Maya child windows behavior in OSX

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Old 01 January 2013   #1
Maya child windows behavior in OSX

Hi,

At work, I recently started using Maya on Mac OSX, after having always used it on Linux, and I'm really baffled by the child windows behavior (think Hypershade, Graph Editor, Script Editor, etc...)

The shortcut Cmd+~ does switch focus between child windows, but they stay on top of the main window. That means that if I opened one of these, but need to work in the main maya window, I need to click on the minimize button or double-click the title bar (because Cmd+M doesn't work on these!!!), and I need to click in the dock to recall them...

Surely I must have missed something, didn't I? I understand you can work around this behavior with two screens, but there is no way anyone can really have work done when using Maya on a mac with a single screen!

Is there a way to ensure the child windows are hidden by the main window (going in the background of it) when I switch focus to it using Cmd+~?

Cheers,
Tan

P.S. I tried to post that one yesterday, but couldn't find it display anywhere. I didn't receive any messages from the admin so I took the assumption something didn't work. Please excuse me if suddenly two threads suddenly appear.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #2
The floating window behaviour is that way to prevent windows from getting lost behind the application. The first version we did with QT (2011) did not hold floating windows and on Mac and Linux it drove people insane because when you focused the main window all your floating windows got shuffled behind it. As for the shortcut keys I will need to take a look but there could be a missing link on what the OS expects and what Maya is doing. I mostly use Exposé to flip between my floating windows vs the hotkeys so I haven't noticed this before.
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Old 02 February 2013   #3
I have made extensive posts about these and other Windowing issues on the beta forum Shawn. There's still a lot of room for improvement.
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Old 02 February 2013   #4
Thanks for the explanation Shawn. I'm not sure I understand why the windows would be shuffled. I was mainly comparing the behavior to other apps, like Firefox for example. If you have many windows, they never really get lost, since you can switch to them using Cmd+`, and when you're using expose, they are all displayed too aren't they?

I understand you're using QT though, and it probably means that you manage the windows / child windows yourself, instead of giving full control to Mac OSX ?

I know we had this behavior in Linux too, but we could actually chose if we want it or not, using the environment variable MAYA_SET_PARENT_HINT.

Cheers
 
Old 02 February 2013   #5
Originally Posted by DutchDimension: I have made extensive posts about these and other Windowing issues on the beta forum Shawn. There's still a lot of room for improvement.


Spotted your post this morning about it so I'll have a look.
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Old 02 February 2013   #6
Cheers Shawn!
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Old 02 February 2013   #7
I'm in the other camp. A floating window should float and the last thing I want is a tool options window going behind the main window. X-Windows is no poster child for how windows should behave and I can understand that the Mac way feels wrong coming from Linux but it would be awful if OS X behaved like X-Windows. It drives me nuts when I use Linux. But there's no reason the app can't do it – it's just that it's not all or nothing, like with Linux. If you want to hide the window, minimize it to the dock

Last edited by cgbeige : 02 February 2013 at 04:36 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #8
Originally Posted by cgbeige: I'm in the other camp. A floating window should float and the last thing I want is a tool options window going behind the main window. X-Windows is no poster child for how windows should behave and I can understand that the Mac way feels wrong coming from Linux but it would be awful if OS X behaved like X-Windows. It drives me nuts when I use Linux. But there's no reason the app can't do it – it's just that it's not all or nothing, like with Linux. If you want to hide the window, minimize it to the dock


Amen to that!
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Old 02 February 2013   #9
Originally Posted by cgbeige: I'm in the other camp. A floating window should float and the last thing I want is a tool options window going behind the main window


Indeed. But why does it have to be either of both extremes? As a windows user, child windows in Maya behave just like I'd expect them to behave: The are always in front/on top of the main window ("MayaWindow") but behave as proper children of it: they inherit the same z-stacking of their parent window, so when another program (window) takes focus and obscures the Maya window, Maya's child windows are obscured as well. They are also minimized propely with the Main window.

Now, as a windows users I'd usually have no part in this discussion, but I'm currently developing a script which is only giving me headaches when run on OSX. One such woe is exactly the behaviour described, where child windows (dockControls) sit atop every other app.
I've been testing on Maya 2011, and this 'bug' has been well described already when the switch to Qt first happened.

My question is: why does it have to be 'either or', i.e. one or the other extreme. Is it impossible to get Qt widgets (dialogs?) to work on OSX like they do on windows?
 
Old 02 February 2013   #10
ya, I think that it's either Qt or OS X that has some quirks with window layering like you mention.

I'm not saying OS X window layering is perfect - just that the Linux method is far from ideal.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #11
I agree that there is not a 'true ideal' way, since many users prefer many different things.

However, I still think a modern UI should at least gives the user an efficient way to navigate between windows (i.e. shortcuts): at the moment, you need to *click* on a small button to minimize the window, and OSX being OSX, you actually need to click in the dock to retrieve them. When working on a single screen, it's very annoying...

What don't we have a 'pin' button on the child window, which would allow the user to decide if the child window can to be hidden by other windows or not? I'm pretty sure I've seen this somewhere already

Cheers
 
Old 02 February 2013   #12
agree that there is not a 'true ideal' way, since many users prefer many different things.


I've only really ever used Windows as a main OS (never Linux), so I have to ask:
why would one ever want one application's toolboxes and assorted child windows to cover another application when the latter has focus?

Not dinging on anyone, I'm really just curious as to what reason might exist for such a preference.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #13
what about child windows floating on top of other applications?

a big issue i have is that i have 2 screens and i tried having some of the editor windows on the second screen but when i switch to mail, which i keep on the second screen, the maya windows remain on top and i can't see mail.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #14
^ rather annoying isn't it.. not only that when you minimize a window and go to another application the damn windows shows up. WFT dude I minimized for a reason lol :/
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Old 02 February 2013   #15
Still hoping Shawn will get back to us with some insider info on the issue (*fingers crossed*)
 
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