Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Stupid Wizards

In what I think is a shining example of stupid wizards, the Removable Storage services section of Win2k server has a "Media Eject Wizard".

As goofy as this is, it's the *default* action when you right click and choose "Eject"!

How can stupid UI like this make it into production? The wizard steps are Welcom (click next), Please wait while your media is ejected (wait... click next), Your media has been successfully ejected.

Unbeleivable.

Geoff Bennett
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I can think of a few good reasons for a "Media Eject Wizard". 

Some removable media need to flush data before you eject it or you'll lose the data.  For example, it's common for things like compact flash cards to require some time before ejecting.  I'd love it if there were some smarts built into the driver for my reader to wait for the data to flush before ejecting (though a wizard obviously is a little overkill for this). 

Another media format that requires some smarts on eject is writable CDs in order to ask the user if they want to close session, close disc, etc. 

My guess since you say this is on a 2000 Server (and I've never seen it on 2000 Workstation) is that the wizard might be related to eject privileges? 

I agree, though, that it should be smart enough not to show the wizard if it doesn't need to but maybe Microsoft was going for "consistency".

SomeBody
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Having intelligent things done when you press the eject button is completely different to a "wizard" guiding you through the process of "you're about to eject something, you're ejecting something, you've ejected it."

If you're relying on the user to think "oh, hold on, I need to wait for data to be flushed before I click the 'next' button" then you've created a really stupid UI to make up for incompetent handling of the eject button.

andrew m
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

> Some removable media need to flush data before you eject it or you'll lose the data

Maybe they could just show the % bar or an hourglass or something while it's doing it.

Consistency is one thing when the things represented in the UI are consistent, but if they are truly different, IMHO it would be more sensible to treat them as such

S. Tanna
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

The removable storage thingy in my case is for the DAT backup. I'm a lazy bugger by nature, and it takes a few seconds for the tape to eject if I walk up to the machine.

Anyway, I thought there must be a way to remotely eject media, otherwise how could those big-assed tape robots do their job? Lo and behold, if you open up the Physical Devices node, you get a list of drives under there.

You can click on a drive and get a list of media loaded into the drive. You can right click on the media and select a bunch of functions, Mount, Unmount etc and one is Eject.

I can understand if the eject sequence may take some time, as it does if I physically go and push the eject button. The tape has to rewind, the spooler thingy has to retract etc etc.

However, any action you perform on the removable storage is placed in a queue, and processed in order. That way you can ask to mount a tape, and someone else can come along and choose a different tape to be mounted from the library and they'll just be queued up behind you.

Why couldn't it queue the eject request and return control to me? By the time I got off my backside and walked to the machine, the tape would be out and I could just swap it over.

It just seems like a really useless wizard. Like the "Typing A Key Wizard", or the "Mouse Moved Wizard".

Geoff Bennett
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I just tried it out in XP Professional (Computer Managment -> Storage -> etc.).  For a CD-ROM, the Eject task ejected without a wizard.  However, I must say I find the Media Inject Wizard to be fascinating.  I never though of my DVD drive as an "inject port".

Somebody
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home