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BOOK: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference ISBN: 978-0-470-18262-8
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Old August 7th, 2011, 12:18 PM
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Question To MDI or not to MDI

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Originally Posted by Rod Stephens View Post
(As an aside, Microsoft seems to provide less support for MDI forms with each release. I don't think their heart is really in MDI.)
Hi Rod, that "aside" (from a VB2010 thread) sorta caught my attention, as I am now attempting to create my first mdi-form app ever. The first question that came to mind was, of course, should I bother learning it? And secondly, if not, then what's would replace that?

What I had done in the past was to have individual forms hiding/showing based on needs, but that makes for a very messy environment. Would you say MDI is still the way to go?

thanks!

Real
 
Old August 7th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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I think it depends on your application. If it makes sense to you to use MDI, I would go ahead. The places where it doesn't seem to work as well any more are mostly in the way menus are merged. (It's been a while since I've looked at this so I don't remember everything it was doing.)

You may want to write some extra code to adjust menus and toolbars yourself if you can't live with the default behavior, but you can still have child forms inside the MDI parent form and that's quite useful for some applications.

In general, Microsoft seems more enamored of the browser-style application where you use hyperlinks and forward and backward buttons to navigate instead of using separate windows. I think they took the wrong lesson from the fact that users like to use browsers. I think the real reasons are that things like they are platform independent, provide large scrolling areas for reading text, provide hyper links, etc. That's all wonderful but doesn't make sense for some types of applications, particularly on the desktop.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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I totally see your point. And I suppose, if I was writing an internet application (browser, possibly email client, etc) that might make sense to go the hyperlink way. I can appreciate the use of forward/back buttons on a desktop application if it's in a wizard scenario (where information is logically entered in a particular sequence), but for independent chunks of information being displayed, MDI does seem to be the proper way to do it. So that's what's I've been poking at all morning, and so far so good. (I used your Wizard example from chapter 10 as a starting point).

Thanks for the help and valuable opinions you provide to the community!!

Real




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