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Bug 137227 - Shortcut for closing window and document. Remove quit
Shortcut for closing window and document. Remove quit
Product: gnome-devel-docs
Classification: Applications
Component: hig
Other Linux
: Normal normal
: ---
Assigned To: Calum Benson
Calum Benson
: 165191 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-03-15 08:15 UTC by David Westlund
Modified: 2020-12-04 18:20 UTC
See Also:
GNOME target: ---
GNOME version: ---

Description David Westlund 2004-03-15 08:15:40 UTC
There are some confusion between different gnome applications on how to
deal with "quit". Epiphany only has "close" which is done with ctrl+w. The
same goes for gthumb. Other programs, like gucharmap, only has Quit,
ctrl+q. And gconf-editor includes both close and quit. In all of this
cases, both quit and close does the same thing. Close the window. Some
applications use ctrl+q  to quit all open windows of that application.

According to the gnome hig, most applications should be "Single Document
Interface". A window represents the document the user is working on, just
like each window in spatial nautilus represents a directory. This allows
the user to work with documents instead of applications. Because of this,
there is no use in having a "quit" command. The main thing for the user is
not the application being use but the document. In SDI applications, there
is no reason to have a "quit" key. Just close should do the trick.

There are a couple of "Multiple Document Interface" in gnome, epiphany and
gedit for example. At the moment, epiphany only has "close", while gedit
has both quit and close. Because users are working with documents and not
with applications, I suggest to include a "close window" besides "close"
(or maybe "close document") that close the window.

So, instead of todays close (ctrl+w) and quit (ctrl+q) I suggest that all
SDIs only include close or close document (ctrl+w). MDIs should have a
shortcut for close window, for example ctrl+q or ctrl+shift+w. Quit should
be removed from the userinterface.

A discussion about "quit" can be found at$374
Comment 1 Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) 2005-04-26 13:51:31 UTC
(Dang, that's the second time I've stumbled over a link to my old Weblog in the
past 14 minutes.)

Even if you don't want to get rid of Quit just yet, a useful step would be
recommending "Close" be used whenever the item closes just one window (or just
one document, for apps that have multiple documents per window). So games, for
example, should use "Close" rather than "Quit". Be consistent: the equivalent
button in the title bar is called the close button, not the quit button.
Comment 2 Reinout van Schouwen 2005-04-26 17:50:45 UTC
*** Bug 165191 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 3 Reinout van Schouwen 2005-04-26 17:51:39 UTC
from bug 165191:

Table 4.5 and Figure 4.10 seem to be aimed toward non-document based
applications, as the use of the Quit menu item in the File menu is advertized. 
In particular, for Close (Ctrl+W), it says: 'Single document interface: close
the application'. In a document-based application like evince, epiphany or eog,
this seems to be the wrong recommendation, as only the current window/document
view should be closed, not the application. 

A Quit item should even be discouraged in document-based applications because it
requires the user to think about which application is used to view the current
and possibly other documents.

In non-document based applications, perhaps Quit should not be next to Close,
because of the risk of accidentally clicking Quit when you meant Close.
Comment 4 Allan Day 2014-09-26 12:59:25 UTC
Agree that we should elaborate the advice on quit and close. This can be added to the list of shortcuts in the keyboard input page.
Comment 5 Allan Day 2015-07-17 11:25:26 UTC
I think we have this covered now. The shortcuts page specifies how Ctrl+W and Ctrl+Q should work with regards to closing windows:

Also, the application menus page recommends always including a quit menu item.