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fnm

is MDI evil?

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fnm    495
...or deprecated? I've just started using vc+ 2005 express edition and noticed that there's no more MDI. Lately seems like no apps are using it, though i found it useful many times (like open 2 MDI child windows, one with your code and the other with the tutorial). I'm using MDI in a pet project of mine, should i consider redesigning the interface? [edit] just noticed that vc++2005 has MDI too

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The_Incubator    150
If you want a personal opinion, I think MDI sucks and is one of the worst user interface ideas ever.

I never understood the point of constraining windows arbitrarily within other windows. In your code/tutorial windows example, what is gained by having the code and tutorial windows trapped in another window? What if I want code on the left half of the screen, a web browser in the lower right quarter, and the tutorial in the top right quarter? Can't do that because the parent window will draw over the area not covered by the children when the app is in focus.

IMO it is a relic from an era of low screen resolutions and poor multitasking. The assumption made by an MDI app is that it is the only app you will be using and it will be running full screen. This assumption is no longer valid.

[Edited by - The_Incubator on June 14, 2006 2:28:41 PM]

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MDI can still be useful, one prime example is IRC (internet relay chat), I use a program called mIRC which connects to an IRC server. You can join multiple channels, it uses MDI to show the channel or chat area for each channel that you join. Now I think if this wasn't MDI it would not be as convenient and would look quite ugly. This also works for other things, say you want to display log information for your program, it is sometimes just as nice to have it in its own window inside your program to be able to look through while the user is verifying actions that they may have taken. The convenience is also, when they minimize your program it only shows as one window instead of having a cluttered taskbar which I'm sure no one likes.

So yea it is old, in lots of cases is not very good, but you still need to remember it does have it's pro's and con's much like everything else in this world.

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Way Walker    745
I like MDI because it doesn't clutter the task bar. I think multiple desktops and/or drag-n-drop tabs are better than MDI, but MDI is much better than how Windows handles it otherwise. I even prefer the way Windows 95/98 handle the task bar as opposed to Windows XP collapsing everything (especially a problem when connecting to remote X clients). Even when the individual tasks become small, there's still more visual data in the uncollapsed form and I don't have to go through a menu to select a window.

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igni ferroque    415
Quote:
If you want a personal opinion, I think MDI sucks and is one of the worst user interface ideas ever.
Seconded!

Quote:
MDI can still be useful, one prime example is IRC (internet relay chat), I use a program called mIRC which connects to an IRC server. You can join multiple channels, it uses MDI to show the channel or chat area for each channel that you join.

Try X-Chat.

Quote:
The convenience is also, when they minimize your program it only shows as one window instead of having a cluttered taskbar which I'm sure no one likes.

The taskbar sucks too. Two wrongs don't make a right.

*/end rant*

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BeanDog    1065
Quote:
Original post by Way Walker
I even prefer the way Windows 95/98 handle the task bar as opposed to Windows XP collapsing everything


Right click taskbar->Properties->Group similar tasbar buttons.
I always turn this off.

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