If we cannot find the sound we want to play, let's use the system speaker!



  • That is apparently what the dumbasses that made Outlook 2007 were thinking.

    I've been wondering for a while why my computer beeps whenever I get new mail in outlook, and this is the cause.

    If Outlook is configured to play a sound when a new email arrives but no sound is configured for the “New Mail Notification” or the “Default Beep” event in the Windows sound scheme, then the system speaker is used to provide feedback.

    What is this... I don't even...



  • @garrywong said:

    What is this... I don't even...

    ...see a WTF in this?



  • Why do you believe this is a WTF?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Why do you believe this is a WTF?
     

    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    That is, normally I always have my system on mute, but occasionally I'll have a Lync call and so plug in my headphones and unmute, then mute after I'm done. This tends to result in the 'beep' from my PC speakers (or headphones if they are still plugged in).



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    occasionally I'll have a Lync call

    That is a pretty big WTF, indeed.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Ok; well that sounds like a genuine bug.

    But I still don't get why the OP thinks it's a WTF that if Outlook is told to make a noise when new mail arrives, Outlook makes a noise when new mail arrives.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Is that because it uses the "PC beeper" system call instead of sending audio to a sound card? That ancient device is probably faked these days instead of using the piezo beeper (or even a 555 chip from memory). It operates outside the operating system volume control: more low level.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @too_many_usernames said:
    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Ok; well that sounds like a genuine bug.

    But I still don't get why the OP thinks it's a WTF that if Outlook is told to make a noise when new mail arrives, Outlook makes a noise when new mail arrives.

    The fact that it uses the system speaker rather than piping it through the system's sound control panel is a pretty big WTF. I could see it in 1995 on a computer that didn't have any speakers other than the crappy internal one (and I've heard some pretty impressive sounds coming out of it), but if the computer has an audio output, the beep should be sent through that. AFAIK Windows' sound drivers don't know or care about the system speaker, so when an application accesses the system speaker it totally bypasses all volume controls and any other effects that the sound driver is supposed to provide.



  • @anotherusername said:

    . I could see it in 1995 on a computer that didn't have any speakers other than the crappy internal one (and I've heard some pretty impressive sounds coming out of it),

    Ken's Labyrinth had impressive sounds on my 386 before I got a sound card.

    @anotherusername said:

    so when an application accesses the system speaker it totally bypasses all volume controls and any other effects that the sound driver is supposed to provide.

    PC beeper is the lowest common denominator. I imagine the algorithm is like if (!playSound(filename)) beep (). If that filename is empty or invalid then playSound would return false. The "make notification" config would wrap the whole thing. It is windows doing the best it can. It knows the user must be notified audibly but it couldn't play the requested wave file.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @too_many_usernames said:
    Semi-related: Outlook 2007 appears to ignore audio settings when you do this. I have my speakers set as mute, and I'll still get a beep from time to time, but only if I had at one point had my speakers unmuted during a reboot cycle.

    Ok; well that sounds like a genuine bug.

    But I still don't get why the OP thinks it's a WTF that if Outlook is told to make a noise when new mail arrives, Outlook makes a noise when new mail arrives.

    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.



  • @lincoln said:

    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    But he's told outlook he does want noises! Where's the WTF?



  • @anotherusername said:

    The fact that it uses the system speaker rather than piping it through the system's sound control panel is a pretty big WTF.

    But it does run it through the sound control panel. First it looks for an email notification sound, and if it can't find one, then it looks for a generic notification sound, and if it can't find one then and only then will it engage the PC speaker. It says so right in the goddamned quoted text in the OP.

    @anotherusername said:

    AFAIK Windows' sound drivers don't know or care about the system speaker, so when an application accesses the system speaker it totally bypasses all volume controls and any other effects that the sound driver is supposed to provide.

    Ok; I don't know what decade you're in, but in modern computers there is no such thing as a PC speaker. It's emulated by the sound card.



  • @lincoln said:

    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    If he doesn't want to hear noises, why the fuck is it turned on in Outlook? He's obviously telling Outlook he does want to hear noises.

    For all Outlook knows, the notification sound in the control panel is blank specifically because he *wants* to hear the PC speaker. Software isn't psychic.



  • @Zemm said:

    [Windows] knows the user must be notified audibly ....
    Why must the user be notified audibly (or at all)? Put the mail in the inbox and notify the user audibly and/or visually if enabled; having the speakers muted means audible notifications are not enabled. Otherwise, STFU, and I'll check my mail when I feel like it.

    Edit: Oops, my bad. I was conflating this with the message about sounds when the speakers are muted.



  • @Zemm said:

    @lincoln said:
    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    But he's told outlook he does want noises! Where's the WTF?

    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Possible double WTF for the OS responding with a messages that are not distinguishable between "OS failed to do this" and "User says to stay quiet". Or alternately Outlook receiving both of those messages and responding the same way.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But it does run it through the sound control panel. First it looks for an email notification sound, and if it can't find one, then it looks for a generic notification sound, and if it can't find one then and only then will it engage the PC speaker. It says so right in the goddamned quoted text in the OP.
    I meant the system's sound output channel, not the Sounds control panel. I'm not sure what the correct name for it is, but it's the default audio output device. In general, you expect the sounds your computer makes to go through that, so that you can use the Volume control widget. The PC speaker (or the sound card, if it's emulated by the sound card; it doesn't really matter which it is for the purposes of my argument) is a low-level hardware device that isn't affected by any of the drivers that are supposed to modify or control the system's audio output streams.@lincoln said:
    @Zemm said:
    @lincoln said:
    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    But he's told outlook he does want noises! Where's the WTF?

    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Well, it actually does exactly that, except that it says to play the "New Mail Notification" or (if that doesn't exist) the standard beep notification. Windows actually does the rest all by itself, so it's probably not Outlook's fault, but it's still a WTF. Any application that generates a standard beep noise is going to do this.



  • @lincoln said:

    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Honest question: how do you know Outlook is doing more than that, and the behavior described in the OP is Outlook behavior and not default Windows behavior?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @lincoln said:
    Because OP has told the system he does not want to hear noises for given events, and Outlook is disregarding those settings and doing whatever the f' it feels like.

    If he doesn't want to hear noises, why the fuck is it turned on in Outlook? He's obviously telling Outlook he does want to hear noises.

    For all Outlook knows, the notification sound in the control panel is blank specifically because he *wants* to hear the PC speaker. Software isn't psychic.

    Because it's enabled by default? Again Outlook doing anything other than generating a request to the OS is the WTF. The only possible scenario where it should keep trying is if the OS says there is no sound hardware installed and the standard notifications are unavailable (which is different than being unset).

    If Outlook doesn't want to rely on the OS's audio event settings, it should let the user pick alternatives instead of assuming everyone loves pc speaker beeps.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @lincoln said:
    An application doing anything more than asking the OS to play whatever sound it has assigned for "New Mail Notification" is a WTF.

    Honest question: how do you know Outlook is doing more than that, and the behavior described in the OP is Outlook behavior and not default Windows behavior?

    I don't, but it seems like it would be rather straightforward to test. I would say it seems unlikely that Windows is set up to cascade sound events in the case of events being unassigned. If that is the case, that just shifts the WTF from Outlook to Windows.



  • @lincoln said:

    Again Outlook doing anything other than generating a request to the OS is the WTF.

    What makes you think it is? I ask again.

    @lincoln said:

    I don't, but it seems like it would be rather straightforward to test.

    Oh I see, that little nugget came directly out of your ass, from which you pulled it.


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