cross platform drawers

Scott Rossi scott at
Tue Aug 17 01:41:07 EDT 2010

Recently, Monte Goulding wrote:

> The plugin is well suited to using drawers on OS X to integrate IG settings
> with the standalone builder interface. I'm just wondering what people think I
> should do on Windows? Has anyone done drawer emulation and is it worthwhile
> and appreciated my users?

I think you'll find people who will argue both sides of what is or is not
appropriate for Windows.  From an implementation standpoint (not
philosophical), I've only been able to figure out 2 ways of doing a drawer
like window: a 2-stack approach, with the front stack being a palette so it
always stacks in front a topLevel drawer stack, or a stack with 2 custom
windowShapes -- a closed state and an opened state.

Neither of these options lends it self easily to Windows because Windows
only lists topStacks with default decorations in the Taskbar.  If you're
willing to jump through some hoops, you can workaround this limitation, but
it does take some work.

If you were open to modifying your design, you could build the drawer as a
group within your mainStack -- a pane that opens inward from the left edge,
instead of outside the mainStack.  True, this would temporarily obscure the
controls of the mainStack, but it would solve a multitude of challenges that
you'll probably face when trying to implement an actual drawer.


Scott Rossi
Creative Director
Tactile Media, UX Design

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