Re: A try at GNOME MDI

> <opinion>
> 	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.
> </opinion>

If I'm not mistaken, this MDI is very near what we currently have
handleboxes, but handleboxes are not that bad with it. People who
like MDI's will like handleboxes more.

What should be done is to make more variations of what those handleboxes can
do. I would prefer the following things for them(these all are optional and
maybe usable/modifiable in runtime):

1) Minimizing handlebox while its inside the main window -- just small
   handle is left for maximizzing it. This hides the content only.
   (if you have seen netscape with motif toolbars, you know what I mean --
    this is what I thought handleboxes are first when I saw them)
2) getting a new window out from handlebox (this we do have)
3) Connecting window attached to the handlebox - so that minimizing the "main"
   window will minimize all windows separated from it
4) moving "content" of handlebox to another position in the widget hierarchy 
   (maybe to another handlebox via drag&drop.) This allows people to build
   different kinds of tools and containers for them and let people modify
   layout of the applications in runtime.
5) A handlebox without content could be turned into "dropping zone" via a flag.
   (this would allow people to drop a window to this zone via drag&drop)  
6) Disabling handlebox completely -- i.e. hiding the extra border
   which allows more operations to do with the area. This would allow
   people to use handlebox on places where it'd otherwise look just waste of
   screen space, but where it could be enabled and used to deattach
   the content.

This alllows floating toolbars, organizing the desktop by moving toolbars
around, hiding unwanted toolbars out from sight sometimes...

The main problem with mdi's are that the content is somewhere hidden
behind the border of the main window and moving it around is
clumsy. Handleboxes get rid of that problem, while still providing the
same advantages than MDI's give.

Maybe some of these functionalities would be better live inside
different widgets and then create a widget which collects all features
to one widget for easier use.

-- Tero Pulkkinen -- --

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