Re: return of the MDI
- From: Marcus Brubaker <spoon elpaso net>
- To: Antonio Campos <acampos ceronet com>
- cc: "gnome-devel-list gnome org" <gnome-devel-list gnome org>, "gtk-list redhat com" <gtk-list redhat com>, recipient list not shown: ;
- Subject: Re: return of the MDI
- Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 19:41:55 -0500 (EST)
> * Iconify all MDI children when the parent window is iconifed. (Useful).
I don't always want to do this. Plus, this can be done (and I think I read
somewhere that it's being planned, maybe?) without window-in-window MDI
anyway. Where if the parent window is minimized it could be configured that
all the children are minimized too.
> * Manage MDI children inside the parent without boring the rest of
> toplevel windows in the desktop.
Is this even really an issue? I really don't find there to be much substance
behind this point.
> * Is someway clearer in word processors, image editors, in general...
I, and a lot of other people, don't think so. This isn't to say it shouldn't
be available, but rather to say that a lot of people aren't going to like
using your program if you use it when it is available.
> My petition here is that simple MDI should be transfered to the
> GTK level (or even the GDK level is possible) and a more complex (is
> needed) GNOME MDI API could be built over the MDI GTK. (Why?. Simply
> because one sometimes would like to make a simple GTK program with MDI
> support without digging inside GNOME or requiring that the user has
> GNOME installed).
This kind of thing is WAY beyond the definition of GDK. GDK is a drawing
library, it's an abstraction for calls to X. And personally, I think this is
too big to put into GTK+, not to mention too specific and not necesarrily
largely useful enough. GNOME/KDE is about the only place for it. Plus, if
all you want to use GNOME for is the MDI widget, then all you have to figure
out really is the MDI widget. GNOME is not that complex and is modular
enough that it doesn't carry that much extra baggage.
> The second petition is that GNOME MDI should be completely avoided is
> the following is possible (I don't know. Please turn some light to me if
> this is not possible):
>From what I understand of the way GTK+ works, this sort of thing really
wouldn't be possible the way you're thinking. WiW MDI would have to work
specifically with the WM, otherwise window decorations wouldn't match and that
kind of jazz.
> All of these are my thoughts, and now the question is: Is it doable?
It can, and is, being done through WM hints. The implementation of the
widgets involved will most appropriately belong to higher level libraries than
the likes of GTK+. I will say when I switched from Windows to Linux I at
first missed the WiW MDI but now I see that that was only because I really
didn't know any better. I am highly dubious of the actual usefulness of a WiW
MDI but I more than support the availability of such a facility.
Dying is easy. Comedy is difficult.
-Actor Edmond Gween, on his deathbed.
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