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 Seems very outdated to still refer to that kind of a solution today (and 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?