For a long time Alan Cooper (in the 3 versions of his book "About Face") has been promoting a "unified file model" to, among other things, dispense with what he calls the most idiotic message box ever invented - the one the pops up when hit the close button on an app or form saying "Do you want to discard your changes?" I like the idea and his arguments, but also have the knee-jerk reaction against it that most seasoned programmers and users have.
While Cooper's book seems quite popular and respected, there is remarkably little discussion of this particular issue on the Web that I can find. Petter Hesselberg, the author of "Programming Industrial Strength Windows" mentions it but that seems about it.
I have an opportunity to implement this in the (desktop) project I am working on, but face resistance by customers and co-workers, who are of course familiar with the MS Word and Excel way of doing things. I'm in a position to override their objections, but am not sure if I should.
My questions are:
Are there any good discussions of this that I have failed to find? Is anyone doing this in their apps? Is it a good idea that it is unfortunately not practical to implement until, say, Microsoft does it?