When navigating Dash by keyboard, sometimes titles with no function are incorrectly focused

Reported by Matt Sturgeon on 2011-10-08
108
This bug affects 17 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
Undecided
Unassigned
Unity
Medium
Unassigned
unity (Ubuntu)
Medium
Unassigned
Precise
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

When I open the Dash, hit down the "Shortcuts" title is focused.
The Shortcuts title has no function, and so should not be focus-able.

In the Apps Lens, the" Apps Available for Download" sub-lens has no view-more toggle, but it's title is still focus-able. (Same as "Shortcuts")

If I go into Dash and type enough letters so that all available apps are shown (no drop-down/view-more toggle), it works as expected: not focusing the lens titles without view-more toggles.

If I go into Dash and type too few letters, so that some apps are hidden, and a view-more toggle is shown, then this view-more toggle is focused. (as expected)

When a view-more toggle is focused, pressing Enter will operate it, but Space will not (pressing Space to operate instead returns focus to the search box and types a space character. Bug #881088

Also in the Files Lens the first sub-lens's view-more toggle does not glow when focused, and none of the Music sub-lenses's view-more toggles glow when focused.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

No, if you look closely on first down arrow 'see xx more results' ishighlighted on the second the icons are so this bug IMO is invalid. Is that the case for you?

Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
mattubu (mattubu) wrote :

I think it's a valid bug. If I type "firefox" there are no more results, just firefox. Selecting the down arrow once highlights nothing, but a second time highlights firefox. Only one up arrow is required to return to the search box.

Interestingly, a reboot occasionally fixes the problem.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

the first time i triaged the bug I was not able to reprodcue, this time I can reproduce the bug. confirming.

Changed in unity:
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Omer Akram (om26er) on 2011-10-17
Changed in unity:
importance: Undecided → Medium
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
tags: added: regression-release
Matt Sturgeon (mattsturgeon) wrote :

I have noticed it is inconsistent, sometimes it effects searchbox -> first-lens, other times it is first-lens -> second-lens.

It also effects searchbox -> dash-entries (e.g. Media Apps, Internet Apps, etc)

I believe this is related to the view-more toggles, but it is strange that it is inconsistent. Perhaps it effects only view-more toggles from some lenses?

Matt Sturgeon (mattsturgeon) wrote :

The actual bug may be that view-more toggles are not always focused (sometimes skipped), and that the "Shortcuts" title (used to be a toggle in natty) should not be selected, and that it is not obvious enough that they are being selected (add more glow when focused).

Also the flashing bar in the search box is sometimes still displayed when focus is off the searchbox.

Also when they are selected, then pressing Space should be equivalent of clicking the toggle, instead of returning focus to the search box and typing a space.

Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

For me the issue only happens with the 'Applications lens' with the 'Most Frequently Used' header... Are there any steps I could take to reproduce the issue other than that.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Matt Sturgeon (mattsturgeon) wrote :

I find the issue when I open the Dash, hit down (Shortcuts title is focused), down again and Media Apps is selected.
The Shortcuts title has no function, and so should not be focus-able.

In the Apps Lens, the Apps Available for Download sub-lens has no view-more toggle, but it's title is still focus-able.

If I go into Dash and type enough letters so that all available apps are shown (no drop-down/view-more toggle), it works as expected: not focusing the lens titles.

If I go into Dash and type too few letters, so that some apps are hidden, and a view-more toggle is shown, then this view-more toggle is focused.

In the Files Lens the first sub-lens's view-more toggle does not glow when focused, and none of the Music sub-lenses's view-more toggles glow when focused.

When a view-more toggle is focused, pressing Enter will operate it, but Space will not (pressing Space to operate instead returns focus to the search box and types a space character).

Changed in unity:
status: Incomplete → New
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
description: updated
description: updated
summary: - In 11.10 to navigate search results in the dash, you must press the down
- arrow twice, not once.
+ When navigating Dash by keyboard, sometimes titles with no function are
+ incorrectly focused
Omer Akram (om26er) on 2011-10-25
Changed in unity:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
tags: added: a11y
mattubu (mattubu) wrote :

I think I disagree on one point, Matt. You say "If I go into Dash and type enough letters so that all available apps are shown (no drop-down/view-more toggle), it works as expected: not focusing the lens titles without view-more toggles."

As I wrote above, "if I type 'firefox' there are no more results, just firefox. Selecting the down arrow once highlights nothing, but a second time highlights firefox. Only one up arrow is required to return to the search box."

First a correction: I do need two up-arrow keystrokes to return to the search bar. I'm not sure if this is the same behavior as before or if I was mistaken the first time.

Second, some additional information: I also have a few "Files and Folders" showing up (with no view-more toggle). If I press the down-arrow key twice to get to firefox, I also need to press it twice to select the first file. I wonder therefore if the first down-arrow press selects the "Applications" header, then the second selects Firefox, then the thirds selects the "Files and Folders" header, and finally the fourth selects my first file. This looks like the same behavior as selection of the "Shortcuts" header.

Thanks for taking a look at this!

Matt Sturgeon (mattsturgeon) wrote :

Are you sure you've got the latest updates (sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade)?

As I mentioned before there does seem to be some inconsistency, but however on my machine it does still appear to be behaving as I described.

Except "Apps Available for Download" no longer focuses it's title (at least today anyway :-\ )

I don't get how this issue can be so inconsistent across computers and sessions..

Also sometimes the cursor continues flashing in the searchbox even if I focus another element

mattubu (mattubu) wrote :

Yup my system is totally upgraded. I updated yesterday before posting, and again today. I even got a unity update (4.0.4), but the issue isn't fixed after a reboot. I'm fetching from oneiric-backports though, if that is of any help.

I wonder if some third-party app is causing the inconsistency? Or something from the upgrade from Natty? (I know those aren't very helpful suggestions at all but I have no better ideas...).

I have another problem with bad focusing as well though I'm not sure if I should file a separate bug report for it. After rebooting, the dash search cursor blinks, but I am unable to type anything or even press "escape" to close the dash. It can only be closed from the keyboard by pressing the super key (as far as I can tell). I'll reboot again and check if mouse input works...

mattubu (mattubu) wrote :

Follow-up to previous comment:
- Mouse input works as expected.
- The searchbox cursor disappears after I start typing
- The problem doesn't show up after logout - only reboot it seems.

psypher (psypher246) wrote :

HI all,

I am running Precise with unity 5 and this issue is still present. And now with the big home buttons removed you don't have to search for anything to have something in the dash home. It already displays, recent apps, recent files and downloads. To get to the first recent app you have to press down arrow twice. This does not happen in Unity 2d where it act as expected.

psypher (psypher246) wrote :

Hello all, is there any progress on this issue?

Omer Akram (om26er) on 2012-02-09
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Andrea Azzarone (andyrock)
Changed in unity:
assignee: nobody → Andrea Azzarone (andyrock)
milestone: none → backlog
Andrea Azzarone (andyrock) wrote :
Changed in unity:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Changed in unity (Ubuntu Precise):
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Changed in unity:
milestone: backlog → 5.4.0
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

Now, it has not. I am using trunk right now.. try this:

1. open dash
2. type firefox
3. press down arrow

what happens 'applications' header takes focus first I guess it should not since there are no more applications to show.

Changed in unity:
status: Fix Committed → Triaged
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Changed in unity (Ubuntu Precise):
status: Fix Committed → Confirmed
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

It turns out it is by design, andy gave me the bug number https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+bug/893966 so I am going to mark this bug as opinion

Changed in unity:
assignee: Andrea Azzarone (andyrock) → nobody
Changed in unity (Ubuntu Precise):
assignee: Andrea Azzarone (andyrock) → nobody
Changed in unity:
milestone: 5.4.0 → none
status: Confirmed → Opinion
Changed in unity (Ubuntu Precise):
status: Confirmed → Opinion
psypher (psypher246) wrote :

OK I get the feature now. If there are more results than displayed then the heading is active and can be clicked on or press enter to display more results. This feature just was broken and not working consistently. The highlight and selection bug is fixed in my opinion which makes this work in a predictable way. If I know I must press down twice to select my first choice then thats fine as long as it's the same thing each time and the same in unity 2d.

Thanks

TomasHnyk (sup) wrote :

Hm, focusing something that has no function seems still confuses me (however consistent it is), but whatever, I can live with that.

psypher (psypher246) wrote :

I agree with you, yet what happens when you search and there is only one or 2 results. When you press down to select, do you want it to go directly to the first result? That means that you have to always remember that it's just one down press and not 2 when there are multiple results. For me having a consistent procedure to reproduce is more usefull as muscle memory takes over.

I'm still on the fence about this one...

John Lea (johnlea) on 2012-03-07
Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Opinion
mattubu (mattubu) wrote :

(Please not that I have not used the precise beta yet.)

While I can understand that the problem of the down-arrow is an opinion, I believe it's still a bug because the behavior is inconsistent. Sometimes the imaginary titles aren't focused and sometimes they are (sometimes I need only one down stroke and sometimes I need two).

Since there is also a question of opinion, here is my proposed argument and solution:

Argument:
Let's say I'm looking for an app that has an 'f.' I will open the dash, and type 'f.' Then I will hit ONE down stroke, which will "select" the Application sections. Then I need to hit a right stroke to select "Show x more," and my apps will be displayed.

Let's say I'm looking to start Firefox. I will open the dash, and type 'firefox.' Then I will hit one down stroke to "select" the Applications section, and a second one to get to Firefox.

The main problem is the imaginary selection. If this is left in, then there needs to be an obvious indicator that the first stroke was registered and that it is intentional that the title is selected (I imagine someone can come up with a good indicator). The other thing is that something needs to be able to happen when this indicator is selected - otherwise what's the point? A casual user wouldn't immediately realize it's for muscle memory.

Proposed solution:
Remove the "show x more" option from the title bar level, and add place it on the level of the application/file icons, right before the first hit. That way, when the user types something, the first downstroke brings him/her directly to the first hit. If the user wanted to show more files, a simple left stroke will bring him/her there. This will leave the number of strokes for more files unchanged, and make the first application selection one stroke, and always one stroke.

I attached a very crude mockup.

psypher (psypher246) wrote :

I agree, there was a point when it was a bug and pressing down once did not indicate where the cursor is, but for a while now it has highlighted the "Applications" bar.

The problem with your mockup comes in when you have multiple programs found that require to be expanded. You can't have the applications expand where files are, it must be kept separate.

I have a very simple solution to this problem.

Navigate application and file icons with the arrow keys and navigate to the title bars with TAB. It's already cycling through them when you hit tab, so why not just disable arrow keys from navigating to the title bars?

So type f in the dash, whole bunch of apps, files and music comes up. one arrow key down takes you to the first found application, another down arrow takes you to the first found file, next down arrow takes you to the first found song.

Similarly, typing f in the dash and then hitting TAB takes you to the applications title bar, pressing enter reveals more options, hitting arrow down takes you to the expanded list of found apps.

Hitting tab again takes you to Files and again takes you to Music

So NEVER navigate title bars with arrows and only navigate them with tab.

Solves all issues as far as I can see and reduces tapping of keys.

Petko Ditchev (pditchev) wrote :

I gave this suggestion on the mailing list when the topic was discussed , I'll give it here also , and I hope it gets spotted by developers :

Highlight the first item from the search by default . That's it .. one arrow up to see more results , enter to open (that works now but it seems like a hack) , arrow right/down to browze other results . It doesn't change arrangement , it doesn't change anything but the initial highlight position ,and I think that solves the problems (and I think titles shouldn't be selectable even in that scenario).

Anyone with me ?

mattubu (mattubu) wrote :

Petko - I like your idea a lot (saves a keystroke) but I still see several problems:
- you still have a consistency problem when trying to go back up to the search bar (sometimes two sometimes one upstroke)
- you also have a consistency problem going down to files - it's two strokes if there are files to expand, and only one if there aren't
- you can't use the arrow keys to move your cursor
- (this is really nitpicky and likely isn't consistent across apps and of course subject to change) in firefox you need to downpress once to get to the first hit from the awesome bar.

pshyper - I like your solution too but I don't know how intuitive it would be. I have a hard time imagining a first-time user thinking "oh I can select more files by pressing tab" and instead see him/her frustrated that he/she has to click to expand. I think it would be easier in this case to just list all the apps, and then have a message that says "press tab for files and music" or something like that.

Regarding my mockup - That was a bad example. I should have just typed in "f" and put the "x more apps" in the applications line. In my mockup this would be where the "x more files " would be for the files section.

Petko Ditchev (pditchev) wrote :

mattubu , thanks for pointing out the flaws in my idea , I really hadn't taken into account the fact that arrow keys are used in the input form , amongst other things .

So I'm back to my initial idea ( from the mailing list discussion) - one similar to yours . Move the "See more results>" button below the results (I'm pretty sure there will be a design solution for that ) , and make the titles unselectable . That way we have first arrow down - select first result , second arrow down , select see more results . I really don't know whos idea is better , the design team must say . Because if the "see more.." is on the left - it should be an icon , because you can't fit the text there without rearranging too much . I was going to say that if its under the icons it would take up space , but now there's a lot of blank space anyways soI think that's not a problem .

mattubu (mattubu) wrote :

(Sorry if a double post happens but it looks like replying to the email doesn't post automatically...)

Hi Petko,
No problem! That's why we have public forums. I like the idea of putting the more files on the bottom - it's logical that you would
keep getting there with downstrokes. And I don't think the number of keystrokes to get to the file list is as critical as the number to get to the application list (you might still end up with needing two strokes or one stroke depending on whether there are more apps). Either way I don't think that the titles should be selectable. Also yes, if the more files is on the side I agree it needs to be an icon (maybe a plus with the text "x more…" or something like that).

Yann Dìnendal (yannbreliere) wrote :

No, that's not a forum, this is a bug report. Discussions and ideas should go to the mailing list.

Petko Ditchev (pditchev) wrote :

Discussions and ideas have been in the mailing list and nothing has happened . The fact is there is no centric development forum where good ideas will stick until someone implements them or disproves them good . At least in this or similar cases I think it's good to have the design ideas here , so they are closely related to the bug itself , and it's easier to make the connection . More so this is a usability bug , so discussions on usability , IMO , are appropriate .

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