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Radial menus

Radial menus

Postby classic695 on Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:59 pm

What would people think about having the option for contextual menus to be presented as radial (pie) menu, like in modo and some other 3D software applications? Research has shown that they're more efficient in many ways than traditional linear contextual menus.
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Re: Radial menus

Postby jbjornson on Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:34 pm

Since you asked:

I personally don't really like using menus and found that radial menus didn't change that feeling.

I remember Opera adding radial menus at one point some years back. I excitedly tried them out but they weren't as sexy as they had sounded.

I'm a huge fan of mouse gestures in the browser (Opera, Firefox, ...) but that didn't translate well into the text editor. jEdit supports mouse gestures but I found that I never used them. Web browsing is pretty mouse-centric so using mouse gestures comes naturally.

Also, I figure that deciding what to include in a radial menu in Sublime would be quite difficult to calculate. You only have a few slots in the menu (8 in your screenshot) and different people would want different things to be offered (although configurable menus might help with that).

My biggest concern is that using a text editor is a very keyboard-centric task but radial menus are very mouse-centric.

I'm very happy with keyboard shorcuts for the things that I use frequently and a few menus for infrequently used commands.
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Re: Radial menus

Postby jbjornson on Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:30 pm

sublimator wrote:Poor execution or is the concept inherently flawed?


Not sure which, to be honest. The people that I watch surfing the web rarely use menus, which possibly explains why people are able to easily surf on touch screen devices (smart phones and tablets). I guess it was too hard to fight against the users ingrained habits for something that wasn't going to give them much in return.
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Re: Radial menus

Postby jps on Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:10 pm

Personally, I think there's a lot of text editing tasks than can be done with one hand on the mouse, and the other on a keyboard - consider command mode in vi, where the emphasis is on manipulating text, rather than inserting text. The manipulation portions can be done quite nicely with a mouse, and in several scenarios better: it's often faster to select random bits of text with the mouse than the keyboard.
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