Re: definitions -- *DI window management

Subject: Re: definitions -- *DI window management
From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 23:25:02 CDT

At 09:05 PM 8/19/01 +0000, David Chart wrote:
>I also don't think that the Close command should do two importantly
>different things without warning. There *is* a difference between
>closing the application and closing the document, even when there is
>only one document open.

I think that's where we differ. You have an app-centric perspective. I
totally understand that you and other advocates really like having an empty
app hang around. (By now, that's painfully clear.)

I don't. I represent a different population of users, who like to close all
their documents in the same way. The last thing I want is for any vestige
of that application to insist on hanging around after I close the last
document. To quote a prior post -- "die, die, die already!" :-)

Unlike the Mac UI (single menubar) or MDI (the top-level container), in MSDI
there *is* no GUI construct that represents the application per se.

The MSDI look and feel is deliberately document-centric, and it thus has no
"natural" GUI state for representing just-an-application-with-no-documents.

I don't doubt that:

  - you (and others) personally find that state useful,
  - the 3 second relaunch penalty we impose feels onerous to you, and
  - all of the proposed workarounds feel ugly to you.

The questions we're debating, ad nauseam, are

  - how common and useful that state really is for most *other* people,
  - whether to add some representation of it to our look & feel, and
  - how to keep that from feeling like an ugly bolt-on.
However, adding this feature for you creates costs for the other population
of users (the die, die camp), and I've yet to see an all-around win here.
If we have to favor one population of users over the other, then I'd prefer
to stick with our current behavior.

>If it's a deliberate design decision, it strikes
>me as a bad one.

Yes. It was a deliberate design decision to make the user experience more
document-centric without handcuffing ourselves inside a totally pristine SDI
box. This does de-emphasize the application somewhat -- when you're done
with the last document, you're done.

As to whether that's a bad choice, I'm still not convinced.

GUI purist

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