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Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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AmigaOS4's screen menus still have a quirky behaviour inherited from AmigaOS1.x: You can choose several menu options before closing the menu, which then means the program will perform ALL of the selected menu choices.

This might have seemed like a good idea when Intuition was originally invented (in the 1980s), particularly on slow machines (where menus might not open/close instantly). But on fast AmigaOS4 machines I feel this no-longer makes sense, and in particular I find it far too easy to accidentally select several menu items, causing the program to unexpectedly perform all sorts of unintended actions (some of which I may not even realise have occurred until too late).

I also find Amiga menu behaviour unexpected, because they behave very differently to buttons: If you left click a button but realise your mistake, you can move the mouse pointer off it before releasing the left mouse button, which cancels the button click. But with (at least sticky) screen menus, left clicking something is not cancelled by moving your mouse pointer off it before releasing the left mouse button. (In fact I know of no way to cancel a menu selection once I have started.)


So I wanted to see anyone still uses this quirky Amiga menu feature, or if others find it problematic like I do. (On occasion I have toyed with the idea of patching AmigaOS4 to get rid of this unwanted behaviour.) It might be worth requesting Hyperion to make this quirky menu feature optional, and perhaps disable it by default?

Author of the PortablE programming language.
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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
Amigans Defender
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@ChrisH

Quote:

This might have seemed like a good idea when Intuition was originally invented (in the 1980s), particularly on slow machines (where menus might not open/close instantly). But on fast AmigaOS4 machines I feel this no-longer makes sense, and in particular I find it far too easy to accidentally select several menu items, causing the program to unexpectedly perform all sorts of unintended actions (some of which I may not even realise have occurred until too late).


I don't see how this is possible. To select a menu item, you simply need to release the RMB. It's impossible to multi-select unless you're actually trying to multi-select (as multi-selection requires clicking the LMB over the other items you want).

It's incredibly handy when there's a load of toggle items that need changing. It doesn't happen often, but I wouldn't want to lose this time-saving feature as it doesn't appear to have any drawbacks.

btw, it's nothing to do with the speed of opening/closing menus which has always been pretty instant - it's the speed of opening the menus, then re-locating the menu, potential sub-menu and items. It's much quicker to multi-select when you're already there than go all through that again.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@Chris Quote:
It's incredibly handy when there's a load of toggle items that need changing. It doesn't happen often, but I wouldn't want to lose this time-saving feature as it doesn't appear to have any drawbacks.

I was not advocating it's removal. I was advocating the ability to disable the feature if you don't want it. (Whether or not it would be disabled by default is debatable.) HOWEVER I HAVE NOW REALISED THIS IS THE WRONG SOLUTION (see below).

Quote:
I don't see how this is possible. To select a menu item, you simply need to release the RMB. It's impossible to multi-select unless you're actually trying to multi-select (as multi-selection requires clicking the LMB over the other items you want).

I have STICKY menus enabled (GUI option), so the menu stays open until I left OR right click an option. I had not realised that left & right clicks behaved differently: It seems that a right click closes the menu as soon as it is depressed (so there is no possibility of selecting another item), while left clicking does not close the menu until BOTH the left & right buttons are released.


The screen menu can be used in several ways, but the problem only happens with two of them:

1(a). I keep the right mouse button held down, left click on any options I want, and then release the right mouse button. This behaves as I would expect. This usage is also possible withOUT sticky menus.

1(b). I keep the right mouse button held down, and then over an item hold down the left mouse button too. If my mouse pointer (accidentally) slides across several items before I release the left/right mouse button, then all of those items get selected, rather than (as I would expect) only the last item. This is possible withOUT sticky menus.

2. I release the right mouse button, and then over an item hold down the left button. If my mouse pointer (accidentally) slides across several items before I release the left mouse button, then all of those items get selected, rather than (as I would expect) only the last item.



So there is no need to get rid of the multi-selection behaviour, but rather just stop multiple items being selected when the left mouse button is slid over several items (i.e. only select one item for each left click).

EDIT: Updated to reflect that the problem can happen withOUT stick menus.

Author of the PortablE programming language.
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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@ChrisH

There is no problem here other than that you don't know how to use a menu.


Non Sticky Procedure is

Right Click to activate menu.
Move mouse till correct menu item is selected release right mouse to select.
*If you want to multiselect then hold down left mouse button and drag over the items you want to multislecet nefore releasing.

Sticky Procedure is:

Right click and relaease to bring up sticky menu panel.
Move mouse till you highlight the required menu item.
<b>RIGHT CLICK</b> to choose it and close the menu.
*or if you want to multislect click and drag with the left mouse button and release to close.

These things confused me very slightly when first using OS4 as I had got used to Magic Menus on 3.5 which don't behave in the standard way.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@broadblues Quote:
There is no problem here other than that you don't know how to use a menu.

Quote:
These things confused me very slightly when first using OS4 as I had got used to Magic Menus on 3.5 which don't behave in the standard way.

I would disagree, but in any event this issue has been annoying me since I first got an AmigaOS4 machine in 2008. You can blame the user if you wish, but I would suggest it indicates a usability issue which could be improved on.

Quote:
Sticky Procedure is:

Right click and release to bring up sticky menu panel.
Move mouse till you highlight the required menu item.
<b>RIGHT CLICK</b> to choose it and close the menu.
*or if you want to multislect click and drag with the left mouse button and release to close.

For arguments sake, let's say I want to multi-select items. What happens if I'm too quick with my left clicks and/or mouse movement, such that my holding-down of the left button is slightly too long (or too early) such that the left click slides across two (or more!) menu items? In that case two (or more) menu selections occur, causing unwanted action(s)... some of which I may not even realise since the desired DID also occur.

The solution is that "sliding left clicks" should only active the last (or maybe first) item that is left clicked on (before being released). You would still be able to select multiple items, just only one per left click.

For each left click, at best my solution means that the correct item is selected, but at worst it means only the one wrong item is selected - I'll be much more likely to realise my mistake, and also (in less likely cases of sliding across 3 or more items) it prevents multiple wrong items being selected!

I don't see ANY down side to my suggestion ('no-one' is going to intentionally select multiple items by sliding their single left click across multiple items), but I do see benefits for some users (like me).

BTW, it also prevents user error for people used to how menus work on Windows/Mac/Linux, where "left sliding" is entirely harmless (since it only acts upon where the left click is released). But it still allows Amiga's unique multi-selection of menu items. Part of the problem is I am too used to how Windows behaves, so it is extremely difficult to remember to not do it on the Amiga. But some of the time I also do it by accident.

EDIT: It would ALSO allow left clicking of menu items to be cancelled in the same way as buttons - by moving the mouse pointer off the item (menu) entirely before releasing it. That HAS to be a benefit for all users!

Author of the PortablE programming language.
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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
Amigans Defender
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@broadblues

Quote:
*If you want to multiselect then hold down left mouse button and drag over the items you want to multislecet nefore releasing.


Is dragging in this way a thing? I've always single-clicked on the items, I've never realised you could drag across and don't see any reason why you'd want to!

@ChrisH

Quote:
EDIT: It would ALSO allow left clicking of menu items to be cancelled in the same way as buttons - by moving the mouse pointer off the item (menu) entirely before releasing it.


That would be sensible.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@ChrisH
Quote:
BTW, it also prevents user error for people used to how menus work on Windows/Mac/Linux,


That's the problem, you're using other operating system methods on something completely different. All Sticky does is hold down the right mouse button for you, nothing else.

If you're making mistakes and hitting wrong menus try adjusting your mouse settings or stop drinking so much coffee

With a modern mouse 1:1 and accelerated on are fine.


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Ps. I hate the new amigans website. <shudder>
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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@Chris

Quote:

Is dragging in this way a thing? I've always single-clicked on the items, I've never realised you could drag across and don't see any reason why you'd want to!


Yes it it is, and you own example of selecting multiple check items ( the most extream example being Snoopy's menu) is a case where you might use it.

Individual clicking also works, ofcourse.


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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@ChrisH

Quote:

I would disagree,

Wel you would wouldn't you

Quote:

but in any event this issue has been annoying me since I first got an AmigaOS4 machine in 2008.


What were you using before that? The behaviour is unchanged, with the exception of sticky panels, between 3.x and 4.0 . Though as I said Magic menus confuses the issue.

Quote:

You can blame the user if you wish,


Not blaming you, the problem could be a deficiency in the documentation.

Quote:

but I would suggest it indicates a usability issue which could be improved on.


I disagree here.

Quote:

For arguments sake, let's say I want to multi-select items. What happens if I'm too quick with my left clicks and/or mouse movement, such that my holding-down of the left button is slightly too long (or too early) such that the left click slides across two (or more!) menu items? In that case two (or more) menu selections occur, causing unwanted action(s)... some of which I may not even realise since the desired DID also occur.

The solution is that "sliding left clicks" should only active the last (or maybe first) item that is left clicked on (before being released). You would still be able to select multiple items, just only one per left click.


The correct solution would be for you to choose a font size and mouse speed that match your mousing skills.

Quote:

BTW, it also prevents user error for people used to how menus work on Windows/Mac/Linux, where "left sliding" is entirely harmless (since it only acts upon where the left click is released).


The other operation lacks this cool feature so we should remove it argument cuts no ice with me at all I'm afraid.


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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@ChrisH

No this new to me, did not know it was possible.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@ChrisH

I've personally never had any issue with this. Maybe that's because I simply hold down the right button to open the menu, and select an item by hovering over it and releasing the right button again. There's no need to use the left mouse button at all.

However, I think that the root cause of the troubles might actually be the way that menus block the entire screen. If clicking on a menu item resulted in that action being taken immediately, then being able to click on multiple items before closing the menu would be just a time-saver. It's the delay until the menu is closed that's illogical.

Quote:
I also find Amiga menu behaviour unexpected, because they behave very differently to buttons: If you left click a button but realise your mistake, you can move the mouse pointer off it before releasing the left mouse button, which cancels the button click. But with (at least sticky) screen menus, left clicking something is not cancelled by moving your mouse pointer off it before releasing the left mouse button. (In fact I know of no way to cancel a menu selection once I have started.)

If you use just the right mouse button, then moving your mouse off the menu will ensure that nothing happens. That said, I agree that menu items should behave in the same way as buttons when it comes to cancelling actions. AFAIK, moving the mouse off before releasing to cancel is a universal convention across all major OSes.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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I have not red all the posts, just reply to the first:

Yes, multiple menu selection is a good and frequently used feature for me. The most obvious usage is for slelecting multiple toggle menuitems. It would be sluggish if selecting three options would need three menu opening.
I am using the classic drop down menu from the screen top, because this is the best method for me.

By the way theres is applications e.g. PageStream which is cannot handle multiple menu actions.

The only Amiga like solution for this problem is if the user should decide wheter multiple selection is enabled or disabled, however I think Amiga menu system is far superior than other implementations.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@lazi

Quote:
By the way theres is applications e.g. PageStream which is cannot handle multiple menu actions.

This is probably because PageStream's IDCMP loop processes menu input as single events, whereas the correct method is to while() the events until MENUNULL is received.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@ChrisH

Last time I used it was ... yesterday so yes, I use it from time to time.
I find it's a nice feature and I like it.
Note that I don't use stick menus. That may be the difference with you.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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Yes. I like to rename & delete stuff in Workbench all at once.

Seriously, that is asynchronous so you only do one or the other based on which requester you use first.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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I use it regularly enough, not every day but enough to notice when software doesn't support it. In fact, I thought I found that some components of OS4 (perhaps some prefs program?) didn't support it and so I initially thought it had been dropped for OS4. I thought it could have been for some silly patent reason or something...

Anyway, I like it as a feature and there have been occasions on other platform where I've wanted to use it and missed it. Along with things like shift-arrow, shift-delete, shift-backspace and so on... All Amiga-specific actions and shortcuts that I miss on other platforms.

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@Severin Quote:
If you're making mistakes and hitting wrong menus try adjusting your mouse settings or stop drinking so much coffee

With a modern mouse 1:1 and accelerated on are fine.

No, I think my problem stems from several issues:

1. Because "left click sliding" works fine on Windows, I am able to move my mouse FASTER without slight errors in the timing of my left click causing a problem. When I try to use Amiga menus just as fast, it's different handling of "left click sliding" means those errors DO cause problems. So I have to use Amiga menus slower than on Windows and sometimes I forget to go slower.

2. Since I heavily use Windows (and occasionally Mac), I am subconsciously used to "left click sliding" only selecting the item the left button is released on. (This is sometimes called "muscle memory".) So sometimes I do it "automatically" on AmigaOS without even realising I've done it (until it goes horribly wrong).

3. Very occasionally I intentionally do it (particularly if I haven't used AmigaOS in a while), because AmigaOS's current behaviour makes *no sense* to me (individually left clicking items yes, but not selecting multiple adjacent items with a single left slide) so I have an extremely hard time remembering this strange behaviour.

To recap: I see several benefits to prevent "left click sliding" over multiple adjacent menu from selecting all those items, while still allowing multi-selection from multiple individual left clicks. But I see virtually no benefit from keeping the current behaviour (Snoopy is an interesting edge case but why cripple system-wide menu behaviour for one program?).

@broadbandblues
I'm afraid I don't understand your argument. You'll have to be a bit more verbose in explaining why you disagree with me.


Edited by ChrisH on 2014/10/7 10:38:24
Edited by ChrisH on 2014/10/7 10:38:55
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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@ChrisH

I didn't even know it was possible to slide the mouse to "select" multiple items. I had to try to understand the problem
I guess this could be avoided while still keeping the multiple selection i.e. make left click down + move + click up non functional and keep left click down + click up on the same item still select the item.

Edit: I see that it's the same you're saying on the post above

Philippe 'Elwood' FERRUCCI
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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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Actually I use the multi-menu actions all the time without thinking about it.

It started in the AmigaOS3 days, and has continued into AmigaOS4.

Primarily I use it when changing the view in a drawer from icons to "Name" and multi-menu select "All files" view before letting go. It then changes to Name first, then shows all files. Very useful for drawers with lots of files in them like the downloads folder.

Saves having to go back to the same menu twice to get the view I want each time.

Fortunately in DOpus 5.9 you can set that view as the default view for the listers, so I use multi-menu selection mainly on the AmigaOS4 shown drawers.

Please don't take them away

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Re: Does anyone use multiple menu actions?
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@Elwood

Quote:

I guess this could be avoided while still keeping the multiple selection i.e. make left click down + move + click up non functional and keep left click down + click up on the same item still select the item.


No it can't because left clicking an item then releasing closes a sticky panel.




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