Re: Multiple instances of Abi

Subject: Re: Multiple instances of Abi
From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 19:05:40 CDT

At 04:21 PM 8/19/01 -0400, Randy Kramer wrote:
>I feel like I've missed some messages in this thread, but, if "this is
>already implemented for Win32" means that two instances of MSDI cannot
>run in parallel, I think there's a bug in the Windows version of
>AbiWord. I can start two independent instances of AbiWord (by, for
>example, double clicking on the executable multiple times), and suspect
>I can start many more.

Whoops. There are two scenarios here, and I was thinking about the other
one. From the desktop, you can repeatedly double-click to invoke AbiWord in
two different ways:

1. You're right -- we still allow people to double-click the app twice to
get two running instances of the application. (This is arguably a bug,
although as you suggest, it could arguably be considered a feature, too.)

2. I was right, too ... if you squint enough. ;-) The first time you
double-click on an AbiWord document, it invokes AbiWord to edit that
document. (Yes, there's an extraordinarily annoying bug where we also open
a useless Untitled document in this case. Blech.) However, all subsequent
double-clicks on documents open them in the currently-running copy of the

Of the two, I consider #2 to be much more critical than #1.

>(BTW, some of my description of the behavior of AbiWord in an earlier
>post was in error -- to open a second window on the same document in
>AbiWord (within the same original instance), you must use Window --> New
>Window -- you cannot do it by File --> Open and then choosing the same
>document. In that case, you get a dialog box "Revert to saved copy of
><file>?". Sorry! (That's what I get for depending on my memory.)

Exactly. Sorry I didn't catch the mistake.

>> I've not seen any use cases where it would be preferable to have two MSDI
>> instances running in parallel. Instead, each new document launched should
>> use OS-specific means to detect and reuse the existing instance, so that
>> cross-document features (autosave, window menu, duplicate detection, etc.)
>> all Just Work.
>The only use case I can think of is a very degenerate one, included here
>only for some sort of overzealous completeness, or as a reminder to
>Microsoft -- if something happens to crash the one instance of the MSDI
>program (e.g., IE5) (or, to be fair, the "main window" in an MDI), all
>your open windows are lost (well, only closed in the case of a web
>browser, but aggravating because I may not be finished with them). If
>it happens in a word processor it will be that much worse. When I'm
>feeling especially paranoid, I do open multiple instances of IE5 just
>for this reason. (I guess I used to think that was the advantage of an
>SDI, but now, with the introduction of the MSDI I am no longer certain.
>I'll have to go back and read your other post again.)

As mentioned, if we want this behavior, we could preserve #1 above. Free
feature, no code required! ;-)


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