Re: popup chit chat

Carl Beeth (cbeeth@jacbee.be)
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 18:13:53 +0100


Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 18:13:53 +0100
Message-Id: <v02130501ad6f52a07f4a@[194.183.226.253]>
To: www-html@w3.org
From: cbeeth@jacbee.be (Carl Beeth)
Subject: RE: popup chit chat

Some more thoughts on Heikki's Great Pop-Up proposal.

First of all, I can not stress enough how important I feel the Pop-up
windows are. This is something I have been waiting for ever since I started
doing HTML. It is already used widely in other multimedia to avoid getting
lost out of context.
I even felt it important enough to start my own proposal, a mess up when I
sent it spared you the trouble of reading it, as Heikki's is much better.

1) Would it be possible to include the HTML of the pop-up in the same file
as the HTML page itself (maybe between </BODY> and </HTML>) as this would
increase speed for slow connections.
Alternatively (or maybe additionally) one could maybe have one HTML file
that contained a whole bunch of footnotes, definitions or whatever.

2) should these type of links be marked differently from normal links
and in that case should it be the browser or the designer that chooses the look.
I personally feel that they should be marked differently. As this will tell
the reader "don't worry I won't replace your whole page I'll just pop up a
little message explaining the word you wanted".
One rather simple way to solve this would be to use a custom cursor for the
pop-ups (on Netscape MAC the default cursor is an arrow and "link" cursor
is a pointing hand, I could imagine a pointing hand with a miniature window
under it)

3) <Bert writes: do we want to specify how long the pop-up stays on screen?
Until the mouse is released? But then you can't click in it any more.>
IMO This would only be possible if the content of the Pop-up is embedded in
the document as it would make for a very long click for people with slow
connections.
And anyway the second point is totally right.

4) <Bert writes: if the pop-up has a more permanent character, like a new
window, then you get into user-interface problems: in principle, no new
windows should appear, unless explicitly opened by the user. Otherwise he
might not know how to get rid of them again.>
Two questions here a) how can we signal the user that this will bring up a
new pop-up window?
possibly by rendering them differently. This is a tough question.
Netscape did not address this issue when they implemented 'TARGET=_blank"'
see also point 2)
b) how do we make sure the user knows how to get rid of them?
Well as long as the browser follows the standards of the GUI they are using
this should be simple. On the MAC this would mean a close box in the top
left corner of the window for modal ones and an OK button for the temporary
ones. I don't mind the close box but I have an apprehension against the OK
button I don't think it would look very nice mixed with HTML.

5) does the pop-up need a title?
In my opinion this could be optional. If the pop-up is just temporary it
won't serve any important function, But if the pop-up is of a more
permanent nature like a toolbox then it might serve a function. Could it be
optional.

I hope some of this was coherent.

Carl Beeth
cbeeth@jacbee.be