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Why Microsoft developers need a style guide
By special contributor snydeq on 2012-02-14 17:23:46
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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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-11
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Comment by ephracis
By ephracis on 2012-02-14 21:29:55
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.

:)
Permalink - Score: 2
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Preaching to the converted?
By Delgarde on 2012-02-14 21:47:24
> 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.
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RE: Preaching to the converted?
By jpobst on 2012-02-14 22:06:23
I guess they don't want developers to name their software something like "GIMP".
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RE: Comment by ephracis
By kaiwai on 2012-02-15 04:47:14
> 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.
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RE[2]: Preaching to the converted?
By Soulbender on 2012-02-15 05:52:40
or BitchX.
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RE[2]: Comment by ephracis
By r_a_trip on 2012-02-15 12:24:53
...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.
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RE: Preaching to the converted?
By Invincible Cow on 2012-02-15 18:32:24
It's astonishing that a company whose name is basically a penis insult has the guts to tell others what words to use.
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RE[3]: Comment by ephracis
By kaiwai on 2012-02-16 06:18:30
> ...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
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RE[2]: Comment by ephracis
By ebasconp on 2012-02-16 16:48:54
> 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.
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RE[3]: Comment by ephracis
By kaiwai on 2012-02-17 15:03:06
> 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.
Permalink - Score: 1

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