Another naive menu question

Graham Samuel livfoss at
Mon Dec 30 07:35:00 EST 2002

>On Mon, 30 Dec 2002 03:05:47 -0800 Richard Gaskin 
><ambassador at> wrote:
>Graham Samuel wrote:
>>  In the menu docs (Revo 1.1.1), there's an item called "Creating a
>>  stack menu". The implication is/may be that there's a kind of menu
>>  which isn't a stack menu - a menu for the whole app, perhaps. AFAIKS,
>>  there are only stacks in Revo (no concept of an overarching project
>>  as in SuperCard). Given this, what do developers feel is the norm for
>>  the place of a menu bar in a stack file? I mean the group which will
>>  be the main bar for a conventional-looking application: in a stack of
>>  its own, in the mainstack, in a stack which is always open, or what?
>>  This is perhaps a style question rather than a technical one, but I'd
>>  like to know what people feel is good style in this respect.
>There was a thread on this a while back:
>Seems most folks use a quasi-MDI approach, with a common set of menus in a
>detached window.
>I've used that muyself once, but I prefer to have the menus attached to the
>window whener practical.
>The enable/disable routines can indeed be tedous to write, but you do it
>once and never have to think about it again.
>As an alternative you could show/hide menus at the top of windows on
>Windows, and set the menubar property of the stack to the appropriate set
>for Mac.

Richard, thanks for the prompt reply and the link. I am now trying to 
understand all the menu-related implications of being cross-platform 
(I didn't realise there were so many!), and of the effect on the 
standalone of my decisions about where I'm putting the menus for what 
I had thought of as purely internal structural tidiness.

>What sort of app are you making, and how many windows does it have?

Basically I'm trying to write cross-platform stuff with minimum (but 
not of course zero) maintenance effort required to keep up with the 
various platforms. My preferred development platform remains the Mac. 
My starting point is some SuperCard apps I've already written and 
published - including, as a training exercise for me, one which was 
in fact translated from Mac to PC using the then available technology 
some years ago. This was accomplished for me with enviable expertise 
and professionalism by Ken Ray.

The general field is fairly small educational apps for primary and 
secondary schools, mostly in the UK. The applications include/will 
include: elementary physics, simple GIS, analysis of weather data, 
simple control systems simulation - this last is the growth area. 
With the average nine-year old being pretty computer-literate these 
days, the thing is to make the interface familiar so that the user 
can concentrate on the content. I have no desire at present to 
challenge any aspect of any HIG. Number of windows varies from 1 (not 
counting splash and help screens and registration logic) to say six 
including palettes.

Thanks again

          Graham Samuel / The Living Fossil Co. / UK & France

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