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The way I have handled this type of thing in the past is through work-flow design rather than function of the cancel button. My top most form would not allow a child form to be opened unless the parent record was saved first. So the buttons or links that allow adding locations or rooms would be disabled until the school was saved.
Designing the work-flow this way eliminated the possibility of saving children before the parent was saved and then having to deal with the potential of cancelling the parent.
I do believe the Windows UI guidelines cover this...
Provide a command button to halt the operation if it takes more than a few seconds to complete, or has the potential never to complete. Label the button Cancel if canceling returns the environment to its previous state (leaving no side effects); otherwise, label the button Stop to indicate that it leaves the partially completed operation intact. You can change the button label from Cancel to Stop in the middle of the operation, if at some point it isn't possible to return the environment to its previous state.
I think your problem is not one of user expectations, but one of UX design. You have three distinct entities on screen at a time. Each one should have its own cancel button. Don't open three windows, use a framework which allows you to develop nice single page apps with modal dialogs.
Some old UI design wisdom I encountered in an IBM tutorial says you should handle one business process in one screen. From what you're telling, editing a school/location/room are three distinct business processes, even if sort of subordinated to each other, so each one deserves a distinct window. Since your current design, afaict, is one where you only can edit locations from the school screen and can only edit rooms from the locations screen, modal dialogs make sense, IMO.
Alternatively, you can depict everything as a tree, and have add/remove ops for locations/rooms as operations to the tree, acting on the currently selected school/location. This way, you can have a single window open at a time, with just one cancel button, and the problem with three simultaneously open windows goes away.
Well using the WPI it has installed without much (in fact zero) effort.
Straight into the dashbaord, created a new blog, and added a post without much effort. Tried to install a new theme from the gallery, but need to change my write access to the themes directory, but htat is not problem to do.
I used to work in a coach-house in an orchard with a hardware engineer whose initials were CMS if that helps. Very pleasant I found: you could go out and throw sticks for the dogs while you puzzled something out, or get a fresh ripe apple from a tree. We even had business meetings in the orchard with a good bottle of wine in the summer.
So, if it is anything like that, then I'd say you were in for a good time.
If you get an email telling you that you can catch Swine Flu from tinned pork then just delete it. It's Spam.
I've been very interested in Drupal for some time, but as self employed all my recent coding has been for survival, and that has to be my better skilled domain, .NET. I'm sure I'll find some time for Drupal now I'm employed again.
When we do go live on third party platforms (and it is a when now, not an if), we'll have to make some changes to the Baen Free Library. I suggest everyone backup whatever they've got now and spread the word, as there will be titles we have to take down. We'll be keeping as many as possible and will continue adding new titles as practical.
There've also been a few rumblings about making sure your regular books are all backed up.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason? Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful? --Zachris Topelius
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies. -- Sarah Hoyt