Re: POW user suggestion

Subject: Re: POW user suggestion
From: Tim LaDuca (
Date: Sat Aug 18 2001 - 18:01:17 CDT

Let's make this simple, I'm using myself as an example.

User opens abiword. Blank new window comes up.
User goies to file -> Open. File opens in same window.
User is done with file and wishes to edit another one.
User would tend to go to file -> close to close the current document
since he is done with it.
Uh-oh! AbiWord is gone. Must restart it.
Go to File->Open and open next document.
It would be more intuitive if AbiWord stayed open.

Here's the ideal behavior.
I go to File->Close, abiWord closes the current document and opens a new
untitled document, UNLESS it is already displaying a new untitled
docment, in which case it exits. (although I don't see the big deal of
graying out close if it's already on a new untitled document).

Comparing abiword document interface to a browser makes no sense to me.
You don't "Browse" files, you edit them. I can't, while in AbiWord, just
type in another filename to switch to a different file.


P.S. currently on linux Abiword opens an extra window when I go to
file-> open after starting abiword, does anyone else get this?

On 18 Aug 2001 15:58:48 -0700, Paul Rohr wrote:
> At 11:10 PM 8/16/01 -0400, Nils Barth wrote:
> >On 2001-08-16-16:33, wrote:
> >> But if the user wanted to close the only open document
> >> and then open an existing document, they would have
> >> to "Open..." it from "Untitled1". This would result in
> >> two open windows, only one of which they care about.
> There are a number of ways to do what Rob describes, but doing things in
> this order will probably not work.
> One of the early MSDI refinements I got talked into was the optimization
> that File / Open will reuse an existing Untitled window if it's empty and
> has never been saved.
> Although you can use your desktop to launch AbiWord on an existing document,
> just launching the app creates an empty untitled document. If the first
> thing you do is open another document using the file manager, we originally
> left that useless untitled document hanging around, which pissed people off.
> (And rightly so.)
> So for several years now, we've detected that situation and reused the
> window.
> >> Not a big deal, but a "Close & Open..." menu option that
> >> closes the current document and prompts for an existing
> >> document to open would solve this elegantly. Since the
> >> user may want to close the last open document and work
> >> on a new one, a "Close & New" option would also be
> >> necessary.
> >>
> >> So we need two new, little used menu items. It sounds
> >> ridiculous, but that's the price of a complete and
> >> elegant Single Document Interface.
> >
> >These are -only- useful if the user wishes to close all open AbiWord
> >documents, -then- open/make new... -in that order-.
> Are we all clear that this is the *only* use case being described? For
> anyone who wants to play UI designer here, the key question we need to have
> an instinct about is:
> What's the most common thing that most people want to do *immediately
> after* they're done editing *all* the documents they currently have
> open?
> 1. Start a new, empty AbiWord document.
> 2. Open another AbiWord document.
> 3. Do something else.
> My belief is that #3 is far more common, so the UI is optimized for that
> case. I recognize that some people may want to do #1 or #2, but I continue
> to believe that's a less common use case.
> Remember that if they want to work on more documents, they can always open
> or create them *before* closing the last open one.
> >The user has two options:
> >(1) Choose File->Open... or File->New... before closing all documents.
> >(2) After closing the last document, open an existing one in the file
> >manager or launch AbiWord to create a new one -- this is the
> >`Document-Centric' way of doing things.
> >
> >Close & New, Close & Open, or in fact anything that does two separate
> >actions (which are in fact independent), does not below as a menuitem.
> For the record, I'm with Nils on this one.
> Big surprise, huh? :-)
> Paul
> motto -- AbiWord is *not* a shell. That's what the desktop is for.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b25 : Sat Aug 18 2001 - 18:10:19 CDT