Jeff Kroll wrote:

> Call me a dinosaur, but ever since the days of Apple's Font/DA mover, in
> which the user moved things from a list of all available items to a list of
> the collected items, that the list of all available items was on the right,
> and the list of collected items was on the left.

I'm also a card-carrying dinosaur :-) but not a Mac veteran, and I
can't recall every seeing any application, Web-based or otherwise,
where a selection was made right-to-left.

> In most FTP programs, I've seen this metaphor extended such that my local
> machine is on the left (my private collection of files) and the wide world
> of FTP machines (all available files) is on the right for me to gather from.

Not very relevant, IMHO -- FTP is bi-directional.

Alternatively, consider the classic Windows Explorer split-pane
tree view in terms of relative organization: greater (tree view)
to the left, lesser (folder contents) to the right.

Set to the left, subset to the right. The few programs I can think
of that use such a selector also work this way.

> Please, can someone explain? Have studies shown this to be better? Have web
> based applications introduced more compelling reasons for collecting from
> left to right that trump the real world analog of right to left?
> 
> The only thing people I've talked to have been able to come up with is that
> "we read from left to right", but that really doesn't resonate with me.

But a process -- series of steps -- usually goes "left to right";
at the bottom of most "wizard" panels you'll see something like:

           [ back ]      [ next ]
:: which has never seemed to me anything but natural. And I said
"usually", but I can't think of any contrary examples.

So, list of options on the left, click arrow or drag to right, done!

YMMV!
-- 
Hassan Schroeder ----------------------------- [log in to unmask]
Webtuitive Design ===  (+1) 408-938-0567   === http://webtuitive.com
                opinion: webtuitive.blogspot.com
				
                          dream.  code.

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