Tag Archives: gui

Radio Buttons: a bad design?

Just a thought: once a user clicks on some radio button, it'll be selected, but the user will have no standard way to remove/undo this selection. The only possibility is to switch to another radio button on the same radio button group. As far as I know*, this behavior occurs on all popular GUIs, including web, windows forms, qt and gtk, and probably others.

It's been like that for so many years, isn't it time to add a "deselect radio button" standard? Just like a checkbox, a single click would be a simple enough way to undo a selection. For special cases, a "ForceSelection" property may indicate that this radio button group cannot be deselected, to preserve the current behavior.

* I merely researched this topic, it's a just-a-thought kind of post and might be inaccurate.

More useful keyboard shortcuts; Apache evilness

As a sequel to this browser shortcuts post, here're two new shortcuts that rocked my world (ok, almost..) :

  1. F4: opens a select box. Seems like a standard for all UIs! (Windows/Linux at least)
  2. Tick (') key in FireFox: would switch to 'search' mode just like slash (/), but would search for links only. Just type the beginning of the link's name and hit Enter.

Do you know any other shocking keyboard shortcuts?

On a completely other subject, I was fighting (along with a collegue) today with Apache httpd's configuration. The web server seemed to "automatically guess" URLs in a weird fashion.

The cause is that we had the MultiViews feature enabled. With MultiViews, when a URL points to a nonexisting file, i.e. http://mydomain/my/file, apache tries to look for an existing file which looks similar to the directory (I won't describe here the exact algorithm), i.e. http://mydomain/my.php. Then it loads it instead, and the user doesn't get 404.

Maybe some people need it.. but it's also weird and error-prone..