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Re: [platform-ui-dev] Question about links on an editor page


My contribution here aligns with what Dejan and Nick have offered already.
For a consolidated list and draft guideline, see this Eclipse UI Guideline
wiki document:

UI Design . Rational Software
IBM Toronto Media Design Studio

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Links are also more appropriate for actions that are more like navigation,
such as showing another view with further details, or going to some other
UI context.
Also when you want to provide more wording than would look good in a
button, but this should usually be reserved for secondary, or low-impact

The guidelines for links and command buttons here describe the trade-offs

See also this recent post by Nielsen, which is very much in line with the
above.  He also talks about command links (a picture of which you can see
in the link above, but guidelines for which aren't up yet):

For a good example of button vs. link use in a web-app, check out how Gmail
uses them on its main page.


?To jazz, or not to jazz, there is no question!? - Louis Armstrong

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     component developers          links on an editor page             


Buttons are heavy in appearance and are appropriate for primary actions -
actions that are the key of the visual artifact they appear in. It is
appropriate to use links for secondary actions and those that will  not
produce irrevocable state changes. In your example, if validating the file
is not the primary purpose of your editor, a link would do because it is
less heavy.

I am making this comment as the owner of the UI Forms. It is possible that
the UI team may have different opinions when it comes to the overall
Eclipse UI recommendation.


Dejan Glozic, Ph.D.
Manager, Eclipse Development 1A
IBM Canada Ltd.
Tel. 905 413-2745  T/L 969-2745
Fax. 905 413-4850

            David Whiteman
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                                      [platform-ui-dev] Question about
                                      links on an editor page
            05/18/2007 09:34

            Please respond to
             David Whiteman
            Please respond to
            "Eclipse Platform
              UI component
            developers list."


I am posting here as it was suggested to do so on .

I have a multi-page editor for my component.  On the first
tab of the editor, there is a link to run a validator on the
file being edited.  Is using a link appropriate, or would a
button be better?  Our human factors people say a button is
better, but I see links being used to launch actions in the
plugin editors, etc.  I don't see anything on this topic in
the Eclipse User Interface Guidelines.

Thanks in advance,
David Whiteman

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