Re: A try at GNOME MDI

robert havoc pennington <> writes:

> On Wed, 8 Apr 1998, Jaka Mocnik wrote:
> > > Would it be possible to write the code so that if MDI is turned off
> > > then the sub-windows become independent toplevels?
> > I guess it WOULD be possible, after all, your computer is (except for
> > the limited memory) a Turing Machine equivalent ;). The question is
> > HOW.   
> > 
> Wouldn't this abstraction be the same one needed for Jim Pick's "buffers" 
> idea? i.e., documents shouldn't directly handle their own windows and
> menus (and perhaps dialogs). Emacs is like this, windows can become
> frames, etc. It might be a very generally useful thing to do, and you
> could use this MDI thing as a test case.

	MDI is not quite the same thing as the buffers thing; they act
more or less similarly as long as only one buffer is visible at a time,
and it consumes the entire parent frame -- then the menus visible are
the union of the app's common menus and the per-buffer/per-document
menus.  In this sense, the buffers and MDI interfaces share some
functionality and might be able to use common source, or be merged.
However, MDI has aspects that are not encompassed by this -- you can
have several MDI children side-by-side in a general MDI app.

	I think MDI is a good idea to support -- while it can be awkward
and kludgy, it is also handy to be able to minimize an entire app by
clicking on one encompassing window, and also to have some visual
association between several distinct windows/toolbars (assuming they can
be floating toolbars, that is).  As long as it is possible to carry out
the original suggestion above (disable MDI and make sub-windows
into independent top-level windows), then I think both people who
like MDI and people who don't like MDI can be satisfied.

- Michael

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