Sheets and Drawers - status


Here's an update on my Gtk+ Drawers and Sheets mock-up:

The responses I've seen seem to be, generally:
1 - people want these widgets
2 - there's some concern about usability, especially re drawers
3 - it might be best in the window manager, rather than in Gtk+

1. People want these.  Cool.

2. Usability: People are telling me about how products like Quicktime 4,
Nextstep, and MS Office have done drawers (or drawer-like
functionality).  I haven't used these products in years, if at all, so I
don't know what your specific concerns are.  The image I have in my head
is what Mac OS X uses for Camino's sidebar and Goban's move list.  I
don't think drawers/widgets fundamentally are bad design (but, of
course, it's always possible to implement any concept poorly).

3. Implementation: I fully admit that something like EWMH might be the
best way to go about this.  (Especially sheets: sheets are
document-modal dialogs, so I'm not sure it makes sense to have sheets
and old-style document-modal dialogs.)  Actually, that's what I thought
originally, but somebody said to me "how hard can it be?", and I
couldn't convince myself it wouldn't work, so I tried implementing it. 
Gtk+ widgets seemed like something I could wrap my head around fairly
easily -- unlike X11.  (I'm a fearless man, but I'm scared to death of

So the current state of my implementation is: in limbo.  I don't know
enough about X11 and window managers do be useful right away.  I may
work on it in my spare time (a patch to Metacity to make it display
document-modal dialogs as sheets?), but maybe not; no guarantees.  If
anybody else wants to adopt this project, you have my blessing.

(If there are future emails on this subject, we probably shouldn't
cross-post any more.  So let's put them on, say, gtk-devel-list, as per

- Ken

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