Re: Dialog box/Window/Editor

Subject: Re: Dialog box/Window/Editor
From: JohnMethod -at- aol -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 11:08:04 EST


You write, in part:

<< In our application, we have several types of windows <clip> like these:

1. Displays the system's status for the user to view but does not have setting
fields to convey user's input.
2. It may be a dialog box but may rather be called "editor" or "window"
since it is where the user edit a program to run the system.

Do you think it is ok to call them xxx dialog box? >>

IMO, "window" is the generic (safe) term, case 1 is a "message box" and case
2 *could* be a "dialog box" (a small-scale "window" for user input,
differentiating it from a "message box"), if limited in scope.

We define "Dialog Box" in our glossary: "Rectangular screen object that
gives the user specific instructions or choices to perform a function in
Windows based applications."

This appears consistent with my Windows NT(R) Help, and you might look at
"dialog boxes" in Microsoft(R) Access Help - they list:
custom dialog boxes
message boxes
navigating (not applicable?)
pop-up forms
New Question: Does anyone use the term, "form" for this? That is the Visual
Basic, C++, and such development environment terminology.

Our developers assign a *unique* caption to each window, be it a message box,
dialog box, or larger window, and Help refers to the window with that *exact*
text. This also helps in phone support, so we can ask, "What is the caption
at the top of the 'window'?" That problem may be specific to *our* users,
though. They are STILL buying computers with those darn coffee cup holders
that keep disappearing back into the PCs.

John G. Boland, president
VisiBit Corporation

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