Re: Question on mouse terminology: left/right? or?

Subject: Re: Question on mouse terminology: left/right? or?
From: Kelly Hoffman <kelly -at- NASHUA -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 1994 16:20:27 EDT

We discussed the mouse-button-naming issue a while ago, so those
of you who missed it may want to check out the TECHWR-L logs.
Look for a thread with the subject "Mickey's Shorts" from about
a month ago.

Laura Lemay <lemay -at- DEATH -dot- KALEIDA -dot- COM> writes:

> What I felt Sun really needed to do was ship sticky
> labels with thier systems that said SELECT, ADJUST and MENU so you could
> put them in the appropriate spots on the mouse and at least have
> some sort of logical connection between the mouse and the documentation.

Well, my SPARCclassic came with a set of sticky labels that said just
that. Not that I stuck them to my mouse, mind you. (But then, I'm
using the Motif window manager, which has its own conventions -- some
variation on mouse buttons 1, 2, and 3.)

> I ended up being beligerent in my books and made the assumption that
> if you were technologically sophisticated enough to rearrange the buttons
> on your mouse (no small feat in the Sun envrironment) that you could
> bloody well figure out that the default docs did not apply to you.

Perhaps, but the presumption will irritate them unnecessarily. Contrary
to your post, it's really not difficult to change the button behavior,
and if you're a frustrated lefty, you'll figure it out pretty quickly.
Many systems give you a nice gui to do the configuring, so you don't even
have to edit an .Xdefaults file or anything.

Here's one data point: my husband uses his rodent left-handed. He has no
problem with the mouse-button-x (or MBx convention used by DEC), but the
assumption that the left/middle/right buttons are always left/middle/right
is, in his words, very annoying.

He makes the translation from "MB3" to "mouse button under ring finger"
without pause, but having to translate "right mouse button" to "left
mouse button" makes him stumble every time. Still does, after years of
left-handed-rodent use.

I suspect he's not alone. Lefties are something like 15% of the
population, and I seem to remember that the percentage is higher
in technical fields. And there's the odd folks, like my spouse, who is
a righty that just happened to learn how to run the rodent when the only
desk space available was to the left of his machine.

Frankly, I think the folks from Apple got this right in the first
place. *They* don't have this problem.

Kelly K. Hoffman kelly -at- nashua -dot- hp -dot- com
Learning Products Engineer
Hewlett-Packard, Network Test Division "Reading the manual is
One Tara Blvd., Nashua, NH 03062 admitting defeat."

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