+1000 on this one. This has been near the top of my list for over 5 years!
Microsoft dropped the MDI interface for Office years ago and this is a major difference in FielMaker between platforms. If I could have one thing right now it would be this. Developing cross platform, is made much more dificult because of this. I always run my DB windows maximised because having multiple sets of window borders and scroll bars is plain ugly and what's worse, DB windows can get lost; hidden under the edge of the application window.
Ideally, we need rid of the application window, but even the ability to have a maximised window with a sized window in front would be a huge improvement.
Well, to clarify. Microsoft has not dropped the MDI on all of it's office products. Excel still MDI for sure. Word does not, Outlook does not. Access may also still use MDI.
FM on OSX also uses MDI, it's just presented different. I think there is great difficultly with the cache file and keeping the data connected when you open 2 separate instances of a program/app ( note issues with Excel doing this ).
I have seen a few apps that use MDI, just don't show you the main application window. I'll have to see if I can dig up a few examples. So what I'd really like to see is the file windows independent of the application window.
While we're dreaming, we might as well add "open hidden window" to the list for things we want FileMaker to be able to do on Windows.
Two alternatives may be an MTI ( Multiple Top-level Interface ) or FDI ( Floating Document Interface ). It seems like either of these window types or coding could get us away from the the main application window, and still all the relation of windows.
Yes the way FMP behaves in Windows with multi windows is awful and other applications don't seem to behave the same way.
Until we have this sorted how about giving us a set application size script step for Windows?
I need to free these Windows windows now.
I understand FMI's fear of messing with the workings of the interface for existing solutions, but the option to free the window is long overdue.
I submitted the following to the request page (http://www.filemaker.com/company/contact/feature_request.html):
In Windows, please add an "Unbind Window" menu item to the Window menu so that users can take a file window outside of the FileMaker Pro application window and move it anywhere they like, including to other monitors. (Place "Unbind Window" item under "Minimize Window".)
Of course, FileMaker will need to accommodate for this functionality in some script steps so that developers can alter default window behavior, i.e. where there are Windows Styles > "Specify Advanced Style" Options > Windows Controls.
Please don't wait for a whole new version for this feature. This window restriction is strangling workflow and killing business as I write.
Why must all the file windows in Windows be bounded by a single FileMaker Pro application window? The Inspector window, FileMaker Quick Start window, and several other application windows are not bounded by the FileMaker Pro application window. Macs don't even have a binding application window. I don't know how FileMaker users and developers in Windows can stand it. Sometimes you just want to have a little utility window for side-by-side information for use with other applications or to put on another monitor, but you can't do it in Windows.
Please feel free to second any of the suggestions made on this thread to http://www.filemaker.com/company/contact/feature_request.html.
So if Filemaker's windows are not bound by a bigger application window, where do the Filemaker application menus go? You'll need to have a Filemaker menu on top of each Filemaker window, which is almost as bad as having them locked inside an application window. The problem here is not with Filemaker, the problem is that the windowing system on MS Windows is fundamentally broken/obsolete.
I would have to disgree with your comment. I think the option of having the menus attached to the database window would be an excellent feature.
As I stated earlier, as a 20+ year windows user I hate the MDI to the extent I wrote a utility to control the application window size from FileMaker script and run all database windows maximised. As a 1 year switcher to Mac, I am not convinced that fixing the menus to the top of the screen is much better. If I run a say 800x600 FMP window at the bottom right of my 30" screen it's a very very long way to the menubar and until Mavericks, it was even worse; I might have a window on my second screen (on the right of the primary screen) and accessing the menus required moving the mouse almost 3000 pixels!
The reality is that the solutions I build almost never make use of the FileMaker menus as the user experience is compromised on both platforms and different again on FMGo. So, in my opinion, what happens to the menus is a minor issue compared with getting rid of the application window.
Having said all that, FMGo effectively restricts us to a single window, so maybe it's not such a big deal now that we have popovers and slide controls to play with....
I am not convinced that fixing the menus to the top of the screen is much better...
...the reality is that the solutions I build almost never make use of the FileMaker menus as the user experience is compromised on both platforms and different again on FMGo. So, in my opinion, what happens to the menus is a minor issue compared with getting rid of the application window.
I don't use the Filemaker menus for solutions either, so your point about the Mac menubar being too far away is irrelevant. I completely agree that the big MDI application window is horrible, but putting unneeded menus on every Filemaker window is a big waste of space and would only confuse the user. The best solution I see is for Filemaker to create a short and wide palette at the top of the screen to hold the menubar (basically recreating the Mac's menubar on Windows). Again, this is all because of Microsoft's obsolete window model which encourages a very inefficient single-tasking way of working, where one window is maximized to cover the entire desktop.