[whatwg] Modal Dialog Box support

Anders Rundgren anders.rundgren at telia.com
Sun Sep 3 00:31:37 PDT 2006

I know that this issue is a bit touchy among web purists but the fact is
that the world is going from surfing to applications.  The "wet dream" is
actually to get the same functionality in the browser like in a "fat client".

But it is very hard to create certain types of applications without having
modal dialogs.  AFAIK the existing alert() box is already modal (at least
in MSIE) so modality is well established.

That modal dialogs like featured in MSIE are not that much used
is because there is no similar function in other browsers.  You can
to some extent  "simulate" modality in Firefox but this simulation is
[of course...] not supported by MSIE.

The argument that tabbed browsing is incompatible with modality is
something I don't buy into, it is an implementation issue.  Exactly the
same issues should apply to alert() BTW.

Although AJAX may be great, it does in no way replace the need for
having modal "transaction points".

The net effect of ignoring legitimate needs of "legacy" app developers is
forcing them into using a single browser, possibly also using non-web
extensions like XAML.   I think this consideration is more important than
if a feature is absolutely "right" or "wrong". 

Anders Rundgren

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