make double-click open composite actor
when user double-clicks actor from the tree or canvas, that should open the
composite actor (same as the "look inside" capability offered on the menu)
[decision from May 2005 Estes Park mtg]
#1 Updated by Christopher Brooks about 15 years ago
Currently, double click configures the composite actors, much in the way
that double click configures an atomic actor.
If we change double click to look inside the composite actor, then
this will make it so the user needs to have in their mind
"Ah, yes, this is a composite actor and it is different from the
other actors and directors"
I can see why people would initially want double click to look inside,
but I'm not so sure this is the correct behaviour.
One issue could be the difference between using a composite actor
and creating a composite actor. Users probably want to double click
and change the parameters. Creators of the composite actor or model
want to look inside?
I dunno, just my $0.02
#2 Updated by Dan Higgins over 14 years ago
I have to take issue with the goal of this 'bug'. On atomic actors, a
double-click just displays the 'Edit parameters' dialog. A composite actor
should respond the same as all other actors on a workflow. And it currently
does; a double click shows the parameters of the composite and lets the user
edit them. [Many composites may not have internal parameters so the dialog is
often empty, but not always.]
In any case, doble click actions should be consistent for all actors. Maybe a
left button double click should 'edit Parameters' and a right double click
should 'look Inside' ?
#3 Updated by Laura Downey over 14 years ago
The natural inclination when "drilling down" in graphical heirarchical systems
is to double click on the object you want to drill down on and when you get to
the bottom level of something (atomic actor) then you can't drill down anymore
and a double click executes some default operation for that object. So I
don't see the issue here as doing something different with composite and
atomic actors since atomic actors don't have any levels to drill down on.
Composite actors and atomic actors are both actors yes but different kinds of
actors and therefore it is reasonable they have some different behavior. And
the composite actor looks different so there is a distinct visual cue that
this is an object that can be drilled down into etc (just like a file folder
looks different than a document). The composite actor is analogous to a non-
leaf node in a tree and the atomic actor is analogous to a leaf node in a
I think one of the issues here is that you guys are used to the current way so
this change seems to not fit. But almost everyone that was exposed to Kepler
for the first time (in the basic rounds of user testing) strongly expected to
be able to double click on something to look inside it or go down another
level. And I know that was my expectation the first time I used it. And
also, this issue was brought up at Estes Park and agreed to there.
Now all that said, we could consider double-clicking to execute a default
operation for an actor (composite or atomic) and define that default operation
as bringing up the tabbed dialog for that item, this would be analogous to the
user double clicking to see the details of the object double-clicked on, which
is another common paradigm outside of navigating a structure (e.g. workflow).
We could extend that to other objects too. Double-clicking on the director
would bring up the tabbed dialog for the director and double-clicking on the
background of the workflow would bring up the tabbed dialog for the workflow.
This is very consistent interaction design (but again, there was a strong
expectation for double-click to open or drill down into a composite actor).
We could consider alt-double-click to open a composite actor but it is a two
handed operation instead of one and common tasks usually have a one handed
operation associated with them. Of course the user still has the one handed
operation of accessing the right click menu and selecting "open" or "look
I'm willing to go with the alternative I've suggested here with the caveat
that we may need to revisit this issue if user feedback during future full
testing strongly indicates the double-clicking expectation.
#4 Updated by Matt Jones over 14 years ago
My feeling is that it is far better to have double click on composites open the
composite, and double click on atomics have no action. People are very used to
right-click menus for getting configuration dialogs, so I think that is the
preferred way to get to the new tabbed dialogs. And I agree with you Laura that
I expected double-click to drill down and it took me a long time to remember to
do something different to 'Look inside'.
#5 Updated by Laura Downey over 14 years ago
yes, my professional assessment is that double-clicking to open a composite
actor is still preferred over the alternative I previously mentioned (I was
trying to consider various issues). And I had forgotten about the structural
and semantic mismatch stuff I'm working on where composites with some kind of
mismatch inside them need to be drilled down into also and the most natural
inclination again would be to double click on that highlighted composite icon
to see where the mismatch is.