Comments on ModesAreBad

  1. ## 1 Comment. ### "Emacs says it has no modes, but it is lying. Just by pressing the first control sequence in a double-control sequence, you have entered a mode. Using menus can be considered a means of switching between modes -- you can't access other menus when you're already in one."

This is false. Given examples are state changes, but not mode changes.

A mode's definition (by Jef Raskin): "An human-machine interface is modal with respect to a given gesture when (1) the current state of the interface is not the user's locus of attention and (2) the interface will execute one among several different responses to the gesture, depending on the system's current state."

If you are in a menu, it is your focus of attention, hence activating it (or leaving it for those other menus) can't be a mode change. The same goes for the command sequences. Modes are troublesome because they make changes outside their obvious vicinity, not merely because they change the state.

Modes are bad by definition. If you have a mode, which you redesign to contain the state information, you effectively remove modality from that control. However sometimes the complexity of the task can make modeless design difficult.


-- Anonymous 2012-09-17 12:28 UTC

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