Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Nov 2007 23:05 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the seventh article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V | part VI]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part VII, as promised in part VI, we focus completely on CDE, the Common Desktop Environment.
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by RandomGuy on Mon 26th Nov 2007 00:55 UTC
Member since:

The whole iconify thing makes a lot of sense to me.
Can you also iconify to any folder or just to Desktop and dock?

The whole non-modal thing on the other hand has me a little confused:
Does this mean you cannot run applications that depend on modal dialogs under CDE or how is this problem solved?

Now somebody gauge out my eyes! ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Iconify
by zizban on Mon 26th Nov 2007 01:09 in reply to "Iconify"
zizban Member since:

You can iconify any folder since the folder is just an instance of the file manager. So you can have many folders iconified.

You can run modal dialogs its just they just dont take over the screen and demand your attention.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Iconify
by RandomGuy on Mon 26th Nov 2007 01:29 in reply to "RE: Iconify"
RandomGuy Member since:

Ah, I see. I'd sure appreciate it if modal dialogs weren't jumping in my face all the time :-)

But I think you've misunderstood my question about iconification.
What I want to know is, is it possible under CDE to take some of the icons from your desktop and put them into a folder and then put that folder's icon into another folder and so on.

That would open up all sorts of possibilities.
You could for example define your own start menu based on nested icons if you wanted to. Is that possible?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Iconify
by Chicken Blood on Mon 26th Nov 2007 06:34 in reply to "RE: Iconify"
Chicken Blood Member since:

You can run modal dialogs its just they just dont take over the screen and demand your attention.

Actually, CDE is one of the few systems I know of where modal dialogs _can_ do that!

It goes like this:

In Windows a modal dialog blocks the app that is running, but it does not block other apps (usually)

In OS X a modal dialog can block the app, but commonly sheets are used that only block the window of the document they are attached to (aside: I have mocked-up this sheet-type behavior for Windows too using Qt).

In CDE, the official toolkit is Motif. Motif has a MWM_SYSTEM_MODAL flag for dialogs, that literally block the entire system and nothing at all can be clicked outside of the dialog. It even changes the cursor to a 'NO access' symbol when it is moved outside the dialog's bounds.

That's a fact and I have written apps that have done exacly that (for special purpose kiosk/console-type software).

The good thing is that many motif apps and nearly all of the official CDE-shipped apps use modeless dialogs only and so save the user from modality disasters.

Edited 2007-11-26 06:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3