Re: Do windows appear?

Subject: Re: Do windows appear?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1996 14:49:42 -0700

At 02:14 AM 8/10/96 -0400, John Bell wrote:
[snip]
>I don't used "opens" because that implies that there is a closed status.
>Try as you might you can't find a closed window in a GUI environment, although
>you'll find plenty in your house. When you close a GUI window it goes away,
>it "disappears". That leads me to the next logical choice.

>Although "appear" sounds somewhat magical, I have settled on it because it
>does get the idea across and it is an intransitive verb. Thus it is
>grammatically
>correct to say "The Print window appears."

Although I don't really have a problem with "appears", I do question
your logic regarding "open" and "close". This is the metaphore that
Windows uses -- File > Open opens a document window in application
software. File > Close closes this window. But the closed window doesn't
actually disappear. It sits in the File Manager or Explorer list waiting
to be opened again.

And before the giant-slayers attack, no, I'm not saying that we all
should mimick Microsoft's documentation style exactly, nor am I saying
that we should limit ourselves to the exact vocabulary that MS uses.
But I think we'd do well to limit the number of concepts that we throw
at the user. Windows opening and closing is a very easy concept for
a user to grasp and it's what the platform uses, so to me, it's the
logical choice.

"The Print dialog box opens."

"Double-click the filename to open the file in its associated
application."

"Click OK to close the message box."

"Select File > Close to close the active document window
or select File > Exit to terminate program execution."

Why introduce a-whole-nother concept when the platform already has one
that works quite nicely? Don't our poor users already have enough to
remember?

Just a thought...

Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com
-- The _Guide_ is definitive.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

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