Your approach involves a lot of guesswork: We have to make an educated
guess, what is the more frequent usage of each of the dozends of
buttons. Each user has to guess what we guessed. And I bet that there
are users out there who don't agree with our guesses. How do we defend
our guesses?

First of all we are not talking about extremly many Shift-clickable buttons...

They don't have to guess, they can either read (from the a tooltip) or just try. Using the word 'guessing' implies that the behavior of a buttons changes each time you run GIMP.

To exaggerate your approach: Wouldn't it be the most usable GIMP if we
keep counters for the button presses? And if it turns out that a user
uses SHIFT-Click more than a simple click, shouldn't we just switch the
behaviour of the button on the fly? Maybe we should also reorder the
buttons according to the button click count.

According to your arguments this would result in the most usable GIMP
ever, because we react to the individual usage pattern of each user. But
it basically will result in a Chaos, where it is unpredictable what a
specific button will do, even where it will be located. It is impossible
to document.

That sure is exagerating.

For this particular button however, I think we are not even talking about a majority, but rahter as good as _all_ users.

If you ask yourselves, how often do I need to adjust the settings of a layer, and how often do I just click OK on the dialog, what is your answer?

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