Thoughts on quitting and window controls

Florian Diesch diesch at
Wed Apr 7 15:55:05 UTC 2010

Jonathan Blackhall < at> writes:

>> > Why must this be different in Rhythmbox?
>> Think about Rhythmbox as some kind of service running in the
>> background. The window is just a user interface for that service that
>> you can close if you don't need it, without stopping the service.
> Ok, I'll give you that it technically means 'close' the window.  My
> issue still stands, however. On most applications, closing a single
> window is synonymous with quitting the application.  My frustration
> comes when this doesn't happen.  Closing my last Firefox window
> doesn't leave it running in the notification area as a service.  I
> understand in theory why keeping Rhythmbox open and running as a
> service is useful.  In practice, however, I should be able to fully
> quit any application (at least when there's only a single open window)
> by clicking a single button.  None of this "File->Quit" business.

For me it's intuitive that closing a window doesn't mean quitting an
application that is running in the notification area. If I want to close
an app in the notification area I left-click on its icon there and
choose "Quit".

If clicking on the last window's "X" would quit Rhythmbox there would
be no simple way to just close the window but have Rhythmbox continue
playing music.

> Again, it's frustrating when a button behaves one way for some
> applications and not others.  

Behaving always the same way would mean that "X" always just closes the
window and never quits the application, or always quits the app and
never just closes the window. But I think neither of that would make
much sense.

For me the behaviour ""X" closes the window and quits the app if the last
window is closed and it doesn't make sense for the app to run without a
window" is just some kind of an intelligent "do what I mean".

> The current behavior can cause a number of problems.  As other users
> pointed out (and I have also experienced), sometimes you want to quit
> an application, such as Empathy or Gwibber, only later to find
> yourself still logged in, online, and maybe receiving messages.

On the other hand sometimes you just want to close the window to get it
out of your way, but still continue to receive messages.

> Another issue is with Rhythmbox.  This is especially true for newer
> users. Let's say I just click the 'X' to quit, just like I do with
> Firefox or Calculator.  I don't notice that the icon is still present
> in the Notification Area.  It's not doing any particular harm there
> right now.  However, then I shut down my computer and come back the
> next day.  I open Rhythmbox, and it starts minimized to the
> Notification Area.  I'm sitting there waiting patiently for it to
> open, but it never does.  Now you could argue that this is a bug in
> Rhythmbox (and it has been reported), 

It's hard to decide what's to right way to do it here: For people like
me, who usually have it just sitting in the notification area, it's nice
if it's staying there. But I see your point, too.

> but my point is that it highlights an underlying problem of an
> application not quitting when the user wants it to.

The problem here is that users expect different things to happen - I
guess neither of us is the only one with his expectations.

> Just for reference, I have a problem with this bug almost daily, and I
> can't seem to teach myself to remember File->Quit to close certain
> applications but not others.

For me it's the other way around: I often open the music player's window
to change the playlist and then close the window again. If closing the
window would quit the player that would cause *me* problems.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. 
   -- Rich Kulawiec 

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