Tag Archives: Rants

What's With Non-Configurable Interfaces?

Why has Microsoft decided we can no longer be trusted to configure our own interfaces? I was willing to consider using Office, now that I’m using Windows anyway, but the lack of the ability to configure the ribbon or to use a standard menu and toolbar was a non-starter for me.

But it didn’t stop there. Since I was using windows anyway, why not try using Internet Explorer? But can I configure its menus as I wish? No. I must use them as Microsoft wishes.

What do I mean specifically? Glad you asked? Here’s how I want my menu’s :

  1. File Menu across the top of the window, like God himself ordained.
  2. Next down a location bar with a forward, back, stop, refresh and print buttons to the left of the text entry box and a search box to the far right.
  3. Then a link bar.
  4. Last, but not least, tabs, in a bar that only appears when more than one tab is open.

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Interface Nazis

I have ranted before about interface Nazis. You know them, they know how you should work and don’t want to hear about how you want to work. Several cases in point will allow you to identify them when you see them.

Apple is certainly the worst of the lot. Pathetic User (PU): Sir, could I please resize a window from anywhere on the edge. Omniscient Interface Designer (OID): No you may not resize a window anywhere but the lower right hand corner. That’s an almost trivial example of the extreme lengths that Apple goes to to keep people from working the way they want to, all because they know best.

The next worst bunch is Gnome. The wars over spatial browsing were bad. PU: I’d like to browse the file system in a manner similar to a web browser. OID: You may not, you must use a window that allows no text input and opens a new window for every directory. Fortunately Gnome relented and now permits “browser windows” and a text box to, heaven help us, type in the path you want the browser to go to.

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