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back to article Double-click? Oh how conventional of you, darling!

Click and wait. Now click again. OK, that didn’t work. Let’s try again. Click and let go of the mouse button... and wait... and click a second time. No, I don’t want you to double-click. I need you to click twice, yes, but with a gap in between. Look, you have to click and leave that mouse button alone for a second or two …

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Anonymous Coward

1 out of 10

"Much of Alistair's recent work has been well written and entertaining, but this piece is not up to the high standard he has set himself. Must try harder."

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Re: 1 out of 10

To be fair, last week's article about the self-service tills was laugh-out-loud funny (or at least I found it so) - and he'd have to do remarkably well to come close to that one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 out of 10

Which was my point - he's done some very good stuff, and on that basis I invested the time and effort to read this piece, and the payoff simply wasnt there. His points were valid, relevant to tech, and well made, just not entertaining, and this is the SFTW slot, not some workaday article on UI.

Obviously the downvoters found this week's epistle entertaining, but I'm still struggling to get much of a laugh out of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 out of 10

Really? I think it's exactly the same format as all of his other articles:

- whinge about something that's bothered him about something this week inspiring others to write in and whinge about when the same thing bothered them, thereby allowing them to feel that they are part of a community of other people that are hard done to.

- throw in a mention of something from the 70s/80s to whip up a bit of nostalgia in people, causing them to write in about the something that they once did in the 70s/80s. After all someone else has mentioned the subject, thereby giving them license to add to it, so they do so in the hope that because they're interested in what they themselves did over 30 years ago, complete strangers might be interested in it too.

It's a cross between a self-help group for trivial problems and the communal room in an old folk's home.

A kind of El Reg's version of Grumpy Old Men if you will, but without the relief of a soothing Geoffrey Palmer voiceover. Come to think of it, he does look a bit like Will Self in that photo...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 out of 10

"- whinge about something that's bothered him about something this week inspiring others to write in and whinge about when the same thing bothered them, thereby allowing them to feel that they are part of a community of other people that are hard done to."

I'm looking at you Kristian Walsh.

"- throw in a mention of something from the 70s/80s to whip up a bit of nostalgia in people, causing them to write in about the something that they once did in the 70s/80s."

And you EddieD, Evil Graham and all the commentors in the rocking chairs next to you.

:D

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Re: 1 out of 10

I remember back in the day when I used to whinge about articles that whinged about stuff.

Ah, times were simpler back then...

Thanks for the memories

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Re: 1 out of 10

>> he does look a bit like Will Self in that photo

With my height, I'd have to be a Will Self Mini-Me.

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Go

Re: he does look a bit like Will Self in that photo...

... I thought he was Will Self

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 out of 10

Wouldn't that just be a Mini-Self?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 out of 10

@Darryl

It wasn't really a whinge, more of a comment.

I remember the times when I would comment on comments that reminisced about whinging about comments that whinged about articles based on whinges and reminscences.

Those were the days, but back then the food was awful and half of Britain was on strike.

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Go

Re: 1 out of 10

I don't anyone can be funny to all people all the time, but you obviously haven't had to replace the headlights on one of those 70s-80s Citroen cars where the first stage in replacing is opening the boot and taking out the back seat.

AFAIK they're not that much better nowadays, but this piece of advice sagely handed down to me by my father ("Never buy a fucking French car") means that luckily I don't have to find out for myself.

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Coat

Re: 1 out of 10

"comment on comments that reminisced about whinging about comments"

A meta-comment then. Splendid. What next? Some meta-humour, aka British style jokes about British humour?

Oh, I see. You did that too. Carry on.

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Pint

Re: 1 out of 10

I know this is hopelessly off topic so please forgive me asking this but I have to ask.

Why did you have to take the rear seat out of the car to replace a headlight?

And what happened to the company that made the most ugly cars in the world? Simca..

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Re: 1 out of 10

I feel compelled to complain about all the complaints made in this thread.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 out of 10

@Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

Actually, it's more of an iterative comment. If you're not sure what I mean by that just go back to the first post and read through the replies again.

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Pint

Re: 1 out of 10

Iterative? That is quite an understatement. Recursive incursion into the cursed circles of recursion.

Well done in any case. May I offer this fine ale as a token of appreciation.

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Re: 1 out of 10

You needed to unscrew the housings from behind, the only way to get behind the housings was through the dashboard so you had to remove that from the car too.

To remove the dashboard from the car you had to take it out of the rear door, you could get it over the front seats by fully reclining them but you had to take the back seats out.

C'est logique, no?

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Re: 1 out of 10

Nope, there is no difference nowadays. (Well, OK, there is - you don't have to take out the back seat to change the headlights, because it's basically f(&*^cking impossible to change the headlights no matter where you start.)

I wish I had had your dad's advice before buying a Xsara Picasso. Marvellously spacious car (with redefined "groundbreaking" dashboard, natch, that you can't read in daylight) but oh BOY do they screw you on the price of spares. Examples that I have to make alternative plans for: rear parcel shelf (just a solid moulding, not a fancy retractible like in the BMW X5 or Audi Q series) - either £ 270 or £ 340, I don't remember the details, it was in 2008; wiper/headlight/ECU switch/control stalk assembly - a bargain at £ 270 (this year).

Plus of course the legendary awkwardness of getting any basic maintenance work done on the thing. I think the first step for changing the spark plugs is to remove the engine.

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Re: 1 out of 10

Mai non.

C'est logique Francaise, oui!

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Re: 1 out of 10

"Never buy a fucking French car"

The French operate the CRaP car network... Critoen, Renault and Peugeot.

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Double clicking ...

... is obvious shorthand for the thing you are most likely to do with two clicks - select icon, then launch, for instance. Yes it gets overused (Bethesda, I'm looking at you with your ridiculous check boxes on the GECK which have to be double-clicked to toggle the tick) but I think it makes perfect sense in many scenarios.

As do the two single clicks to rename a file. First click to select. Second click on a selected item, start editing. As with all of these things, if you explain to people why they happen, they can learn them. Same with kids and maths: you can just teach them formulae and hope they remember them as if they were mystical incantations - or you can show them why they really work. The latter is teaching maths, the former merely teaching them to pass maths tests.

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Re: Double clicking ...

So a double-click is click to select then click to open.

Wheres two single clicks is click to select then click to edit.

That doesn't explain why -- it just shows that the UI designer decided to give a single user action (click) three different interpretations for the same object depending on context. And the contextual difference between click-click and click-pause-click is fine enough that it trips up even the most seasoned user, especially when the threshold for the pause differs between systems (or even worse, depending on how busy a single system is.)

Making it even worse are systems which have click-click for open, click-pause-click for rename, and click-longer pause-click does something different (or nothing at all.)

Sure you can teach people these things, but you're not supposed to teach stupid.

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Re: Double clicking ...

I agree, click to select and click again to edit is standard, albeit slightly obscure. But the part where the second click had to fall within a certain time limit is completely inexcusable. I've just never heard of that.

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Re: Double clicking ...

Well it's the same on Apple's Finder and Windows Explorer, if you double-click you open the file and if you click on the name, wait, then click again you rename the file. Is the software not offering any feedback after the first click or something?

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Standards...

Fortunately, I never drove a Citroen.

Back when I was learning to drive every car was different - the wipers and the indicators seeming to swap randomly; sometimes the horn was at the center of the wheel, sometimes on the end of the indicator stick.

I lost count of the number of times I wiped my windows instead of indicating, or hooted instead of squirting my windscreen when learning, much to the irritation of my instructor.

But it taught me to check things before I started.

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Re: Standards...

It's not just Citroen's, my Peugeot* puts the buttons for the electric windows not on the doors, near the actual windows (what a typically un-french, non-romantic idea!). No, the controls for the windows are in the middle of the car, just behind the handbrake.

Of course, this means every time I get into another car I fruitlessly scrabble next to the handbrake before realising that the buttons are next to the window.

I suppose I should count myself lucky that the handbrake is in the middle of the car, not on the roof or something.

*Peugeot - an impossible word for a dyslexic to spell.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Standards...

"Peugeot - an impossible word for a dyslexic to spell."

I've always thought dyslexia would improve your chances of getting it right ...

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Re: Standards...

Not quite handbrake on the roof, but about 10 years ago I used to run around in a 1960 Humber Super Snipe. Column change auto (nice) and handbrake between the (bench) seat and the drivers door.

Due to it's unreliability and thirst for fuel (20 mpg on a run, 14 round town) I used to fairly regularly hire cars - and barked knuckles from the door pocket that the handbrake had inexplicably changed in to were a common injury as a result

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Facepalm

Re: Standards...

Prior to standardisation there were several occasions when I responded to an outrageous example of bad driving by mouthing "You *&^%$ @:~#£!" and aggressively washing my windscreen at the offending driver.

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...controls for the windows are in the middle of the car, just behind the handbrake

I had a C(h)avalier that had exactly the same configuration. I loved that car. The passenger side had a lovely crop of moss by the time I traded it in...

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IT Angle

Re: Standards...

>Peugeot* puts the buttons for the electric windows not on the doors, near the actual windows (what a typically un-french, non-romantic idea!). No, the controls for the windows are in the middle of the car, just behind the handbrake.

Foolish person! The controls are in that position so that, when opening a window with your lit Gitane or Gauloise in your hand, there's no risk of ash or sparks flying back into the car—possibly into the eyes of your passengers in the rear seats. IOW, design rooted in la politesse.

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Re: Standards...

"aggressively washing my windscreen at the offending driver."

Washing in his general direction? What a cruelty.

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Re: Standards...

And some things never change. I took a Kia out for a test drive a couple of years ago, and at the beginning of it the saledroid said "if you indicate with the wipers more than 3 times, you have to buy the car". I thought he was joking, but turns out the design idiots had swapped the position of the indicator and wiper stalks compared to every other car in creation (with the possible exception of Dabbsy's Citroen).

Shame as the car itself wasn't bad, but it was just niggling enough that I'd not consider buying one.

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Re: Standards...

uhm, check out a New Mini. Especially when just arrived on a late night flight, preferably four hours or more. Arriving at night. Raining.

at least all Chrysler-family cars have sort of the same layout, 'stalk-wise'.

BTW, to drive some even more bonkers... use your car key to lock the driver-side door. left turn or right turn?

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Re: Standards...

Regarding the Kia, fun, isn't it? Had mine for over a year and I still get it wrong about 1 in 5 times. To add insult to injury, I now also get it wrong when I drive a 'normal' car.

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Re: Standards...

"Back when I was learning to drive every car was different"

Me too, me too! methinks you are referring to the 70s or thereabouts?

"the wipers and the indicators seeming to swap randomly"

There is a reason for that. It took me a long time to work it out, but it's based on the country of origin of the car. A right-hand drive vehicle has the gear stick on the left, so the indicator control is on the right. The wipers (presumably used less often than the indicators) are on the same side as the gears. Everything is mirror-imaged in a car designed for a left-hand drive market, which when it's sold in Britain only has the driver's cockpit transplanted to the other side of the car, not transposed.

Similarly the fuel tank filler point is on the side of the car that in its original market would be opposite the driver's side. Maybe in some places you still have petrol pumps at the side of the road...? The mind boggles at the thought.

"sometimes the horn was at the center of the wheel, sometimes on the end of the indicator stick"

Thank God that is one quirk that seems to have disappeared. I think the little knobby at the end of the indicator stalk was a British thing - specifically, BMC / Leyland - I remember a couple of Minis and Austins with that very-hard-to-find-in-an-emergency horn button. And let's face it, the horn *is* supposed to be an emergency control!

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Fooling with conventions

"I can only imagine the roads of 1970s France were littered with parked GSes as their drivers frantically flicked through the product manual, trying to find out where they’d relocated the rear-view mirror."

Nah. In 1970s France the only thing you really needed to locate in a car was the cigarette lighter and your passenger's perky nipples*

*I admit my knowledge of this era is informed entirely by late night films on BBC2.

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Re: Fooling with conventions

Nah. In 1970s France the only thing you really needed to locate in a car was the cigarette lighter and your passenger's perky nipples*

And the handle to wind down the window when you realise that the beautiful girl, who has just allowed you to hitch a lift on a hot Summer day, absolutely stinks :-( Admittedly in the 1990s, but I imagine it could only have been worse in the 1970s.

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Re: Fooling with conventions

in which case your SoL on the citroen, as it does not have a cigarette lighter,

in stead it comes with a cigar lighter .

Yes, the mind baffles .....

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Re: Fooling with conventions

"the beautiful girl, who has just allowed you to hitch a lift on a hot Summer day, absolutely stinks"

Twenty Gauloises and a bottle of Pernod should mask that, no problem.

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Re: Fooling with conventions

"when you realise that the beautiful girl, who has just allowed you to hitch a lift on a hot Summer day, absolutely stinks"

She'd sprayed on some English repellant. All hitch-hiking French girls carry a can.

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Re: Fooling with conventions

Another twenty Gauloises and a bottle of Pernod should mask that, no problem.

FTFY.

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Re: Fooling with conventions

She'd sprayed on some English repellant. All hitch-hiking French girls carry a can.

It was me that was the hitch hiker - and my understanding of French hygiene is that they compensate for the lack of washing with copious amounts of cheap perfume. Seems to be a rural thing though, as Parisians don't seem to ming (although the Metro reeks of piss).

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But... but...

To get two clicks in a specified time, you'd probably fire off a timer on the single-click and then register the second click if it's performed before the timer expires. But double-click produces a single-click event followed by a double-click event *anyway*.

What the hell was the designer thinking?

Oh, and in that wonderfully adept illustration by Citroen, I note that the captions are in neither alphabetic order or clustered by function, and that the numbers are also unordered. I suspect the illustrator was smoking from the same pipe...

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Re: But... but...

Nah, they just listed them in the order they found them while writing the manual.

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Re: But... but...

Or it could just be to balance the Windows habit of trying to make you rename a file/folder if you try and double-click open it but are a fraction too slow?

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Re: IT angle got a bit curved here.

The issue is not about interpreting what users need. It's about following convention. Double-clicking is a convention. So is an indicator lever on a stick. So is pressing on the centre of a steering wheel to sound the horn. I don't see any difference between hardware and software. If Citroen did software, they'd probably put the program menus at the bottom of the screen - potentially a clever idea but it would drive everyone nuts.

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Click, wait, click...

...is the horribly unintuitive way that you select a file for renaming on the Mac OS X Finder. There's no menu item for "Rename", nor is there a context-menu or key shortcut. I'm guessing the developer was a Mac user.

As the behaviour is actually a holdover from the Classic Finder, I calculate that it has been bugging me for seventeen years now.

(Alternatively, open Terminal.app . Type 'mv', drag victim file from Finder window and drop onto terminal window, type new name inside quotes, press return)

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