Monday, February 25, 2008


We steal words and use them for computer things that didn't exist when the words were first coined: word, string,branch. Focus is another of those words. A window has focus when the title bar is bright blue and the user HAS to answer the question in the box. Somethings I've seen call these modal windows but I'm not sure these two concepts - modal and focus - are the same.

Meanwhile I want a no-focus (blurry?) window and I don't think Comet has such an animal. It all has to do with what you mean by Help System. Most help systems are designed to answer the user's request for assistance. The user selects a HELP button or press a function key or does something else and a window opens with lots of text that can be searched to find answers.

I want something like tool tips. I want to put up an information window in Order Entry for example. The window would contain reminder information listing all the magic words that the operator can enter in the item number field. My information window would appear over the order header information, or over the blank space below line one. Once line one has been entered my program would close the window and it would not show again until the next order is created.

Oh yes, I'd like to be able to select the text font in this window so it looks very different from the 1980's Lucida Console. Italics anyone...


Blogger Steve Auerbach said...

Jim left me this answer on the Signature site on March 7, 2008
There is a big difference between windows focus and modal/nonmodal dialogs.

from a google search.....
"A nonmodal window allows a user to interact with other windows in the application.

So, what this all means is that a modal Alert window prevents users from clicking on anything but the displayed Alert window itself. Therefore, a user can't go any further until they dismiss the pop-up, similar to how the OS displays some error messages. A nonmodal window lets users merrily click on either the window or any components or gizmos underneath the Alert."

In Cometwin you can call either




You can set the focus to any window by setting cosCWnd$ to the window handle and then calling COS.SetFocus.

March 7, 2008 12:28 PM  

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