Re: Close and Exit

Subject: Re: Close and Exit
From: Virgil Arrington Jr. (
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 17:51:06 CDT

I haven't followed this thread closely so if I say anything repetitive,
please forgive me.

With all due respect John, I think a File menu without an Exit command at
the bottom will drive everyone batty. I can hear my secretary now, "How do
I get out of this thing?" To me, there are some standards that should be
preserved simply because they are standards, good or bad. File, Exit, is
one of them.

I have no problem with the distinction between Exit and Close as Close
should only close the current document. Obviously the problem comes in when
only one document is open when the close command is executed. In that
situation, by hitting close, the whole program should not shut down (that's
what Exit is for). Rather, I should be given either a new blank document
(the way Wordperfect works) or no document with the program still up (the
way Word works). To me, either of these methods is acceptable, and
preferrable to another dialog box getting in the way.

As far as export is concerned, I typically use that type of command to send
the current document to a floppy drive without having to change the name to
include the floppy designation or open Explorer. WordPerfect does this very
well with its "Send" command in the File menu. I don't think it matters
what it's called for this is one command where real users will simply find
their favorite way of many available to do the task.

I find it amazing how far we've come with word processing. Just think of
our first thrill when we discovered wordwrap!


>From: "John H. Raines, Jr." <>
>Subject: Re: Close and Exit
>Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 12:18:51 -0400
>*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********
>Here we go again,
>As mentioned earlier I have had quite a lot of experience teaching word
>processing to beginners and there was always a question about Close v
>*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********
>Having followed this discussion because I also find this behavior annoying
>& illogical, I think we need to think about the developer concepts
>underlying this behavior. This, of course, is Single Document Interface
>(SDI), which is discussed extensively in the AbiWord documentation. Since
>the developers seem committed to that direction, perhaps there are design
>changes that would meet everyone's needs. And considering that the general
>experience seems to be that all new users are confused by Close VS Exit, it
>sure seems that there is some room for a better design no matter what the
>interface model.
>I suggest the following:
>1. Change the Exit command name to Close All. This more accurately
>describes the function under SDI & should remove the confusion as to the
>difference in functions between the 2 commands.
>2. Group the File commands in the following Manner:
> New
> Open
> Close
> Close All
> -------------------
> Save
> Save As
> -------------------
> Page Setup
> Print
> -------------------
> Import
> Export
> -------------------
> File List (if any)
>This seems the most logical order to me since it groups the Commands as to
>their basic functionality. The relationship of Open/Close is self evident.
> Save is more of a file update command and therefore separate. Printing
>is an obviously separate.
>The Import/Export commands are a little different. Generally,
>Import/Export commands have been used to bring non-native file types into a
>program. Native being any file format which AbiWord can use in a
>functional manner (open/save, etc.) Therefore, it seems to me that the
>file types between the Open/Save command should match & would constitute
>the AbiWord native formats. Any other file format that AbiWord can open
>(or translate) should be shown on the import menu only. For example the
>.doc (MSWord) format should show only as an Import file type only since
>AbiWord cannot save in this format. On the other hand, I don't see any
>harm, or real confusion, with having all save files types also listed in
>the Export function, thus having the added functionality of saving to a
>different file type without changing your document type. Also, this might
>make things simpler for the developers in that, for instance, what is most
>important is an import/export capability for the .doc format, but not
>necessarily an ability to work in the .doc format.
>3. When closing the last document, there could be a short dialogue
>informing the user that the program is about to be exited. The user could
>then be offered two choices: Either 1) continue with Close and exit the
>program or 2) Open another document (new or existing). If the user chose
>the second option, the current document would then be closed and the user
>would be offered the "Open File" dialogue.
>It seems to me that these changes would be in keeping with the SDI model &
>would eliminate the confusion with the Close VS Exit command (which
>apparently is universal). It would also improve the functionality by
>adding the ability to more easily open a new file when closing the last
>Another 2cents worth (I'm up to 6 cents now).
>J. Raines
>--- You shouldn't have a closed mind because you never learn anything new.
>On the other hand, your mind shouldn't be so open everything falls out!!
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