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Quote:
Originally Posted by danasutton@mac.com
OmniWeb forces you to chose one predetermined window location and size by going Window>Save Window Size, so that if I want to place a window in a different location, or choose a different size, I must do so manually
You must have left something out of your description, because this makes no sense to me. How else would you resize and position a window to your liking, besides doing it manually?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild
You must have left something out of your description, because this makes no sense to me. How else would you resize and position a window to your liking, besides doing it manually?
If you could look over my shoulder while I'm working, you'd quickly see why the standard browser way of opening a window in the same size and shape as its predecessor works best for me: when I am doing certain work tasks, I keep browser windows open on one part of my screen (and this often involves opening/'closing a lot of windows during a work session). Then, for another work project, I'll want one window, or a series of windows, somewhere entirely different on my screen. Other browsers permit me to do this, no sweat, all I have to do is drag one window to its new position when I change products, then the browser remembers what I want. Omni makes what ought to be a simple thing a chore, and in fact, given the kind of work that I do all day long, at the moment this issue is a powerful reason to go back to Safari (or at least WebKit) since anything that interrupts workflow is a nuisance.

I of course realize that other people have other preferences. My essential point is, at least offer me the option of working the way I actually want rather than compelling to do it the way Omni designers imagine I ought to be doing it. Choice ought to be a good thing, no?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice Ravel
I don't know if there is a standard way for programs to open window positions on the Mac.
Sure there is - it's what I described above. The Mac had this standardized at the very beginning.

Quote:
Apple's own Script Editor for AppleScript behaves like this, or in fact nearly like this, the Script Editor remembers the size of the window but opens each new window in any given session a bit down and across from the first window that was opened in that session. That first window is opened in the position you have saved in the Script Editor application. With Script Editor the previous open window size has no influence whatsoever on the size of a new window.
Almost. SE is doing just what I described, including basing each new window off the (initial) position of the previous new window. As a result, if you just keep hitting cmd-N, you'll get a bunch of windows crawling their way from the upper-left of the monitor to the lower-right.

Quote:
Historically programs like SimpleText just always opened a new window in exactly the same location without any consideration at all to previous window positions.
This statement patently false. As I said, such guidelines have been in place since the very beginning of the Mac. In fact, you'll find more consistency among the older programs because developers these days (including Apple) tend to pay a lot less attention to such details. Were it not for the OS doing so much of this sort of nitty-gritty work for developers, it's hard to imagine how much variance there would be.

In the case of SimpleText, you're right that it didn't position windows very smartly. It's worth noting, though, that ST (and its predecessor TeachtText) wasn't really meant to be a full-blown application, but just a simple application with which to read Read Me files. Since it was included with most software, it also needed to be as small as possible to fit in extra space on the distro floppy. (ST was also offered as a sample to developers, with its source code readily available from Apple. Thus, another reason to keep it simple.)

Quote:
Seminal Mac programs like Nisus Writer open all new windows according the window size of a template file, which means of course all new files created with command-N always open in the same size which has been defined by the user who creates the template file.
I'm not sure "seminal" fits NW. It was (is, sort of) a great program, but it really had very little influence over competing programs because of its tiny market share. Its main competitor, Word, was so much bigger and more popular, as was Microsoft itself compared to Nisus, that Word virtually ignored NW. And the other alternatives, like WriteNow, were more busy carving out their own feature niches than copying features.

I never used NW so I can't really say how it did windows. I bet it staggered, though. Some examples of other high-profile programs that staggered are PageMaker (perhaps *the* seminal Mac program), Canvas, and ClarisWorks. Yeah, a lot of programs didn't, but that doesn't mean that Apple didn't say they should.

As for templates, it's more accurate to say that programs catering to power users often have template systems. But as we still see with programs like TextEdit and OmniWeb (both of which let you define a default size, which is sort of like a simple template), the guidelines still usually apply even in these template-based programs.

Quote:
In fact I think Microsoft Word behaves like this as it creates new files from a template as well, but I'm not sure about that one.
Indeed Word does use a template. In fact, I think it was the first Mac word processor to do so. However, it still staggers new windows. In fact, it's an example of a program that makes windows smaller so as to still stagger them even when they take up all available space.

Last edited by Bob Williams; 2006-07-23 at 10:34 PM..
 
Well, I won't be wasting any more time on this apart from the following posting:

With respect to opening new windows "staggered" i.e. each new window a bit lower and a bit to the right of the predecessor: well some of Apple's programs behaved like this, some of them most certainly did not.

Originally MacPaint for example created a new window that filled the entire screen, created a fake desktop and within that screen filling window had a fake window flanked by fake floating palettes. The fake window had a fake title bar. None of those "windows" were moveable. If you used command-N MacPaint created a new screen-size window again on top of the original. No staggering…

In my posting I comment that SimpleText doesn't stagger new windows and bizarrely Bob Williams says "This statement patently false" (he forgot the "is") then says "in the case of SimpleText, you're right that it didn't position windows very smartly."

Make up your mind :)

I don't think it is possible to say that there is a standardised behaviour for Mac windows in any real sense. If one is described in the human interface guidelines then it has been ignored in many instances for decades by Apple and third party developers. Please note I think it would be great if developers paid attention to it but frequently they don't and attempting to re-write history to claim that they once did doesn't cut it with me I'm afraid.

There's a strange bit in Bob's posting about templates and programs for "power users". Apparently programs written for “power users” are more likely to base new files on templates according to Bob. Well I don't think "power users" come into it very much. ClarisWorks for example bases its new files on templates. I will comment that the current version of AppleWorks doesn't seem to stagger its new windows (oh dear).

I’ve always found the description “power users” with Macs rather amusing. I’m a “power user” I use gas and electricity. My Mac is powered by electricity; not gas I’m glad to say:)

On the subject of Nisus Writer: is it seminal? Well if you look at their market share then the original Nisus Writer (for Classic) was pretty small but if you look at what they did then it was indeed seminal. The list of programming "firsts" is possibly the greatest of any program. In addition Nisus Writer was the only OpenDoc host created and was ahead of all others with implementation of EGO's (Editable Graphic Objects). The list of things that people take for granted in Word Processors today which came first on Nisus Writer Classic is very long indeed. Multiple undos, non-contiguous text selection, Find/Replace using GREP, these are just a few things. So Nisus Writer does indeed deserve to be described as "seminal", more so in my humble opinion than any other program for the Mac.

Back to the subject of OmniWeb and windows:

I am glad that OmniWeb does indeed open new windows in this way (hoorah!) and I'm also very glad that OmniWeb allows you to save a default window size.

It would be great if other software developers did the same.
 
Some applications -- iCab and TextWrangler/BBEdit, for two -- offer a multiple window management tool.

iCab lets you "Cascade" the windows into the Apple HIG stair-step; BareBones' apps offer a plethora of window options from the Windows -> Arrange option.

My dream application would be OmniWeb with TextWrangler "plugged in" as the source editor.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Williams
Actually, if you're talking about proper Mac behavior, the correct method when dealing with document windows, as laid out in Apple's well-thought-out Human Interface Guidelines many years ago, is to open each subsequent window offset horizontally and vertically from the previous enough that you can read and click on the preceding windows' title bars.
I think it was OmniWeb that used to do this. Except it would do so base on the opened position of the previous window even if that window had been closed! In a web-surfing session (or web page writing session) I open and close many many many windows and that behavior resulted in each new window appearing farther and farther down and to the right until the process finally "reset" and started at the top again. That kind of behavior was driving me nuts in the kind of work I was doing.

I was thinking that the current behavior was to create a new window exactly on top of the previous window, but as I look again it appears to be creating a window of a certain size, offsetting it down and to the right until the bottom or right side of the window encounters a screen edge.
Quote:
I think my ideal for a web browser is to save a user-defined size, then offset new windows appropriately but without changing the size (which means at the upper limit, which is full-screen, you simply end up with another full-screen window). And, this is exactly what OW does. I don't see how it's unpredictable or peculiar - it's in accordance with recommendations designed through research to maximize usability.
Well, speaking of "full screen," I would love it if the "maximize" button would (optionally) enlarge a widow to completely fill the screen. Currently it does the Mac Thing of only maximizing vertically. :(
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danasutton@mac.com
I keep browser windows open on one part of my screen (and this often involves opening/'closing a lot of windows during a work session). Then, for another work project, I'll want one window, or a series of windows, somewhere entirely different on my screen. Other browsers permit me to do this, no sweat, all I have to do is drag one window to its new position when I change products, then the browser remembers what I want. Omni makes what ought to be a simple thing a chore, and in fact, given the kind of work that I do all day long, at the moment this issue is a powerful reason to go back to Safari (or at least WebKit) since anything that interrupts workflow is a nuisance.
A few questions that may help us understand how you're using OmniWeb - I think I have a roughly similar workflow, and one thing I've done since we added tabs is to use a smaller number of windows with a bunch of tabs all related thematically "hanging" off the same window. I middle-click links with the scroll wheel on my mouse to open links in a background tab as needed, then bounce back and forth between tabs as needed.

Example: right now, I have five web views open, but only three actual windows, only one of which I'm using in a non-disposable manner.

How many windows do you have open at a time? To what degree do you use tabs in your current workflow? Are there reasons why this approach wouldn't/doesn't work for you? (I don't do a lot of comparison between two windows; I can see this approach falling down there if you do...)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice Ravel
In my posting I comment that SimpleText doesn't stagger new windows and bizarrely Bob Williams says "This statement patently false" (he forgot the "is") then says "in the case of SimpleText, you're right that it didn't position windows very smartly."

Make up your mind :)
That's not quite what you said, though. Go back and re-read your sentence. You said, "Historically programs like SimpleText just always opened a new window...." I suppose one could interpret that as, "Historically, programs that violated human interface guidelines, like SimpleText, just always opened a new window...," but I think most people would go the simpler route of, "Historically, programs just always opened a new window...", with SimpleText as a mere example. And *that* is a false statement.

Yes, some programs have behaved differently, but not most. I don't have statistics, but the majority of programs I've worked with over the years do mostly follow the guidelines. As well, the majority of professional Mac programmers I've worked with over the years (being one myself) also strived to follow the guidelines in their software, especially so in the pre-Mac OS X era. I can also tell you that software that didn't follow the guidelines (and the developers who wrote it) were often tarred and feathered by the media, by users, and by other developers. This culture of UI consistency is the very essence of what historically defined the Mac (and is the reason it's so painful to see what's happened to the Mac OS UI in the OS X era).

Quote:
I don't think it is possible to say that there is a standardised behaviour for Mac windows in any real sense. If one is described in the human interface guidelines then it has been ignored in many instances for decades by Apple and third party developers.
This line of thinking is illogical. For example, on most roads in the US, a statistically greater portion of drivers drive faster than the speed limit. Even so, I highly doubt that any court would accept that as reason to declare the local laws to not, in fact, be laws (i.e., standards). Apple spent millions of dollars to develop very good human interface guidelines, and they told developers to adhere to them unless they had very good reason not to. In my experience both as a user and a developer, most developers did just that. Now, most developers didn't know the guidelines like the backs of their hands, but they tried to at least be familiar with everything relevant to their work.

Quote:
Please note I think it would be great if developers paid attention to it but frequently they don't and attempting to re-write history to claim that they once did doesn't cut it with me I'm afraid.
Again, UI consistency is the historical hallmark of the Mac, so to rewrite history to say that most software didn't follow the guidelines Apple laid out is a real disservice to the thousands of developers that spent millions of extra hours getting the UI details right, not to mention rather libelous of the platform itself. Just ask some longtime Mac developers what they think of such assertions....

Quote:
There's a strange bit in Bob's posting about templates and programs for "power users". Apparently programs written for “power users” are more likely to base new files on templates according to Bob. Well I don't think "power users" come into it very much. ClarisWorks for example bases its new files on templates. I will comment that the current version of AppleWorks doesn't seem to stagger its new windows (oh dear).
I said that programs that cater to power users often utilize templates; I never said that programs must be exclusively for power users to use templates. There's a big difference--you're essentially making the common mistake of confusing causation and correlation.

As for AppleWorks, I don't have the current version, but the version I do have, 6.0.3, does indeed stagger windows. I'd be surprised if the newer versions don't still do it. Perhaps you're simply misunderstanding the point of discussion?

Quote:
I’ve always found the description “power users” with Macs rather amusing. I’m a “power user” I use gas and electricity. My Mac is powered by electricity; not gas I’m glad to say:)
Now you're really just being silly. The way you keep quoting it and such, it sounds like you disregard the term "power user" as having any meaning. Well, from the Dictionary app included with OS X:

"power*user - noun - Computing - a user who needs products having the most features and the fastest performance."

So the term does formally exist. Further, there's absolutely nothing about being a Mac user that says you can't also be a power user, and I suspect many of those who fall into the intersection of the two would object to that view.

Quote:
On the subject of Nisus Writer: is it seminal? Well if you look at their market share then the original Nisus Writer (for Classic) was pretty small but if you look at what they did then it was indeed seminal. The list of programming "firsts" is possibly the greatest of any program. In addition Nisus Writer was the only OpenDoc host created and was ahead of all others with implementation of EGO's (Editable Graphic Objects). The list of things that people take for granted in Word Processors today which came first on Nisus Writer Classic is very long indeed. Multiple undos, non-contiguous text selection, Find/Replace using GREP, these are just a few things. So Nisus Writer does indeed deserve to be described as "seminal", more so in my humble opinion than any other program for the Mac.
Most of its firsts either were later adopted by others on a natural software--or in some cases, OS--evolution path (unlimited undo), or they simply were not adopted (OpenDoc). In either case, the word "seminal" is not a good fit. In fact, the lack of adoption of its forebear's features by others is why Nisus Writer Express still differentiates itself with many of those very same things the company pioneered years ago. (Actually, I really wish some of those features, like non-contiguous selection, *would* make it into more competitors! <cough>-Word-<cough>)

Also of note, classic NW was often disparaged on the grounds of its non-conformance to UI guidelines. The current version is just as widely esteemed because of its excellent conformance to UI guidelines.

Even if NW was seminal, I think you'd be hard-pressed to argue that it was more seminal than PageMaker. PM, along with the LaserWriter and PostScript, is what led to widespread adoption of the Mac in the creative field. Photoshop was also highly seminal, though I'd say less so because it targeted a part of the larger market that PM created.

Incidentally, grep was around in various programs long before it was picked up by Nisus. Perhaps it wasn't in a general-purpose Mac word processor (?), but it was in other software (e.g., some text editors).
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse the K
My dream application would be OmniWeb with TextWrangler "plugged in" as the source editor.
Check this out:

http://www.gusmueller.com/blog/archives/2005/12/17.html

It's designed for BBEdit, but you might be able to get it to work with TW.

The above not withstanding, I'd love to see Omni add an Edit in BBEdit [/TextWrangler/TextMate/whatever] command for all text fields.

:)

Last edited by Bob Williams; 2006-07-24 at 02:31 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericob
Well, speaking of "full screen," I would love it if the "maximize" button would (optionally) enlarge a widow to completely fill the screen. Currently it does the Mac Thing of only maximizing vertically. :(
Actually, the traditional Mac Thing was to grow to as large as necessary to show all the content. And with 5.5b1, at least, that's exactly what OmniWeb appears to do (in sharp contrast to, say, the Finder). A surprise, though: try shift-clicking the zoom button ;).
 
 


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