For reasons nobody quite understands, Microsoft changed a lot of settings in Vista. Any programmer whose application hard-coded directory settings will soon discover that the application will fail to run well. This article summarizes the changes and how to code around the problem in a version-neutral way.
Finding the User Settings in Vista
Submitted by esther schindler 2006-08-07 Windows 6 Comments
This is great. So many apps on Windows use hardcoded paths where an API or environment variable should be used. Many also store the wrong data in the given directories, or even worse, store their user data in the program files directory.
This, along with LUA, will force app developers to rethink how they are managing their application’s data, and will probably result in better applications in the end.
As for the reasoning behind the change, I’d imagine the removal of spaces is just to make shell scripting a little easier, rather than having to escape many spaces or quote the entire path. The new layout is far more logical and structured, and seems more networkable than the current system. Just by the directory names I could figure out what I’m supposed to store where… the current system is a mess.
It’s rare I applaud anything by Microsoft, but it’s nice to see them changing things when they need changed, rather than just maintaining backwards compatibility. Applications coded to use environment variables and API data should probably still work… applications which use hardcoded paths should be considered buggy anyway unless it was absolutely required.
Edited 2006-08-07 17:42