[DOCS] mouse buttons - "canonical" color sequence question

Doug Way dway at riskmetrics.com
Mon Feb 10 23:42:12 UTC 2003


the original sequence is red - yellow - blue as Ian says.

I think the reason that there is confusion over this is that Windows mice have
evolved from having two buttons to often having three buttons, with the middle
button (usually a clickable scroll wheel) being the third button added.

In other words, the following is always true:

red -> primary
yellow -> secondary
blue -> tertiary

When I've used Unix machines with three buttons, I've always thought of the
right button as the tertiary (thirdmost) button.  Apparently the same was true
for the Altos and most other Smalltalk machines.

But on Windows platforms, the middle button is treated as the thirdmost
button.  Thus the eternal conflict. ;-)

(Also, it probably helps that right-clicking typically brings up pop-up menus
in the Windows UI, and people like having the same behavior in Squeak.)

- Doug Way

Hannes Hirzel wrote:
> Ned, Joshua, Doug,
> Thank you for the answers regarding the yellow mouse button. I updated
> the page on mouse button swapping (
> http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/1804 ) and did some clarifying links.
> Actually the information was already there but somewhat hidden.
> A follow up question:
> What is the original ("canonical") mouse button color sequence
> http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/897  (FAQ: Mouse Buttons) says
>         left-mouse              -> "red"  (a.k.a. primary)
>         middle-mouse            -> "yellow"  (a.k.a. secondary)
>         right-mouse             -> "blue"  (a.k.a. meta or tertiary)
> while the picture at
> http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/uploads/SqueakLanguageRef.3.html#Usin
> gMousing
> shows
> red - blue - yellow
> I would like to emphasize the original sequence in the description.
> Hannes

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