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?"
Member since:

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Why?
by google_ninja on Mon 21st May 2007 15:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
google_ninja Member since:

Im currently on a laptop trackpad, at 1440x900 resolution, and i can go from the very bottom to the very top of the screen with two full swipes accross the trackpad.

The idea behind the global application menubar streaches fittes law a bit, it is that you only have to aim in two directions, instead of four. That means you can "throw" your mouse up to the top of the screen with reckless abandon, secure in the knowledge you will alwas hit your target. Then it is a matter of left or right. Menus in applications require you to slow down your mouse movement as you approach the (roughly) 20x30 pixel target. While you could argue that because of modern resolutions, application level menubars are equivilent in speed to the global menubar, due to the aiming in only one direction, and the consistant fixed location of the widget, the global bar will alwas take less effort to use, which leads to a more pleasent experience.

Reply Parent Score: 1