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Things that make Vista feel like Windows 95

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  • User profile image
    androidi

    I have to say I haven't really noticed this that much except with WMP which I resize more often.

    Grab pretty much any window, wmp, notepad, explorer ... from the top edge and move it up and down (resizing it). What seems to happen is that things in the bottom of the window that should stay unchanged during the resize operation actually seem to move up. As if the resize actually moved the window first then changed its size. If this is the way to do it then it still should not update the screen before the resize so there would not be this ugly glitch.

    Another similar thing in Visual Studio: Try open task manager (watch CPU usage), grab the split bar between code editor and error list, move it around. Only the split bar is being drawn but judging from the CPU usage you'd guess it's updating the entire screen pixel by pixel.


    Now thinking about it I seem to remember the GDI isn't hardware accelerated in Vista but I've seen  non-hw accelerated 3D games run smoother than this software-GDI. Now I can already see Raymond blogging about how you can't possibly make GDI any smoother without breaking everything. Well you can! You could detect the start of drag operation, then in the Aero/Window manager watch the updates between the drag/resize state and drop the updates that result in no-op in the next update. The update rate might halve but it would result in much more pleasant resizing than the current flickering horror show.


    Or this could just be some issue with the NVIDIA drivers again but I doubt it.

  • User profile image
    androidi

    Actually it might be better if they fixed WMP so I wouldn't need to resize it in the first place but having followed WMP "improvements" I can tell that won't happen ever.

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    androidi said:

    Actually it might be better if they fixed WMP so I wouldn't need to resize it in the first place but having followed WMP "improvements" I can tell that won't happen ever.

    Same thing happens in XP, so it has nothing to do with Vista's software GDI.

  • User profile image
    stevo_

    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    androidi said:
    *snip*
    Same thing happens in XP, so it has nothing to do with Vista's software GDI.

    Just seems to be one of those windows legacies, even the mighty wpf suffers the wrath of this, the controls themselves don't flicker, but the effective rendering area inside a window (inside the glass), suffers from pretty slow updates.. backgrounds that span this area, althought I'm sure WPF is rendering them out rapidly, either end up being transparent or black for a split second when resizing etc.. happens with every application, I guess you just learn to ignore it.. but why this still exists in Windows today I don't know..

    As for capturing it, seems impossible.. I guess the buffers that print screen captures are after the redraw is completed, but I can clearly resize a window (even at a slow pace) and watch the leading edge appear black or transparent for a second before windows redraws the applications buffer into the window..

  • User profile image
    androidi

    Looking at it again the "fix" I had in mind above would not work. There could be some kind of fake double buffering done that would look ok maybe 50% of the time but you'd trade the flicker for another type of glitch.


    Anyway, the "problem" I have with WMP leading to resizing is that I use it only as a player, not for anything else (library etc) such that I open it to play files from other places (Explorer etc). Now if I've previously watched a video and now open a music file, guess what, the default skin shows up as if the audio file was a video file! So there's a huge window with black in the middle. And all the song/artist info is hidden unless it's resized or manipulated into some other view that shows that info. WMP TEAM : You know there's that huge black area where the video used to play? You could like idk show the artist info there or atleast make the player smaller if it's not a video and I'm not using your library..

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    androidi said:

    Looking at it again the "fix" I had in mind above would not work. There could be some kind of fake double buffering done that would look ok maybe 50% of the time but you'd trade the flicker for another type of glitch.


    Anyway, the "problem" I have with WMP leading to resizing is that I use it only as a player, not for anything else (library etc) such that I open it to play files from other places (Explorer etc). Now if I've previously watched a video and now open a music file, guess what, the default skin shows up as if the audio file was a video file! So there's a huge window with black in the middle. And all the song/artist info is hidden unless it's resized or manipulated into some other view that shows that info. WMP TEAM : You know there's that huge black area where the video used to play? You could like idk show the artist info there or atleast make the player smaller if it's not a video and I'm not using your library..

    This latency seems also to happen if you resize at the top right corner (and all the others). Only that you can't see it very well because the whole thing moves around too.

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    androidi said:

    Looking at it again the "fix" I had in mind above would not work. There could be some kind of fake double buffering done that would look ok maybe 50% of the time but you'd trade the flicker for another type of glitch.


    Anyway, the "problem" I have with WMP leading to resizing is that I use it only as a player, not for anything else (library etc) such that I open it to play files from other places (Explorer etc). Now if I've previously watched a video and now open a music file, guess what, the default skin shows up as if the audio file was a video file! So there's a huge window with black in the middle. And all the song/artist info is hidden unless it's resized or manipulated into some other view that shows that info. WMP TEAM : You know there's that huge black area where the video used to play? You could like idk show the artist info there or atleast make the player smaller if it's not a video and I'm not using your library..

    The reason there's a big black area there is because WMP expects you to be using a visualization if you're listening to music.  In older versions of WMP, this would be turned on by default (so you wouldn't see the big black nothingness), but it looks like it has been turned off by default in WMP 11 (plus, they got rid of a lot of the good visualizers).

    There also used to be a Media Guide view that you could turn on during music playback that would use the video playback area to give you all kinds of information about the artist and album and stuff.  That's gone too, now.

  • User profile image
    BHpaddock

    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    androidi said:
    *snip*
    The reason there's a big black area there is because WMP expects you to be using a visualization if you're listening to music.  In older versions of WMP, this would be turned on by default (so you wouldn't see the big black nothingness), but it looks like it has been turned off by default in WMP 11 (plus, they got rid of a lot of the good visualizers).

    There also used to be a Media Guide view that you could turn on during music playback that would use the video playback area to give you all kinds of information about the artist and album and stuff.  That's gone too, now.
    As usual, this is a trade-off that's been made.

    On one hand, you can not paint the window until it is ready during the resize operation.  But this doesn't solve the problem.  Why?  Well, if the window's non-client area could keep up with the resize operation, it would already look fine.  But it can't.  So if you wait for it, now you get some really jerky resizing.  That's no fun for anybody.

    Some apps don't have any problems at all with this, and some computers can handle the layout and repaint operations fast enough that it looks fluid.  On my Vista machine right now I can resize notepad and it looks perfect.  WMP is one of the worst offenders, but in IE I can see grey invalidated regions as I resize and I can see the status bar jump around a bit.

    This can be solved today if the app is written to handle it.  But solving it on a global basis for all windows is quite challenging, especially while we're still using GDI.  In the long run, my personal take is that the answer is to get people off of GDI and onto newer platforms that can keep up with the resizing operation.

  • User profile image
    stevo_

    BHpaddock said:
    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    *snip*
    As usual, this is a trade-off that's been made.

    On one hand, you can not paint the window until it is ready during the resize operation.  But this doesn't solve the problem.  Why?  Well, if the window's non-client area could keep up with the resize operation, it would already look fine.  But it can't.  So if you wait for it, now you get some really jerky resizing.  That's no fun for anybody.

    Some apps don't have any problems at all with this, and some computers can handle the layout and repaint operations fast enough that it looks fluid.  On my Vista machine right now I can resize notepad and it looks perfect.  WMP is one of the worst offenders, but in IE I can see grey invalidated regions as I resize and I can see the status bar jump around a bit.

    This can be solved today if the app is written to handle it.  But solving it on a global basis for all windows is quite challenging, especially while we're still using GDI.  In the long run, my personal take is that the answer is to get people off of GDI and onto newer platforms that can keep up with the resizing operation.
    I dont think hardware really effects this.. I mean, any computer in the last 10 years should be able to ace basic 2d.. I get this problem like crazy even on a computer aimed for playing games..

    Notepad for me, when resizing it, the content area flickers.

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    stevo_ said:
    BHpaddock said:
    *snip*
    I dont think hardware really effects this.. I mean, any computer in the last 10 years should be able to ace basic 2d.. I get this problem like crazy even on a computer aimed for playing games..

    Notepad for me, when resizing it, the content area flickers.
    That's because Notepad isn't double buffered (it is, after all, just a plain vanilla Win32 text control stuffed in a window with a menu bar).  Notepad will flicker on any hardware, no matter how fast the processor or how powerful the video card.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    stevo_ said:
    *snip*
    That's because Notepad isn't double buffered (it is, after all, just a plain vanilla Win32 text control stuffed in a window with a menu bar).  Notepad will flicker on any hardware, no matter how fast the processor or how powerful the video card.
    sort of off topic


    i wish theyd leave notepad the way it is - simple and fast  BUT
    make it a real WPF notepad.

    so you click it - it comes up (with rings and teal cover - and opens to page 1 (very fast - 1 sec at most)

    you use it as always (same func) but it has pages like a blog - so you can fill Notepad up

    (or you could turn the pages thing off.. or turn off the opening animation


    but id love a notepad like that -same thing - but a real notepad


    edit - actually they could do a WPF showcase for notepad and a new one called Windows Scapbook

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    jamie said:
    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    *snip*
    sort of off topic


    i wish theyd leave notepad the way it is - simple and fast  BUT
    make it a real WPF notepad.

    so you click it - it comes up (with rings and teal cover - and opens to page 1 (very fast - 1 sec at most)

    you use it as always (same func) but it has pages like a blog - so you can fill Notepad up

    (or you could turn the pages thing off.. or turn off the opening animation


    but id love a notepad like that -same thing - but a real notepad


    edit - actually they could do a WPF showcase for notepad and a new one called Windows Scapbook
    It would be cool, but you can't get <1 sec startup times with WPF, as-is.

    I'm hoping some kind of powerful new UI framework is announced at PDC, something fast, written completely in native code and accessible from native code or .Net (an evolution of Win32, of sorts).  Essentially a Windows competitor to Cocoa/Core Animation, without the dependency on .Net that WPF has (which causes unacceptably long startup times and poor performance in other areas as well).

  • User profile image
    jamie

    CannotResolveSymbol said:
    jamie said:
    *snip*
    It would be cool, but you can't get <1 sec startup times with WPF, as-is.

    I'm hoping some kind of powerful new UI framework is announced at PDC, something fast, written completely in native code and accessible from native code or .Net (an evolution of Win32, of sorts).  Essentially a Windows competitor to Cocoa/Core Animation, without the dependency on .Net that WPF has (which causes unacceptably long startup times and poor performance in other areas as well).
    way off topic

    maybe they could use that as theme for win7  " REAL."

    no more wooden puppet... one dimmentional notepad.



    Windows 7:   real.

    (they could show apps/icons going from flat - to real)

    (get real etc join the 90% ... be a blob  Wink)

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