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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RE[2]: Iconify
by Chicken Blood on Mon 26th Nov 2007 06:34 UTC 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

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