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VS.Net annoyances abound

As if I needed more of this in my life.  Why don't developer's think of the user when they're making an application? 

Here are the annoying "features", if anyone knows how to turn them off, please let me know.

Editing HTML Source: If I copy an element tag into the clipboard and then paste it somewhere else in the document, VS.Net goes ahead and adds friggin ID and NAME attributes setting them to things like Table1 or Text1,2,3...

Ctrl+Tabbing thru windows:  It tries to guess which page I want to go to rather than just going in a big loop.  I like the loop, it's predictable.  I can press Shift+Ctrl+Tab to go backwards thru the loop.  I can re-order the tabs to modify the loop, but VS.Net won't leave it at that, it wants to "help" me out.

Opening HTML Documents in Source mode: I already set it up to open html docs in source mode.  The only annoyance is that my boss uses Visual Interdev which conveniently places a "Content-Type" meta tag at the top that specifies "unicode" as the chartype.  VS.Net sees this and instead of displaying the HTML Source, it displays a bunch of boxes.

Don't get me wrong, I like VS.Net but these things really suck and I wonder, if there's no way around them what the hell M$ was thinking!

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

I'm having far more problems with VS.Net than you are.

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to end this message with a "*sob*" or a "nany nany nah nah"

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

I'm currently using VS.NET 2003 final beta - have you tried CTRL-F6 (FWD) & CTRL-SHFT-F6 to cycle through?  You should be able to remap this yourself to CTRL-Tab/Shift-Tab if you want it that way...

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

It's a thankless job, but I'm going to be a bit of an MS apologist here.  VS.NET was a ground-up rewrite.  New languages were used, new concepts needed to be represented in the UI.  Expectations were very high.

I'd give MS a grade of A- on VS.NET.  Given the scope of the project and the relatively small amount of time (2 years?) that they spent on it, it turned out quite well.  I wouldn't have (and most people wouldn't have) been able to organize a team that would've done a better job.

Also, it really is a 1.0 product.  Looking back at Java 1.0, VS 1.0, MFC 1.0, Word 1.0, Windows 1.0, etc., I'd have to say it's pretty darn good compared to other 1.0 products that were similar in scope.  I have high expectations that by VS.NET 2004, bugs will be fixed, features enhanced, and people will have adapted to the "new" UI.

That said, yup, there are a good few "annoyances" to be fixed...

Bill Carlson
Tuesday, January 28, 2003

GiorgioG - Thanks for the tip, that works great.

Bill Carlson - I didn't realize this was a 1.0 product.  I guess it's kinda hard to retro-fit the old stuff for new languages. 

I find it funny though, that my own 1.0 product to edit web pages is already doing more for me than VS.Net in the way of property pages for HTML Elements and a few other things (opening documents correctly).  Of course mine is not as polished (I still run it in the VBIDE), but I'm also using a LOT of third party controls where-as M$ might not be inclined to do that as much.

One day, when I get this editor a little more feature-complete, I'll post it up here for review.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

See, the problem is that MS just gave more evidence to Joel's rule that rewriting is generally a bad idea.

I'd give the C++ compiler an A.  It is, in fact, a better compiler just about every way you dice it except that it is prone to heap blowups on real-sized projects.  I'd give the linker a D (the incremental linking is prone to screwups much more often than VC6 and is signifigantly slower).  I'd give the environment a D (I rarely make it through a day of work without needing to restart it, it's quirky, and there's some really obnoxious properties to it)  Sure there's some great ideas with the new user interface tweaks and some much-needed interface cleanups, but it's overall not been the plesant experience it should have been to upgrade.  Heck, I would have been quite happy with more-or-less the VS6 environment with a better compiler.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

> Ctrl+Tabbing thru windows:  It tries to guess which page
> I want to go to rather than just going in a big loop.  I like
> the loop, it's predictable

I guess this fits into the "you can't please everyone" category.

I actually prefer the VS.Net model for switching between tabs.  Pressing tab once takes you back to the most recently used window.

I tend to have a lot of tabs open, and if I am working on two related files being able to set it up so a single Ctrl-Tab toggles to the one I want is much better than having to hit Ctrl-Tab lots of times.

I find it easier to manage a mental model of what files I was editting most recently rather than an arbitrary ordering.

Rob Walker
Tuesday, January 28, 2003

I'd just like confirmation that nobody on the ASP.Net team ever wrote a line of ASP in their lives. The HTML Formatter certainly looks like it was written by someone who's never seen HTML.


Philip Janus
Tuesday, January 28, 2003

WHat do you expect? They can't even get "Windows Explorer" right.

I mean, copy a directory, then without moving to another item, paste it. You get an error message, right? Except its stupid. If you go to the parent entry of the directory you no longer get that message because it kindly adds a "Copy of" to avoid it. So... wtf is with the message, guys? What, you thought I wanted to paste it into the original directory which I just copied? Maybe I did - since when is it illegal to have a directory structure c:\directory\directory? What walkers. Oh, and the fecking toolbar has done a runner and I can't find out whether there is any way to turn it back on. Canutes!

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

I believe the problem you are talking about with the copying is caused by the way copy and paste work.

When you copy something to the clipboard no data is actually moved. When you paste it the data is then read from its original location into memory and copied to the new location. So you can cut and paste  your My documents folder to another location and not be worried about losing everything if there is a power cut in the middle.

However this can't work if you are trying to write to the same location that the computer is trying to copy from. The folder you are pasting would become part of what is supposed to be copied and you would have an endless loop.

This is a good example of what Joel calls a leaky abstraction

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Well, we know Windows has *plenty* of annoyances.  My number one windows annoyance that bothers me most of the time is:

- No stop button after you accidentally click on a network location that you know isn't available.

Other than that, I've consistently been able to find ways around my Windows problems.  Here are some of the solutions I've employed:

Want to stop programs from putting stuff in that /Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run registry key?  Just open up Regedt32 and set permissions on that key to Readonly :)

Set read-only permissions on your Documents And Settings\You\StartMenu\Programs folder so new programs go into All Users' start menu, or not at all.  This alleviates the dual-homed start menu source folder problems.

Want a quicker-to-navigate start menu?  Make a new toolbar by creating a folder called QT (Quick Task) somewhere.  Put a bunch of shortcuts and other folders in it.  Right-clicking on the task bar and click Toolbars-->New Toolbar, pick the QT folder.  Make the QT toolbar really tiny by moving it around in the taskbar, so all you see is 'QT>>'.  Anytime you click on the '>>' you'll see your programs.

If you have an intellimouse make sure you run the intellipoint driver software in the taskbar.  This makes wheel-scrolling work in ALL programs including VB.

Ahh, I could go on all day but I've got to work now.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

One thing I always do is to make a toolbar for My Computer and then dock it on the right-hand side, to the left of the system tray. This gives me a cascading menu structure for quickly navigating my entire hard disk, as well as virtual folders such as Control Panel.

Devil's Advocate
Wednesday, January 29, 2003

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