Re: [DHTML Style Guide] Oliver Keim's comments on drag and drop proposal

Originally posted to PFWG mailing list by Joseph Scheuhammer.

Rich, Oliver,

A couple of thoughts:

> The current proposal uses control+c to indicate that all items have 
> been selected for drag similar
> to copy which you indicate. Jon Gunderson's example gets away with 
> using the space bar but he is only
> selecting one item at a time.

Why does the number of draggables in the set determine the need for 
control+c?  On the style guide model, the user's mind set is that they 
are selecting one or more items to drag.  Marking one vs. many doesn't 
change that mind set.  The reason that control+c is superfluous is 
because it's already assumed in Jon's examples.

I think the real issue is that the semantics of "control+c" is "copy".  
It has been the "copy" keystroke for a long time.

Drag and drop, in contrast, is not always about copying.  Sometimes the 
underlying operation the user is engaged in is "make a shortcut".  
Sometimes it means "delete" (e.g., dragging items to the trash), or 
"print" (e.g., dragging items and dropping them on a printer icon), or 
"rearrange" (e.g., dragging portlets within a portal to reorder them).  
Using a gesture that has come to mean "copy" in cases where copying is 
not what the user has in mind seems odd.

Oliver wrote:
> > the OS2 presentation manager. (To be honest: On Apple systems this
> > is a lack of their Finder design: copy and paste cannot be used as
> > an alternative to drag and drop - unfortunately, because I love my 
> mac.)
> >
> I use a mac too.

If you mean making copies of files in the Finder using a keyboard, then 
do this:
1. select the files and/or folders you want to copy,
2. Press "command+c",
3. Navigate to the Finder window into which you want to copy the files 
and folders.
4. Press "command+v".

Note that if at step 2, the key press is:
- command+o, then the files are opened.
- command+delete, then the files are moved to the trash.
- command+t will add a short cut to the Finder window's side bar.

There are other keystrokes that perform other operations, but the 
interesting feature of the above three is that they each have a drag and 
drop analog.

Sort of the flip side:  Suppose a user intends to open a file.  If they 
use select it and use "control+c" in Windows explorer, then navigate to 
an application icon, place keyboard focus on that application icon, and 
press control+v to "paste" the files on the application, well, it 
doesn't open those files.  Instead, copies of the files are created in 
the same window as the application icon.  Dragging the file icon to the 
application icon and dropping it there, on the other hand, does open the 


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Received on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 15:50:17 UTC