[HIG] Re: [Usability] Re: Decision: instant apply window buttons

On Mon, Jan 21, 2002 at 02:52:17PM -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> Gregory Merchan <merchan baton phys lsu edu> writes: 
> > These are (3), which are not dialogs. They might be left open for any
> > length of time.
> The point about "are they dialogs" is "should the WM treat them like
> dialogs or like main application/document windows"

As far as the bits go, yes, that's the point.

> For most window managers right now, this just means "should there be
> maximize/minimize buttons"
> If you want to treat them like a palette window (type UTILITY in the
> WM spec, based on the MacOS name for these) then I think most WMs will
> get the decorations a bit wrong - like the PhotoShop toolbox
> decorations, with the "small titlebar"
> If you don't want to look the same as a dialog or a main app window or
> a toolbox, then you need a new window type in the WM spec. But I sort
> of like the Mac's approach of having only 4 window types, and think
> our current 7 or so is already kind of suspect, so I am inclined to
> tell the window manager these things are dialogs.

We don't need a new type and there's no UTILITY type at

There are six types there and two of them are needed because of how
we handle the desktop and the panel. That leaves 4 types useful in
applications, so it's not too bad. ;-)

What we need are guidelines to the use of the layers of protocols
that we have. (Of course, it should have been the other way around,
but we can make do with what we have.) When I return to the windows
section of the HIG, I'll write these.

 Settings windows should be type NORMAL and not resizeable.
This means a normal title and maybe borders and that Maximize/Restore and
Resize are not included. This leaves Close, Menu, Shade/Unshade, Minimize,
Stick/Unstick, and Move as the possible window operations.

> If you look at the windows URL:
>  http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnwue/html/ch09c.asp
> that window is plainly just like a dialog in all window management
> respects (and also in the having-buttons-at-the-bottom respect and
> almost certainly the which-keybindings-close-it respect).

I think you're looking at the wrong one. Scroll down to
"Property Inspectors" or just look at:


These are the kinds of things that are instant-apply in the Windows world.
(They would say 'dynamically' rather than 'instantly'. *shrug*)

> Havoc

Greg Merchan

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