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Windows common save dialog usability

I have a pointed question about the Windows common save dialog:

Windows has a save dialog that is standard throughout the entire operating system.  A single API call displays it.  It is more or less the same throughout most of the OSes, with the exception of some asundry new features in the last two versions of Windows.

Now, my question is...

Why is the CD-ROM drive _ever_ included as a viable "save" location?  I _hate_ it when I'm choosing a location to save to and accidentally hit the CD-ROM drive.  The access time alone is aggravating, and I really don't see why it's an option at all.

Is there a good reason why common save dialogs don't exclude non-writable media that I'm missing?  And if so, isn't this something that should be addressed by the usability gurus at Microsoft (and probably on other platforms, too...; I doubt they're the only offenders)? :)

save_dialog_question
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Perhaps because,

I have a CD-R/W drive in my main Production machine, no CD-ROM drive. It helps to save directly onto a UDF CD rather than save to HD and then burn onto the disk. At the same time one cannot save onto a CDR. The write mechanism for a CD is more medium dependent than drive dependent.

Regards

KayJay

Indian Developer in India
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Or it could simply be they used precisely the same explorer component as in the Open dialogue ;)

Mediocre ASP Monkey
Thursday, January 15, 2004

A CD-R/W device is not the same a CD-ROM device. You're missing the point of the original poster.

Sum Dum Gai
Thursday, January 15, 2004

"A CD-R/W device is not the same a CD-ROM device. You're missing the point of the original poster."

it can be, if you have a CD-R/W device installed, how is the OS supposed to know the difference between whther you have a read only cd installed or a read/write cd.

there would be a certain amount of special case code required to differentiate the devices, companies like apple who focus on usability tend to add that stuff, companies like windows who dont particularly care tend not to.

sigh, everyones a critic
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Where to stop ?

Should Windows hide the letter of network drives on which you don't have write access ?

I'd rather focus on the problem "hit accidentally" and try to improve interface to minimize the risk.

Pierre A. Damas
Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Explorer component just lists the drives you've named.

Your CD drive can be writeable (mine are), but explorer won't know that.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 15, 2004

"it can be, if you have a CD-R/W device installed, how is the OS supposed to know the difference between whther you have a read only cd installed or a read/write cd."

The OS can know this difference. It will let you write to one of them and not the other. At least in the case of Windows XP, which has built in CD (and I believe DVD) writing capabilities!

Sum Dum Gai
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Windows XP doesn't have built in DVD writing capabilities. That's one of the things that's coming in Windows Longhorn.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Thursday, January 15, 2004

>The Explorer component just lists the drives you've named.
>Your CD drive can be writeable (mine are), but explorer won't know that

Aww...come on how many times do we write to CD drives anyway? It is more the exception than the norm.

Microsoft should have atleast provided an option where one could turn off such "features"...perhaps a dialog with a checkbox next to each drive saying show this drive in the "Save As" dialog.

Better still I think the "Save As" dialog should only show the most frequently used folders directly without the directory hierarchy....just like MS Office menus (and the start menus) adjust automatically to show the most frequently used commands.

Knowing Microsoft probably this can even be done by toggling bit 27 in some god forsaken registry key, why they do not document such things or provide a simple UI for that built into the OS (rather than as a separate download like TweakUI) is beyond me.

To me Microsoft pitches its UI to non software savvy users without considering that many such users become savvy later or there are already savvy enough users and one should allow customization of the UI easily in such cases.

Code Monkey
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Another little thing that irritates me is that the commondialogs don't let you paste by right clicking and paste in the filename area. But Ctrl-V works. Even in longhorn its the same

Sunish
Friday, January 16, 2004

Writeablity to a CD/Rw drive depends on having other programs installed up to XP. So to check the Os would have to try and write.

You complain that it slows you down when you accidentally click on a read only drive in the tree view and now you are asking the OS to try and see if it can write to all readonly drives every time you open the dialog box!

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 16, 2004

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