RE: GUI names: forms vs. windows

Subject: RE: GUI names: forms vs. windows
From: Mark Baker <MBaker -at- TIMELINE -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 11:29:06 -0700

Thanks to everyone who rang in on this one. It's nice to get a variety of

I like the principles Paul Hanson passed along. Does anyone know of their
"official" origin?

- If it can be maximized, minimized, resized, or closed, it's a window
- If it can be closed, it's a dialog box
- If you can't do anything with the button in the top right corner, it's a

A spot check through the (numerous) MS apps on my machine even reveals some
adherence to these. I'm surprised. That included everything from Word to
VSS, Access to SQL Server 2000 tools. Usually MS-wide app comparisons reveal
broader inconsistencies. We were using 'form' for our database guru focused
apps and 'window' for the desktop user apps, but may now use 'window'
exclusively when min/max buttons are involved.

FWIW, all the products we're documenting run only on Windows and integrate
with or rely on Excel, MS SQL Server, Access, and IE, and so to paraphrase
Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence in _Full Metal Jacket_, "I AM ... in a world
... of MICROSOFT."

Thanks again.

Off to make a decision,

Mark Baker
Timeline, Inc.
Bellevue, WA

Most memorable bumper sticker from this morning's commute: [ Read My Lips:
"No New Texans!" ]

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