RadialContext Pie Menu Beta Available at Optimoz

Thursday August 22nd, 2002

Slashdot has an article about the first implementation of pie menus in Mozilla. Pie menus are circular menus that allow users to select a particular option by dragging in the direction of that item. Although this might sound strange at first, pie menus embrace many of the principles derived from Fitts' Law.

A pie menus add-on for Mozilla is being developed by Optimoz, the same people that brought you mouse gestures (in fact, mouse gestures stem from from pie menus). Recently, the Optimoz team have been working on RadialContext, a pie menu replacement for the standard content area context menus. A beta version of the add-on is now available. Take a look at the cheat sheet and check it out.

#1 Way cool, but some improvment?

by lah

Friday August 23rd, 2002 4:33 AM

This is graet!

But i think it would be even beter if 'submenus' poped up alredde mousing over the coresponding icon. And if You by moving the mouse back did get back to the main menu. Cold be visualy shown by a hole in the ring in that direction.

To speed usage upp even more, wait a short moment with drawing the main menu. I the user moves the mouse in any deriction imideatly, render the menu with the shose in that derection imedeatly under the mouse, same targetsize - shorter distanse! If the dericten aims for a 'submenu', render that imediatly. Wow, fast access!

Think a build a sitemap this way!!!!

Wonder if thers a cross browser way to put in the normal context menu in my own sitemap???

This was the coolest improwment for a long time!!!

Thanks /Lars

#2 Difficult

by johnlar

Friday August 23rd, 2002 7:23 AM

I don't know about you, but the delay in the text appearing and the way the submenu follows you around makes this very frutrating and difficult to learn. I don't see this catching on with the average person unless it gets a lot of improvement. Anyways my suggestions are of course, make the text menus appear instantly (of couse have a way of turning his off once someone learns it for speed) and don't make the submenu follow people around, I personally like to be able to get out of a context menu by moving my mouse away and clicking, now I have to aim for the center of the circle target to close the submenu. Very difficult.

#14 Re: Difficult

by Silverthorn

Monday August 26th, 2002 7:34 AM

Well, there is a definite reason why the menu follows the cursor around. While in one way, this is a round context menu, it is just as much Gestures with a gui for reference.

So, it follows the cursor so that you can make the strokes of the gesture any length and not overshoot. The menu isn't really made to be navigated through step by step like the start menu. It is made so that you memorize directions, like UpperRight-Down to close a tab, but with the gui as a cheat sheet.

Getting out of it requires releasing the button in the center, but with a normal gesture, there is no easy way out of it at all.

So, I guess it depends. For something like a browser with all these commonly used things that you have to do over and over, I think it works very well. You wouldn't want to put the entire menu system of the program into something like this though..


#15 Re: Re: Difficult

by dnelson

Monday August 26th, 2002 8:47 AM

I wish they had made the gestures the same as MozGest; having all the tab actions as a diagonal movement makes them hard to use. I'd prefer 'up'. Hopefully the next release will allow for customization.

#3 Go Netscape......

by jbastoky

Friday August 23rd, 2002 8:12 AM

People stop complaining. It's a great and easy to use idea. It's like a blast of fresh air. It's also just released. To the developers.....stand up and take a bow. (clapping......) Tooooooo Cooooooooool

#8 Re: Go Netscape......

by mwood

Friday August 23rd, 2002 10:05 AM

I would have settled for an old idea. A long time ago, Netscape's hierarchial menus used to "stick" when you clicked on the button that opens a submenu, and that submenu would stay open until something else was activated. This got lost somewhere along the way and the resulting behavior has slowed me down quite a lot.

#9 Re: Go Netscape......

by thegoldenear

Friday August 23rd, 2002 10:19 AM

wasn't that a feature of Mosaic which was being used to write the application? such window behaviour is probably best left to the operating system to implement rather than each application. I remember Windows having a button/registry value to turn this feature on and off somewhere but I can't remember where; I seemed to think it was TweakUI's Mouse -> Menu speed but I'm not so sure now

#4 Difficult to use, but a nice first step

by mozineAdmin

Friday August 23rd, 2002 8:14 AM

It goes without saying that the implementation needs refining, but the concept and execution for this first attempt is really impressive, and a good evolution of the mouse gestures plug-in.

#5 Nice, but needs work

by ecarlson

Friday August 23rd, 2002 8:50 AM

I would prefer it if they got rid of the icons, and only had text for the menus. I also agree with what most of the first 4 people said.

- Eric,

#6 Good idea but...

by beebebebebe

Friday August 23rd, 2002 9:16 AM

Wouldn't it become Maya's marking menu? Alias|Wavefront has a patent on it...

#10 No.

by ecarlson

Friday August 23rd, 2002 1:44 PM

It would be text, just like in "The Sims" game. Anyway, text already pops up if you wait a second or two, so why not just replace the icons with the text in the first place.

Also, you can read more about Marking Menus vs Pie Menus at: [link=""][/link]

#11 The link is here

by ecarlson

Friday August 23rd, 2002 1:45 PM

PieMenus link:

#7 wow

by wvw

Friday August 23rd, 2002 10:02 AM

VERY nice! Maybe some kind of text would indeed be an improvement.

#12 Re: Only works in the bookmarks menu

by tjwhaynes

Friday August 23rd, 2002 2:53 PM

This is a really nice extension - I've been using it all afternoon, and having learned the various movements, I'm able to get around the browser a lot faster.

That said, it needs to be a bit quicker to appear to be really slick. And the icons are a little difficult to interpret at a glance - they are all grey until highlighted and somewhat overly-similar. On the other hand, if I can just find a couple of hours to play with my graphics tablet, I'm sure something can be done about that - all the images are GIFs down in the chrome install directory. Better use of colour and maybe a little larger would help.

Great stuff.

#13 Bubble Help

by cginzel

Sunday August 25th, 2002 7:02 PM

I love this idea! Very cool.... instead of the text appearing though, I'd prefer to see bubble help popup when the mouse cursor is left over the menu option like on the toolbar. Basically this is a round context sensitive toolbar.