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Re: ::scr Drooling GUI
On 07/03/02 14:24 +0000, Piers Cawley wrote:
> Michael Stevens <mstevens@xxxxxxxx> writes:
> > On Thu, Mar 07, 2002 at 01:14:22PM +0000, Paul Mison wrote:
> >> A lot of people do work like this, and in fact the software seems to
> >> encourage it. Start up Office on a PC, and Word will probably maximise
> >> to fill the window, and if it doesn't, you'll probably need to to see
> >> stuff, and that goes double for Excel. I find a lot of the time when
> >> I'm borrowing Wistow's laptop that IE windows are set to open
> >> maximised. iTunes is only usable for browsing when it more or less
> >> fills the screen, and iPhoto demands lots of space too. I can only name
> >> a few apps that are really happy as small multiple windows, come to
> >> think of it, and most of those are Mac-based (but then, so am I).
> > I've seen a lot of inexperienced users who obviously aren't clear
> > on the fact that more than one application is open at a time, and
> > will:
> Given well written OS/UI I don't see why that would be a problem
> > 1) Open an application, do some work
> > 2) Open another application to do something else.
> > 3) Want to do another task in the first application, involving what
> > they were already doing, and will open a new copy of the first
> > application to work on it.
> Which is where it all falls down. What should happen is that the already running copy of the first application creates a new document.
> > 4) Look confused when everything falls over due to having dozens
> > of copies of the same application open.
> That's the fault of a bad OS/UI then.
> The PalmOS gets this right. MacOSn did too though not necessarily
> intuitively. I'm not sure about MacOSX, but it would be a step
> backwards if .apps didn't do this. Some Unix apps do this too; if you
> try and launch a second galeon for example, what actually happens is
> that the running copy of galeon opens another window.
This was interesting in Office 2000, when Microsoft changed from MDI to SDI
interfaces for all the apps.
I believe you could open more than one copy of the entire Word application
up to and including office 97, but the later versions will simply spawn a
new window of the existing app to get the job done.
Personally, I don't like having too many windows on the desktop. I find
flicking between things that overlap clumsy. On windows, the problem is
compounded by the fact that having lots of windows open makes the taskbar at
the bottom of the screen virtually useless - the buttons become too small
and read "Mi..." "Te..." "Mi..." "Xy...".
I generally prefer a sort of hybrid-MDI interface. What I mean by this is
that a single window contains multiple documents, but only one document
appears, filling the entire window, at any one time. A row of tabs showing
what's open (although prone to the same problem as the Windows taskbar if
done badly) can make things even better.
Surfing around, I found quite an interesting thread on Joel's forums about
MDI vs. SDI. As usual with things involving Joel
(http://www.joelonsoftware.com for those who don't know his stuff), the
quality of discussion and reasoning is pretty high.