Fixed dialog sizes



  • It occurs to me that at this day and age software manufacturers might have gotten used to displays larger than 640x480. Apparently Microsoft hasn't. Behold the driver update dialog of Windows 7:


    There are 45 different manufacturers, plus the "(Standard system devices)" selection. I counted. I bet there are over a hundred devices by Logitech (didn't bother counting those). Yet the dialog only occupies about 40% of my screen's height and the list boxes have about four items visible. Would it have been so hard to make it resizeable, and perhaps even have a more sensible default size?

    Bonus WTFs:

    The horizontal scrollbar on the manufacturer list is completely unnecessary and only serves to further limit the number of visible items.

    There's no "back" button. If you selected the wrong category, you'll have to click "cancel" and start over again. Not that's it takes an overly long time, it's only two clicks to the category selection. But still.

    I can't search for a driver by its name. I needed to find the XBox gamepad driver, which for some reason is in a category "Microsoft Common Controller For Windows Class" all by its own. This is how I hit the previous WTF.

    Extra bonus WTF:

    The fact that I even had to manually select a driver for the gamepad. It was released towards the end of 2010, almost a year ago. Plenty of time for Logitech to submit the USB ID to Microsoft for inclusion in the driver. The disk that came with it didn't include a suitable driver either. Fortunately a Google search turned up the hint to manually select the XBox driver for it. In Linux it worked just by plugging it in.



  • The only thing I can think of, is that this dialog was designed to work in the pre-install environment, where the display may well be running in Very Low-Resolution™ mode.



  • @Lord abletran said:

    The only thing I can think of, is that this dialog was designed to work in the pre-install environment, where the display may well be running in Very Low-Resolution™ mode.

    That's no reason to make it non-sizable.



  • @derula said:

    @Lord abletran said:
    The only thing I can think of, is that this dialog was designed to work in the pre-install environment, where the display may well be running in Very Low-Resolution™ mode.

    That's no reason to make it non-sizable.

    There's also no excuse for all the wasted space.  In addition to being resizable, the Manufacturer and Model windows could be much bigger by default.



  • There actually is a back button...its in the frikkin titlebar.
    thats trwtf



  • @MrMartijn said:

    There actually is a back button...its in the frikkin titlebar.
    thats trwtf

    Agreed. I wanted to make a remark that the UI doesn't have a search function and isn't resizable because Microsoft didn't want to confuse old users who's been using the same shitty dialog for the past few Windows versions, but with this point, this is void. They just didn't want to improve the interface, worsening it is okay.



  • @MrMartijn said:

    There actually is a back button...its in the frikkin titlebar.
    thats trwtf
    It's actually below the title bar in the area where you would normally have a menu bar or tool bar.  Really no different from Internet Explorer or the Windows Control Panel.



  • yeah but why not a back button in the button space (the gray bar) like all sane software does.
    and why can linux make every single piece of hardware work with a 8mb kernel image, but windows still needs downloads and disks...



  • @MrMartijn said:

    and why can linux make every single piece of hardware work with a 8mb kernel image,
    >.>

    BLAKEEEYYYYY



  • @Sutherlands said:

    @MrMartijn said:

    and why can linux make every single piece of hardware work with a 8mb kernel image,
    >.>

    BLAKEEEYYYYY

     

    I require a blakeyrant.



  •  @MrMartijn said:

    There actually is a back button...its in the frikkin titlebar.
    thats trwtf

    TRWTF is Microsoft's idiotic move toward blank title bars. They've just gone full retard trying to get away from the Windows 95 look.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Really no different from Internet Explorer or the Windows Control Panel.

    Except that Explorer's forward buttons aren't standard buttons in the lower right of the window.



  • What the hell is the deal with that Random Tags glurgespam?

     



  • @Zylon said:

    Who is the odious jackass running the Random Tags bot?
    You say that like it's not obvious.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @MrMartijn said:

    There actually is a back button...its in the frikkin titlebar.
    thats trwtf
    It's actually below the title bar in the area where you would normally have a menu bar or tool bar.  Really no different from Internet Explorer or the Windows Control Panel.

    I could go with that if they had bothered to make it consistent and put all the buttons at the same place. At least I might've noticed the back button too while searching the others. But putting some buttons in the standard area and some others in the opposite corner? That'll almost certainly lead to your users missing the buttons in the non-standard location.

    There's even an argument to defend the age-old standard: normal (western) reading order. You start from the top left, and when you've finished reading through the dialog and answering its inquiries, your eyes will come to rest at the bottom right corner. Lo and behold, there are the buttons that let you make your choice of what to do now. Anywhere along the bottom edge is okay to some extent, and it actually makes sense to put the back button in the lower left corner, as again things will naturally progress from left to right.



  • @locallunatic said:

    I require a blakeyrant.

    My first impression when reading this was that it was exactly the sort of stuff he posts but without the expletives. Not sure which I prefer. Might depend on my mood at the time.

    It took me a while to spot the back button, even after people had said where it was. I haven't used Aero much. I find the translucent titlebars somewhat annoying, but making toolbars or menubars or whatever that's supposed to be translucent...that's TRWTF.



  • @Zylon said:

    Who is the odious jackass running the Random Tags bot?

    I don't know, but I loath him too. That fucker is of the same breed as those "signature guy" spammers. If you ask me, they should all be banned. Polluting our forums with junk or repetition, disturbing the naturally peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere we have around here. I dunno why the mods don't take action.

    Edit: Speaking of the devil... he did it again immediately after this post -_____________-



  • @locallunatic said:

    @Sutherlands said:
    @MrMartijn said:
    and why can linux make every single piece of hardware work with a 8mb kernel image,
    >.>

    BLAKEEEYYYYY

    I require a blakeyrant.

    Do I even need to say anything? It would be hard to imagine a more ludicrous claim. Maybe, "Linux single-handedly defeated the Nazis."



  • I'm a Linux user and I laughed at that. If there's one thing Linux is not good at...



    I'm also curious why all those Logitech devices are under "standard system devices" instead of, say, "Logitech".



  • @MrMartijn said:

    yeah but why not a back button in the button space (the gray bar) like all sane software does.
    and why can linux make every single piece of hardware work with a 8mb kernel image, but windows still needs downloads and disks...
     

    Well if you want to have hardware acceleration, you have to download the Nvidia drivers, which are in itself bigger than your average kernel. And then configure it of course, for which you never, ever need to manually edit configuration files. Oh.. you use an ATI/AMD graphics card? No worky, sorry.

    While talking about Linux anyway, most windows and dialogue boxes in GTK and QT/KDE are resizeable, regardless of their size or function. I really like that, they should've put that in Windows 7 too.



  • @pbean said:

    [...] most windows and dialogue boxes in GTK and QT/KDE are resizeable, regardless of their size or function. I really like that, they should've put that in Windows 7 too.


    ...You can get GTK, QT, and KDE for windows.



  • @Lord abletran said:

    @pbean said:

    [...] most windows and dialogue boxes in GTK and QT/KDE are resizeable, regardless of their size or function. I really like that, they should've put that in Windows 7 too.


    ...You can get GTK, QT, and KDE for windows.

    THEN WHY DOESN'T MICROSOFT USE IT FOR THEIR DIALOG BOXES???

    What's your fucking point?



  • @pbean said:

    While talking about Linux anyway, most windows and dialogue boxes in GTK and QT/KDE are resizeable, regardless of their size or function. I really like that, they should've put that in Windows 7 too.
     

    I would like to +1 this.

    All windows resizable. All of them. Exceptions granted; but start from resizable, not the other way around.



  • @lolwtf said:

    I'm a Linux user and I laughed at that. If there's one thing Linux is not good at...
    I recently upgraded my distro, and the volume and brightness controls (which worked flawlessly) now work whenever they feel like it. It also fails to power off after shutdown about half the times.

    Also, depending on where you choose to look, I may or may not be using hardware-accelerated graphics.



  • @Zecc said:

    @lolwtf said:

    I'm a Linux user and I laughed at that. If there's one thing Linux is not good at...
    I recently upgraded my distro, and the volume and brightness controls (which worked flawlessly) now work whenever they feel like it. It also fails to power off after shutdown about half the times.


    Ha! Mine turns off 1 second after you turn it on, waits 3 seconds, then turns on again either to boot, or repeat this process once more before booting. If I boot into Windows one or two times, it will turn on well afterwards, until the next time I boot into Linux. I have absolutely no clue why this would happen at all, and much less why it would depend on the particular OS that has been booted last.



  • Something that has been happening a lot as of late is when I temporarily unplug the laptop from the AC to move it to another room, it suspends even after I plug it in again.

    That's probably because by battery is busted and I've configured it to suspend when critically low, so it's partially my fault. But it's also the kernel's [?] fault for not recognising quickly enough that the computer is back on AC. Fortunately I can now reliably reconnect the wireless modem after suspension, without having to repeatly kill network manager, as before.

    @Lord abletran said:

    you can even replace explorer with KDE plasma, it's not that difficult
    One day I'm going to write my own Windows shell, picking up the best ideas from all window managers and browsers (which are the new window managers). And I'm going to finance development with the money I get from my cure for cancer and my perpetual movement machine.



  • Sigh.

    The reason it's not resizeable is that the Windows group has a development policy to not touch anything that isn't horribly broken. (As Raymond Chen says, all new features start with -100 points.) That's also why Vista still shipped with that horrible Windows 3.x font install dialog box. I think that policy is complete bullshit, but that's just how it is.

    Anyway, if you have to ever look at that dialog, it means someone fucked up. Either Microsoft, or a driver writer.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The reason it's not resizeable is that the Windows group has a development policy to not touch anything that isn't horribly broken.

    Except that they did fucking touch it. Which also shows why the policy is in place; they actually managed to break it! As a reminder, in this article there's a screenshot of how it looked like in Vista. Tell me they haven't touched it. Especially look at the fucking back button! Why would they do that? And again, as it's been pointed out, the back button is at the top in explorer, too... BUT THEN WHY NOT ALSO MOVE THE FORWARD BUTTON?



    Seriously, I simply can't imagine what lead to this fuckedness. I just don't get it.



  • @derula said:

    Seriously, I simply can't imagine what lead to this fuckedness. I just don't get it.

    They are powered by your rage. Now they are stronger than ever!



  • @derula said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    The reason it's not resizeable is that the Windows group has a development policy to not touch anything that isn't horribly broken.

    Except that they did fucking touch it. Which also shows why the policy is in place; they actually managed to break it! As a reminder, in this article there's a screenshot of how it looked like in Vista. Tell me they haven't touched it. Especially look at the fucking back button! Why would they do that? And again, as it's been pointed out, the back button is at the top in explorer, too... BUT THEN WHY NOT ALSO MOVE THE FORWARD BUTTON?



    Seriously, I simply can't imagine what lead to this fuckedness. I just don't get it.

     

    It's called "trolling". And it's working.



  • @Lord abletran said:

    @pbean said:

    [...] most
    windows and dialogue boxes in GTK and QT/KDE are resizeable, regardless
    of their size or function. I really like that, they should've put that
    in Windows 7 too.



    ...You can get GTK, QT, and KDE for windows.
     

    Hmm, in hindsight, I shouldn't have mentioned GTK and QT, but rather Gnome and KDE. In GTK and QT, you can disable window resizing as well, just like in Windows. But in Gnome and KDE, most windows are resizeable by default, whereas in Windows most windows are not. But Windows windows have good support for resizing as well, no need to use GTK or QT on Windows. On all desktop applications I make, I design a window for an 800x600 resolution (or sometimes 1024x768 if I'm 99% sure nobody with 800x600 is going to use it, which happens increasingly much) and lay out all controls and specify a minimum size for the window. Then I make sure the window resizes all controls correctly (ie. expand listboxes and textboxes where applicable, make sure button positions are correct, etc). And then it Just Works™. I don't understand why the Windows developers do not employ the same method. It's really easy.

    But that doesn't mean that Gnome or KDE are without flaws. When I used Linux with KDE a couple of years back, I was greeted with a settings window which was larger in height than my screen. They hadn't put the controls on a scrollable panel, soon the bottom, the controls were cut off and disappeared. But even then, I could just hold ALT and drag the window up, above the border of the screen, and resize the window vertically. That's another thing that I hope to see on Windows one day. Simply moving windows with a keypress (like the Windows button?), rather than being limited to the title bar. If a similar situation would arise on Windows, you would just be out of luck, since you can't drag windows past the top border of the screen.

     



  • @pbean said:

    @derula said:

    Seriously, I simply can't imagine what lead to this fuckedness. I just don't get it.

     

    It's called "trolling". And it's working.

    Troll Gates



  • @Zecc said:

    @lolwtf said:

    I'm a Linux user and I laughed at that. If there's one thing Linux is not good at...
    I recently upgraded my distro, and the volume and brightness controls (which worked flawlessly) now work whenever they feel like it. It also fails to power off after shutdown about half the times.

    Also, depending on where you choose to look, I may or may not be using hardware-accelerated graphics.

    And thanks to the latest kernel update, my hardware volume control keys now make a loud beep; including the mute button. I love it.

     

     



  • Update: ok, I probably shouldn't blame Linux on this one, but HP. It's possible that the laptop already had these annoying beeps and I had fixed it a bunch of years back and forgotten completely about it. Now somehow the kernel update made it manifest again. Freaking Quickplay buttons!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    the Windows group has a development policy to not touch anything that isn't horribly broken. 

    I think that policy is complete bullshit, but that's just how it is.

     

    That's actually a very good policy.  Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't follow it, and neither does anyone else.

     



  • They probably just don't touch it because the existing one works just fine, and they have plenty of more important things to fix than this dialog which in the course of owning a given system you might see what, three times? Maybe?



  • @El_Heffe said:

    That's actually a very good policy.  Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't follow it, and neither does anyone else.

    It's a bad policy, and Microsoft doesn't really follow it. Which is good. Or bad. I dunno.

    But the point is this: XP introduced a new paradigm for Explorer, task-based action panes. But since they never reviewed the entire OS, they never actually rolled-out this feature in a holistic manner... you ended up with a computer where Explorer did this great task-based stuff, and every other window didn't. Mostly. Except the ones that did. But most didn't. Inconsistencies suck.

    Vista was the same way-- they introduce the new glass appearance for windows, but its execution is really shoddy. Some windows have it. Some don't. Some were patched to look glassy, even though nothing else in the window was re-examined for usability improvements (the case in this thread.) Paint.exe, of all apps, was updated to use the toolbar appearance... but not until Windows 7... and then it doesn't use glass behind the toolbar... so it looks like Office instead of Explorer, but then again it doesn't look like Office because the tabs in the Ribbon are supposed to be glass and what the hell is going on here guys your QA department didn't catch this what the fuck is wrong with your QA process that this slipped through also why don't you just ship Paint.NET with the OS anyway it's still better and has an open source license what a waste of time to rewrite Paint.exe!!

    Oh wait, Microsoft doesn't do actual QA anymore, they just do automated QA-- which will never, ever catch a bug like, "this window looks weird, what the fuck." Or "why are these fonts all wrong, you didn't change the fonts you idiot!" or "yeah I know we're not supposed to work on this, but it would take like half an hour to fix this driver installer dialog once and for all so please just fucking do it already."

    So. Yeah.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    <snipped a surprisingly reasonable blakeyrant>


    A friend of mine used to know one of the guys who worked on the NT kernel while they were developing Win7. He was a smart guy, but it worried me, because he had never even been in a meeting with a filesystem guy, or a UI guy, or anything. From what I gleaned, they have all the separate parts of the OS written in almost complete isolation. While (maybe) not bad in principle, since it should help to avoid overly-tight coupling, it still makes the whole system lack a unity of design.



  • @MrMartijn said:

    There actually is a back button...its in the frikkin titlebar.
    thats trwtf
     

    I'm guessing that is because this is a HTA, thus rendered in IE.

    As for the "in this day and age", I am going to go further and say "in any day and age there is no excuse for non-resizable crap on a screen!"



  • @tdb said:

    There are 45 different manufacturers, plus the "(Standard system devices)" selection. I counted. I bet there are over a hundred devices by Logitech (didn't bother counting those). Yet the dialog only occupies about 40% of my screen's height and the list boxes have about four items visible. Would it have been so hard to make it resizeable, and perhaps even have a more sensible default size?

    I have yet to see a single correctly resizeable configuration dialog from Microsoft. They finally added a reasonably simple support for resizing to Windows.Forms (I mean like after other toolkits like Qt had it for ages, just MFC did not), but they still can't use it properly. Even in programs they rewrote in .NET (like Visual Studio), so they shouldn't have any legaci WinAPI or MFC code, the configuration dialogs are not resizeable.



  • @pbean said:

    Hmm, in hindsight, I shouldn't have mentioned GTK and QT, but rather ...

    I think you mentioned GTK and Qt quite right. GTK has a different, and IMO nicer, model than most toolkits where you have to choose some layout before adding widgets. And while it has fixed layout, it's harder to configure, so nobody would choose it. And while in Qt you can add widgets first and set the layout later, the Qt-Designer will remind you that you really should set it if you try to save a dialog without one. So it's really GTK and Qt that got it right.



  • @Lord abletran said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    <snipped a surprisingly reasonable blakeyrant>


    A friend of mine used to know one of the guys who worked on the NT kernel while they were developing Win7. He was a smart guy, but it worried me, because he had never even been in a meeting with a filesystem guy, or a UI guy, or anything. From what I gleaned, they have all the separate parts of the OS written in almost complete isolation. While (maybe) not bad in principle, since it should help to avoid overly-tight coupling, it still makes the whole system lack a unity of design.

    And when they do have meetings, they're much larger than necessary.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Windows group has a development policy to not touch anything that isn't horribly broken.

    If they would call that dialog "not horribly broken", I shudder at the mere thought of what "horribly broken" might look like - Designed By The Great Old Ones, For The Great Old Ones?



  • @piskvorr said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Windows group has a development policy to not touch anything that isn't horribly broken.

    If they would call that dialog "not horribly broken", I shudder at the mere thought of what "horribly broken" might look like - Designed By The Great Old Ones, For The Great Old Ones?

     

     

    TRWTF is not being able to distinguish between 'broken' and 'not pretty'



  • @dhromed said:

    All windows resizable. All of them. Exceptions granted; but start from resizable, not the other way around.
    One of the most annoying non-resizable dialogs, IMHO, is the "Set Environment Variable" dialog. Ever tried to edit, say, a PATH variable of about a dozen entries in a text box control which shows you somewhere around 20-30 characters? Ugh!

    So I usually start a text editor on the side, play a little CTRL-A, CTRL-C, ALT-TAB, CTRL-V keyboard solo, break up the path into lines for separate entrie, do the changes I need, put everything back on one line (thank god for notepad replacements that can automate that sort of thing) and copy-paste back to the text box...

     



  • I would prefer my OS to use old, badly designed UI for shit i see once in a few months/years and not fuck up the UI on everyday stuff just because they felt like changing it (like KDE, Gnome, FireFox, and every second open source project it seems). I guess that's why i'm using windows on my desktops.

    Oh and there is absolutely no fucking reason to have to choose a driver from a list in fucking 2011.



  • I've had to use it once or twice - one quite recently to use my Extreme Flash Advance Linker card which has an unsigned driver Windows won't use without being told specifically to.

    (note: I don't pirate GBA games - I wanted to try out a synth I'd written on real hardware)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @locallunatic said:
    @Sutherlands said:
    @MrMartijn said:
    and why can linux make every single piece of hardware work with a 8mb kernel image,
    >.>

    BLAKEEEYYYYY

    I require a blakeyrant.

    Do I even need to say anything? It would be hard to imagine a more ludicrous claim. Maybe, "Linux single-handedly defeated the Nazis."

    [pedantic dickweed]You seem to have imagined one quite easily.[/pedantic dickweed]



  • @kilroo said:

    [pedantic dickweed]You seem to have imagined one quite easily.[/pedantic dickweed]

    ... nope, sorry. I still think "8 MB to support all hardware" is more ludicrous.



  • @bdew said:

    Oh and there is absolutely no fucking reason to have to choose a driver from a list in fucking 2011.

    There should not be. Unfortunately it seems that there is.

    I challenge you to get a Logitech Wireless Gamepad F710 (a.k.a. Cordless Rumblepad 2) and get it to work in XInput mode on Windows 7 64-bit without touching that dialog. When and if you do, please report detailed step-by-step instructions here.


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