Raphael Quinet wrote:
> Yesterday, I wrote:
> > Hmmm...  Maybe I should re-post this as an article on Advogato?
> >
> That's what I did.  You can find the article here:
>    http://advogato.org/article/287.html
> Some of the replies are interesting, even if they would be a bit
> off-topic for this list.
> -Raphael

The article's comments are interesting and show that people are using
MDI for at least 4 different concepts.

- There is the Microsoft MDI API. I have not tried to use it in a
program so cannot comment.

- There is the window within window concept. StarOffice and Microsoft
Works both open a window containing multiple windows. I do not like
those instances of windows within windows because they group unrelated
applications and documents together. I would rather have Word files in a
group with RTF documents but not mixed with spread sheets or database

- There is the multiple document in one window approach. Opera opens
multiple web pages in one window so, while I prefer Opera to Netscape, I
tend to open unrelated web sites in Netscape so each site appears as a
separate selection in the main toolbar. The opposite is true for email,
where having all email documents open in the one window lets me very
quickly scroll through the junk mail.

- There is the docked and undocked toolbar approach. I do not call a
tool a document, but some people do, and some tools open complex windows
that would qualify as documents in their own right. I like a document
appearing with all the tools applicable to the document. Netscape does a
nice job by letting read email within the email application window with
all email application tools in the toolbar, or I can click on an email
and have it open in a separate window with just those tools that relate
to individual email. I like that approach and in PaintShop Pro (the
release I use), simple tools stay docked, complex tools pop open an
undocked settings window.

While the PaintShop Pro approach of popping up windows is nice, there
are multiple images in the window and the one setting always applies to
all images. There are occasions when I want to apply the same action to
all the open documents so having them all in one window with one setting
the for tool is great. There are also occasions when I have open several
groups of images, with each group containing several images (or dozens
of images) and I would like a tool setting to apply to just one group.
In that case I can open several instances of PaintShop Pro, have a group
of images in each instance and set the settings individually.
Unfortunately that release of PaintShop Pro uses one internal setting
and a change to the settings in one instance will be used in all
instances, even through the tool settings display continues to show the
individual setting.

As another instance of good and stupid programming, an abnormal
termination of one instance of Netscape, will terminate all instances of
Netscape while blasting away one instance of PaintShop Pro will leave
all the other instances working happily. In Apache, a big change in
release two, is to support both NT's tasking and multithreading so an
administrator can run separate Apache tasks for reliability while using
multiple threads for performance. It would be nice to have all
applications that sophisticated so separate instances of Netscape can
survive the failings of other instances and PaintShop Pro will not
change settings in other instances of PaintShop Pro.

Something I liked, back in the days when I was learning to tie shoelaces
and program in Assembler (which is the easier of the two), OS/360 had
what is effectively read only memory for applications. I know 98% of
programmers, including most of IBM's, did not understand the concept,
but it meant you could load an entire application in to memory, or just
the frequently used bits, without executing the program, or using any
variables, then reference the code from other tasks, The other tasks
would then be extremely small and totally independent, as each would
open it's own read/write memory for variables but have almost no code.
Writing a well formed program was actually easier than writing the code
typically sold by the big software companies. A 100,000 people could use
well formed code at the same time and not have a single collision. I do
not understand why companies like Netscape work so hard to make one
instance crash other or why Jasc have one instance update other.

Irrespective of the technology, I would like to open an image with it's
own toolbar and settings while having a separate image open with
separate settings, and, when I click on one image, have all it's tools
and settings appear together.

A second item, in the Windows toolbar, Netscape displays the document's
title first then places the advert for Netscape second while Opera
places the advert for Opera first and the document name second. Opera's
approach is unbelievably frustrating with a crowded tool bar. Gimp
places the document name first, which is great, but only on the document
window. I tried opening two instances of the Gimp to test what happens
when I crash one, but realized I could not usefully select (or crash)
one instance out of many as they all have the same name for the main
window. Hmmm...., then I discovered that crashing a document takes out
the related instance of Gimp.

I have yet to test the independence of document settings. If that occurs
and the correct instance of tool windows pops up when I click on an
image, then I could have two or more groups of images open, each in a
separate instance of Gimp, and set the tool settings independently for
each group. It would be great for working through a list of images in
two parallel streams, one to convert the main image to a displayable
image, JPEG, and the second to create the thumbnail version, perhaps as
a PNG 8 bit or less. What is supposed to happen with settings when you
open multiple instances of Gimp?
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