Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

Standard Supported Drop Zones

The standard supported drop zones in the Common Desktop Environment are Front Panel controls, open windows, and folder, action, and certain other icons in File Manager. Dropping on minimized icons and on File Manager icons that do not support drops are not supported in the Common Desktop Environment.

The Front Panel

The Front Panel is a collection of controls and other functions put together for easier and faster access for users. As a consequence, its drag and drop behaviors are heavily dependent upon the context of the destination. For example, if the destination is a printer, then print it. If the destination is a subpanel, then install it. Most applications will not vary in behavior quite as broadly as the Front Panel.

File Manager

File Manager for the Common Desktop Environment allows users to drop icons on the desktop. The icon on the desktop becomes a reference. The creation of the reference and resulting behaviors are not consistent with the future user model for the Common Desktop Environment. Until the user model and architecture are further specified, developers are not encouraged to do any drops onto the desktop or to copy the File Manager behavior.

Within File Manager windows, File Manager allows dropping onto icons other than folders and action icons for the Common Desktop Environment 1.0. For example, dropping a mail message icon onto a mail container icon appends the mail message.

When mail messages or calendar appointments, or other buffers are dragged from the source application and dropped onto File Manager, they must be named. The underlying API supports a name field for the item being dragged. This name should be used as the name of the buffer. The name should be determined in a manner consistent with the application from where it came. If there is no appropriate name, as in dropping a text selection in File Manager, File Manager should name the resulting file "unnamed". If there is a name conflict, File Manager should put up a dialog box and ask the user to rename the dropped file.

No Drop-Only Targets

The Common Desktop Environment does not support the concept of a specific control or graphical target used only for drops. Any control in the human interface that has selectable items can be dropped upon and should provide drop zone feedback. This includes data panes, scrolling lists, and text entry fields. The operation that takes place upon the drop should be consistent with the users expectations for that application type.