[mailto:ui-best-practices-working-group-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Oberhuber,
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 1:21 PM
To: User Interface Architecture Working Group
Subject: RE: [ui-best-practices-working-group] Prep info for discussion
on useof ellipsis
I'm not on the UI WG, but I have a clear opinion here: pick Apple
where it makes more sense, especially if it is what we already do.
Change is work and produces confusion, so I'm only in favor of
change when there is some advantage.
In this case, the Apple guideline is clearer and without ambiguity;
Microsoft's argument of "Reducing Screen Clutter" is a
for me, compared to the advantage of knowing when choosing a
menu item performs some work right away versus when I still
have a chance of reviewing stuff (in a new window) before it fires.
Gimme those Ellipses back!
Martin Oberhuber, Senior Member of
Technical Staff, Wind River
Target Management Project Lead, DSDP PMC Member
[mailto:ui-best-practices-working-group-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kevin
Sent: Mittwoch, 30. April 2008 00:45
To: User Interface Architecture Working Group
Subject: [ui-best-practices-working-group] Prep info for discussion on
Based on our
read of the Vista guidelines, we changed "Preferences..." to
"Preferences". This triggered bug
https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=226468 which requested it be
changed back. See the bug for the discussion.
In addition to
answering the specific question, there's is of course the general issue of
either which guideline to follow, or how to intepret the Vista/XP guideline.
I thought it'd
be fun, since this is a guideline issue, for us to decide as a group.
My read of the
Vista guideline http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa511453.aspx, suggests it
shouldn't have ellipsis (my bold):
buttons are used for immediate actions, more information might
be needed to perform the action. Indicate a command that needs additional
information (including confirmation) by adding an ellipsis at the end of the
Proper use of ellipses is important to indicate that users can make further
choices before performing the action, or even cancel the action entirely. The
visual cue offered by an ellipsis allows users to explore your software without
This doesn't mean you should use an ellipsis whenever an action displays
another window only when additional information is required to perform the
action. Consequently, any command button whose implied verb is show another
window doesn't take an ellipsis, such as with the commands About, Advanced,
Help (or any other command linking to a Help topic), Options, Properties, or
Generally, ellipses are used in UI to indicate incompleteness. Commands that
show other windows aren't incomplete they must display another window and
additional information isn't needed to perform their action. This approach
eliminates screen clutter in situations where ellipses have little value.
is much like "Properties", which they do specifically mention, and
seems to fit the case description of being an implied "Show
With respect to
XP, the Windows Interface Guidelines book
reads approximately the same and calls out Properties as not deserving, so I
don't think there was a guideline change from XP to Vista, just clarification.
I should add
that we've always deferred to the Windows guidelines in cases where there
wasn't something Eclipse specific worth calling out.
guideline is more liberal with use of ellipsis
Use an ellipsis in
the name of a button or menu item when the associated action:
Is performed by
the user in a separate window or dialog.
For example, Preferences,
Customize Toolbar, and Send Feedback all use an ellipsis because they open a
window (potentially in another application, such as a browser) or a dialog
in which the user sets preferences, customizes the toolbar, or sends feedback.
http://dev.eclipse.org/blogs/kevinmcguire/2007/10/12/ellipsis-for-eclipses/To see why such commands
must include an ellipsis, consider that the absence of an ellipsis implies
that the application performs the action for the user. If, for example, the
Send Feedback command did not include an ellipsis, it would imply that feedback
is generated and sent automatically by the application.
guideline is simpler and basically states that if a new window results than you
should use ellipsis. It specifically calls out Preferences and iTunes
indeed has "Edit"->"Preferences...". One plus of
the Apple guideline is that there is no ambuiguity. Another argument is
that it more closely matches what we generally do, although this may be through
a lack of knowledge of the Windows guideline. However, easier to
interpret guidelines IS helpful for Eclipse.
bug that started it all, regarding "Reset Perspective":
blog entry on the subject:
we correctly interpret the Vista/XP guidelines?
we always stick to the Vista/XP guidelines in the absence of something
Eclipse specific which wouldn't be covered by them? (e.g. our view stacks)
do we in this particular case (and possibly future ones) pick the Apple
guideline? Reasons for doing so are that it matches more closely what we
already do, or that its easier for people to interpret.
and gentlemen, the facts are before you. Your verdict?
Please respond to
User Interface Architecture Working Group
Best Practices Working Group
Reminder: Conference Call: Wednesday, April 30th, 17:00 UTC or 10:00 PDT.
Call 613.287.8000 or 866.362.7064 passcode 892048#
Conference Call: Wednesday, April 30th,
17:00 UTC or 10:00 PDT. Call
613.287.8000 or 866.362.7064 passcode 892048#
Agenda so far:
- Update on UI top ten "Don't do" list
- Discussion on use of ellipses
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