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Critical - bookmark navigation impossible

Discussion of features in Mozilla Firefox
andnaess
 
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Post Posted November 27th, 2002, 4:03 pm

The current bookmark menu is impossible to use with a mouse. If I stray a single pixel from the current open folder I have to go back and reopen it and I lose track of where I was and it's simply a usability *nightmare*. Please read about fitz' law. Please fix this, it's absolutely *horrible* the way it is now!

(I've given up on using the mouse in the bookmarks menu item, and stick with the keyboard).

daihard
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Post Posted November 27th, 2002, 4:16 pm

andnaess wrote:The current bookmark menu is impossible to use with a mouse. If I stray a single pixel from the current open folder I have to go back and reopen it and I lose track of where I was and it's simply a usability *nightmare*. Please read about fitz' law. Please fix this, it's absolutely *horrible* the way it is now!

(I've given up on using the mouse in the bookmarks menu item, and stick with the keyboard).

Did you set your mouse sensitivity too high? Mine works just fine. I am using Build 20021127 on RedHat Linux 7.3 and KDE 3.0.4.

andnaess
 
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Post Posted November 28th, 2002, 11:05 am

My mouse sensitivity is just fine. The problem is simply the design, I don't have the time nor patience to slowly drag my mouse to whatever submenu I want to access, taking care not to stray outside of the currently selected subelement (which is something like 16 pixels high). What I want is simply to throw my mouse in the direction of the submenu I want to open, and have it open as I arrive there. The designers of Mozilla have made a *terrible* job at this. If I much as go 1 pixel outside of the currently selected subarea the menu closes, and I have to go back.

They have actually managed to make this menu navigation even worse than the Window start menu, which is quite an achievement in it's own right and should earn them a place in the interface hall of shame.

Stefan

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Post Posted November 28th, 2002, 1:44 pm

Wow are you using an ultra large screen resolution or something?

In any case this is not an Phoenix issue.
If you need it fixed post in the Theme section and try to convince someone there to make a theme that has REALLY BIG dropdown menus.

Or better yet make such a theme yourself :)

andnaess
 
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 2:58 am

I don't know if this is a Phoenix issue or not, because I don't know where in the code this behaviour is defined. The problem is not my theme, nor my resolution. The problem is that the developers don't seem to understand that they are dealing with human beings.

Really big dropdown menus isn't a solution. Let me go through this again. When I hover my mouse over a folder in my bookmark menu it expands to a second level. In this second level there is some item I want to visit, so I drag my mouse there (directly, of course). When I arrive, the submenu that I am now in disappears, and I have to go back and try again. The problem is that i dragged my mouse diagonally. To prevent this from happening I have to drag my mouse horizontally until the pointer is inside the submenu, then start dragging the mouse vertically. This is obviously useless, and very easy to fix. Just learn from the Mac design.

Basically when you start dragging there should be a "fan" in which you can drag your mouse without losing the currently open submenu. Couple this with reasonable timing and you should have a fairly good solution.

Stefan

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 7:20 am

andnaess wrote:I don't know if this is a Phoenix issue or not, because I don't know where in the code this behaviour is defined.


What you see of Phoenix is basicly a webpage.
Thus it's done with CSS, "HTML" and Javascript (XUL) that you can edit yourself. That is also how you create a new theme (modify the default .xul).

The problem is not my theme, nor my resolution. The problem is that the developers don't seem to understand that they are dealing with human beings.


I would say that the problem is on your end. Even my mother manages to navigate the menus just fine.

When I hover my mouse over a folder in my bookmark menu it expands to a second level. In this second level there is some item I want to visit, so I drag my mouse there (directly, of course). When I arrive, the submenu that I am now in disappears, and I have to go back and try again. The problem is that i dragged my mouse diagonally.


This only happens if you move the mouse diagonally + SLOWLY.
At least dragging diagonally works just fine for me, unless I linger too long in areas that is outside the menu (which will naturally trigger a close of the menu).

Basically when you start dragging there should be a "fan" in which you can drag your mouse without losing the currently open submenu. Couple this with reasonable timing and you should have a fairly good solution.


What you ask for is already there.
What you should be asking for is a preferance to controll the timing so that people moving diagonally + SLOWLY can make the interface more slugguish.
Making the interface more sluggish by default however is NOT a good thing to do and will cause a lot more complaint then how it works currently.

Thumper

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 10:06 am

I've been using hierarchical menus since I was about eight years old. Didn't take me long to figure out that you go along and then down rather than just sweeping diagonally. And you say this completely breaks the browser useability for you? May I suggest you're in the minority?

- Chris

Ted Mielczarek
 
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 11:30 am

andnaess wrote:I don't know if this is a Phoenix issue or not, because I don't know where in the code this behaviour is defined. The problem is not my theme, nor my resolution. The problem is that the developers don't seem to understand that they are dealing with human beings.

Really big dropdown menus isn't a solution. Let me go through this again. When I hover my mouse over a folder in my bookmark menu it expands to a second level. In this second level there is some item I want to visit, so I drag my mouse there (directly, of course). When I arrive, the submenu that I am now in disappears, and I have to go back and try again. The problem is that i dragged my mouse diagonally. To prevent this from happening I have to drag my mouse horizontally until the pointer is inside the submenu, then start dragging the mouse vertically. This is obviously useless, and very easy to fix. Just learn from the Mac design.

Basically when you start dragging there should be a "fan" in which you can drag your mouse without losing the currently open submenu. Couple this with reasonable timing and you should have a fairly good solution.


WFM 20021126 Win2k. I can move diagonally to the submenu and the open menu doesn't disappear. What OS are you running on?

P.S. He's right, this is the optimal behavior. The Mac UI guidelines have some smart ideas in them.

andnaess
 
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 11:35 am

So you've been learning the wrong thing since the age of eight. Being forced to move horizontally rather then vertically is a symptom that something is wrong. It should make you think, but apparently it didn't. That's not my problem, my problem is bad design.

I've also used the mouse since my early Amiga years, so I don't think me, my mouse, my resolution, or any other setting is my problem. You see, when I drag I can see the mouse land at the subselection I want, I can actually see it highlighted for a few milliseconds, then it disappears. If I drag at exactly the same speed, but horizontally out from the current submenu this does not occur.

Furthermore, if you drag diagonally but land on a subitem which is not a menu but a regular bookmark it works just fine. Even if this subitem is far down the submenu.

To me this looks like a bug in the code. Somehow when you land at a subitem which is also a menu, and vertically not at the same height as the main item the currently open subitem closes, even if you're inside it.

If I just had the software to do so I'd happily record a video showing this behavior which cannot possibly be the intended one. Does anyone know of such software? (Linux)

andnaess
 
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 11:45 am

I tested this on Mozilla (1.0.1) (Linux) and found that the problem didn't occur, so it seems to be Phoenix only.

Stefan

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 11:46 am

andnaess wrote:Furthermore, if you drag diagonally but land on a subitem which is not a menu but a regular bookmark it works just fine. Even if this subitem is far down the submenu.

To me this looks like a bug in the code. Somehow when you land at a subitem which is also a menu, and vertically not at the same height as the main item the currently open subitem closes, even if you're inside it.


Hmm, now I understand what you are talking about.
I would say that is indeed a bug.

Unless you pass over a bookmark on the way, going diagonal directly to a subfolder does close the menu.

RAF
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 3:03 pm

You could put this in user.js in the profile-directory (if it doesn't exist, create it).
It does not address the bug itself but you have more time to navigate within the submenu's.
You can play around with the 7000-number for longer or shorter timing.

user_pref("ui.submenuDelay", 7000);

Zaphod

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 3:13 pm

RAF wrote:You could put this in user.js in the profile-directory (if it doesn't exist, create it).
user_pref("ui.submenuDelay", 7000);

Did you know whats the default value that comes with phoenix?

RAF
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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 3:40 pm

No, I don't.

I read this on some mozilla site.
If you type userChrome.css in the search field on the Mozilla.org homepage, it finds one link.
I think it was somewjere in the middle...

Zaphod

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2002, 4:01 pm

RAF wrote:I read this on some mozilla site.
If you type userChrome.css in the search field on the Mozilla.org homepage, it finds one link.
I think it was somewjere in the middle...

Okay thanks.

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