[whatwg] showModalDialog

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Jul 1 02:52:25 PDT 2005

Hallvord Reiar Michaelsen Steen wrote:

>On 1 Jul 2005 at 11:44, Sanghyeon Seo wrote:
>>Concerning recent thread about modal and modeless windows, did anyone
>>mention showModalDialog already?
>>I believe this functionality does come in handy in some cases.
>>Microsoft wouldn't have implemented it if there wasn't any demand?
Just because there was demand doesn't mean that it was a good idea. (the 
demand was almost certianly from people developing desktop aopplications 
with HTML UIs. In this case the objections to modal windows are much 
less strong).

>One of the reasons why modal popup-windows are a very bad feature in 
>a browser is that, unlike a desktop application, you don't really 
>know what other pages you prevent the user from accessing by throwing 
>up a modal dialog. To go with the address book example from the 
>previous thread: I click "edit" in my fancy address book application, 
>a modal window pops up, I want to go to the tab where my E-mail lives 
>to copy the address I wanted to put in my address book and ... ouch, 
>can't get to the E-mail because I use an integrated browser/mail 
>client application and the modal dialog blocks access to all the 
Indeed. Presumably developers would have to implement a system whereby a 
modal dialog was only modal with respect to the opening tab (and any 
other tab/window that was also opened by that tab). This would create a 
totally alien interaction model where clicking on a tab in the browser 
could focus that tab or could focus an entirely different window.

"But if science you say still sounds too deep,
Just do what Beaker does, just shrug and 'Meep!'"

-- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew & Beaker of Muppet Labs

More information about the whatwg mailing list