Category Archives: Bugs – Unfixed!

Windows UI Fails: Dissecting Upload dialog box

File Upload Dialog Box in Windows

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This is a very common task. It affects so many people it should be right. The internet and cloud we are always uploading files, so our perception of Windows is resting on this among other things. They have APIs for this dialog and they have updated and tweaked these APIs with little regard to end users and maximum regard to programmers.

This box appears on:

  • Every Web Site that has a default upload (Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)
  • so many places that it really deserves to be a first class experience.

Those who say we give them an API. it’s the application programmer’s fault we have several answers:

  • This dialog box comes in all browsers YOU WROTE THIS MS
  • You strong arm programmers all the time about APIs and break them, and ditch them and change them. But suddenly now you can’t to help your customers?

I know whose fault this is not. It is not the User’s fault. They have every right to expect a big successful product that cost them money with expensive upgrades to be easy to use.

Windows 30+ years to get it right… Still waiting…

Windows has been around a while 1, 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, NT 4, 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 8.1, Win 10 they have had plenty of time to get this right.

We have paid and paid and paid and paid (and our bosses paid, and our PC manufacturers paid) premium prices for our OS. Money was paid for premium support and per incident support. Bosses paid for annual software subscriptions even when no new OS releases were happening for years. OSes are free now in post PC world from Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. and you still have the gall to consider charging XP and Vista and Win 7 users for Wins 8.x and Windows 10. Wow! Really.

Really Microsoft? Really?

And your OS is full of dialog boxes like this for core features and enough UI Gaffes whole books can be written about it. Yet boo hoo, nobody trusts you and nobody wants to buy your OS and hardware any more.

If your primary strategy for keeping customers is

  • Stockholm Syndrome
  • We know more than the users
  • paid support and demanding the users file reports you ignore and close for years without fixing…

Maybe you should reconsider your business model. Or just accept that you created the post-PC era by consumer computing neglect, so the consumer mistrust of you and trust of others is your own fricking fault for inability to take consumer computing seriously for decades.

Windows 10 does not fix that

We pay a fortune in Windows license fee around the world. So does Dell, HP, Cmpaq, etc. on tour behalf because they pay a lot for our license to bundle it with our computer. They sure are not spending our money on perfecting Windows.

Sigh maybe by Windows 20 and another decade of upgrade fees and subscription

Uploading a file in Windows (in this case a graphic)

Here is the upload dialog.

Graphic_11_15_2014 2_29_08 PM

Let me list the flaws:

  • The preview can only be resized / split by grabbing a tiny 1 pixel strip to the left of the scroll bar. WTF with that much screen real estate and a huge monitor??!!
  • No maximize button.
  • Preview Tile is irrelevant when you have an extra large icon option.
  • Most of the time when I go to select the icon size it looks like I switch to another app entirely till I select it the upload Window actually looses focus.
  • Text Search does not work on Filenames or Folder when I am in DropBox or Google Drive (which can be done easily technically Mac Spotlight Search does it as does Void Everything Search a freebie for Windows)
  • Filename on status bar does not wrap when extra long (not surprising since Windows support for long path and filenames is still broken at many levels)
  • Filename is in TINY PRINT what is this a phone instead of a 2-5 million pixel monitor?
  • Button names like Open and Cancel are very ambiguous and not user friendly. They should be labelled by “application context” i.e. “upload pic to Facebook” and “cancel FB pic upload” plenty of room to label it we have 1920 x 1080 and larger monitors.
  • Print for all filenames captioning files is so small, illegible font, and NOT scalable. Do you just hate older users? They are the ones most likely to be using Windows instead of some post-PC solution. Have you just never seen a Mac Retina display? Have you never learned that responsive design is not just for the Web and post-PC devices.
  •  Drag and Drop folders works but no undo or confirmation. So anyone with no co-ordination could accidentally drop a directory somewhere they could never find it again.
  • I can rename a file with F2 or right click and choose rename. But if I rename and then select it and click “Open” it gives an error message about the old filename and I have to select it again.
  • If I right click a file there is a copy and move option. Neither offers a directory picker which means either opening a new window for drag or drop, or navigating to new place and then losing the original folder context.
  • Title is NOTHING which is ambiguous. What app/location/context are we uploading this too?
  • No check boxes for multiple selections. This is not Windows 3.x no one should have to learn about Ctrl and Shift and hold keys down.
  • No icons for select all or filtering to select a group.

What they got right on Upload

Its a short list unfortunately:

  • The icon sizes including extra large are nice. It never remembers it consistently so you will be constantly choosing “Extra Large” so many times if you upload a few dozen files.
  • The “Recent Places” is a godsend. Wish it noticed every interaction and added every folder instead of just most of them.
  • Nice they stole the ability to add shortcuts to the left from the Mac. Also very nice.

microsoft-mug

Get it right Microsoft!

Or

  • Don’t complain when Android, Mac, iOS becomes beloved because they are releasing fixes for their UIs several times a year and listening to customers and they are releasing their OS upgrades free. You have been charging hundreds of $$$ each for OS upgrades since Windows 1.0 and there has been Win 1, 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, Vista, 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, and Win 8.1. We paid you thousands of $$$ to get this OS right, as did our corporate bosses.
  • Microsoft Bloggers, quit writing blog posts about the imperfections of your competitors you need to enter the market to offer an alternative for.
  • Microsoft Bloggers, quit writing about platform fragmentation on iOS and Android unless you have 100% of PCs running Win Latest (8.1 at moment) you are typically at 20% adoption or less of a new OS the first few years of its release. Android and iOS have that beat by a wide margin.

Broken-Windows

You had one job in 30 years!

Windows 8.x – broken and never fixed?

Where to get Windows 8 help….

There are several places when I consult, I go to get Windows 8 help to help my customers.

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If you came here because your Windows 8.x is having troubles, you can stop reading here.  The rest is a deep and objective discussion about Windows 8 and Windows 10.

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The Windows 8.x failure – Why It Failed…

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The Windows 8.x Failure – Why it DID NOT FAIL

I hear really bogus reasons Windows 8.x failed all the time. They sound seductive but fail the tests of general semantics and critical thinking. Some fall for the bogus reasons, but here they are and easy refutes for them:

  • “You just hate learning new things.” Actually tech types love it. They just love learning the fastest, easiest way. iOS and Android are offering that.
  • If you had a touch laptop you would love it.
  • If you had a touch monitor you would love it.
  • It is the bravest thing Microsoft has ever done.
  • Just throw away everything you learned about programming to make Win 9/Metro/Modern apps

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Why Windows 8? Why Windows 10?

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Why Not Windows 8? Why Not Windows 10?

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Win1-and-Win8 Windows8-idiocy

A list of really obvious Windows 8.x problems there are no answers to

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt despite what Microsoft blogging engineers and blogging IT types want you to believe.

  • TCO
  • iPad Copying
  • Android copying
  • One OS to rule them all
  • If you think these are wrong, you may want to research confirmation bias.
  • The hatred of Skeuomorphism and love of flat.
  • The embrace of ugliness and bad typography.

How bad is Windows 8?

Well there are many signs it is much worse than it’s Stockholm Syndrome cheerleaders are willing to accept via their rose colored irrational glasses:

  • People use their phone and tablet because it is easier than their PC.
  • The rising new purchase of Chromebooks and Mac OS and Hardware.
  • People are upgrading phones and Tablets both hardware and software.
  • Gifts and Prizes.

This is some hefty evidence. Only victims of confirmation bias, Stockholm Syndrome and MS Fanboy status (even ones in denial) will refute these.

But Windows is SUCH a better Corporate and Productivity OS

Ah this one sounds so good, but is easily answered with rock solid counter points.

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Don’t be an OS bigot. Bigotry is how a bunch of Christian people found themselves in White Sheets burning crosses on lawns. Now bigots are too busy leaving nasty comments on Windows 8 blogs, refusing to buy Apple devices, buying Microsoft stuff for family members that want Android and Apple, or commenting rabidly on blogs that dare to criticize the great Microsoft. Microsoft Supremacist may sound better than White Supremacist, facist, socialist, et al. but supremacy mentality combined with confirmation bias is how Joe Stalin and Grand Dragons became who they are.

Anecdotal Problems I had that discouraged me from using windows 8 full-time

I run/ran Windows 8 in a virtual machine. I have to know it to support it as a consultant and for friends and family. but I cannot bear to subject my best machine to it.

  • I had the Wifi problems everybody had.
    • No internet access while every other device (Win 7, Win XP, Mac, Android, iPad, Android Phone, Android Tablet, iPhone) had Internet fine when connected to Wifi.
    • In a connected world not being able to access Internet from WiFi is a show stopper. Do not ship till you got this right. My Windows 8.1 is totally up to date and was bought in March 2014 so I am not an early adopter. They had several years to fix this.
    • There are fixes in fact http://everythingsurface.org/4-ways-to-solve-your-windows-8-1-surface-pro-wi-fi-issues documents 4 fixes.
  • Ugly colors. Ugly icons. Ugly typefaces. Tiny icons. Boring icons. Monochrome dialog boxes and icons.
  • Bugs. Bugs. Bugs.

The best fix to Windows 8

There are many best fixes to this.

Use Windows 10 the minute it comes out as a free upgrade to Windows 8. I like the beta-test/customer preview versions of Windows 10. I do not LOVE it like I loved past Windows because Mac OS X and iOS and Android provide me with so many things I usually count on windows for.

Use Other better products instead of Windows. Read about your options @
http://techsuperheroes.com/?cat=297

But then you are just an Android and Apple and Mac Fanboy! And anti-Microsoft!

Well that is a nice thought that sidesteps the legitimate issues I raise here and the massive agreement that the purchasing public and usual Microsoft cheerleaders discredit.

But read this article on Fanboys and if you still think I am after that, well I have done my best to present you with the objective truth. Even I can’t beat confirmation bias.

Hope this all helps – Happy Windowing! – Chaz

 

 

Windows – Long Path and Filename Bugs

I use a few DOS commands and third party programs that encounter the dreaded

The directory name is too long

This is an operating system problem in an OS they have had 28 years (since Windows 1.0) to get right. DOS was released in August 1981. Do you think they could have it free of bugs by now?

Granted I can buy my way out of the problem with things like:

But I personally bought DOS 1.0 – 6 and Windows 1.0 – 8.1 and everything in between at a cost of several thousand $$$. Apparently MS does not care enough about their OS to fix this long standing bug even for those of us who who pay, and pay and pay.

It affects internal and external commands as well:

  • a simple command
    dir curl.exe /s

    blew up the screen with errors like this:

0003

And not only did it flood the prompt with those errors they wiped out any hope of ever seeing that the file was there several times.

In the excellent Take Command it worked quite well i.e.

0004

If Microsoft wants to win back customer loyalty leaving severe bugs in a product for well over 30 years is not it. Bugs that tiny companies can fix yet a company with over 50 billions in cash and in excess of 100,000 employees does not bother.

It also broke XXCopy my favorite file copier because it is entirely DOS based – at least on systems with long file names and paths. A few of my systems have that issue.