Can someone explain this stuff to me?

Linux FOSS people mock and deride Apple while simultaneously copying the bad parts of their user-hostile behavior.

Bonus achievement: using the word "curate" 6 times in a blog post about repackaging software.

I must not be understanding something here. What's the motivation to do this? I don't get it.


Also, I'm being serious when asking this question.

(Except for the toggle switches UI elements. That one really is just blind copying Apple's iOS.)

@cancel not blind copying. 😉 We started using switches to more clearly express an *instantaneous* and reversible enabling/disabling of hardware or features. At the time we started doing this, most other UIs used checkboxes and an Apply pattern, but users found the checkbox and apply pattern to be confusing and requiring unnecessary extra clicks.


Is there some reason the checkbox can't apply immediately?

(I purposefully made my screenshot with the derisive clowns comment greyscale to simulate color blindness and how ambiguous these switches become if you are color blind for the highlight/"on" state color vs grey.)

@cancel because that betrays the long-standing convention of checkboxes.

@cancel just because Apple did something in '91 doesn't make it ideal or non-confusing.

@cassidyjames Well, my point was more that there is plenty of precedent for having checkboxes apply immediately without an apply button. In my personal experience I think it's more like 50/50 rather than overwhelmingly Apply-based.

(Apply is very common in first-party Microsoft software that isn't part of the OS, like with Office, but is less common in Windows OS stuff itself.)

@cassidyjames Toggle switches probably need to be flipped in RTL languages:

@cancel yes, and I have opened an issue on GTK for that.

@cassidyjames Oh, are the toggle switches a GTK thing? Actually I had no idea, I haven't used GTK in forever.

@cancel yes, whereas switches are very explicit in their convention.

@cassidyjames I'm not against having more widget types. The problem is that these horizontal toggle switches are ambiguous with their on/off state unless you're able to tell easily by color.

I mean, I've been seeing them for 10 years at this point and I still do double-takes whenever I see one on its own in a UI... is it on or off in its current state?

@cassidyjames Maybe that's just me. But I've pointed this out to some of my friends in the past and they've said "ah yeah me too". I can gather a group of people if you don't believe me!

The switches also take up more space and are harder to align in forms. Also, in forms, they have a on-the-side label instead of a checkbox-specific label, so you can't click the label to toggle them.

At least you can actually drag the toggles in elementaryOS. So you don't get a full failing grade from me :P

@cancel incidentally, Apple has guidance on this:

In particular: “In general, don't replace a checkbox with a switch. If you're already using a checkbox in your UI, it's probably best to keep using it.”

@cancel AFAIk elementry aims to smehow often copy the Apple UI mhh

@rugk a bit -- it's kind of a blend. like the toggle switches aren't actually in Mac desktop OS, only iOS.

Menus are de-emphasized. Some other stuff.

It gets points for easy installation and working out of the box.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.