Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Dec 2006 22:27 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "If you pay close attention, you'll notice that most user interface actions tend to occur on the release, not on the press. When you click on a button, the action occurs when the mouse button is released. When you press the Windows key, the Start menu pops up when you release it. When you tap the Alt key, the menu becomes active when you release it (there are exceptions to this general principle, of course, typing being the most notable one). Why do most actions wait for the release?"
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RE: Start Menu
by Doc Pain on Tue 19th Dec 2006 17:33 UTC in reply to "Start Menu"
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

"When you press the Windows key, the Start menu pops up when you release it.

The Windows "Start Menu" opens on mousedown, not on release. Tested on Windows XP SP2.

Edit: Nevermind, I thought it was talking about mouse clicks not the Windows key ;) "


But you're right, of course. :-)

An addition: The "Windows" Start Menu can be opened by pressing Ctrl+Esc, here it opens on pressing ("keydown") the Esc button - as far as I remember; I don't use any MICROS~1 product, so don't kick me if I'm wrong. :-)

The "Windows" key... at least in Germany almost nobody uses it. Most average users use the mouse only. Key combinations with the "Windows" key are not known (e. g. Win+R = Start/Run...). BTW: The other stupid key, let me call it "Menu key", does the same like Shift-F10. I never found a reason why there are useless keys taking space on the keyboard, especially on notebook keyboards that aren't very typist-friendy in use... just my individual opinion, maybe I'm too old fashioned for such innovative hardware. :-)

To come back to the original article:

"For example, if you display a dialog box while the Alt key is still pressed rather than waiting for the release, the Alt key may autorepeat and end up delivered to the dialog box. This prevents the dialog box from appearing since it's stuck in menu mode that was initiated by the Alt key, and it's is waiting for you to finish your menu operation before it will display itself."

I'm not shure I understand what the author wants to say with this paragraph. Alt usually sets a status, so it has no autorepeat function. When a dialog box is opened, the menu would activate with Alt+(Letter) or Alt press+release. Why should it prevent the dialog from appearing? When the dialog is called, it should first reset the input, so it won't get any keystrokes or mouseclicks that are not designated to be gotten by it. Maybe someone could comment a bit on this...

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