[whatwg] modal and modeless windows

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 27 13:30:37 PDT 2005

Karl Pongratz wrote:
> I can't follow what you mean, sounds like I could access each wizard 
> page via the browser back/next button, it means it would be in the web 
> browser history, though it shouldn't be there, with or without Ajax.

    Point taken, but the point was that a wizard using AJAX could be 
designed not to break when back and next buttons are used.

>>   In most cases, if you show me an application with a modal window, 
>>I'll show you an application that needs to do away with a modal 
>>window. The use cases for applications that truly need modal windows 
>>probably overlaps the use cases for XULRunner-base applications quite 
> That's new to me. Can we live without modal windows from now? Is that 
> somewhere written?

    I'm pretty sure Apple UI guidelines tell you to avoid modal-anything 
like the plague.

> Yep, Wizards are perfect, but not in the web browser history and not 
> locked to the web browser back/next button.

    True. Poor example. However, with the ability to disable chrome 
considered a major security problem, you're not going to be able to do 
much about disabling or changing the behavior of the back/next buttons, 
so it make more sense to work with the feature than against it.

    Case in point: Ads that are displayed for X number of seconds before 
you go into the page. If the adds are "modal" and prevent you from 
backing out of the page or going to another URL, that could be REALLY 

>>>Is the web browser damned to limit it to back/next only? Will the 
>>>only alternative be Java Webstart, Microsofts XAML or Flash to get a 
>>>desktop like user interaction model?
>>   I can't think of much you can't do with these technologies that you 
>>can't do with existing web app technology.
> Am I missing something?

    Perhaps. There has been much talk about all the wonderful features 
all of the above technologies have, but little discussion about how 
those features can be used to design useful applications. Explain to me 
how a spinning 3D CD-ROM icon helps me order a music CD?

> Nobody talks about modal-anything, its an enhancement to the somehow 
> limited back/next model, among other limitations.

    I'm still waiting for a real use case here...

More information about the whatwg mailing list