[whatwg] Thoughts on Context and Popup Menus for Web Applications

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Thu Jan 5 17:54:50 PST 2006

On Sun, 14 Nov 2004, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> On 11 Nov, 2004, at 5:11 AM, Matthew Raymond wrote:
> > ...
> >    Who's to say the UA couldn't just append the menu to the context menu? Or
> > append the browser context menu as a submenu?
> Reasonableness. Shortcut menus (aka context menus) become more difficult 
> to use the more items they have (as closeness to screen edges require 
> that they open in a direction other than southeast), and submenus of 
> shortcut menus are extremely difficult to use for the same reason 
> squared.

Do you know of a method that could be used that would not suffer from 
these problems?

> > Or allow access to the context menu when an additional key is pressed 
> > (such as alt + [right-click])? ...
> That might be possible on Windows, but on Mac OS Option+click is already 
> used for copying, Shift+click for extending selection, Command+click 
> often for grab-scrolling, and Ctrl+click for opening the shortcut menu 
> in the first place.
> I think we may be venturing into "no practical solution for the 
> platforms some user agents are running on" territory again.

This would be unfortunate. It is very clear that there is a need for Web 
applications to be able to provide context-sensitive commands. Windows 
Live Local (formely MSN Virtual Earth) provides a context menu on its 
maps, and it makes a lot of sense. Would we not want to allow a more 
semantic and accessible way of doing that?

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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