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Ingredients to make the Windows 7 Taskbar an Epic Fail ?

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  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    The good folks at Microsoft have changed the way we navigate our applications in Seven, which was very good of them, and I can see why they have done so and applaud them so.

    The Task bar will be perceived to be problematical, until an API is released that allows native and managed developers to target the task bar API, and make their applications easier to use. At present, the only programs that work with the taskbar well are Microsoft ones (Word, Explorer etc.)

    All other programs like Firefox, Free Download Manager and even my own custom Windows Forms applications are really painful to use because they are in the Task bar, but are second class citizens as far as the taskbar is concerned.

    There is a Task bar API in development, but that has been assigned to be joined with the VistaBridge which was released two years too late, and progress in development in it, is like a dog with three legs.

    The mistake you [Microsoft] have made is in not making available a feature complete task bar API, that all appplication developers can start to use that is itself beta so as to mitigate any friction with the inevitable recalcitrance you will encounter by people inured to previous versions.

    You should know by now just how much most people dislike change, and the availability of this API would surely palliate those voiceferous about the change. The biggest problem Vista had was misconception, and I have worked with many users over the years and know that my visually impaired uncle for instance will not be able to use Seven. If you don't do something about this soon, you will be Mojaving the task bar in 2012.

    Just my 2 pence.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Why are they second class citizens? I can imagine that providing custom previews might not be possible yet, but in what other ways do your own applications (and firefox and such) behave differently in the new taskbar?

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Bas said:
    Why are they second class citizens? I can imagine that providing custom previews might not be possible yet, but in what other ways do your own applications (and firefox and such) behave differently in the new taskbar?
    That's exactly my question too! Why did you get this feeling? My Windows Forms applications run as expected - the exact same way like Word 2007 does.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    Bas said:
    Why are they second class citizens? I can imagine that providing custom previews might not be possible yet, but in what other ways do your own applications (and firefox and such) behave differently in the new taskbar?
    I am talking about jump lists and the common file dialog.

     If you open up Word for instance, you have all your recent documents, and the option to open up a new document all automatically integrated. The same can be said for things like windows media player when you can play/pause a program straight from the task bar.

    Have a look at this


    At the moment you only get this level of feedback from Microsoft programs. I would like to include the same level of recent files or document in my applications.

    Try using Free Download manager for instance or Skype. You end up with the duplication in the notify area and taskbar that this is all new taskbar mumbo-jumbo is meant to remove, because these vendors have not got the API in order to change their applications. Apart from Microsoft applications, I am having to recreate the Vista/XP taskbar which defeats the whole objective.

    Microsoft are aware of this, hence this. My principal gripe is the fact that this has been added to VistaBridge which is two years too late already, and no-one seems to admit or care about that.

    Please don't let the taskbar go the same way.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    vesuvius said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*
    I am talking about jump lists and the common file dialog.

     If you open up Word for instance, you have all your recent documents, and the option to open up a new document all automatically integrated. The same can be said for things like windows media player when you can play/pause a program straight from the task bar.

    Have a look at this


    At the moment you only get this level of feedback from Microsoft programs. I would like to include the same level of recent files or document in my applications.

    Try using Free Download manager for instance or Skype. You end up with the duplication in the notify area and taskbar that this is all new taskbar mumbo-jumbo is meant to remove, because these vendors have not got the API in order to change their applications. Apart from Microsoft applications, I am having to recreate the Vista/XP taskbar which defeats the whole objective.

    Microsoft are aware of this, hence this. My principal gripe is the fact that this has been added to VistaBridge which is two years too late already, and no-one seems to admit or care about that.

    Please don't let the taskbar go the same way.
    If they were to use the common open file dialog you would see that in the jump list! Clicking on one item probably starts the application with the file as argument. That's it. But it's right... the possibility to add buttons to the taskbar is nice.  AFAIK there's already someone working on managed classes for the Taskbar: http://www.codeplex.com/Windows7TaskbarExt

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    vesuvius said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*
    I am talking about jump lists and the common file dialog.

     If you open up Word for instance, you have all your recent documents, and the option to open up a new document all automatically integrated. The same can be said for things like windows media player when you can play/pause a program straight from the task bar.

    Have a look at this


    At the moment you only get this level of feedback from Microsoft programs. I would like to include the same level of recent files or document in my applications.

    Try using Free Download manager for instance or Skype. You end up with the duplication in the notify area and taskbar that this is all new taskbar mumbo-jumbo is meant to remove, because these vendors have not got the API in order to change their applications. Apart from Microsoft applications, I am having to recreate the Vista/XP taskbar which defeats the whole objective.

    Microsoft are aware of this, hence this. My principal gripe is the fact that this has been added to VistaBridge which is two years too late already, and no-one seems to admit or care about that.

    Please don't let the taskbar go the same way.
    APIs for this are already available, admittedly not managed but it's not as if you have to wait for MS to produce wrappers, you can do it yourself and as littleguru showed, some people are already working on it.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    Sven Groot said:
    vesuvius said:
    *snip*
    APIs for this are already available, admittedly not managed but it's not as if you have to wait for MS to produce wrappers, you can do it yourself and as littleguru showed, some people are already working on it.
    This is a far better example, because it is through Microsoft and points to the VistaBridge but the project is actually Windows7.DesktopIntegration.

    My wish is for this to be completed soon, and a push be made for developers to adopt the libraries, because the more people that have applications that can show the taskbar in it's true light, then the less friction there will be.

    I also say this because most businesses are going to skip Vista, and the last thing an IT director wants, is to be told that in order for their proprietary software to run productively and efficiently on Windows 7 then they are going to have to perform modifications based on some open source project on codeplex.com or codeprject.com.

    My concern is strictly about the reduction in friction between migrating from XP/Vista to Windows 7.

  • User profile image
    BlackTiger

    vesuvius said:
    Sven Groot said:
    *snip*
    This is a far better example, because it is through Microsoft and points to the VistaBridge but the project is actually Windows7.DesktopIntegration.

    My wish is for this to be completed soon, and a push be made for developers to adopt the libraries, because the more people that have applications that can show the taskbar in it's true light, then the less friction there will be.

    I also say this because most businesses are going to skip Vista, and the last thing an IT director wants, is to be told that in order for their proprietary software to run productively and efficiently on Windows 7 then they are going to have to perform modifications based on some open source project on codeplex.com or codeprject.com.

    My concern is strictly about the reduction in friction between migrating from XP/Vista to Windows 7.
    Something Epic? Epic is good. I  want some Epic!

    If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
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  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    What would you guys think of having every app that has a volume slider in the volume mixer to show the slider and mute button to the right of all of its taskbar previews?

    I think that would make per app volume controls a little more accessible to the average user.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    brian.shapiro said:
    What would you guys think of having every app that has a volume slider in the volume mixer to show the slider and mute button to the right of all of its taskbar previews?

    I think that would make per app volume controls a little more accessible to the average user.
    Dunno, that'd make it more accessible, but I don't use it that often. I think if they were next to every preview it'll get very cluttered.

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    I agree with Vesuvius, we should not have to wait for somebody else to make managed wrappers for new Windows functions. If that's what Vesuvius was saying Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    Dodo

    brian.shapiro said:
    What would you guys think of having every app that has a volume slider in the volume mixer to show the slider and mute button to the right of all of its taskbar previews?

    I think that would make per app volume controls a little more accessible to the average user.
    It would definitely annoy me, though, if there was an option to turn it on when someone wanted to and there was a useful description if such option that was easy to understand noone would mind such a feature. Except... the marketing folks perhaps and those people paying the devs for doing such mostly time wasting things. Nice to have, optionally at need, but not needed by everyone. Smiley

    Also, it's not like it isn't a developers option to implement things we need or don't consider useful enough to be put into our apps. A simple default file association would do it in most cases for the jumplists anyway, wouldn't it?

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    Bas said:
    brian.shapiro said:
    *snip*
    Dunno, that'd make it more accessible, but I don't use it that often. I think if they were next to every preview it'll get very cluttered.
    It wouldn't make sense to be next to every preview, since different windows for the same app have the same volume control... but something to the right of all of the previews, only when the app has a volume mixer.

    I wouldn't use the volume slider that often, but I would use the mute button often, especially for Media Player.

  • User profile image
    Dodo

    brian.shapiro said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*
    It wouldn't make sense to be next to every preview, since different windows for the same app have the same volume control... but something to the right of all of the previews, only when the app has a volume mixer.

    I wouldn't use the volume slider that often, but I would use the mute button often, especially for Media Player.
    Which in this case makes perfect sense. A mute button and volume controls could be added to the preview of media players. Such feedback should go to the team for the media player, whichever one you're using. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Bas

    brian.shapiro said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*
    It wouldn't make sense to be next to every preview, since different windows for the same app have the same volume control... but something to the right of all of the previews, only when the app has a volume mixer.

    I wouldn't use the volume slider that often, but I would use the mute button often, especially for Media Player.
    True, but I'd still find it cluttered. I find the previews to be smallish as it is, now that they have to make room for the close button and extra controls as well. Mainly though, I still say that I just don't use per-application volume controls that often. Previews, sure. Media Player controls (and such), definitely. Volume? I don't know. For stuff that already controls its own volume (like media players) it'd make sense, but I rarely feel a need to tone down Word's volume and turn Steam up to eleven, for instance.

    (And yeah, I know that Word doesn't make sounds and thus doesn't show up in the volume mixer, but you know what I mean.)

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

    Bas said:
    brian.shapiro said:
    *snip*
    True, but I'd still find it cluttered. I find the previews to be smallish as it is, now that they have to make room for the close button and extra controls as well. Mainly though, I still say that I just don't use per-application volume controls that often. Previews, sure. Media Player controls (and such), definitely. Volume? I don't know. For stuff that already controls its own volume (like media players) it'd make sense, but I rarely feel a need to tone down Word's volume and turn Steam up to eleven, for instance.

    (And yeah, I know that Word doesn't make sounds and thus doesn't show up in the volume mixer, but you know what I mean.)


    Aside from media player, I often also have games running in the background, and want to temporarily shut off their volume to watch a video on the Internet.

  • User profile image
    BHpaddock

    The taskbar APIs are beta because the OS is beta.  However, they are quite complete and changes will be slim to none.

    I don't really get what you're complaining about.  If you use the CFD or the existing Recent Docs API, your app will get free Jump List functionality.  You can even control it very easily using the registry (if you want just Recent, or just Frequent, or what not).  There is even some built-in support in .NET 4 / WPF for doing tasks in the Jump List and such, as was shown way back at PDC.

    Your application should not be a "second class citizen."  Windows is not aware of Word in any fashion, and does nothing special to enable the Word jump list.  In fact, Excel doesn't even work well with the new taskbar (multiple Excel windows won't show proper thumbnails), and this is due to a problem with Excel that the Excel team will need to address.  But that's very much the exception.  Every other app I've used works great with the taskbar.  Of course if you want the above-and-beyond functionality like a custom jump list, you're going to have to do the work.  Same if you want a custom preview, a thumbnail toolbar, an icon overlay, etc.  Luckily, those things are pretty easy to do.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Jump List and Thumbnail Controls?

    My though: Flashy and only 5% of Win7 users will use it (Except the Close Button). Only WMP toolbar substitute is worth using. The rest? I don't even really like IE has preview for each tab. You are too hung up on some technology that's not even all that special.

    Areo Peek is the only reason I consider the new taskbar not an Epic Fail.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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