#142 ✓resolved
Tom Metro

right-click on column headings resorts

Reported by Tom Metro | May 7th, 2008 @ 08:42 PM | in Support

If you right-click on a column heading it resorts the table by that column just as if you left-clicked on it. This is atypical UI behavior. The expected result is to get a context menu with column-specific options, if available, or table customization options.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • Therese Telepski

    Therese Telepski May 8th, 2008 @ 12:20 PM

    Yep, but do Macs have two button mice and context menus in the meantime? After all were talking about a Java application -- which means it ought to be platform independent without too many interrogations and differentiations regarding the underlying OS.



  • Tom Metro

    Tom Metro May 8th, 2008 @ 04:15 PM

    Therese Telepski wrote:

    ...do Macs have two button mice...

    Some do, some don't. I'm not sure I see the relevance.

    ...and context menus...?

    JBidwatcher uses and depends on context menus for other functions, so I

    presume there is a mechanism for accessing them on a Mac.

    In this case, the ability to access a context menu for a column is not

    critical. If on some platforms you can't right-click, or can't access

    context menus, then disabling the sort functionality from the

    right-click action, and mapping it to the table context menu would have

    no impact.


  • Morgan Schweers

    Morgan Schweers July 2nd, 2008 @ 02:20 AM

    • State changed from “new” to “resolved”
    • Tag set to interface
    • Milestone changed from 2.0 Full Release to Support


    The customizing-columns menu is available from a button above the scrollbar, from right-clicking (or control-clicking on a 1-button mouse Mac) on the tab-name, or from the Tab menu itself.

    Right-clicking the columns has no extra functionality, and while I suppose I could make it behave like that, I've never seen that behavior before offhand.

    Most apps which allow customizing columns have the above-scrollbar button like JBidwatcher 2.x has. For options that have to do with the table as a while, pull up the context menu on the tab itself, or use the 'Tab' menu at the top.

    -- Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

  • Tom Metro

    Tom Metro July 2nd, 2008 @ 12:35 PM

    Morgan Schweers wrote:

    Right-clicking the columns...I've never seen that

    behavior before offhand.

    I bet I can find 5 applications that provide a context menu from the

    column headings:




    the file explorer in Windows XP

    Firefox (about:config)

    ...has no extra functionality...

    Yes, but that misses the point. This bug report isn't about adding a

    context menu (that was just a suggestion based on the typical behavior

    of other applications), it is about eliminating an undesired behavior,

    which is triggering a column sort from a right-click.

    Besides, there is plenty of precedent for having multiple redundant

    paths to UI functionality (as you stated yourself, you already support 3

    redundant paths).

    When I surveyed my applications just now, I ran across a bunch of others

    that provided sorting through column headings, but provided no context

    menu, and didn't trigger a resort from a right-click. That's perfectly

    acceptable too.

    I only found one case (the Tools | Options... | Applications dialog in

    Firefox 3) where right-clicking a column heading induced a sort.

    Of the applications I listed above that do provide a context menu, not

    all provide column customization options from that menu. (Some don't

    even support column customization.) As you noted, the button above the

    scroll bar has become the de facto standard for that (most commonly

    found in Mozilla apps.).

    But some applications do provide column customization from a context

    menu (the file explorer in Windows XP, for example), so it is not an

    unreasonable user expectation. Or to put it another way, if a user wants

    to customize an object, we've trained them that right-clicking on it is

    generally the way to do that. So we shouldn't be surprised if they

    right-click on a table header if they want to customize the column layout.

    However, it isn't a big deal to not provide a context menu, but there

    shouldn't be undesired consequences from the user attempting to use such

    a context menu.


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