As Jim noted, the paradigm adopted by Apple in recent versions of OS X is that a user can quit an application, or Restart or shutdown the computer and on the next startup or launch documents or windows that had previously been open will be reopened, allowing the user to return to work immediately. I’m told that that was in response to user suggestions.
This behavior of OS X influences DEVONthink.
Looking back over a number of years of DEVONthink user comments about behavior of the application on launch, I’d have to say that the vast majority of users like the current behavior (in DEVONthink as well as OS X). It tends to save time and effort. The ability to close all open databases is available to those who prefer launching the application without an open database.
For example, I usually have 5 or 6 DEVONthink Pro Office databases open, my Journal document window open, and probably an open document window for the current draft I’m writing. When I Restart my Mac, all apps that were previously open are automatically launched, and my suite of open DEVONthink databases–as well as open document windows–is available. My MacBook Pro has 16 GB RAM, and my suite of databases fits comfortably into available memory. My MacBook Air has only 4 GB RAM, so I have fewer “standard” DEVONthink databases normally open when using it.
When I’m working with a memory-intensive application, such as when photo editing, I’ll temporarily close some apps, including DEVONthink Pro Office. I’m delighted when, on relaunching DEVONthink, I don’t have to individually select and open my database set, and select and open the previous open document windows.
I understand that some prefer launching DEVONthink without an open database. But there’s an available menu command (or keystroke) that will close all open databases (at next launch, no database will be opened). At one time there was a DEVONthink preference to “do nothing” on launch. There was no provision to automatically open a specific database on launch of DEVONthink, other than double-clicking on a selected database in the Finder (with the “do nothing” preference). The trouble with adding Preferences is that there are already so many of them, and users can get confused when they forget the settings that were chosen. That’s why the developers are reluctant to proliferate new preferences.
Yes, I do occasionally open other DEVONthink databases, and close them when finished with them.
I do agree with the comment above that the proximity of the contextual menu commands to Close or Delete a database is unfortunate, as it increases the possibility of a careless click deleting rather than merely closing a database. For most of DEVONthink’s history, there was no user command to delete a database from within DEVONthink. A database could only be deleted by deleting its file in the Finder. From a QA perspective, it think it was better to make deleting databases somewhat difficult.