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04:21:36 PM
Written By : Richard SchwartzCategory : IBM Lotus Notes And Domino
Location : Nashua, NH

The "Open" versus "Edit" debate is raging over in Ed's blog, I see the logic of both sides. One side favors giving a full set of options, the other wants to narrow the choices to decrease user confusion. And of course, there's a third factor in the need for consistency.

This is what I'd change it to in Notes 7:

There would be one Open button, with a check-box to control it's behavior, and the ability to remember the setting. Would this satisfy both sides of the debate?

Taking it a step further, there's something to be said for the idea of skipping the dialog entirely -- if users want to. This could be done as follows:

If the user checks the "Skip this..." box, the help text could change to include a reminder that the Save feature is available if you right-click the attachment.

Other issues in this dialog: should the View button be displayed if there is no installed Viewer for the file type? No, it shouldn't! And it might also be a good idea to have a check-box available for "Always hide the View button for this file type", which defaults to unchecked if there is an available viewer, and to checked if there isn't.

Now, let's move on to the long-term solution. I think that -- in Notes 7.5 or later -- this dialog should be to put under developer control on a per-application basis. Give us a new database resource. Call it "Attachment Dialog Options" or somthing like that. If the resource doesn't exist in a particular database, the default dialog is displayed as above. Otherwise the resource would give us 12 formulas that we can write to control the presentation. There would be three formulas for each of the first four buttons: a hide-when formula, a button label formula, and a button help formula. The formulas need to have access to some context information: e.g., the attachment name, the read/edit mode of the document, and the user's name, roles, and access level. And assuming that my suggestion above makes it into 7.0, the status of the user-controlled check-boxes would also have to be available ot the formulas (which they obviously will be if they are stored as simple environment variables).

Update: further comments here

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1. nick@comware.net06/05/2005 04:24:11 AM

I think that the real point that everyone has missed ia that the MAJORITY of users are reallly basic . They don't understand the difference between view an open. 1st what we really need is the ability to say that a user is basic, intermediate, or advanced.

The real point is most users are basic and will always be.

2. Stephan H. Wissel06/05/2005 10:25:03 AM

I second that!

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