"Branko Collin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> The consensus so far seems to be that the developers don't want to 
> touch such a feature. It's hard to find the real arguments against 
> the feature through the forest of emotional arguments that the 
> discussion has produced so far, but it seems that the developers 
> won't touch it, because the GIMP works perfectly fine for them the 
> way it does now, and in their working environment. And that is of 
> course a perfectly valid argument.

There are a couple of good arguments against this "feature". Basically
it is agreed that WiW is a bad concept that is being dropped by all
major software companies nowadays. It was only ever introduced to work
around the problem that some operating systems, namely Windows, don't
handle many windows very well. So we should ask ourselves why people
keep asking for it. I remember people mainly giving the following

 (1) multiple windows clutter the taskbar
 (2) the application can't be minimized/maximized as a whole

GIMP addresses these points by setting the same WM_CLASS attribute on
all GIMP windows, including plug-in dialogs. This allows the window
manager to group the GIMP windows. This means that GIMP only shows up
as a single item in the taskbar and that all its windows can be
minimized/maximized together. Most window managers on Linux support
this and I heard that Windows XP does at least support the taskbar
grouping. I am not sure where Mac OS X stands here.

Are there other advantages of WiW that I didn't address here?

There are a couple of technical arguments against the implementation
of a WiW user interface. First of all, there's no support from GTK+,
so this would have to be all implemented in GIMP. It would duplicate
the window manager functionality and the way that GIMP manages its
subwindows would almost always be different than how the toplevel
windows are managed. That's very bad from a usability point of view.

Another argument is that we would certainly not want to drop the
current user interface since it works well for a lot of people. So the
WiW feature would have to implemented transparently for the rest of
the application and doing this will be very difficult. It seems a lot
easier to implement this whole thing outside The GIMP. There are
already several attempts at doing this. They are all platform-specific
but that's probably unavoidable. A sane approach for GIMP running on
X11 is to run GIMP and a simple window manager in an Xnest session.
Perhaps we should bundle a script that does this with the standard
GIMP distribution.

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