Interface design for open source applications can be a bit of a
trick, with developers having to make the call between several,
occasionally- conflicting factors: best practice, common practice,
and ease. This article takes a look at the conflict between the
"Unix way" (and the traditional X approach) vs. the "Windows way,"
something we see in applications like Opera.
"Several applications that are ported from X to Windows
get the same kind of comments from Windows users: "It would be nice
if the application could put all its windows into a single big
window, like most other Win32 applications do." The reply is
usually: "You need a better window manager." But is this the right
reply? Maybe something could be done when porting the
...Frequently, some Windows users complain (or make polite
suggestions) about the fact that an application ported from UNIX to
Win32 opens several top-level windows instead of using the MDI
model that is used by most Windows applications. An application
using the MDI model (Multiple Document Interface) can open many
sub-windows inside a main window and these sub-windows are managed
like all other windows, but they remain inside their container. The
container window can provide a menu, a status bar, and also
prevents the user from clicking accidentally on a window from
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