Floating Inspector palette
Is there some way to make the Inspector palette "float" the way it does in other programs? As it is, it behaves like a normal window, rather than like a floating palette.
What I mean is, let's say you have a glyph editing window open. You click on one of the transformation buttons in the Inspector. Then you type 'z' to zoom in--but it beeps because the Inspector is now the active window. So you must click on the glyph editing window again for the 'z' shortcut to work. Most other programs' palettes don't behave this way.
This should be solved in RoboFont 1.3
Well, that particular case works now, but the Inspector palette still doesn't behave like a floating palette for other things. The Inspector palette still takes the focus away from the other windows when you click in it, making it necessary to click in the other window before for mouse events to work in it again.
mmm, and how should an input field get his focus?
Well, just take a look at how the palettes behave in, say, Photoshop or, really, any other app that has palettes (Pages, BBEdit, er… FontLab).
In all these other apps, focus in text fields in palettes is active only temporarily, while you're actively editing text. As soon as you hit [return], focus goes back to the document window. If you click on a button or adjust a slider on a floating palette, the palette only has focus momentarily, and as soon as you are done with the click or the adjustment in the palette, the document immediately has focus again.
In Robofont, you often have to click on the document window in order for it to regain focus after doing something in the Inspector palette. I find this behavior to be non-standard and disruptive. It feels unnatural, or at least violates my expectations about how it should work based on experience with palettes in other apps.
There is probably something about this in the old Apple HIG (Human Interface Guidelines).