GUI style guidelines proposal

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Tue May 26 23:54:17 CEST 2009

On Sat, 23 May 2009 10:35:56 -0700 Steve Mosher <steve at> said:

ever since i can remember, ok on dialogs was left, cancel on the right. the
order "ok/apply/cancel" is old as the hills (and going left to right, where
a missing elements just don't appear).

phones have simply followed this convention. (and as already pointed out,
backspace is on the right and it "cancels" your previous typing effort... so it
is consistent with that). note that macos here is the exception - it has ok on
the right. but windows, amiga, atari-st, ...

> hehe.
>   I cannot count the number of times I have hung up on "incoming" 
> because the cancel button is on the right.
>  From one perspective "go" or initiate buttons should be on the right
> where the "return" or "enter button" is. But cell phones have it
> backwards. who knows where these conventions start.. but if I use a
> key pad to type in a number, then my expectation ( my fingers brain)
> is that initiating the sequence just entered should be a button on the
> you point out its a left to right thing..
> so we issue commands from the right and "escape" is always on the left.
> I'll say nothing about the etemology of "sinister" in deference to the 
> left handed folks here.
> Werner Almesberger wrote:
> > Joerg Reisenweber wrote:
> >> It seems at least a de facto standard for cellphones is:
> >> "green button" (aka OK) LEFT side
> >> "red button" (aka cancel) RIGHT side
> > 
> > Just out of curiosity, does anyone know where this convention comes
> > from ? It always struck me as extremely counter-intuitive, at least
> > as someone who writes from left to right, to have the button that
> > basically says "go back" on the right side and the one that says
> > "move on" on the left.
> > 
> > - Werner
> > 
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> > 
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The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler)    raster at

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