The CUA is unfortunately not as straightfoward as the MacOS HIG about this.
Of the CUA-based environments (Windows, CDE, and OS/2), only OS/2 presents
instant-apply windows; they do not have button to close the window which is
closed from the window menu.
Looking over the CUA and trying to find a concise quote, it now seems that
if one has not used MacOS or OS/2 for some length of time the presentation
is opaque and were something as insane as adopting the CUA wholesale done,
we'd quickly end up with a lousy UI. This doesn't mean that the ideas are
bad, just that they are not presented well enough for people used to
Windows to get them easily.
And I'm talking about the programmers who are make an interface according
to some guidelines, not the users. I opened IE on my father's computer and
pointed at the main window which displayed no page. My mother is very
nearly a technophobe - she's just shy of going into hysterics every time
she sits in front of a computer, she typically just gives up early or gets
help. I pointed to the IE window and said, "What's that?" while tracing the
outline of the entire window with my finger.
Her response was, "a blank space". How's that for terminology?
(At some point later I said the word "window" and she said, "Window?"
I outlined the frame again and she said, "oh. I didn't know those were
called windows." I got the impression that she was looking for one of
those four-color flying window icons, or something that looked like a
house window, but I didn't pursue that.)
Momemnts later I called on her again. I present the dreaded Quicktime
player (Windows version) to her. This is the one without any sort of
closing button on the settigs page; it just has the window frame close
I told her, "You've just tried to play a song over the Internet and a
message popped up saying something about needing settings so it could
talk to another computer." (I had in mind the proxy configuration, but I
did not say proxy.) "Change this so that it will work."
The Quicktime Player (QP) has two windows: one shows just a menu and the
other one is the silvery thing that is supposed to look like a real device.
Seeing nothing on the silvery thing that made any sense to her, the first
thing she did was click on the X in the top-right corner. Frustrated, she
said, "Why did clicking on that make everything [silvery thing and menu
window] disappear???" I told her to not mind that and restarted QP.
She then proceded to explore the silvery thing and tried almost every button
on it. (None were obvious to her.) Sensing she was distracted, I reminded
her that she need to change something having to do with another computer
between her and the Internet. Seeing the sunken and differently colored
play progress indicator and thinking it was an entry widget she tried to
type into it. Seeing that this wasn't working, she said "Edit!" and went
to the Edit menu in the other QP window. She was looking for something
that would allow her to type, but seeing that only the preferences submenu
could be used, she moused into that and chanced upon "Connection Speed";
the next item on the menu is "Streaming Proxy", but she had not a clue that
was what she needed. Having heard of "Internet connections" she chose
the "Connection Speed" item. After muddling with the controls there,
never once making it to the Proxy page, and thinking she was done she said,
"Now what?". I said, "Try to play the song again." She immediately went to
the settings window frame close button. She went straight to it despite
having closed 'everything' moments ago by clicking on the silvery thing's
close button. Her next question was, "How do I make this play?" I pointed
to the play button and said, "Press that. See, it looks like a VCR play
button." She didn't indicate having made the connection even when told.
I told her not to mind it and talked her through what would happen next:
"Pretend you've pressed the button. Now the same message about that other
computer pops up, so what you changed didn't work. Do you want to try
again, or [having noted her mounting frustration] give up?" She said,
"Give up." and quickly rose from the chair.
> > The user may not be running a window manager at all, so should we add a
> > complete frame to every window?
> > The user's window manager may do many things to interfere with the
> > operation of programs, so should we make all windows use override
> > redirection and grab the server while focused to prevent the window
> > manager from disabling the application by placing it in some inaccessible
> > part of the screen or stealing its keybindings?
> You are using the slippery slope fallacy. This does not support your claim
> nor disprove mine.
I won't argue that. :-)
> George <jirka 5z com>
> Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.
> -- Sir Winston Churchill
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