[Bf-funboard] Questions re: mouse cursor in modal functions

Jude Jackson syzygy6 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 17 08:48:37 CEST 2014

Hey folks, this is just a question, maybe it will open things up for
discussion or at least solidify the concept, but I've thought it was odd
that in certain mouse-movement-based modal function, the cursor remains on
screen and moves during the function, even if the cursor itself is not
really relevant and could just disappear.

For example: in rotating the 3D view, the operation does not account for
the location of the 3D cursor, just its motion (I'm not at my computer to
confirm right now (or for a couple more weeks), but I think you can even
continue to rotate the 3D view by dragging the mouse further than the edge
of the screen).

Another example: scaling/rotating an object in 3D view actually *does* use
the mouse cursor (the function has something to do with the distance of the
cursor from the origin of the object I think), but it results in an awkward
scenario where the scale of the operation is set by the distance of the
cursor from the origin of the object (I assume it sets that scale to 1).
This system isn't wrong per se, but it is strange for various reasons.

One recent example: Pie menus are basically a gestural input at their best,
which I great. I understand that, as-implemented, it makes sense to use the
cursor for selecting options if you don't know the appropriate gesture. But
when it is working as a gestural input, it seem strange that it would use
the global mouse cursor, because the user isn't trying to point at

Now, I want to clarify that I don't think that the current paradigm is
wrong. It's consistent, in fact, which is a strong foundation for UX
design. But, I think it's worth examining the possibility of visualizing
non-pointer-based mouse inputs without the cursor, and figuring out whether
it's worth doing and how it would be done if it is.


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