Moving QExtMDI to kdelibs

Jason Keirstead jason at
Tue May 13 22:39:39 BST 2003

On May 13, 2003 11:12 am, Cornelius Schumacher wrote:
> On Dienstag, 13. Mai 2003 15:57, Christoph Cullmann wrote:
> > > We already have these guidelines. From the KDE User Interface
> > > Guidelines
> > > (
> > >ow s. html):
> > >
> > > "KDE does not use MDI"
> >
> > Which doesn't reflect the current situation in kde, lets name konqueror,
> > konsole, kate, quanta, kdevelop, .....
> But nevertheless is a good guideline...

That is a matter of opinion. Let me quote the justification for no MDI from the guideline...

  "But times and technology move on, and today MDI is widely considered to impose unnecessary restrictions
  on the way users work. Users with multiple desktops or large, high-resolution monitors don't want to be
  constrained by one mother window. Users expect the freedom to move windows where they want, and spread
  them out over as many desktops as suits them. The MDI mother window offers the programmer a simple way to
  control what is being displayed by the application, but it offers no benefits to the user."

This whole paragraph is wrought with problems IMO. "Users with multiple desktops or large, high-resolution monitors"
When was the last time you saw an average user (read - non-developer, probably Windows users ) have multiple monitors or
multiple desktops? *I* have multiple monitors, but the average user does not. Also i'd be surprised if the average user
even had the slightest idea what you meant by multiple desktops, let alone have the desire to have some of his web
browsing windows on one desktop, and some on another. Users have a hard enough time keeping track of the open
windows on one desktop, nevermind keeping track of whats on 4 or 8.

And the idea that MDI offers no benefits to the user is insane.  It lets you avoid having tons of windows everywhere you
have to manage, you know where  everything for that app is, and I can close them all with one click. You have only one
menu / toolbar / interface to have to work with.. if you enable / disable settings in it you are assured they will take
effect for all the child windows. 

Whether or not MDI is horrible in theory is not the issue.. it is if the user should be forced ot use SDI when they don't want
to. I can tell you right now that if the MDI was removed from Konq, Kate, and Konsole we would suddenly see the usage
of those apps drop like a rock, and I would probably be forced to ditch KDE altogether for (ugh) GNOME, because I *like*
MDI (tab style), always have. I still turn it on whenever I fire up MS Office under Windows, and many many other people
feel the same way, proven by the huge number of MDI apps already in KDE. 

I think this QExtMdi would be excellent in kdelibs because finally all these MDI apps can have a consistant interface and
features. Right now they all behave differently. But the ability to switch from tab mode to to level mode on the fly in apps
like Konq and Kate and KOffice would be a dream come true for me.

Jason Keirstead, BCS

More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list