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Submission + - Visual Studio 2012, A Tool or a Work of Art? (

SubliminalVortex writes: From the Visual Studio Blog:

"As I noted at the beginning of the post the overall objective behind many of the Visual Studio 11 theme changes is to give you maximum real-estate for, and ability to focus on, your code."

My Observations:

Actually, would you believe my code is perfect? ...would you believe tiny flaws like an African diamond? ...maybe full of bugs like an African rain-forest?

With all the colors, spacing and adornments now bestowed upon my code, I glance at its beautified syntax coloring, the alignment of whitespace and the clearly identifiable constituents which make up this monstrosity. Yes, that made my code all better. Let's ship it!

Too bad I cannot focus on that code, but instead, the 'environment' which surrounds my code which seems so "out of place".

The "menu" is constantly 'screaming' at me. I can get this from newbs on message boards or chat channels, but I would never expect it from my development environment. However, maybe, just maybe there may be some people at Microsoft who are trying to send a coded message: "ANALYZE VIEW, HELP DEBUG PROJECT, HELP TOOLS TEAM!"

The drab colors make me want to grab an install disc, break it in two and slash a vein. The icons, oh the icons I once knew and loved are a glimpse of the past. When I look at 2010 and 2011 side by side on monitors, I see one, full of color, vibrant, "come on in here an play!" The other requires beer goggles with red-blue anaglyph 3D glasses to have some modicum of appeal.

Maybe I am just not 'metro' enough to grab the "abstract concept" some artists vehemently put into their work. Maybe I am not cultured, or "in-tune" to whatever collective "User Experience" Guru created this work of Art.

Maybe I just want to 'use' a development environment which can not only accentuate my code, but also provide easy-to-use visual cues, recognizable icons, subtle use of color (I like the status bar color states, could be less opaque) and a Menu which reads like all other menus before it.

This one, I can hang on the wall of shame.

Comment Re:The SUV Will Win Every Time (Score 1) 490

If you own an SUV and you pay for exorbitant fuel, you are: a) less money than a person getting a compact and b) unwise, since there are several compact cars available that aren't gas snobs.

Heck, I celebrate christmas, and I have a tree sticking out both my windows from either end on the ride home. The real benefit is that the car smells like pine for the next couple of weeks.


Submission + - Is it possible Microsoft could be on a decline?

SubliminalVortex writes: It has taken many years for Microsoft to become a very prominent player in the software industry for home users; their most powerful ally in the early days was their operating system and the cooperation of the hardware vendors.

Windows Vista; however, seems to be a difficult sell to some home users, since they have purchased computers containing (or have existing) hardware (in some cases specialized hardware). Most cases I've seen directly involved the hardware not being supported by the operating system. A co-worker recently paid over $5k for a workstation from Dell with Vista whose operating system didn't support his pre-installed optical drives. It was eventually corrected by having new drives with Vista dirvers installed on his machine.

I've recently put together a new AMD 4600+ machine with some nice hardware and I've been afraid to install Vista; especially since one of my pieces of hardware doesn't have a Vista driver. (I need my digitizing pad for drawing and photo editing.)

Perhaps the smaller niche market hardware vendors went through a lot of pain to support XP. It really is annoying when an OS vendor changes the 'driver' model and you have a small niche shop creating hardware that has to 'keep up' or be left behind. Perhaps some of that niche market really does have a need to keep the old machines behind; alternatively people are just comfortable where they're at.

I think Windows NT 3.5 and 4.0 were revolutionary; Windows 2000 was a great advancement beyond that. With Windows XP, they managed to get everything wrapped up in one "neat little package" that was easy to install, use and was stable.

If an end-user has a business that depends on third party hardware, and that hardware doesn't update their drivers because the operating system changes their model, then why would that end-user upgrade? Perhaps these vendors could be coerced to upgrade their drivers, but for small shop hardware vendors, what to do? Especially if these small shops aren't around anymore.

Without a good consensus of what hardware is still in use and on what operating system won't be able to answer that question. I wonder how many people opted to go for Windows Vista and were disappointed; especially those who bought hardware system or upgraded only the RAM and hard-drive space, only to find out their favorite hardware (specialized or not) didn't have a Vista driver. A lot of good a computer is to a person who uses it for photo editing if their tablet doesn't have a Vista driver, but it works wonders in Windows XP.

Why should an Operating System vendor require a hardware vendor to re-design their drivers for their new OS? Is it because the original design is insecure or is it because it is of their "ease of use" internally.

It's understood that things need to change over time; but if you're going to pull the rug out from under peoples' feet, let them know ahead of time. Even the small potatoes; I suppose they grew so big, they didn't even remember the potatoes had eyes.

I think that Vista might be a bullet MS has to swallow. Perhaps my opinion, but I think that Windows 95 had a heck of a lot more user support for it's launch (and the 12:00am opening night for retail outlets).

I had to use a Windows Vista machine once and its UI was so "foreign" it took me a lot of clicking to find out how to change the resolution settings. (I'll admit, I'm a developer, so I'm used to 'control panel'.) Not to mention that even launching control panel applets required the OS to ask you whether or not you wanted them to run. You know, with code signing and all of the other cruft thrown in, this was the most *useless* thing I could think could ever happen. How does an OS allow a 'trusted' control panel applet to be installed and then ask for your permission to run it? Let me guess, the applet was from a 3rd party video card manufacturer and they didn't know all the rules necessary to create a driver that would be entirely 'trusted'. This is just rediculous.

Since Windows 95, I've known several people who have "turned off" the eye-candy windows had to provide and just used the OS to do what it did best; run applications. I know that since I've been used to Windows 95, I've kept the same UI settings (once I determined them) to keep my Windows XP looking and acting just like Windows 95.

I tend to think that some people may not need a version of windows that offers 'eye candy' along with its purported security. I suppose by ensuring that all hardware vendors develop new drivers for their new OS ensures that security; however, there is no guarantee they are all in business. I tend to think that Vista will not necessarily fail, but certaily will be crippled in the hardware arena. After all, do hardware vendors really need to spend the time and effort re-writing drivers that already work well on a thriving OS?

...and what's wrong with *fixing* the thriving OS instead of abandoning it?

With other players on the market like Red Hat and Ubuntu, I think they can make a serious dent in the Server and End-user markets, respectively, as long as they don't make the same mistakes; however, they do have to play "driver" catch-up; but, that's no stranger to Windows Vista either.

I tend to think that Microsoft (well, they don't have all their eggs in one basket, good for them) in the computer arena, is on the decline. Others are starting to eat their lunch.

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