Close menu item seems to violate Gnome HIG

Bug #435792 reported by Kazade on 2009-09-24
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
software-center (Ubuntu)
Matthew Paul Thomas

Bug Description

Binary package hint: software-store

In the specification for the software store is the following:

"“Close” should, by default, exit the Software Store without prompting. "

It also says that CTRL+W should trigger this item (and thus quit the application).

However, the Gnome HIG says:

Quit Ctrl-Q Closes the application.
Close Ctrl-W Closes the current document.

It seems that to stay consistent with other applications, "Close" in the file menu should become "Quit".

More information here: under "Closing Operations"

(I mentioned this in the thread on Ubuntu forums, but thought it best to post as a bug so it doesn't get lost)

István Nyitrai (sianis) wrote :
Changed in software-store (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Michael Vogt (mvo) on 2009-09-24
Changed in software-store (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Thanks for the suggestion. However, the Ubuntu Software Store has no need to require users to know whether it is "running" or not. So it does not have a "Quit" item, and the HIG's guideline about where to put the Quit item therefore does not apply.

It is possible that in future, the Store will let you open multiple windows if you really want to. In that case, "Close" will close the current window but there still will not be a "Quit" item, just as there isn't in Epiphany for example.

By the way, when citing the Gnome interface guidelines in future, be sure to use the latest version. The version you cited is from 2002.

Changed in software-store (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Invalid
Kazade (kazade) wrote :

OK, I would argue though that Epiphany is a multi-document application and "Close" closes the tabs as well as the application (when no tabs remain). I can't really see the reasoning for the Software Store having close rather than quit, I mean the application doesn't "open" anything to close. Still it's your decision, sorry for linking an old HIG.

komputes (komputes) wrote :

mpt, I would appreciate clarification on the contention that an application that has no need to require users to know whether it is "running" or not does not need a quit item (and more importantly a Ctrl-Q keyboard shortcut to quit).

My argument is that users are simply *used to* quiting an application (a graphical process) by pressing Ctrl-Q and/or Alt-F4. Even though Alt-F4 is not in the menus as an option in software-center it still works to close it. Why not do the same with Ctrl-Q?

From my point of view, I say we should stick with a standard set of shortcuts for the applications shipped within the distribution.

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Invalid → Opinion
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

An application that does not need users to know whether it is running does not need a "Quit" item because it wouldn't do anything useful. In applications that have "Quit" commands, all tasks stop and (usually) some valuable state is lost. Both of those are engineering deficiencies. But in USC, installations and removals carry on regardless of whether the window is open, and there is no other valuable state to retain (or, for that matter, to reset).

Furthermore, implementing a "Quit" item would actually be harmful, in that it would cancel all current tasks when usually that wouldn't be what the user had intended. (The next logical step would be a confirmation alert asking if you're sure you want to cancel all current tasks; but wanting to add a confirmation alert is a big clue that the original design is wrong.) If you do want to stop current tasks safely because you need to shut down quickly, that can and should be handled by aptdaemon itself interacting with Gnome Session (that way it would work for Update Manager too). And if you want to stop all current USC tasks for any other reason, that could be handled more obviously by a "Cancel All" button in the "In Progress" screen. <>

Ubuntu has never used Alt F4 to quit applications, but rather to close windows. Even in Microsoft Windows, Alt F4 is normally for closing a window; it quits an application only if the application has a Multiple Document Interface (child windows inside a parent window), which is relatively uncommon in Windows and doesn't exist at all in Ubuntu.

I agree it would be nice to standardize in this area. Ubuntu Software Center is consistent with Evince, Epiphany, and Eye of Gnome, but many other applications still have vestigial "Quit" items. Unfortunately for the kind of simplification drive necessary to get rid of them is neither easy for volunteers to agree on, nor sexy for companies to work on.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

For more details on avoiding "Quit", see <>.

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Opinion → Won't Fix
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