Tuesday, January 17, 2006


My project has several MDI forms. Right now I'm studying the conversion of all MDI forms to SDI, not only because Lazarus does not support MDI, but also for usability issues. I've read several sources basically stating that MDI is harmful - and for what I see in daily basis, I agree. Here I quote Joel Spolsky (from the www.joelonsoftware.com site):

Here are the usability problems people have with MDI:

* They accidentally minimize a child window, e.g. by double clicking it's title bar, and don't know what they've done. Then they think the other windows are lost.

* They get into a state where the child windows are not even visible because the main window is too small or scrolled away, and don't know what they've done. Then they think the window is lost, and choosing it from the Window list does nothing.

* They close the app when they meant to close a child window because the X's icons are so close.

There are a whole range of other pathologies. Programmers are very logical people and understand MDI quickly. Most end users just don't get it and usability on these apps is terrible.

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, January 16, 2002

What can I say? He's damn right: been there, done that. Porting my project to Lazarus will be a hell of a excuse to get rid of MDI for good.

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