Ben Langhinrichs

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October, 2005
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Sun 23 Oct 2005, 10:49 PM
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


One of the challenges of supporting multiple operating system platforms is deciding whether to strive for consistency across platforms, which can quickly become a dive for the lowest common denominator, or to strive for OS optimization, where the best possible use of the OS is achieved, and users have to learn to expect different things from different platforms.  In general, we have tried to steer a middle course, taking advantage of what we could without severely effecting consistency.  In Version 1.2 of CoexEdit though, we are running into one of these areas where consistency is hard to come by, but the lowest common denominator is too low to aim for.

The issue is file attachments.  On Windows, we can use the API to render a graphic with a file attachment name , such as Image of icon with embedded name, which looks like a Notes attachment.  On AIX or Linux, we can have little better than Image of icon without nameCOEXUserManual.doc, with the underlined name after the icon, or even worse, Generic file attachment iconCOEXUserManual.doc, with the generic file icon and the name after it.  We could have just the icon, but the name seems fairly important.

So, what do you think we should do?  Do we stick with the lowest common debominator of Generic file attachment iconCOEXUserManual.doc for all platforms, or use that for AIX and  Image of icon with embedded name for Windows?  One additional consideration is that most CoexEdit users use it on Windows, but a few important ones use it on AIX (or would like to).

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