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Purpose of "File" > "Exit"

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Faux Pass

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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 5:30 am

I just read the article <i>When good interfaces go crufty</i> (http://mpt.phrasewise.com/stories/storyReader$374) which points out the uselessness of an "Exit" menu item. I know I never use it-- Phoenix closes when all tabs are gone. Or I use the 'X", though rarely.

Why <i>does</i> Phoenix have "Exit"?

michal017
 
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 5:49 am

;) I never thought of it.. a good question though

djst
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 6:04 am

Faux Pass wrote:I just read the article <i>When good interfaces go crufty</i> (http://mpt.phrasewise.com/stories/storyReader$374) which points out the uselessness of an "Exit" menu item. I know I never use it-- Phoenix closes when all tabs are gone. Or I use the 'X", though rarely.

Why <i>does</i> Phoenix have "Exit"?


The Exit item should be there, but it shouldn't close all opened windows. It should only close the current window. Thus, it should be renamed to Close. However, the developers appears to have made their <a href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=171892">decision</a>.

francois
 
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 6:05 am

Well, I thougth about it and I am actually using it. I liked it, when there was a shortcut to quit
(or exit if you wish) but it has been taken away.

I guess I am in a minority here...

The thing is, I usually have several tabs open (and sometimes windows) and they stay open all
the time I use phoenix. I prefer having a shortcut to exit phoenix immediately (to install the new
nighty or make that new extension work or just because I will log out) rather than having to close
all windows.
But that is just me obviously!

michal017
 
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 6:51 am

as for me, I very rarely use multiple windows.. I prefer and use tabs.. so I don't use Exit at all

old Neil Parks
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 7:22 am

djst wrote:The Exit item should be there, but it shouldn't close all opened windows. It should only close the current window. Thus, it should be renamed to Close. However, the developers appears to have made their <a href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=171892">decision</a>.


IMNSHO, "Close" (Alt-F,C) should close the current window, exiting if it's the only window, while "eXit" (Alt-F,X) should close all windows and exit the program. Alt-F4 should be equivalent to "eXit".

djst
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 10:04 am

Neil Parks wrote:
djst wrote:The Exit item should be there, but it shouldn't close all opened windows. It should only close the current window. Thus, it should be renamed to Close. However, the developers appears to have made their <a href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=171892">decision</a>.


IMNSHO, "Close" (Alt-F,C) should close the current window, exiting if it's the only window, while "eXit" (Alt-F,X) should close all windows and exit the program. Alt-F4 should be equivalent to "eXit".


Appearantly, you are not familiar with standard Win32 behavior. Alt+F4 should <b>never</b> close other windows than itself. Having both Close and Exit in a menu is nothing but confusing. I'd rather keep the "close-everything" Exit command than having both Close and Exit.

Duey
 
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 2:25 pm

I like the current way it works. I use both multiple tabs and multiple windows (windows for different sites, tabs for same sites). So, I find the File/Exit command to be a good way to make sure all of Phoenix's windows are closed.

Phoenix closes when all tabs are gone? I guess that happens if one doesn't turn on the option to hide the last tab in a window. However, I do have that option checked on and Phoenix doesn't close when I've closed the last visible tab.

And, also, it's pretty much a standard. Even though it's based off of from when Windows was a DOS shell (it only had the minimize and maximize buttons on the top right), there are many programs that still have an exit in the menu. Also, the standard of Netscape being THE pr0n browser (for having File/Exit to close all windows) is something I'd like to have carried on. :)

And, besides that, I have no idea who the author of that article was talking about. He calls the "quit" or "exit" option confusing. How would it be confusing? It seems pretty self-explainitory to me. Sure, it's a hold over from when the Windows operating system wasn't much of a task manager, and there's other ways to close the windows of a program (if not the program itself), but I think it's still necessary for a multi-windowed program.

Hmmm. I never noticed this before, but there is "Close Tab" and "Close Window" in the File menu in Phoenix. It's a good thing that they are seperate from the Exit command or else that would be confusing. All in all, I like it the way it is. But if they decide to take it out, then I'm not too concerned. My replacement Windows shell allows me to close all of the windows of a program from it's task bar. :)

Duey

Kommet

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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 2:36 pm

I read the "Cruft" article as well, and while I don't agree with 100% of the points (I think Save/Open dialogs SHOULD be a lite file-browser) I do agree that a "Close this Window" behavior is preferable to an "Exit this App" behavior.

I (like most/all of you) am a power user and I think in terms of apps, not windows. However, the typical user sees all windows as separate entities, even if they are part of the same app. Good design principles (not power-user behavior) should dictate choices such as this, and users really SHOULD be able to think in terms of open objects (windows) without thinking of the implementation details (windows owned by one app).

There is also the issue of users accidentally closing ALL browser windows when they meant to close the TOP browser window. Many users (and most new users) do not think in terms of an easily-shuffled deck of windows. Instead they think in terms of a stack in the Computer Science sense of the term: a static group of items where the newest goes on top and must be removed to access the next item down.

As I write this I am thinking of my mother who holds two advanced degrees and has been using computers for 15 years, yet still uses her computers in the manner I described. My earlier experiences in tech support, teaching, etc. show that she is the rule and that power users are the exceptions. Every paper on human interface design I have read confirms my non-scientific poll. Even Microsoft has switched to separate windows for each open document in Office, limiting the "Exit" behavior to closing a single windows, not the app.

IMSHO (semi-humble) it is better to have a few extra clicks to close all windows in exchange for the more intuitive design of treating windows as atomic (I guess tabs are sub-atomic) entities. Additionally, I feel that the consensus view towards having both Close and Exit items is correct: the confusion and clutter is too great.

shoestring

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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 5:19 pm

Faux Pass wrote:I just read the article <i>When good interfaces go crufty</i> (http://mpt.phrasewise.com/stories/storyReader$374) which points out the uselessness of an "Exit" menu item. I know I never use it-- Phoenix closes when all tabs are gone. Or I use the 'X", though rarely.

Why <i>does</i> Phoenix have "Exit"?



Grr.

I just tried the nifty new "open selected URL in new tab" (from the Text Links extension) on the above -- only of course the <I>parens</I> were selected too (by doubleclick), so I got "&malformedURI.title;" instead of the page.

Oh, well.


And, oh, yeah, I tend to get really POed when an app has menus that have no Exit item. Menuless apps are another story - I even write 'em myself, 'cause I'm lazy - but <B>dang</B>, if there's a File menu, there ought to be an Exit item - it's just a de facto standard to most users.

I nearly always have the Bookmark Manager open when I'm using whatever browser. Current behavior in Phoenix is, if you close the browser window the manager window stays open. And it might very well be hidden under some other app, so you have to bring up the taskbar (talking Windows here) and close <I>it</I> as well. Nuisance. At least the File|Exit thingy closes the whole shebang.

Jesse

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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 5:21 pm

I say we get rid of the Exit menu item. There are plenty of other ways to hide porn surfing when someone is about to walk into your room, many of which are faster than Alt+F,X.

1. Press Start+D to minimize all windows of all apps. Minimizing is less suspicious than closing, and Start+D focuses the desktop, allowing you to start another application quickly. This works best if you have many windows open, so that not too much of each porn site's title appears in the taskbar.
2. Switch virtual desktops.
3. Use tabs exclusively while surfing porn, so you only have one window to close. On Windows, you can close a maximized window very quickly with the mouse and reasonably quickly with the keyboard.
4. Use <a href="http://www.ghostzilla.com/">Ghostzilla</a> to put a web content area inside another app's chrome and hide the content quickly.
5. Turn off the computer.
6. Press Alt+Home or Ctrl+N to make your home page appear.
7. Politely ask your mom to knock and wait for an answer before entering your room.

Other reasons Mozilla had an Exit menu item:

1. When Netscape 4 and Internet Explorer had different interfaces for a feature and neither interface was obviously better, the default position was to make Mozilla similar to Netscape 4.
2. There was no way to escape from "pop-up hell", a situation where closing a window would open a new window, with default Mozilla settings. This was fixed in Mozilla (bug 33448), but it regressed in August 2002 (bug 130719).

Phoenix developers seem to have reversed #1, and they have fixed #2. I think it's safe to get rid of Exit now.

shimage
 
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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 8:22 pm

djst wrote:
Neil Parks wrote:
djst wrote:The Exit item should be there, but it shouldn't close all opened windows. It should only close the current window. Thus, it should be renamed to Close. However, the developers appears to have made their <a href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=171892">decision</a>.


IMNSHO, "Close" (Alt-F,C) should close the current window, exiting if it's the only window, while "eXit" (Alt-F,X) should close all windows and exit the program. Alt-F4 should be equivalent to "eXit".


Appearantly, you are not familiar with standard Win32 behavior. Alt+F4 should <b>never</b> close other windows than itself. Having both Close and Exit in a menu is nothing but confusing. I'd rather keep the "close-everything" Exit command than having both Close and Exit.


i disagree. i use a number of programs with both a "close" and an "exit" menu item. "close" closes the current file (or tab, in this case), while "exit" exits the program (e.g. the "x" at the top <i>exits</i> the program, while the "x" right below it <i>closes</i> the current file). that makes sense to me, and is useful in programs that can have multiple documents open at once. i was under the impression that <i>that</i> was the windows way.

shoestring

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Post Posted November 8th, 2002, 9:04 pm

shimage wrote:i disagree. i use a number of programs with both a "close" and an "exit" menu item. "close" closes the current file (or tab, in this case), while "exit" exits the program (e.g. the "x" at the top <i>exits</i> the program, while the "x" right below it <i>closes</i> the current file). that makes sense to me, and is useful in programs that can have multiple documents open at once. i was under the impression that <i>that</i> was the windows way.


This is true, in my (considerable) experience, for nearly all the apps I've ever used (and the deviants tend to be a PITA).

<B>Not</B> that I care about the "windows way" per se. I just hate having to learn a new and different user interface for every program I use. Seems to me it's quite enough work learning to get software to do what you need to do, without the extra bother of learning variant UIs.

scratch

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Post Posted November 9th, 2002, 2:20 am

I definitely think it should stay. Without it, there's no easy way to close all open windows at once.

Cyphax
 
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Post Posted November 9th, 2002, 4:11 am

That "exit" option is probably there because... it's there on all Windows programs! It's just an unwritten (as far as I know) standard. Do we want Phoenix to have an interface that's different from other programs?
And, is it really in anybody's way? :)
There being different ways to close the program doesn't mean you should just kill the option in the file menu.
In this line of thought, why not remove the "copy", "cut", "paste" and "Delete" options in the Edit menu? That's the same thing, nobody uses it, it's always there. I mean, I bet not many people use those over the key bindings CTRL-C, etc.
See it as a sort of a standard. It's convenient for people with less experience with Windows applications for example.
Don't remove any options that are 'standard' like Exit.

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