The rules are complicated. As Igot describes, click-through can change the selected item only in icon view, not list or column view, but click-through is enabled for double-clicks in all views. Igot writes:
How is the user supposed to “know” and remember intuitively
that click-through now only works in icon view mode and not in
list view mode and column view mode? And how is the user supposed
to “know” and remember intuitively that, even though click-through
no longer works, “double-click-through” (to coin a
phrase) still does?
I don’t think the behavior is specific to the Finder, though — I’m pretty sure that in list and column views, what Igot describes is the standard behavior for Cocoa table, outline, and browser (a.k.a. column) views. The problem is the complexity of the rules. If the rules are hard to explain, it’s a good sign the rules are too complex.
Count me in with Chris Clark: click-through should be disabled.
★ Tuesday, 3 November 2009