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Location of "Close" button for search bars?

User avatar gregormi
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Two years ago I noticed that there is an inconsistency of the location of "Close" buttons or search bars and similar panels.

I filed a bug for kate (https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=330203), but I think the topic needs a more general discussion before doing something in kate alone.

I give some example screenshots to illustrate what I mean:

Find in kate (button located on the left side):

Image

Find in dolphin (button located on the left side):

Image

Find on a firefox page (button located on the right side):

Image

A normal windowed / application: close button located on the right side.

So some close buttons are on the left side and others are on the right side.

I can imagine the left-side buttons were put there because if the bar is very long there can be much space between the actual content and the close button. Still, it feels inconsistent, at least to me.
User avatar Heiko Tietze
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The KDE HIG for the search and filter pattern (https://techbase.kde.org/Projects/Usabi ... rchPattern) places the close button on the left. It was intentionally decided, AFAIR based on the majority of applications.
luebking
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Firefox isn't exactly a KDE application. About the window buttons, there's one sane order:

close - title - minimize - menu/any rubbish - maximize

Unfortunately the default follows the stupid windows setup, but luckily you can easily change it to the sane layout ;-P
ripper17
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Semi-OT:

Out of real curiosity: why is that the "sane" order? Is there a study about that?

I'd guess that many people (including myself) are so used to having "Menu - Title - Minimize - Maximize - Close" in that order, that changing this order for a different default setup would cause quite some uproar... :)


openSUSE 13.2 x64, Platform Version 4.14.X, Kubuntu 14.04 (LTS), Platform Version 4.13.X
User avatar Heiko Tietze
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ripper17 wrote:Out of real curiosity: why is that the "sane" order?

The default order varies depending on OS (Mac OS X places close at the left-most position and doesn't utilize the right part of the titlebar at all) and DE (Unity). The "natural" aspect of the right position is the western sequence of interactions that start at top left and end at right bottom. On the other hand, the advantage of having the close icon at left position is a) to keep all interactions together, and b) to avoid a large distance between input and close. If you want to stress it, take Fits Law as the scientific basis. But it's also a question of visual harmony.
luebking
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Regarding the titlebar, the (ltr world) reasons behind it are:
a) close equals "abort", you go back to where you started (likewise the "ok" button should be on the bottom right of the window to sign your actions)
b) closing is a destructive action, thus it's reasonable to keep it away from the other buttons
c) the top right edge is where you'd drag the window to increase its size without changing its position - maximizing fits that idea
d) the "inwards" position of the minimize button fits the idea to concentrate the window in a representation of itself (icon)

The layout was (in variants, the window actions were different) used in Windows 3 (the menu button on the left allowed to close the window by a doubleclick, there was no close button), Apple systems before OSX (no minimize and apple put a shade button right of the "zoom" button which didn't actually maximize ;-) and (though reversed, close was on the right!) in NeXT.
It actually was common sense that this was the sane layout before MS considered an explicit close button required for Win95 - and put it to the far right corner (and then made it bigger, redder and set-off to compensate for the idiotic idea to put it there itfp.)
User avatar gregormi
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@luebking: sounds sane indeed. Two additions from me:

1)
c) the top right edge is where you'd drag the window to increase its size without changing its position - maximizing fits that idea

This would be the lower right edge to change size without change the window's position, wouldn't it?

2)
One could argue that nowadays where applications tend to have back buttons at the top left corner and title bars tend to vanish, that one could confuse the back button with close button.

Anyway, I will give the alternative layout a try. (One aesthetics issue I face is that now that the left-most button is "Close", the application icon (the only thing with color in the title bar) is somewhere between minimize and maximize.)

How do you change the layout easily? I did it with "Window Decorations" KCM -> "Buttons" tab.
luebking
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Good catch, but there's no titlebar on the bottom right corner ;-)
Where do titlebars vanish? Assuming the HIG team would be in favor of CSD, they'll have to come with some really good arguments[1]
Even if so, you'll still require a way to include the titlebar buttons (and the window title?) in a way where they're not confused with regular toolbuttons.

The setup is changed with that kcm, yes - expect to require a couple of days (a week?) to get used to the different layout (ie. you'll find yourself moving the cursor to the wrong position, but that effect fades away)

[1]
https://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/ ... corations/
https://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/ ... corations/
https://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/ ... corations/
https://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/ ... corations/
https://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/ ... d-wayland/

 
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