Linked by snydeq on Tue 14th Feb 2012 17:23 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces What your interface communicates to users can be just as important as what your software does, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister in discussing the latest edition of the 'Microsoft Manual of Style,' a style guide aimed at designers and developers who create Microsoft software, as well as those who write about it. 'The gist of much of Microsoft's advice is that a user's relationship with computer software is a unique one, and it's important to craft the language of software UIs accordingly,' McAllister writes. 'Occasionally, Microsoft's recommendations verge on the absurd. For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'
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Comment by ephracis
by ephracis on Tue 14th Feb 2012 21:29 UTC
ephracis
Member since:
2007-09-23

In todays world more and more emphasis is put on interface design, and design has become more than just graphical stuff. It includes user experience, flow, situations, and much more.

I think people already know that I am a strong proponent of drawing on familiarity and previous knowledge when designing interfaces. Consistency is greatly missing in many platforms today. That's why good guide styles are needed and should be followed.

Here's hoping that Microsoft could start by follow their own HIGs and perhaps then more third parties could as well.

:)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ephracis
by kaiwai on Wed 15th Feb 2012 04:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by ephracis"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

In todays world more and more emphasis is put on interface design, and design has become more than just graphical stuff. It includes user experience, flow, situations, and much more.

I think people already know that I am a strong proponent of drawing on familiarity and previous knowledge when designing interfaces. Consistency is greatly missing in many platforms today. That's why good guide styles are needed and should be followed.

Here's hoping that Microsoft could start by follow their own HIGs and perhaps then more third parties could as well.

:)


Microsoft can't and won't follow their own HIG until the completely re-write the user interface from the ground up using a single set of UI API's rather than the ad-hoc half assed half baked hacked up job that exists right now where there are Windows 3.11 elements mixed with Windows 98 elements mixed with Windows 200 elements.

WinRT was their moment they should have re-written the GUI from the ground up using WinRT/XAML in traditional desktop form and leave win32 as merely there for compatibility but they didn't - they chose to keep hauling around the same broken crap and the only reason I can think of for doing so is that they're lazy and/or incompetent.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by ephracis
by r_a_trip on Wed 15th Feb 2012 12:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ephracis"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

...they chose to keep hauling around the same broken crap and the only reason I can think of for doing so is that they're lazy and/or incompetent.

Or they are savvy. What intrinsic value does Windows really have? When you strip out the third party support, you end up with a pretty bare OS.

Windows is "needed" because it runs a ton of (legacy) third party software and it has the best third party driver support. It is also the platform that serves as the vehicle for MS Office, SQL, IIS, etc.

Fundamentally break the stability in Windows legacy support we've had for years and things might get interesting. If every ISV has to rewrite their GUI's from the ground up, why lock the GUI into a MS only framework again. A cross platform toolkit suddenly looks feasible. Once the front end is OS agnostic, why not clean up the backend as well...

Not all decisions are techical, even if the thing decided upon is technical in nature.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by ephracis
by kaiwai on Thu 16th Feb 2012 06:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ephracis"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

...they chose to keep hauling around the same broken crap and the only reason I can think of for doing so is that they're lazy and/or incompetent.

Or they are savvy. What intrinsic value does Windows really have? When you strip out the third party support, you end up with a pretty bare OS.

Windows is "needed" because it runs a ton of (legacy) third party software and it has the best third party driver support. It is also the platform that serves as the vehicle for MS Office, SQL, IIS, etc.

Fundamentally break the stability in Windows legacy support we've had for years and things might get interesting. If every ISV has to rewrite their GUI's from the ground up, why lock the GUI into a MS only framework again. A cross platform toolkit suddenly looks feasible. Once the front end is OS agnostic, why not clean up the backend as well...

Not all decisions are techical, even if the thing decided upon is technical in nature.


Please read what I wrote because you deliberately ignored this part of my post:

....and leave win32 as merely there for compatibility....


In other words, move the whole user interface over to WinRT/XAML and leave win32 sitting in the background to support win32 applications. Such a move would be no different to Mac OS X where in Lion large parts of it have been moved over to Cocoa such as Finder and yet Carbon still remains there for compatibility - in other words WinRT is to Cocoa like Win32 is to Carbon - leave it there sitting in the background for compatibility but UI and all system components included as part of Windows should be moved across to WinRT/XAML.

Again the two can sit side by side - your WinRT Explorer.exe would run perfectly fine as you're running a copy of Microsoft Office for win32. Again there is nothing stopping Microsoft except for pure laziness on their part.

Edit: XAML can be used for desktop applications, Microsoft has already used it for their new 'System Monitor'. Don't assume that WinRT/XAML automatically equals Metro.

Edited 2012-02-16 06:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by ephracis
by ebasconp on Thu 16th Feb 2012 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ephracis"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

WinRT was their moment they should have re-written the GUI from the ground up using WinRT/XAML in traditional desktop form and leave win32 as merely there for compatibility but they didn't - they chose to keep hauling around the same broken crap and the only reason I can think of for doing so is that they're lazy and/or incompetent.


I would call anything to Windows developers but incompetent.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ephracis
by kaiwai on Fri 17th Feb 2012 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ephracis"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I would call anything to Windows developers but incompetent.


Explain why in 2012 are they still hauling around shit like commctl32 and rendering using GDI? So if they aren't incompetent then they must be lazy good for nothings that should be given a pink slip tomorrow by virtue of contributing absolutely nothing to Windows that is worth discussing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by ephracis
by ebasconp on Fri 17th Feb 2012 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ephracis"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Explain why in 2012 are they still hauling around shit like commctl32 and rendering using GDI? So if they aren't incompetent then they must be lazy good for nothings that should be given a pink slip tomorrow by virtue of contributing absolutely nothing to Windows that is worth discussing.


As a non Microsoft developer, I cannot answer your questions... but... a lot of old things that are right now obsolete or should be replaced for more interesting alternatives must be still there because of the huge amount of legacy applications that still are running.

For example, I develop for a company whose code is written in bare COM and the new modules we write must be written in COM too to be supported for all the infrastructure.

Other example is the new C++11 language: Is beautiful, elegant, very well-designed... BUT it still ships all the features that have been inherited from C, just because of preserving backwards compatibility.

If you do not want to draw on top of GDI, you could use more modern alternatives like DirectX or WPF.

Reply Score: 2

Preaching to the converted?
by Delgarde on Tue 14th Feb 2012 21:47 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'


Can't help thinking that any developer who needs to be told that, is unlikely to read a Style Guide.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Preaching to the converted?
by jpobst on Tue 14th Feb 2012 22:06 UTC in reply to "Preaching to the converted?"
jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

I guess they don't want developers to name their software something like "GIMP".

Reply Score: 5

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

or BitchX.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Preaching to the converted?
by Invincible Cow on Wed 15th Feb 2012 18:32 UTC in reply to "Preaching to the converted?"
Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

It's astonishing that a company whose name is basically a penis insult has the guts to tell others what words to use.

Reply Score: 4