CLIM mail archive


Re: Modeless windows

  From: Robert Pfeiffer <>
  Subject: Modeless windows
  Date: Sun, 1 May 1994 11:37:11 -0700 (PDT)
  Another problem which is looming large in our use of CLIM 2.0 is the need for
  modeless windows. Things such as CLIM:ACCEPTING-VALUES (with :OWN-WINDOW T)
  are generally called "modal" in modern UI parlance, i.e. you are in the
  mode of having to finish with them before you can do something else.
  What we need are windows which can be popped up, serve as control inputs
  for the application, and stay around on the screen while the user does
  other things (such as perhaps popping up even more windows). Of course,
  one issue will be having each window use a separate process so that they are
  all active simultaneously. This seems fairly doable (although any advice
  is very welcome!). The more fundmental problem, though, is how to get these
  windows at all.
I believe the usual solution is to use one application-frame for each of
your "windows".  If it runs in its own lisp process, it is modeless, if it
runs in the process of another (parent) frame it is modal.  You can suppress
the menu bar and have only one frame pane if you want an
unadorned window.

The usual difficulty with this approach is when it comes time for many
frames (running in different lisp processes) to communicate as part of
a larger activity.  There is this little-known corner of clim called
"activities" that are designed for this purpose.
I don't think there is much documentation, or experience, with activities,
but there is a clim demo on this subject.

jeff morrill


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