventually disabled by cable failure, at least temporarily, before repairs).


Interesting. In the lifetime of my computer use, I've had one mouse die to left-button failure, one to optical sensor failure, and one IBM TouchPoint wear out... and I've been using computers for 6+ hours per day since the early '90s.

I've never used wireless mice because I hate having to recharge and eventually replace batteries.

Of course, I also don't let pets near my machines, so that could be the difference.

Reply Score: 2

They have a *plan*
by vaette on Wed 6th Jun 2012 20:11 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

Yes, no matter what one thinks about the overall strategy of Metro, it is pretty clear that Microsoft does have a thoroughly worked out plan here (replace "plan" with "nefarious plot" for those so inclined, but it remains a rather fully realized plot). Most of the complaints some people have with Windows 8 are things that are clearly not mistakes or accidental omissions, but rather part of a strategy.

It will be interesting to see where everything goes. I for one look forward to x86 tablets. Metro should do nicely for the stereotypical tablet tasks, with the full OS behind the scenes to take care of some flexibility issues I have. Specifically I at least need source control and access to at least LaTeX, to rebuild fresh versions of presentations and such on the road.

Plus my overall preference for the open and standardized x86 environment over the current NDA-ridden proprietary locked-down mess of ARM devices.

Edited 2012-06-06 20:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

They have a 'cunning' plan
by shotsman on Wed 6th Jun 2012 20:35 UTC in reply to "They have a *plan*"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

(sorry for the obvious Blackadder reference)
but it seems to me that as every day goes buy Mr Balmer gets more and more like Baldrick.

Their plan is that everything will be touch. End of argument.
Forcing Metro on us with Window 8 is going to end up like many of his Cunning Plans in disaster.

People who want to do real work in Business will not change to Metro without a lot of arm twisting. Making Windows 8 primarily Metro will make business stop spending on migrating to it. If the costs of going from XP to Windows 7 were high then going to Metro will be out of this earth. Can companies afford this time and cost in the current business environment.
Ok so you can push Metro into the background but the solution is a half measure to say the least.

Sure the cunning plan may work with Tablets and small screened PC's but when 24in screens cost $150 or so who wants to spend all day in fron of a 13in tablet?

Sure Microsoft will sell plenty of Windows 8 licenses. Even if the customer downgrades to Win 7, it will be counted as a Windows 8 sale and that is a success isn't it.

I don't think Baldrick will be turning his grave just yet. Another 'cunning' plan will bite the dust.
This time Baldrick (aka Balmer) will hopefully get the sack.

Reply Score: 2

RE: They have a *plan*
by zima on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:13 UTC in reply to "They have a *plan*"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

it is pretty clear that Microsoft does have a thoroughly worked out plan here (replace "plan" with "nefarious plot" for those so inclined, but it remains a rather fully realized plot). Most of the complaints some people have with Windows 8 are things that are clearly not mistakes or accidental omissions, but rather part of a strategy.

Perhaps they want to have a comprehensive software landscape, more or less ready to use when the display tech of MS Surface 2.0 will get inexpensive. And I can entertain the possibility that it (together with Metro 2.0 or 3.0) could be awesome, also for many "serious" usages - while other players will be stuck in 3+ decades old ~desktop paradigm.

And I suppose MS might think that it requires "forcing" devs and users a bit, so the apps will be there on time - high risk, but potentially high reward (and let's be honest here, enterprises or dissatisfied home users will mostly just stick to Win7 in the meantime)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: They have a *plan*
by Nelson on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:18 UTC in reply to "RE: They have a *plan*"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think Microsoft is more than willing to let Business users sit this one out if they're so inclined, if they can make bigger gains in the consumer market.

Tablet and Phones are growing at a phenomenal pace, and I'm certain they want a large piece of the pie. Just look at how they unified Xbox, Windows 8, and Windows Phone. They want to transform themselves into a more consumer facing company.

Its a big bet, huge. However, it is like you said very high reward. I give credit to management which is sometimes attributed as slow moving for their complete 180 in direction.

I think the fact that a lot of Windows traditionalist (The Desktopistas as I like to call them) are pissed off is a sign that they're doing something right. Change is painful.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: They have a *plan*
by terrakotta on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: They have a *plan*"
terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

Except that with the 3+ decade old desktop paradigm (based on the several hundreds year old desktop), you can do whatever metro can do, and a lot more. With metro, you can only do what metro allows you to.
IMHO palm got it right with webos, which admittedly looks like a scaled down windows desktop... yet better.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: They have a *plan*
by Nelson on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: They have a *plan*"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Palm got it so right that they're dead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: They have a *plan*
by zima on Wed 6th Jun 2012 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: They have a *plan*"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

with the 3+ decade old desktop paradigm (based on the several hundreds year old desktop), you can do whatever metro can do, and a lot more

The so called desktop paradigm isn't really "based on the several hundreds year old desktop" - that would be MS Bob.

Also, for one very serious example, desktop CAD is in some aspects a setback from drafting tables - OTOH, large touchscreen UI could bring back what's nice about them, and build further upon it, in ways which desktop cannot.
Similar with canvas and ~photoshop, or film editing...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: They have a *plan*
by Lorin on Thu 7th Jun 2012 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE: They have a *plan*"
Lorin Member since:
2010-04-06

The difference between the "desktop paradigm" and Metro is the same as that between a tricycle and and a bicycle, Metro is for the children and uncoordinated while our desktop is for the skilled agile worker.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: They have a *plan*
by zima on Thu 7th Jun 2012 00:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: They have a *plan*"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference between textual UI and the "desktop paradigm" is the same as that between a tricycle and a bicycle, desktop GUI is for the children and uncoordinated while our text UI is for the skilled agile worker.


Seriously, it was very common to hear pretty much those words around the time of text UI -> desktop GUI transition.
I don't really care about it one way or another, but I'm open to give Metro (now possibly at the stage of Windows 1.0 or 2.0) a chance before writing it off.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: They have a *plan*
by ssokolow on Thu 7th Jun 2012 16:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: They have a *plan*"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

The difference between textual UI and the "desktop paradigm" is the same as that between a tricycle and a bicycle, desktop GUI is for the children and uncoordinated while our text UI is for the skilled agile worker.


Seriously, it was very common to hear pretty much those words around the time of text UI -> desktop GUI transition.
I don't really care about it one way or another, but I'm open to give Metro (now possibly at the stage of Windows 1.0 or 2.0) a chance before writing it off.


I'm a bit of a free software zealot (just having Opera, Flash, Skype, and nVidia drivers on my Linux system annoys me) so I doubt I'll give genuine Metro a chance, but I can see how that paradigm might somehow morph into some kind of useful unified UI.

As someone who makes heavy use of a Quake-style hotkey-driven terminal in my GUI, I can definitely see that every interaction style has its strengths and weaknesses.

Reply Score: 2