Re: Dialog size in pixel

"David Ching" <>
Sun, 22 Jun 2008 21:19:54 -0700
"Joseph M. Newcomer" <> wrote in message

The problem with icons is that someone has to share your cultural
equivalent of what the
icon means. Microsoft doesn't ease this because each release of Windows
uses some new,
cuter, more obscure icon, to represent common actions. There is nothing
more apalling
than to be confronted with a collection of artistic objects whose meaning
can only be
guessed at. Word 2007 is actually pretty good at making the interface
nearly unusable in
this regard.

Having a button that says

"Burn an audio CD you can listen to in your car"

actually sounds like a very sensible button, a whole lot more useful than
most obscure

None of this has anything to do with forcing controls to be in absolute
positions on a

I seriously detest iconic interfaces that have no popup tooltips or other
help for the
visually impaired. A tiny icon is useless. A large bitmap has to be
completely obvious
to the uninitiated. While it may be obvious to YOU that the cute icon YOU
created means
"burn a CD that you can play in the car" it is probably not obvious to
anyone else.

The idea of a skinned interface is to get away from tiny icons which are not
obvious and replace them with larger images that are more in your face and
self descriptive. For this to work effectively, sometimes a pixel alignment
is necessary, especially if a background bitmap is used. I know you put a
premium on respecting user's fonts and scrolling to fit available real
estate, but with all due respect, excessive scrolling is a poor UI, and
neither is it very pretty (which means soccer moms don't want to use your

I am in the middle of this issue. I like resizeablity (and thus don't like
skinned apps), but also prettiness. Personally, I'm very glad to see next
generation UI's like WPF and Silverlight that bring the best of web UI's
(which are a whole lot prettier and make better use of real estate than
Windows apps, IMHO) to client apps. At the same time, they can remain
resizeable, by using advanced layout controls like Grid and Stack Panel (but
are not always so, as there is also a widely used Canvas control that puts
all children at fixed pixel offsets), and thus usable. Since there are
both resizeable and non-resizeable controls, it fits my experience that
there are cases for both.

My point is: for certain people, especially consumers, who are frankly dumb
beyond belief, the kind of UI that you think is really bad, is really very
good. To the extent that you hate skinned apps because you can't read the
text, these users hate standard apps because they can't figure out what to
do and have basically wasted their money. I can't see the point of one
group always berating the other one.

-- David

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