Re: Do windows appear?

Subject: Re: Do windows appear?
From: Jacob Matthan <findians -at- NETPPL -dot- FI>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 11:45:01 +0300


The discussion about windows appearing, opening and closing does not make
sense on the Mac OS platform.

I can have 200 or more open (technically) windows on my desktop covering
about 50 or more different applications (my RAM permits me this luxury).
All these can be hidden by just double clicking on the title bar. The
windows roll up like a Window Shade. Only the title bars (with the complete
file name) are visible.

I can go directly to any (open/closed?) document using the pull down menu
on the right of the top menu bar (which lists all open applications and
documents hierarchically) and by double clicking on the rolled up title
bar, which instantly appears, whereupon it will roll down again revealing
the document. So technicallly it is closed but it is not closed, it is open
but not open. (There are also lots of ways on the Mac of showing
hierarchically all the documents open but not seen without going to the top
right and corner.)

In short, even with 200 windows and 50 applications open simultaneously I
have absolutely no desktop clutter. (Mail me if you want to know which 50
applications I keep open all the time.)

This has been absolutely great as I work on books with chapters where I
have all the chapters (each one is usually a seperate file) open and go
from one to another dragging and dropping text, pictures, etc. from one to
another, making indexes, bibliographies, etc. We are working on four books
simultaneously at the moment. I keep all the chapters, pictures, graphics,
etc. open. As writers inspiration may come at any moment, I enter the text,
graphics, immediately in the appropriate document as it flashes across my
mind. I also run 3 fortnightly webletters and the next issue of each is
always open so that as news comes in I just add instantly to the correct

Further, and more importantly, when text from my clients comes in for
editing it gets opened and edited without affecting any of my other work. I
usually open the new document in TexEdit Plus and have the computer read
aloud the document to me as a first acquaintance process as I continue my
work on some other document or task or have Eudora download my mail while
my web browser download a new web page, etc.

So a (closed) document is being read to me by Veronica (my preferred
computer voice) while I work on an (open) document in some other
application. This is true multitasking where all your senses and those of
the computer are being simultaneously used and this is only possible if all
can be (open) and (closed) simultaneously without affecting the other

This little control panel which has lain in my Mac control panel folder
from 1989 (I think) is called WINDOWSHADE by Rob Johnston of Interactive
Technologies (I use version 1.2 which I got way back in 1992). It changed
the way I used my desk top - so no open/close during my work till I shut
down, which is usually about a month on my PowerBook 170 when I do an
optimising operation.

I got WindowShade as either freeware or shareware in 1989 and it is
absolutely great. I have no connection whatsoever with Rob Johnston or
Interactive Technologies - just a very very grateful user for having made
life on my Mac a real joy and totally productive - no

>At 02:14 AM 8/10/96 -0400, John Bell wrote:
>>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
>>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.


Jacob Matthan
Editor: Findians Briefings; Kooler Talk (Web Version); Seventh Heaven
Oulu, Finland

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