? MDI depreciated

Discussion in 'Python' started by LenS, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. LenS

    LenS Guest

    Hate to ask this dum question (since I've been hiding under a rock).
    But if the MDI UI model is/was depreciated. What is the new UI model.

    Would love some links that explain in gerneral and specific terms.

    Len Sumnler
    LenS, Nov 6, 2005
    #1
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  2. LenS

    Brendan Guest

    This is probably a question better suited for a wxPython or MSDN
    newsgroup. What OS are you referring to? What GUI toolkit are you
    using?

    Microsoft's office on Windows has moved to a model where every document
    has its own toolbar, menubar, and taskbar entry. Windows developers
    tend to mimic MS Office, so many are also moving to this model. Mac
    apps have never had MDI.
    Brendan, Nov 6, 2005
    #2
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  3. Hello Len,

    > Hate to ask this dum question (since I've been hiding under a rock).
    > But if the MDI UI model is/was depreciated. What is the new UI model.


    This much depends on which kind of application you have in mind. In my
    organization a lot of software that we use (basically for reservoir
    geology/engineering visualization) use the MDI model. They are not
    deprecated, in some case MDI is the best approach that one may take in order
    to create effective and easy-to-use applications.
    According to Micro$oft, the MDI model (in their opinion) is deprecated, but
    it should be noted that:

    "MDI was used a lot with versions of Windows prior to Windows 95. However,
    Microsoft researchers discovered that users found this split artificial and
    confusing. So from Windows 95, Microsoft announced that MDI would be
    deprecated and it should not be used for Windows applications ... well,
    Microsoft's story on MDI has never been consistent; legacy support has
    continued to be included with windows and the .NET Framework supports the
    MDI Approach in an excellent manner."

    you can find the whole thing here:

    http://www.akadia.com/services/dotnet_software_design.html

    For a while, M$ were preaching this as *the* way to do complex user
    interfaces, but they have backed away from it quite a lot. You can read
    something about it here:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnwue/html/ch10g.asp

    If you want to read about pros/cons of MDI approach, go to the bottom of the
    page.

    Some of modern applications have moved away from MDI in favour of different
    other approaches:
    - SDI (Single Document Interface);
    - Notebook Style
    - Splitter Windows/Sash Windows with multiple panels
    - Docking Windows

    The approach you will take, much depends on the type of application you have
    in mind. I usually prefer the Notebook approach, but this is just a personal
    style.

    HTH.

    Andrea.

    --
    "Imagination Is The Only Weapon In The War Against Reality."
    http://xoomer.virgilio.it/infinity77
    Andrea Gavana, Nov 6, 2005
    #3
  4. LenS

    Tony Nelson Guest

    In article <>,
    "LenS" <> wrote:

    > Hate to ask this dum question (since I've been hiding under a rock).
    > But if the MDI UI model is/was depreciated. What is the new UI model.
    >
    > Would love some links that explain in gerneral and specific terms.


    In article <>,
    "Brendan" <> wrote:

    > This is probably a question better suited for a wxPython or MSDN
    > newsgroup. What OS are you referring to? What GUI toolkit are you
    > using?
    >
    > Microsoft's office on Windows has moved to a model where every document
    > has its own toolbar, menubar, and taskbar entry. Windows developers
    > tend to mimic MS Office, so many are also moving to this model. Mac
    > apps have never had MDI.


    MS also uses a "Tabbed" version of MDI where only one document at a time
    is visible. Sometimes this is /implemented/ using the MDI APIs (and
    they also have some MDI apps that don't use the APIs; go figure). Gnome
    uses Tabbed windows as well; see Gedit, which opens documents in tabs,
    though they can be dragged out into their own windows. In GTK, at
    least, the Tabbed interface is easily done as a Notebook.

    MacOS apps used MDI from the beginning of Multifinder; it just worked
    better than on MSWindows because instead of a grey background you got to
    see the rest of the desktop and the other apps. On MacOS, MDI was
    referred to as "Layers". If on MSWindows MDI windows were always
    maximized, had no grey background, and hid the MDI Frame when not in
    front, they would be almost exactly what MacOS did.

    MOSX, being a version of NextOS and NextStep, has the more "advanced"
    no-layer, no-MDI UI, and Apple recommends that each app should have only
    one window.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    TonyN.:' *firstname*nlsnews@georgea*lastname*.com
    ' <http://www.georgeanelson.com/>
    Tony Nelson, Nov 6, 2005
    #4
  5. Hi Len,

    The preference of most users is quite platform related:
    - Mac users are the most pronounced, they like SDI (single document
    interface), where there is one frame for every document
    - Most linux users like something between MDI and SDI: a tabbed
    interface, like firefox, where there is one frame for all documents,
    although some of them also like SDI
    - On windows still a lot of users like MDI, where there is one frame
    for all documents, even though it is officially deprecated.

    This is general, but a lot of users have their own preferences. So it's
    easy to have a debate about this issue. There are a lot of cross-overs:
    some like a tabbed Windows MDI, some like tabs in the Mac SDI (every
    frame one window, but you can navigate through them with tabs), ... So
    except from the Mac there is no new, official UI model AFAIK.

    Another difference is that Windows prefer toolbars and Mac prefers tool
    Palettes. So all this doesn't make developping a serious cross-platform
    program an easy task.

    What you choose is dependent of your target OS and your own interface
    'ethics'. If you are a Windows user and want to learn more about Mac
    interface, this is a good starting point:
    http://developer.apple.com/ue/index.html
    Also have a look at widely used cross-platform programs like Photoshop
    or any application similar to the one you want to develop.

    With SPE I opted for a kameleon interface. It's still unstable & under
    development as a wxPython module (smdi.py), but it should make it
    possible to develop cross-platform applications without the author
    having to worry to choose a document interface. The user can simply
    select his preference in the options dialog box.

    The smdi.py module is included with SPE as _spe/sm/wxp/smdi.py. It is
    designed independent from SPE, so you could use it for any application.
    However as it is unstable and will soon go through a lot of
    development, I wouldn't recommend it, unless you are experienced with
    wxPython and would like to contribute to its development. I expect to
    have it really stable in the beginning of next year. I think it would
    be a major step if a module can handle all the worries of the design of
    a document interface as this can be treated independently from the
    application.

    If you want to see some screenshots of SPE in different DI's:
    http://pythonide.stani.be/screenshots

    Good luck!

    Stani
    --
    SPE - Stani's Python Editor
    http://pythonide.stani.be
    http://pythonide.stani.be/manual/html/manual.html
    SPE - Stani's Python Editor, Nov 6, 2005
    #5
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