The image below shows the action panel of a table holding a range of items. Whether an action is available or not depends on the properties of the item(s) that are currently selected, E.g. if the user selects an item that is already activated the "Activate" action will be disabled.
(Right-click and choose "Show image" if you want to see it more clearly)
I know similar subjects have been discussed before, such as Don't hide or disable menu items?, but this thread doesn't really cover what I was wondering.
Is it a good idea to have the reason for an action being unavailable printed out? Personally I would think so, but I've seen it too rarely to simply just trust my own intuition about it. Could it merely be a matter of the space it occupies and therefore is not used more frequently? Or is it that the interface could be considered cluttered..?
I do realize that the use of tooltips could cover this feedback to the user as well but I'd like to display the reason for toggling enabling/disabling of actions immediately on selection in the table.
I would really like to know if you agree with me, or if you would consider this a poor solution?