Common Human Interface Guideline

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Revision as of 12:39, 26 September 2012 by Tigersharke (Talk | contribs)

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The purpose of this page is to help direct the defaults given in PC-BSD® for all of the available desktops whether "supported" or "unsupported" so that the initial configuration is more intuitive, reasonable, usable, and non-jarring. The intent is not to emulate Mac or Windows, however, some things may be accepted widely enough to consider as default behavior. Not all desktops contain all options as listed, but should conform to the guideline where ever possible. The defaults defined here may also influence function/effect(s) within PC-BSD specific applications or modules. Another potential outcome could be a similar consistency in the default options chosen for the desktops in regard to the FreeBSD ports themselves.

Note: Currently the preferred feature1/feature2 is highlighted.



Screen Edges

left-top, center-top, right-top- each may be set to different effects.
These and other edge-effects would be considered jarring and unexpected, and therefore should be unset/disabled.
maximize window
when mouse grab-cursor crosses top edge
maximize window 50% width - tiled
when mouse grab cursor crosses left or right edge


The most common method of workspace switching is via pager module or widget, or a menu item. Switching by way of a mouse scroll-wheel would be considered jarring and should not be enabled.

Edge resistance



click to focus/focus follows mouse
These are the two common options but it is fairly obvious which is selected as default, so either would be ok.

Click to open or execute

Both Windows and MacOS have preferred double-click.

Window raising

auto-raise after receiving focus/click to raise
The auto-raise usually also has a delay setting while click to raise is immediate by instant choice.


Title bar

open, close, title centered.
Open, close, stick(y), minimize, maximize, title centered.


Initial position

Under mouse/centered
Centering newly appearing windows is one way to increase the likelihood that the entire window will be visible.

Handles, frames, and resizers


perhaps in relation to screen resolution


  • minimum size
  • position and ordering

Services and Eye Candy

Extra services and frills provided by the desktop where those do not specifically define the personality of the desktop should not be enabled by default.

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