NEdit uses some fairly confusing terminology on modal
dialog boxes. Most common is the word "Dismiss" which
seems only to be in certain Motif apps, and nowhere
else in the GUI universe. I suggest we adopt the
Windows model of marking terminating buttons on dialog
1) In modal dialogs, "Dismiss" should be usually
"Cancel" if indeed pressing Cancel aborts the operation
safely. Right now we seem to randomly pick between
"Dismiss" and "Cancel".
2) In modeless dialogs, "Dimiss" should be called
"Close". Further, they should not have an "OK" button
because it is redundant: it's the same as "Apply"
followed by "Dismiss".
3) If there's a modal message box where the only option
is "Dismiss", it should just be "OK".
The rationale for this is long, but grounded in real
usability. A good place to read is Alan Cooper, "About
Face", Chapter 21, "Dialog Boxes". Summarized, we want
to make it clear which dialogs are modal and atomic
(OK/Cancel) and which are modeless and can be applied
The Find/Replace dialog is sort of a unique beast as it
may or may not be modal.