Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th May 2007 18:54 UTC
Gnome In the GNOME bugzilla, there is an ongoing discussion about whether or not to include a patch into the default GNOME installation which would enable GNOME to (optionally) have a global application menubar, similar to that of the Mac OS and KDE (in the latter it is optional and off by default). Installation instructions and .deb packages, as well as a 60-page (and counting) discussion of the patch, are available on the UbuntuForums. Read on for a poll on this issue.
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RE[2]: Why?
by shaunm on Fri 18th May 2007 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
shaunm
Member since:
2005-10-24


Menubars at the top of the screen are the pedagogical example of the utilization of Fitt's Law.

Fitt's Law is given by:

T = a + b log2(D/W + 1)

Where a and b are empirically-determined constants, D is the distance to the target, W is the size of the target in the direction of travel, and T is the time required to perform the motion.


When people apply Fitt's Law to mouse distnace, they often forget that distance on the screen is not one-to-one with distance of the mouse.

There is a region around your pointer that does not require you to move your wrist, and is thus very easy to mouse to. Mouse acceleration makes this region larger, but usually not large enough to cover the entire screen. There is a region surrounding that for which you need to move your wrist. And there's a region surrounding that for which you need to pick up your mouse, move it, set it back down, and move it some more on the mouse pad.

Obviously, where each of these regions lay depends on your screen size, mouse acceleration settings, mouse skills, mouse pad size, and other factors. Nonetheless, most people can't hit their entire screen without at least moving their wrist. I can hit a little over a quarter of my screen without moving my wrist.

What's more, other types of input devices (track balls, touch pads, stupid little nipply things) have different ways in which the input device motion does not map one-to-one to screen motion. And touchpads, at least, are fairly common devices, since most laptops are equipped with them.

None of this is to say that the spirit of Fitt's Law is bad. It's just that with modern screens and input devices, the screen corners aren't quite as magically easy to hit as the too-simplistic Shannon formulation might suggest.

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