voting, done it. :)

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Tue Aug 10 13:39:49 EDT 2004

Meitnik at wrote:
> In a message dated 8/9/04 10:07:56 PM, 
>-- As long as RR states support for Win95/98/2k, MDI will remain important 
> for a polished shipping app on Windows. Being forced to rewrite ones app to work 
> around lack of MDI is a poor answer if one has to support older Windoze. 

MDI is not a requirement for Windows deployment.  Even going back as far 
as Win95, it is just one of the four windowing models I posted the URL to:

There are many caveats to using MDI -- see the bottom of this page (in 
the section labeled "Design Trade-offs"), from the Win95 HIG:

MDI has never been supported in Rev, so I'm hqaving difficulty 
understanding why you would be "forced to rewrite" an app.  If it was 
written in Rev no change should be required, and if it was written in 
something else it would need to be rewritten in Transcript anyway.

Moreover, MDI is rarely the best choice for an app's design.
The question from my post yesterday remains unanswered:

Your palettes are fine with SDI; palettes and other non-document windows 
are not addressed distinctly in the MDI model, which deals exclusively 
with providing a parent window to contain multiple documents.

MDI appears to be a holdover from the Win 3.1 days, and as Ken just 
pointed out to me on the phone, not even M$ Word uses it:  While Word 
documents open within a parent window, opening a second document -- even 
from within the program -- will spawn a second parent window for it, 
ignoring their own description of MDI behaviors and acting like an SDI 

So if Micro$oft is any indication, it seems the world is migrating away 
from MDI.  It's needlessly complex to interact with, new users find the 
dual window controls confusing, and it provides few if any measurable 
benefits for the user over SDI.

What is the benefit of an MDI parent window for the app you're building?

If the goal is to ship an app, there's plenty of help here on this list 
to get designs beyond MDI.  But to do so effectively we'll have to ask 
you to meet us halfway and describe what specific benefits you're 
looking for.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Ambassador at

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