[whatwg] Re: modal and modeless windows

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 27 12:53:14 PDT 2005

Karl Pongratz wrote:
> I could envision that as follows, lets take the address book of 
> Microsoft Outlook, the desktop application, as an example.
> You have a page (resource) my_addresses.html, a simple document that 
> shows you all your addresses without any form fields. If you want to 
> edit an address you click on it, which will open a modal window, this 
> modal window should then contain the xforms document to edit the 
> address, with a "Save and Close" and "Cancel" button. Cancel will close 
> the modal window, no other action is taken. Save and Close will save the 
> form data, closes the modal window and it will update the changes in the 
> underlying my_addresses.html document, i.e. by reloading it.

    Where do you need modal windows in this model? Someone clicks on the 
edit link to bring up an address editing page in a new window. You edit, 
then click "save" or "cancel", which closes the window. AJAX and 
server-sent DOM events update the original window when you save. If the 
address is deleted or altered, server-sent DOM events can update the 
editing window to act accordingly. (In the event of a deletion, for 
instance, the editing window could change to a simple page saying "This 
address has been deleted".) Since the dialog is not modal, you can edit 
multiple addresses at the same time, and you can even do so while the 
buddy you're sharing the address book with is editing it.

    As far as links go, the newly created address editing windows don't 
have a previous window because they were just spawned, and if they don't 
need links to load inside the window, then don't put any or have them 
spawn new windows.

    So I ask you, for this example, where is the benefit of modal windows?

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