[openbeos-cdt] Re: Close window button

  • From: Johan Aires Rastén <johan@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos-cdt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 08:11:47 +0100

On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 12:12 AM, . Meanwhile . <meanwhile@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> The use of 'X', and '-'  for closing and minimizing a window are remnants
> from the very early days of GUI's.
> It seems to me in those days they just used letters for it out of necessity.
> Seems very outdated to still refer to that kind of a solution today (and
> maybe a bit geeky to hang on to it).

But I think the other letters make sense. A plus sign would increase
the size or a window while a minus would decrease it. Another commonly
used combination would be a large empty square - representing a big
window - and a dot - representing something small. At least to me the
X feels logic as close/remove window. For example if you want to
remove a paragraph from a length of text (that you have printed) you
put a large X over it. If you have a graphic showing the teams in a
sports tournament, you could put an X on teams when they're
eliminated. It's not just a letter that was picked at random.

> In those other OS's there's a square and an 'X' used right alongside of it.
> This combination refers more to checkboxes than the always evidently
> graphical Haiku square in its distinctly seperate shaped and colored tab
> area. So, if you don't have the same 'checkbox association' with those other
> OS's, that only shows that you've gotten used to it. Which shows people can
> just as much or even more get used to the BeOS/Haiku solution. It's a
> cultural thing.

I don't think there's any "association" in Haiku, they look almost
exactly the same. But I agree, it wouldn't be very good to have a
small perfectly square button with a large X in it either.

People would get used to closing windows by clicking a button that
said "Hi!", but that would not make it a good design choice.

If BeOS had an X for closing windows, would you still think the square
was a better choice, or do you think neither of them has any symbolic
meaning at all so it doesn't matter which one Haiku uses?

> Also: the combined two squares at the right side of a Haiku tab already
> neatly and graphically indicate minimize/maximize (cleverly done in one
> button instead of two). From that it's super easy to derive to any new user
> that the square on the left must be a -just as graphical- close window
> button.

But what about the argument that windows aren't the only things that
need to be closed? Is the close-square still a good choice if you need
to stick it somewhere else in a UI?

If we rephrase this as a programming problem.. If you're adding
methods to a class, would you try to use a name that tries to describe
what the method does - perhaps by an analogy if it's a very abstract
method - or would you use any word because other programmers will
learn how to use it anyway? Would it be good coding practice to give
one method a seemingly random name, because you can guess what it does
by looking at the other methods?

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