[Usability] Close vs Exit vs Quit definitions.
- From: Patrick Costello <Patrick Costello Sun COM>
- To: usability gnome org
- Subject: [Usability] Close vs Exit vs Quit definitions.
- Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 15:52:28 +0100
I noticed recently that the topic of close vs exit vs quit was discussed
on this mailing list. This is timely because we documenters need to
resolve this issue. Basically, all these terms are used in GNOME
applications, sometimes interchangeably, and often inconsistently. For the
purpose of creating consistent documentation, as well as for creating a
consistent user experience, we need to address the following questions:
1. Are the terms close, quit, and exit synonymous as used in the GNOME
Desktop? If they are synonymous, which term should we recommend, and why
should one term take precedence over the other?
2. Do the terms close, quit, and exit express different states of action?
If so, what is the difference?
After examining the terms in practise, both in the GNOME environment and
elsewhere, and analysing the etymological roots of these terms, we came to
the conclusion that the answer to question 1 is no, the terms are not
synonymous. By extension, the answer to question 2 is that the terms do
express different states of action. All of these terms are valid when used
accurately. To help with the accurate use of the terms, we propose revising
the definitions in the terminology list of the GNOME Documentation Style
Guide, as follows:
close [Existing definition]
To remove a window, dialog, or user interface component from the GNOME
Desktop. Use in conjunction with display and open.
To close a window, choose File->Close.
exit [New definition]
To stop an application from running. Exit implies normal cessation of
If you close the last window, the application exits.
quit [Revised definition]
To abruptly stop an application, without necessarily completing current
tasks. Quit implies a sudden or unexpected cessation of activity.
To quit the application without saving your current project, select Ctrl-Q.
Are there any usuability implications with these revised definitions?
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