Explorer fails at sorting



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    @pjt33 said:
    Try getting it to sort a directory which contains a lot of files whose names are GUIDs by name. I think it sorts on the second half or something similarly obscure.
    It sorts on the number you get by taking digits from immediately after the "{" until you hit one of them weird hex thingies (A-F).
     

    For those of you (like me) who need explorer to sort normally, instead of "naturally", try this:

     http://support.microsoft.com/kb/319827

     



  • @andypbwilson said:

    For those of you (like me) who need explorer to sort normally, instead of "naturally", try this:

     http://support.microsoft.com/kb/319827

     

    ObRant: WHY ISN'T THAT AN OBVIOUS USER CONFIGURABLE SETTING I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO MODIFY ARCHANE HEX KEYS ITS BROKEN THEY SHOULD FIX IT etc.

    </steam>

    Getting back to the point, part of the WTF is simply because people expect it to work in different ways according to different situations, and a design decision to flick it from lexical to having some AI about numerical sorting isn't a bad idea - just that an unannounced change in behaviour could throw some people.

    It could be fixed simply by having an option that permitted user control over the sort criteria, but not sure if that was viewed as disproportionate effort devoted to fixing an uncommon problem.

     



  • @Cassidy said:

    Getting back to the point, part of the WTF is simply because people expect it to work in different ways according to different situations …

    While it's true that sorting the name column is a nightmare (though TweakUI had a setting for this, and then Microsoft abandoned TweakUI), the OP's complaint is that Explorer was sorting the files by file type and then date when it was not supposed to be, which is a weird bug.



  • Meh, true - I'd moved onto the context of the last post and forgotten about the original post.

    Which is still a sorting WTF.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Windows 8 Explorer with its ribbon is designed simply to provoke a reaction of "OMG Ponies!" "OMG Icons!". Seriously WTF is with throwing every possible command at the ribbon in Explorer? I can imagine a lot of people finding it quite intimidating. (Word, I can accept, as it's a professional software package (just one that nobody gets trained to use properly). There's no excuse for Explorer to be that complicated.
     

    I like the Win8 Explorer ribbon.



  • @Cassidy said:

    ObRant: WHY ISN'T THAT AN OBVIOUS USER CONFIGURABLE SETTING I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO MODIFY ARCHANE HEX KEYS ITS BROKEN THEY SHOULD FIX IT etc.

    Because someday Nagesh will find it and set it and come on here a month later to complain about how his documents are sorted "1.doc", "10.doc", "100.doc", "101.doc", "11.doc", "2.doc", et cetera.



  • @dhromed said:

    I like the Win8 Explorer ribbon.

    When I first saw it, I was seriously impressed. It's only since then that I've realised that it's going to be overwhelming for a lot of people. Vista's Explorer toolbar was the best — a simple subset of commands with nice icons. Got rid of all the verbosity of XP's tasks panel. 7 removed the icons so that you'd overlook the toolbar.

    It's a power user vs average user tradeoff :)



  • @dhromed said:

    I like the Win8 Explorer ribbon.

    Yes, overall it's nice, but the Undo button could have been placed in a more prominent location.

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Vista's Explorer toolbar was the best — a simple subset of commands with nice icons.

    Simple, random, useless.



  • @alegr said:

    @Ben L. said:

    That list looks sorted to me... by, uh, day.
    Sorting by file date should operate on FILETIME data type, which is not text and doesn't depend on the locale.

     

    There, FIFY. Nobody can be sure they don't format the date with the locale, and then sort the formated dates.

    @derula said:

    @alegr said:
    FILETIME data type

    TRWTF.

    @MSDN said:

    typedef struct _FILETIME {

      DWORD dwLowDateTime;

      DWORD dwHighDateTime;

    } FILETIME, *PFILETIME;
     

    Looks like the tipical MS' 64 bits function. They are written this way because binary compatibiliy with 32 bits software was a requirement. It's ugly, and the requirement is stupid, but it does meet the requirement...

    Or are you arguing that TRWTF is hungarian notation?

     



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    It's a power user vs average user tradeoff :)
     

    That's normaly solved by shipping 2 systems. Or, at least by hidding a "turn advanced mode on" setting somewhere.

    Only MS and Gnome people are so petulant that they think power users are too empowered and must be brought to the same level as everybody else.



  • @Mcoder said:

    That's normaly solved by shipping 2 systems. Or, at least by hidding a "turn advanced mode on" setting somewhere.

    Not by sane software companies that don't want to double their QA burden. Of course the difference between Microsoft and... pretty much everybody else is that Microsoft actually does QA their software, heavily.

    It also doesn't work because Windows ships with PowerShell-- are you implying PowerShell isn't a tool for expert users? What about JScript? What about Group Policy? Those aren't tools for expert users?

    @Mcoder said:

    Only MS and Gnome people are so petulant that they think power users are too empowered and must be brought to the same level as everybody else.

    You don't include Apple... why? Is Bash somehow more "expert" than PowerShell?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Mcoder said:
    That's normaly solved by shipping 2 systems. Or, at least by hidding a "turn advanced mode on" setting somewhere.

    Not by sane software companies that don't want to double their QA burden. Of course the difference between Microsoft and... pretty much everybody else is that Microsoft actually does QA their software, heavily.

    It also doesn't work because Windows ships with PowerShell-- are you implying PowerShell isn't a tool for expert users? What about JScript? What about Group Policy? Those aren't tools for expert users?

    @Mcoder said:

    Only MS and Gnome people are so petulant that they think power users are too empowered and must be brought to the same level as everybody else.

    You don't include Apple... why? Is Bash somehow more "expert" than PowerShell?


    Are you saying that JScript, the bastard child of JavaScript and VBScript, is useful? Or does its lack of a valid use make it so hard to use that it can only be used by "power users"?



  • @Ben L. said:

    Are you saying that JScript, the bastard child of JavaScript and VBScript, is useful? Or does its lack of a valid use make it so hard to use that it can only be used by "power users"?

    I have no objection to system scripting using JScript and VBScript. The problem is that Microsoft made several stupid mistakes. One is that you can't force the interpreter via file extension, and sometimes you need to ensure that something is run with cscript. For some reason, files, folders and drives don't inherit from a base class like they do on a Mac (or simply use the same class like in REALbasic, which actually works pretty well), so your file-handling code ends up all the more verbose for it.

    The main issue though is the horrendous UI. You can't prompt to read (Open) or write (Save) files, or select or create directories, and if you prefer JScript, you don't get any text input or customisable message dialog boxes. Neither one has list selection. Not even sure that JS has OK/Cancel dialog boxes, just WScript.echo(). There's no clipboard access. AppleScript gave you all this for free in the early 90s (the basic feature set for Open Scripting Architecture is quite decent), yet Windows Scripting Host can't achieve absolute bare minimum UI for automation. Seriously WTF? What did Microsoft think anyone wanted to do with system scripting? I end up having to use VBScript (ugh) just to be able to prompt the user for a hostname or something.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @Ben L. said:
    Are you saying that JScript, the bastard child of JavaScript and VBScript, is useful? Or does its lack of a valid use make it so hard to use that it can only be used by "power users"?

    I have no objection to system scripting using JScript and VBScript. The problem is that Microsoft made several stupid mistakes. One is that you can't force the interpreter via file extension, and sometimes you need to ensure that something is run with cscript. For some reason, files, folders and drives don't inherit from a base class like they do on a Mac (or simply use the same class like in REALbasic, which actually works pretty well), so your file-handling code ends up all the more verbose for it.

    The main issue though is the horrendous UI. You can't prompt to read (Open) or write (Save) files, or select or create directories, and if you prefer JScript, you don't get any text input or customisable message dialog boxes. Neither one has list selection. Not even sure that JS has OK/Cancel dialog boxes, just WScript.echo(). There's no clipboard access. AppleScript gave you all this for free in the early 90s (the basic feature set for Open Scripting Architecture is quite decent), yet Windows Scripting Host can't achieve absolute bare minimum UI for automation. Seriously WTF? What did Microsoft think anyone wanted to do with system scripting? I end up having to use VBScript (ugh) just to be able to prompt the user for a hostname or something.

    Hence PowerShell.

     



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Seriously WTF is with throwing every possible command at the ribbon in Explorer?

    AIUI, the basis of the ribbon was a study commissioned by Microsoft which found over 80% of requested new features already existed, so MS decided to expose them as a horizontal menu that remained onscreen rather than a vertical dropdown list that vanished once a single option had been selected. The Win8 ribbon should have be arranged so that the most common options appear (and are most apparent) first...

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I can imagine a lot of people finding it quite intimidating. (Word, I can accept, as it's a professional software package (just one that nobody gets trained to use properly). There's no excuse for Explorer to be that complicated.
     

    .. but if the default options don't suit then people can customise it to their particular preferences. I'm guessing people find the change intimidating because - at first - it will be information overload, but like most things they'll find where their commonly-used options are and once familiar with those begin to learn where other (more unused) options are and gradually increase their functional use.

    The flipside is burying them behind several menu trees which people won't navigate, bringing about the oft-quoted "where IS that option" or "I didn't know you could do that!"

    @dhromed said:

    I like the Win8 Explorer ribbon.
     

    You like vibrating purple things, veal steaks and strange desktop search engines.

    I'm not convinced your choice holds water.

     



  • @Ben L. said:

    Are you saying that JScript, the bastard child of JavaScript and VBScript, is useful?

    Yes, of course it is.

    Less so now that more alternatives exist.



  • @Cassidy said:

    .. but if the default options don't suit then people can customise it to their particular preferences.

    In Windows 7, this is just Office: you can't customise the ribbon in Wordpad or Paint for example. Maybe Windows 8 ribbons don't suck so much, and maybe now you can rearrange QAT icons in all programs …

    @Cassidy said:

    The flipside is burying them behind several menu trees which people won't navigate, bringing about the oft-quoted "where IS that option" or "I didn't know you could do that!"

    How do Mac users cope? Mac users are all supposed to be idiots, yet Macs never had toolbars in the OS at all. There was a huge outcry when Apple dared to add toolbars to the UI with Mac OS X, but Apple toolbars are exactly what toolbars are supposed to be: a small, easily configurable set of buttons for the most common tasks (which is what the Quick Access Toolbar is, except with tiny icons). For everything else, there's the menu bar.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    How do Mac users cope? Mac users are all supposed to be idiots, yet Macs never had toolbars in the OS at all. There was a huge outcry when Apple dared to add toolbars to the UI with Mac OS X, but Apple toolbars are exactly what toolbars are supposed to be: a small, easily configurable set of buttons for the most common tasks (which is what the Quick Access Toolbar is, except with tiny icons). For everything else, there's the menu bar.

    There was a huge outcry with the ribbon, too.  It's just that Microsoft kept it because they had, you know, data, from like, studies.  You have a study that says that people actually know what features exist in the Mac versions?



  • @Sutherlands said:

    You have a study that says that people actually know what features exist in the Mac versions?

    No, I'm asking whether Mac users all struggle to use their computers to the same extent, as this would suggest that Apple are seriously failing their users in terms of UI innovation. (I'm not denying this — it may be true. I rarely use Macs nowadays.) At the same time, Mac users have (hopefully an underserved) reputation for being stupid, which means that they should be really struggling!

    Incidentally, the Mac's Finder for me was always hopelessy buggy. Even by Tiger (10.4), I had problems like disappearing scroll bars, Info windows opening with the bottom obscured by the Dock, broken authentication, moving files to the Trash in a window titled "Copy" (copying files to the Trash…?)

    I've always felt that the file system managers—Explorer and Finder—were by far the most bug-ridden components of their respective operating systems. Incorrect date sorting (per the OP) is just one of a really, really long list of stuff that doesn't work in Explorer.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    No, I'm asking whether Mac users all struggle to use their computers to the same extent, as this would suggest that Apple are seriously failing their users in terms of UI innovation. (I'm not denying this — it may be true. I rarely use Macs nowadays.) At the same time, Mac users have (hopefully an underserved) reputation for being stupid, which means that they should be really struggling!

    From my experience, Mac users are more likely to:

    1) Own and use their own computer (Mac users don't share; Windows users frequently do)

    2) Do fewer tasks with their computer (using fewer applications on average to accomplish them)

    3) Favor "open" dialogs or application-maintained databases over folder navigation

    You'll note Apple has been developing apps towards those ends for years now.

    "Stupid" has nothing to do with anything. Don't repeat that kind of bullshit, the IT industry is already full of enough elitist pricks.

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Incidentally, the Mac's Finder for me was always hopelessy buggy.

    "Always"? Or "OS X always"? Finder used to be brilliant in Classic. It's always been shit in OS X.

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I've always felt that the file system managers—Explorer and Finder—were by far the most bug-ridden components of their respective operating systems. Incorrect date sorting (per the OP) is just one of a really, really long list of stuff that doesn't work in Explorer.

    I've always thought Explorer's biggest weakness is the lack of a strong cohesive design philosophy. Drag&drop? Sure. Copy&paste? Why not. Drag&paste? ... sure, ok! Task-based controls on folder windows? Let's add those in XP! Vista: where'd the task-based controls go? Windows 7: oh wait now some are back. Menus on Windows? Of course. Using the standard OS menu code? Nope! We want BROKEN menus! etc.

    It's good for what it is, the problem is it doesn't know what the hell it is.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    You don't include Apple... why?
     

    I simply can't think about "power users" and "Apple" at the same time. (Writing that was HARD!) But, to be fair, yes, bash is more "expert" than Power Shell. OS-X inherited a nice set of features from their Unix origins.

    @Cassidy said:

    AIUI, the basis of the ribbon was a study
    commissioned by Microsoft which found over 80% of requested new features
    already existed, so MS decided to expose them as a horizontal menu that
    remained onscreen rather than a vertical dropdown list that vanished
    once a single option had been selected.

    Yet, they only show a small subset of them each time, what is a good thing, but simply negates that objective.

    @Cassidy said:

    The Win8 ribbon should have be arranged so that the most common options appear (and are most apparent) first...

    And it is. Well, except for printing. What further negates the objective you stated, beause most users know where the most used features are. If they need to expose something, it is the less used ones.

    It gets worse. Because the ribon is so large, less used options go into one of the lots of almost invisible drop-downs near the buttons. And the even less used options go into ribons that are invisible by default, and only get visible once you change a hard to find setting. In the end the ribbon makes seldon features even harder to find, but hey, MS had already invested $$$$ (and lots of political capital) into it, so they can't just change course, right? Let's make it straight ahead into that iceberg!



  • @Mcoder said:

    But, to be fair, yes, bash is more "expert" than Power Shell.

    How so?

    Do you define "expert" as "person who has spent years memorizing Unix CLI syntax"? Because I can't think of any other definition by which Bash is more "expert" than PowerShell.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    "Stupid" has nothing to do with anything. Don't repeat that kind of bullshit, the IT industry is already full of enough elitist pricks.

    I am pretty sure I'm elitist, but I never claimed to believe that Mac users are stupid. Your shoulder aliens were speaking to you!

    @blakeyrat said:

    "Always"? Or "OS X always"? Finder used to be brilliant in Classic. It's always been shit in OS X.

    Since 8 or 9 at the very least (since in 7, it really did very little). I had a lot of really weird problems in the Finder in 9, including a spell of a week or two where it made a point of crashing exactly once a day, but never at the same time as the day before. Never did that before, never did it again after that. (And every crash ended up requiring a reboot; my Mac was always on.)

    @blakeyrat said:

    I've always thought Explorer's biggest weakness is the lack of a strong cohesive design philosophy.

    That's a problem with Windows in general. People can't even agree on Tools → Options and stick with it. Microsoft just lack the ability to lead from a design or consistency perspective. Explorer/Internet Explorer? No title captions. Office? Centre captions like a Mac. Other programs with a ribbon in Windows 7? Left caption. Windows 8 has now decided that all captions should go in the centre. (Office 2007 used pale captions that looked like the window never took the focus. Seriously WTF.)



  • @Mcoder said:

    It gets worse. Because the ribon is so large, less used options go into one of the lots of almost invisible drop-downs near the buttons …

    AAAARRGHH!!! I hate those! Seriously, you can spend ages trawling through the higgledy-piggledy arrangements of ribbon controls (columns, rows, columns within rows, rows within columns, big icons, small icons, commands inside button menus, commands inside corner menus, corner menus that open modal dialogs that you have to cancel out of, corner menus that open side panels that you have to go back and close (can't be consistent about this after all)) trying to figure out where something is in Office.

    It would be solved instantly if it just had a box where you could type what you wanted ("style gallery") and the correct ribbon tab came up and a big arrow pointed at the appropriate control.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I am pretty sure I'm elitist, but I never claimed to believe that Mac users are stupid.

    I never said you did.

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Since 8 or 9 at the very least (since in 7, it really did very little). I had a lot of really weird problems in the Finder in 9, including a spell of a week or two where it made a point of crashing exactly once a day, but never at the same time as the day before. Never did that before, never did it again after that. (And every crash ended up requiring a reboot; my Mac was always on.)

    Meh... 9 yeah. Prior to about version 8.6 or so, it was always excellent. Really I talk about the decline of Classic, but the real problem started even in the Classic era.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Meh... 9 yeah. Prior to about version 8.6 or so, it was always excellent. Really I talk about the decline of Classic, but the real problem started even in the Classic era.

    I tried Mac OS 9 multi-user briefly, too — that was a complete WTF unto itself :)

    For all its faults though, Mac OS was an awesome system.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Windows 8 has now decided that all captions should go in the centre. (Office 2007 used pale captions that looked like the window never took the focus. Seriously WTF.)

    Caption position is just another of those inconsistent things - in Windows 8, caption is actually in the centre between the upper ribbon tab marker (which highlights the tabs specific to currently chosen object) and the window buttons, while in Office 2010 the marker is ignored, and the caption is instead centred in the titlebar. I actually find non left-justified titlebars somewhat annoying in Windows 8, because things move around, and I have to scan around to find the information that was previously in a fairly static place.



  • @fatbull said:

    I suspect a daylight savings time bug (CEST ended on 2012-10-28).

    Don't believe it. That should just throw off the sorting for one hour, not weeks. But yeah, who knows.
    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Explorer/Internet Explorer? No title captions.

    What is the rationale behind this again? That window has a caption bar. So they improved usability or anything by keeping the caption bar but having it empty? WTF?!

     



  • @topspin said:

    What is the rationale behind this again?

    Evidently the studies conducted by the Explorer and Internet Explorer teams didn't reach the same conclusions as the studies conducted by all the other teams.



  • I feel like [url=http://www.bonkersworld.net/organizational-charts/]this chart[/url] is relevant in plenty of threads.


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