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Re: [TSVN] TortoiseSVN looses comments when commit fails.

From: Thomas Hruska <thruska_at_cubiclesoft.com>
Date: 2005-10-05 18:45:10 CEST

Stefan Küng wrote:
> On 10/5/05, Thomas Hruska <thruska@cubiclesoft.com> wrote:
>>Look, you've got a UI element that exhibits non-standard behavior. I've
>>never done well with figuring out what to do with non-standard UI
>>elements. What I was putting forth was a possible "standard" solution
>>to the problem with a couple shortcuts to speed up the process to a "one
>>click plus one hand pressing a couple keys" solution. You've shortcut
>>the effort by removing the dialog. However, by doing so, it creates
>>obvious user confusion. A number of people came out of the woodwork on
>>this list on this issue - think about the thousands who AREN'T on the
>>list and doing the same thing.
> Why are you calling this an UI element with non-standard behaviour?
> Have a look at the internet explorer and the URL combobox. Firefox has
> the same too. So what's 'non-standard' about this?

Changing the combobox modifies a different edit box's value. The
combobox in IE and Firefox only modifies the value of itself and it all
fits on one line. When that "feature" first came out, there used to be
a time where IE's combobox was considered to be a non-standard UI
element by user interface specialists. This doesn't mean people won't
learn how the non-standard combobox works...it just isn't immediately

Here's another idea: Remove the combobox and static text altogether.
Since you've already got a non-standard UI element, there shouldn't be
anything stopping you from making it more so. Look at IE. Next to the
Back and Forward buttons is a little drop-down arrow. Now, take that
and visualize a very narrow button "attached" to the right-hand side of
the edit box with that same down arrow. When the user clicks the arrow,
a menu pops up right-aligned to the bottom of the arrow. The menu
contains the history. Then there is no static text or combobox sizing
to worry about and frees up some vertical dialog space. Actually, by
doing this, I believe this will remove considerable confusion because
the arrow becomes tightly associated with the edit box in the user's
mind and they are already familiar with similar buttons on toolbars.

> But what's really driving me crazy is that whatever I do, people
> complain.

Welcome to the world of real software development.

That's the beauty of Microsoft "standards". If you follow the
recommendations to the letter, then you can go back to the users and
say, "Microsoft says Windows applications are made this way. If you
want that change to be made, go talk to Microsoft about changing their
standards." You would be surprised how often that works.

> So tell me, what the hell should I do? Change the UI twice every
> month? Release three or four different versions of TSVN?
> Just to make this clear: I'll never do that. So don't even suggest
> something like that.

I don't have the answer for you. Users don't want 3 or 4 different
versions to choose from...they want to see one download link that says
"Download Now". However, it has been my experience that when a user
typically complains about some option there is the potential for some
fundamental change that makes the feature much more powerful. Developer
"complaints" are generally more focused.

> It doesn't have a tab-stop. But you can click on it and then there's a cursor.
> And why should a screen reader not be able to read a label?

I take it back - it isn't static text, it just seems unusual to not be
able to tab to it. But you are inconsistent with whether or not people
can tab to read-only items (e.g. TSVN properties dialog vs. the Commit

Some screen readers only read the previous label to the current UI
element. In that case, the item would never get read. People with
tunnel vision might be able to see something is there, but blind users
might never know.

>>In case you don't know what 508 is, it is the U.S. Disability Act. It
>>provides very specific guidelines for disabled persons (e.g. partially
>>or fully blind persons) to navigate software packages. Typically 508
>>compliant software has an accompanying statement that states what is
>>compliant and what isn't and what efforts are being made to strive
>>toward 508. The U.S. Federal government is required by law to have all
>>software they use be 508 Compliant or they can end up in deep legal trouble.
> Do you have a link where I can read those?

Main website:

Official 508 law:

Something on the selection process:

Sorry about calling it the "Disability Act" it is called the
"Rehabilitation Act" to have a nicer connotation but really the name
doesn't help the fact that 508 can be a royal pain.

Thomas Hruska
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Received on Wed Oct 5 20:11:47 2005

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