Reconsideration: Double-Clicking

First off I’ve never used either BeOS or Haiku (I can’t run A2, will try latest nightly this weekend), I just became really interested in Haiku after hearing all the good things about BeOS and the aforementioned. From what I can decipher as an outsider, though, BeOS had double clicking to run apps/open files and folders from the desktop and Tracker, just like Windows and (I assume) OSX. I’m a long experienced Windows user, so double clicking doesn’t bother me much. Then I read this article:

This is pretty spot on, now that I think about it. Double clicking is NOT exactly a user friendly (or developer friendly) function, my parents can attest to that, they still don’t seem to understand when to double click or click once. And when you think about it, it’s not really their fault. The rule for when to double click or not, is very obscure for newbies, and for some things (such as the system tray) even experienced users can’t know which tray icons use double/single click functionality. The act of double clicking itself is VERY unintuitive as well, I remember how awkward it was for me when I started using Windows as a little kid.

My point is, for the sake of user friendlyness and logical GUI design, we should remove double clicking, at least as a default? Maybe even make use of more than 2 mouse buttons so selecting and launching an icon aren’t confused, under a single click design?

Double-clicking in Haiku can be avoided only by using a third-party application. This application is called UniversalScroller (as it handles scrolling as well).
It was judged -years ago- as being not necessary to integrate UniversalScroller’s functions wrt (double)clicking into Haiku. However, at the time UniversalScroller was also judged as being an application that’s important enough to make sure it works in Haiku.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work at the moment (there’s an open ticket for that) after it having worked before…and not worked before that. It’s a fragile application perhaps.
The developer has sent me the source, which can now be found on OSdrawer.

“my parents can attest to that”


[quote=michaelvoliveira]“my parents can attest to that”

FULLY AGREE here[/quote]

While this may not be a good idea for R1, I think that with Haiku there’s a big chance to correct old design mistakes. While there are drawbacks to single click launching (mainly not being able to select single items unless dragging them), this would be partly solved with shift/ctrl clicking, or as I mentioned before, maybe an additional mouse button just for selection, if the user has more than 2. Also, not sure how to replace double click for minimize/maximize, maybe that could stay as an exception, since it’s hardly a requirement to double-click for that anyway?

Actually, I think that double clicking is useful. I was using partedmagic, a live linux distro earlier (eugh…) , and it was infuriating that every time I clicked somthing once or even hovered the mouse over it, it tried to launch it. It seems pretty logical to me- one click to select the file or move it around, two clicks to open it with the defult app.

It is useful, for single item selection as you said :slight_smile: It’s a pretty inconvenient way of launching apps, though, especially for the newbies and the “learning impaired” :stuck_out_tongue: I should add that it seems to be a pain for programmers, too (as described in the article)

Moving items works fine under single click interfaces. Selection is another matter.

A few solutions for the selection problem under a single click interface:
1: Use M1 to “execute” and M3/M4 (scroll click/thumb click) to “grab/select”, together with M2 for the usual. Problem with this: Though many mice have a clickable scroll wheel, it’s not very convenient at least on my mouse, and if you slip you will scroll. M4/M5 thumb buttons are even more uncommon, and are used for Back/Forward on Firefox.

2: Teach people to use ctrl/shift-click or box selection to make selections. Problem: requires keyboard keys, slightly inconvenient. Dragging a box around a single item is also a bit inconvenient.

3: Since I still haven’t tried Haiku, I don’t know if Tracker has a bottom bar that gives info about selected items like Windows does. If it does, the infobar should inspect items that you hover your mouse over primarily, and if none is hovered, show selection info. With this, you wouldn’t have to select an item to inspect it in more detail. Maybe show a large, fully descriptive infobox next to the item when you hover it, though that could get in the way if it isn’t done right.

(Also thanks for info Meanwhile, that sounds like an odd decision, even Windows has a built in option for single clicking though it’s not on by default)

Watching my dad, I could easily come to the same solution to abandon double-clicks altogether… :slight_smile:
However, there’s a better solution: keep a double-click as a shortcut for us mouse veterans and tell our dads to use the right-click context menu to choose “Open” (or “Open with…” for more control over the launched app).

Always a good idea trying to imprint the existence of context menus in their brains. :slight_smile:


True, but I don’t think that really solves the problem, namely a difficult, mostly superfluous interface feature (both for newbs to use and for programmers to implement). I’ve actually started using single click on Windows now, I like it :slight_smile: The only problem with the Windows implementation of single click IMO, is the auto-selection of items upon hover. I can see that getting in the way a lot.

Haiku worked on my school laptop which I got back this week :slight_smile: I see that Tracker doesn’t have an infobar for selections whatsoever, so I see little reason to keep double clicking around for Glass Elevator. What I would like to see is a visible notification that an item is being moused over, as was introduced in Vista for Windows users.