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

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Jan 13 14:48:17 PST 2006

Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>> ...
>>> 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.
> Then that's very poor design on their part. Since that menu opens on 
> mouseup, so it wouldn't interfere with a drag, they could just as easily 
> require a normal click to open the menu rather than a right-click.

There are often instances where different actions for left and right 
click are desirable. The fact that context menus are available as part 
of every widely use GUI framework, and that they are universally used in 
desktop applications, suggests that they are a very desirable feature 
(although they're admittedly not used by all novice users). Whilst it 
should never be possible to disable the UA context menu and submenus 
(especially of context menus) are a poor idea, some way of specifying 
author-provided context menus would still be a useful feature.

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