[whatwg] Re: modal and modeless windows

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 27 18:28:09 PDT 2005

Karl Pongratz wrote:
> Matthew Raymond wrote:
>>   So I ask you, for this example, where is the benefit of modal windows?
> I am using the current approach you describe, and as long as you have 
> only a single additional window (the edit form) open it wouldn't be a 
> problem, except if you want the user to explicitly complete a task, then 
> modal would be required.

    I'm going to be lazy and ask you to provide the use case, since 
you're the one claiming one exists in the first place.

 > In case of the addresses modal may not be
> required, it depends if you want to allow the user to delete a contact 
> while the same contact is open in the edit form.

    Simple way around that. Put the delete button in the editing window.

> It probably wont harm 
> something in this case but it may in others.

    /me coughs in a manner that sounds very much like the words "use case".

> The problem starts in the 
> edit form, if you want yet to open another window, lets say you want to 
> attach a file to the address which is opened in the edit window, within 
> the opened edit window you open a HTML File Manager. So you have 3 
> windows open, the address view in the main web browser window, the edit 
> form in a new window (without chrome)

    Every indication is that chromeless windows are on their way out.

 > and the File Manager in another
> new window (without chrome). Wouldn't you use at least a modal window in 
> case when you open the File Manager, if modal Windows would exist?

    Assuming the address can only be deleted by opening it in an address 
editing window and pressing "delete", you have no use case in this 
situation, since the address can't be deleted until you return from the 
file manager. I would consider that this might be a problem in other 
situations, but I wonder if there aren't simple workarounds for it.

> The File Manager is just one case, I face this problem many times where 
> for an external edit form it would be convenient to open a modal sub 
> window.

    So your use case for modal windows is that there are many convenient 
situations where you'd want to open a modal window...

> So, Xforms may be a solution in that case if you don't require 
> being the first window you open to be modal. By the way, I am simulating 
> modal windows within the edit forms I use, but it is definitely a dirty 
> hack to simulate multi web browser and multi os modal windows.

    Yeah, hacks like this run the risk of conflicting with native UI 
conventions, I'll give you that. However, it is widely accepted that 
modal UI is to be avoided anyway.

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