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>I've been happily writing along for a few years using
>"window" as a description of everything in the
>Windows interface with a title bar, fields, and buttons,
>and today a programmer was telling me that when
>you can't resize the "window," it's a dialog.
Our group recently realized that we had this exact issue...still
unresolved, but not really important enough to spend a lot of time on
We have been calling everything that you may type information into (ie:
window with a field) a window, and calling boxes that convey only a
message and buttons dialog boxes. BUT according to Microsoft's Manual of
Style : "...Windows is a Microsoft registered trademark...dialog boxes
contain buttons, and various options through which users can carry out a
particular command or task. For example, in the Save As dialog box..."
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications, wrote:
>Technically, your programmer was correct, but only reasonably
>computer-literate users will make the same distinction. If
>anything, some users might even be confused if you insisted on
Our programmer's call windows and dialog boxes, containers, panels, and
As for our communications group, at least we've been making this error
consistently, nobody but us are complaining. And, until we have time to
go back through all our docs, we're stuck with our current usage ;-) .