Apr 22 2005

My Current Pet Hate

Published by at 2:26 pm under Technology

This is an old article and the information contained within it may be out of date, not reflect my current views and/or contain broken links. If you feel this article is still valid and requires updating, you can use the contact form to let me know. However, I make no guarantee that it will get updated.

I’m really getting fed up with inconsistencies in software.

Two pieces of software which I have running permanently on my computer are Microsoft Outlook 2003 and Microsoft MSN Messenger 7 (Beta). Both of these programs have a capability of being minimised to the system tray in order to save on task bar real-estate., which is great, it means I can still get notifications of events and still have ten other programs open without having those damn collapsed program groups on the task bar.

Outlook 2003The is a problem, however, with Microsofts approach to minimising to the system tray. In Outlook 2003, when you want to minimise the program to the system tray you simply press the minimize button at the top of the window, which I personally think is the logical way of doing it – I’ve specified that I want the program minimised to the system tray therefore that is where it should be minimised to.

MSN MessengerMicrosoft MSN Messenger on the other hand you have to click the close button. Hang on a minute! The close button? But I don’t want to close the application, I want to minimise it to the system tray! So you see, not only is the mechanism for the same action different in the two applications, the logic of the action in MSN messenger is also flawed.

One of the main problems that I have with software in general, since I’ve been working with Damien, is with inconsistent user interfaces. More and more I have noticed that the same company will do the same thing but in different ways in their different applications. And its really starting to annoy me now.

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