[whatwg] Re: modal and modeless windows

James Graham jg307 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Jun 28 02:13:25 PDT 2005

Karl Pongratz wrote:

> Matthew Raymond wrote:
>>    Every indication is that chromeless windows are on their way out.
> I would be very sad if that would happen. Its currently the only way 
> to keep forms out of history and to unlock them from the back/next 
> button.
> So I would suggest to keep them and improve them rather than removing 
> them.

Well if you can think of an easy way to improve them so that they a) 
obviously belong to the browser and b) clearly display the full location 
then I'm sure UA vendors will be happy to hear from you. Otherwise, the 
internet being the way it is, chromeless windows, on the public internet 
at least, have a short life expectancy.

>>> 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.
> I have no objection to avoid them if they are not really required. 
> Though what doing in the rare cases where you can't avoid them, I 
> guess Apple applications are still using modal windows in the one or 
> other case, and they will remain for another decade or two. Or is it 
> different?

It seems to me that two different issues have been conflated here: modal 
windows (those which prevent their parent window from being focused) and 
chromeless/navigationless windows. Whilst there are a very few occasions 
in which I can see modal windows being useful I can also imagine that 
they would be abused for all sorts of nasty things (even more instrusive 
adverts, for example).

"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

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