Re: How to work with XML in MFC?

"David Ching" <>
Fri, 9 Jan 2009 07:58:10 -0800
No argument here, Daniel.

-- David

"Daniel James" <> wrote in message

In article news:<>,
David Ching wrote:

Sure some is overblown. But you think 2-3 font familes with 3-5
font sizes is OK? Then why not for Windows apps?

You're missing the point. Nobody is suggesting that a Windows app
shouldn't be able to use more than 3 fonts -- it'd be a blow for Words
if they did!

What's being said here is that there are design guidelines for the
standard parts of GUI apps -- the "non-client" parts, if you will --
that are supposed to present a consistent user interface across all
applications, and that one should not alter that interface.

This in not just about fonts and colours -- it's about standard placing
of standard menus (in English we have "Cut" and "Paste" not "Snip" and
"Glue", they are found on a menu called "Edit" which is the second from
the left, next to "File"), about standard shortcuts, and about standard
idioms for navigating an app. The use of standards helps to make all
applications familiar to the user, and so helps the user to work
quickly and confidently with a variety of applications and a variety of
types of data.

Keeping the overall appearance of GUI elements like dialog boxes
consistent is part of this -- most users adapt very quickly to using
new applications (or at least to operating the GUIs of new
applications) if the user interface looks familiar, but a user
suddenly confronted with a dialog of outlandish appearance in an
unfamiliar application is likely come screeching to a halt and have to
spend time reading the documentation and/or asking colleagues for help.

I don't suggest that using an emboldened font for all static text in a
dialog is going to have that effect, but the more things differ from
the unadorned standard -- without obvious good reason -- the more
likely it is that some confusion will arise.

Some apps have a menu for font selection that displays the name of each
font /in/ that font. I don't think that a user who has decided to open
a menu that is obviously intended to allow the selection of a font will
be at all puzzled by the fact that the different fonts names have
different appearances -- try the same trick on the "File" menu and most
users will complain that the application has "gone wrong".

Much of this comes down to the "principle of least surprise", in the

Why do you insist on following some obsolete Control Panel settings,
and not web browsers?

Control Panel settings are not obsolete. If you think that then you
have been paying too little attention to them.

The web is an anarchy of competing bad designs. Don't hold it up as an
archetype to be emulated!

Part of the trouble with the web is a lack of standardization between
browsers (and the failure of the most-used browser -- IE -- to comply
with a number of published standards exacerbates these difficulties

Another part is the way that web standards have been built up from kits
of parts (by groups with different purposes in mind) and never really
made uniform -- it's a very different world from that of application
GUI design where the widget sets of any one platform are well-defined
and the widget sets of differing platforms have a good degree of
overlap of functionality. As nobody 'owns' the web nobody can
authoritatively set down GUI guidelines for web design with any hope
that they will be adopted. It's not that there are no guidelines for
good web design (or secure web design, for that matter) -- it is that
there are too many, and so they are all ignored.

This is not what Sir Tim wanted, I am quite sure!


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