Mile-High menu bar redux
"The principle of the mile-high menu bar is fairly well known, but it must not be entirely obvious, because the Windows 95 team missed the point completely with the Start push button, sitting almost in the bottom left corner of the screen, but not exactly. "
That's correct, it seems to work properly on XP.
Yeah, XP fixed it. In Windows 95 the start button was a few pixels to the right and it made it hard for new users to click (new users have notoriously poor aim with a mouse).
These days I'm more likely to press the windows key. That way the start menu is open by the time I drag the mouse there. Just a laziness thing, I suppose.
XP got it better. (Actuallly Win2K made some improvements too.) The start button can be activated by the lower-left most button. The task buttons and quick launch buttons can also be activated with the mouse at the very bottom of the screen. The buttons on the title bar work this way if the window is maximized.
Separate desktop toolbars (e.g. "quick launch") are also still broken. Theres's a two pixel border between the buttons and the edge of the screen.
Not to take anything away from JoS, but this point was certainly made by Wozniak earlier (as Joel notes), and quite likely by someone else before him.
There is a two pixel border on quick launch, and in other places, but the buttons still work with the mouse just below the button.
On a related note, I just noticed that DreamWeaver MX has an enormous (quarter inch) draggable bar between window panes. Most software has a thin sliver that's easy to miss with the mouse. Kudos to Macromedia for letting you grab anywhere within a fairly wide mouse range. One of those little annoyances of everyday computer life that's vanished.
I noticed that XP got the mile-wide start menu correct -- however, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory -- the title bar on a full-screen-but-not-maximized window is rounded slightly. Because of this, I've accidently closed the window behind the window I WANTED to close more times than I can count.
I whole heartedly agree with Alyosha. I was just about to post the same complaint! I like the rounded WinXP GUI, but I often feel like reverting to the boxy Win2K GUI simply because I HATE closing the wrong window. Microsoft, why did you do this to us?
I switched to the Win2k interface to fix this problem. I closed the wrong app too many times. You're right, the rounded corner look nice, but they serve no useful purpose and they actually cause problems!
Get some mouse gesture recognition software: http://www.tcbmi.com/strokeit/buy.shtml
They also got the scrollbar wrong for maximized windows.
You're right about the scroll bar. I didn't notice that one - I'm using two monitors, and if I 'slam' the mouse to the right side, it slides onto the next monitor. This is rather inconvenient, so I'm used to using the wheel on the mouse now. I'm sure I would have noticed this on the rightmost monitor if I didn't have a wheel mouse.
Darn.. I missed the scrollbar issue as well since I have a trackpad and use the edge-scrolling feature .. which I love. Coasting is fun. :) Kind of like gestures I'd imagine. I might just try strokeit.
>Maybe someone from [Microsoft] reads JoS?
Another thing - when you have an MDI interface under XP and an internal window is maximized, the exit button for the internal window is gray like it use to be. This isn't a problem - but whenever I click it doesn't get a 'pressed in' appearance and I'm never sure if I've actually clicked the button or not. Maybe its because I have all the effects turned off.
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