[GNC-dev] Mouse usage in Gnucash

John Ralls jralls at ceridwen.us
Fri Oct 11 18:14:27 EDT 2019

> On Oct 10, 2019, at 10:26 PM, David Cousens <davidcousens at bigpond.com> wrote:
> Do we by any chance have some sort of standard description of mouse usage in
> GNuCash on the various OS. 
> I am updating documentation. Docbooks has tags for description of mouse
> operations.  With configurable mouses for LH or RH operation terms like Left
> Click and Right Click start to become ambiguous. DocBooks has tags for
> <mousebutton>. In a review of some recent changes Frank suggested using
> Button1, Button2 and Button 3 rather than Left, Middle and Right to avoid
> the LH/RH mouse conundrum.  I haven't been able to find anything in the
> documentation re input devices but I could have missed it
> Two of my mice have 6 buttons and two scroll wheels (basic config is a 2
> button + central scroll/button) and  another only has 2 buttons and a single
> scroll wheel/button. Linux Mint can configure that for LH operation,
> emulation of a centre button by pressing both buttons together, scrolling
> reversal and double click timeout and I presume most OSs will have something
> similar. Then we go to Macs and we have single buttons and magic mice to
> contend with.  Then there are tablets and touchpads and gestures.  GTK3
> seems to support a wide range
> https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/chap-input-handling.html and does
> interpret the scroll wheel appropriately on my mice but the wheel button
> inserts "another" each time it is pressed while editing a transaction in a
> register - not too useful.
> It is clearly far too onerous to describe all possible mice/input
> variations.
> My own preference would to perhaps settle on a fairly common 2 button RH
> basic mouse and keyboard configuration and describe operations in terms of
> that. Perhaps then offer in a wiki section some translations from this
> configuration to other configurations like track pads that could be
> populated by users. I think Left (Centre) Right  for a RH mouse is likely to
> be far less confusing to translate than a "Button1 Button2, Button3  where
> it is totally ambiguous whether the mouse is LH RH or upside down.


The middle-button behavior on Linux is an X-Windows thing: The right button begins a selection, the left button completes the selection, and the middle button pastes the selection. I don't know if Wayland has that behavior as well. Gtk has a GdkSelection class to try to provide it on other Ones but it was implemented only partly on Windows and not at all on MacOS. It's been deprecated for some time.

If you don't like "left click" or "click button 1", how about "primary click" and "secondary click"? You could even say "primary click/tap" to include the touchpad users.

I don't think that it's particularly useful for our documentation to try to teach users the basics of using their computers, and explaining everything at that level quickly gets tiresome for the majority of users who know how to click a button, select some text, or open a context menu.

John Ralls

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