Close window, program remains running

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by flycats, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. flycats macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #1
    As a somewhat new mac user, I'm curious as to what is the reasoning behind allowing a program to run after closing it's window?

    Is there a switch to close the program when closing a window hidden somewhere?

    I just last week found out about Command+Q, after reading some of the new user tips found within threads in this forum, but it just doesn't make sense to me that the program continues to run.
     
  2. realchimera macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    The reason is that Mac is trying to making everything more complicated in OS X to be different from windows. If you can close a program by simply closing a window then that's windows system. It's the same reason for delete: you have to use backspace+fn combo to execute delete function. You have to use two-figure scroll on Mac instead of 1-figure scroll in windows. There's no other reasons behind it.
     
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #3
    This is incorrect.

    Of all major operating systems, Windows is the "oddball" in this regard, where the window IS the program. Various brands of Unix, BSD, and OS X all regard the window as an instance of the program which is running, but the window itself is not the program; so simply closing the window doesn't terminate the program, it just terminates that instance of it.
     
  4. jamietshaw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    • If the program can only ever have one window, such as System Preferences, then closing the window closes the program.
    • If the program can have multiple windows, such as TextEdit, then closing the window does not close the program.

    The theory is that just because you’ve closed a window, that doesn’t mean you want to close the program. I may open a TextEdit file, close it, then use File > Open in TextEdit to open another one.

    I often see Windows users open, say, a PDF from Windows Explorer, then close the PDF by closing Adobe Reader, then open another PDF from Windows Explorer. That seems a waste of resources.

    You could argue the advantages of both methods. Apple’s Mail was confusing to my father who closed the main Mail window and couldn’t work out how to get it back (Window > Message Viewer) and in this case Apple’s method seems silly.

    Best thing to do is get used to:
    • Press Cmd-Q if you want to quit the program because you don’t want to use it again
    • Press Cmd-W to close the current window and leave the application open, because you expect to use it again soon.

    You may also find the following useful: to close all the open windows in an application, hold down Alt/Option when clicking on one of the Close buttons.
     
  5. realchimera macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Location:
    Boston
    #5


    • Whoever you saw doing that in Windows must be retarded, it's always a waste of natural resources as long as those people are still alive. But OS X is different from Windows, it forces people who are not retarded to do retarded things, like
      when you edit a file, you need both hands to execute "delete", "home", "end",etc. That seems a true waste of resources to me.
     
  6. flycats thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #6
    I guess that I and *everyone* I know is mentally challenged, unless what you said is tongue in cheek.

    If I'm looking through multiple pdf's, say drawing files for instance, I launch the file by double clicking it in explorer, close down reader by clicking the X in corner of the program, and then open the next file by doing the same thing.

    I know of nobody that opens a pdf, closes the file by either the file > close command or the "inside X", and then uses the file > open command.

    With that aside, I've begun making it a habit of Command+Q to close what I'm done with and occasionally Command+Tab to cycle through open programs and close them.
     
  7. Young Spade macrumors 68020

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #7
    Is the last line about OS X forcing people to do dumb things or Windows? If it's OS X, I have no idea why you would think that to be the case.



    Meh, but in relation to the topic being discussed, after using both Windows and OS X extensively, the way windows and programs are handled in OS X seems to be more logical.

    In windows, you have one instance, in which the computer uses that instance as the entire program. (One document open + X = complete quit) When you have two documents open, it remembers there are more than one and then keeps the program open until all instances are quit).

    However, When in OS X, there are some programs that simply don't need a window. OR programs that can be open that don't have windows at all; applications that sit in the menubar or are completely hidden unless triggered.

    Through this logic and use of applications, it seems, to me at least, that the OS X way of handling things is better, and actually goes along my line of thinking. Just because I throw away two pieces of paper doesn't mean I'm closing my calc 1 notebook.

    Just because I'm pondering some thoughts in my head, I don't need to have written it down or have an "icon" with Windows.

    I guess that's an abstract way to put it.

    Comments?
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    This was said by others, but this comes very much from a longstanding difference in style between Windows and MacOS, that difference being window versus application centric.

    Because the MacOS has a universal menu bar (up at the top), it's not necessary for an application to have any windows open/visible for you to access it. And, to save computing resources when you're closing things, Mac applications have not traditionally closed themselves unless expressly instructed to do so (selecting "Quit" from the menu, or doing command-Q). Newer applications that only have one window (such as System Prefs or Address Book) have modified this to quit themselves when that window is closed. This system, to me, makes intuitive sense, although many new users--especially those coming from Windows--get confused.


    Windows, in contrast, attaches its menu bar to the top of all application windows, so if there are no windows open there is by definition no way to tell the program to do anything. Hence, each new window is treated more or less like a separate instance of the program.

    Of course, there are also half-way applications on Windows that try to essentially work the Mac style in; anything that opens a big "workspace" window (classic Photoshop or CAD apps are a good example), into which document windows appear, essentially behave like a Mac application--you maximize the workspace window, the menu bar always shows up at the top of the screen, and you have document windows within. It also, usually, covers up the desktop, which can be good or bad, depending on preference.

    The big issue with the Windows way is that if you don't really want to close the application--because it takes a long time to re-open, for example--there's no clean way of doing it. The other problem is that applications don't always close immediately when you close all windows--there's usually a delay of a few seconds, and particularly if something goes wrong, you can end up with a headless, invisible application that is still running (which you'd need Task Manager to even see).


    The root of this difference--the location of the menu bar--is why Windows users often use applications in fullscreen--so the menu bar is consistently in the same place at the top of the screen. I'll add that having the menu bar attached to windows is, frankly, a horrible design paradigm, because it makes mouse access to menus MUCH more awkward, but Apple successfully argued in court back in the '90s ('80s?) that MS couldn't copy that feature, which is why it is the way it is.


    Bottom line, though, is generally don't worry about it--if you want to quit stuff, use command-Q or the menu, or just leave things running, which usually works fine.

    I do rather hope that was tongue in cheek, rather than serious. If it wasn't, I'm not so sure you should be pointing fingers about wasting natural resources.

    Not to say that that's necessarily the most efficient way, but Windows is practically designed to get you to use that workflow, and if it functions for someone not particularly comfortable with the way the computer works, it's fine.
     
  9. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    No. Its not more complicated at all. Having the program stay running actually makes sense because it allows it to open faster if you end up opening and closing windows from that app a lot. Instead of having to completely reload and restart the application, it can just open a new window. For example, I have safari open all the time, but don't always have an active window for it.

    As for the 2 finger scroll, it's much easier in OSX because you can just use 2 fingers and scroll from anywhere on the page, instead of having to track over to the scrollbar with the trackpad, click, and then scroll down.

    There is a reason for most of the differences between OSX and windows, and I think it makes things easier, but that's just me.
     
  10. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida
    #10
    Two finger scrolling is probably the most logical, efficient, and simplest way to scroll. Ever. Faster than using the wheel, you have no moving parts, and it's a lot easier to manage, as you can "smooth scroll" wherever and whenever you want.

    Of course that's all subjective, but whenever I use a Windows laptop I instantly try to scroll with two fingers and it just doesn't work. Then I have to use the trackpad, go all the way to the right, and then scroll down.

    I mean, right now in Chrome, I have an extension to make the scroll-bar itself thinner (only 2 or 3 pixels now) so it looks nicer; I have no reason to click it so it gives me that extra bit of screen estate and makes the browser look less intrusive overall.

    Not to sound like an old man remembering the good old days, but everything just seems like it was made by people with common sense. Like, if somebody just sat down and created their OWN way of using a computer, then mapped it for us to use.
     
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #11
    How do you figure that? I use those keys all the time with one hand with no issues and I can scroll with one finger.

    I have no idea what version of OSX you're using.
     

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