Coffeehouse Thread

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Visual Studio Updates

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  • User profile image
    sysrpl

    The people over at the Visual Studio Blog have posted an update describing changes to the Visual Studio interface in the soon to come first release candidate.

    My reaction:

    I really don't get why Microsoft feels the need to change to a monochromatic UI theme in a developer tool just because the next version of Windows has monochromatic tiles and icons. I also don't understand why Microsoft feels compelled to MAKE TEXT ALL CAPS IN AREAS just because the next version of Windows might do that in places.

    Visual Studio 2010 or even 2005 icons were sufficient and I didn't hear anyone complain that the run triangle button was green or the terminate square was red. Note the "adjusted the grays within the icons to eliminate any fuzziness or halo effect". Ugh.

    Newsflash to Microsoft, software developers don't care about an IDE which matches the newest Windows themes. We want the UI we use at all day to be as clear as possible, neat, organized, to the point, NOT OVERLY LARGE IN PLACES, something which fast feel snappy, is bug free (as possible), and importantly comes with great features.

  • User profile image
    fabian

    The RC looks a lot nicer. I like it.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    eugh... all caps on the menus. What were they smoking?

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    For RC the only UI area where we will be using All Caps titling is for top level menu titles.

    Blech!

    So CAPS are going to be more common with METRO?

    What user experience drove this decision?? !None => speak!

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Don't know if this is an improvement over VS 2010, but it's a definite improvement over the beta. More color in the icons, solution explorer and intellisense is always better. I hope the icons are clearer too: I still have no idea what the "comment selected lines" icon is supposed to be in the beta.

    It's weird that they made the menu titles all caps but removed the caps everywhere else. Although I have to say, I didn't even notice the caps in the beta anymore after about a day.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    A definite improvement for me, I was finding it hard for example to find the .sln file in windows, or differentiating files in the IDE.

    All in all, I have nothing to complain about, the CAPITALS ARE A DESIGN DECISION, SO WE WILL HAVE TO STICK WITH THEM, IF I AM HONEST, I QUITE LIKE THEM, AND THINK THEM VITAL TO THE METRO LOOK, AS IT ISN'T TOO MUCH

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @vesuvius: BUT VISUAL STUDIO ISN'T A METRO STYLED APP. MICROSOFT STATING IT IS DOESN'T MAKE IT SO. IF IT WERE METRO STYLED IT WOULD LOOK LIKE THE ZUNE CLIENT. I WONDER WHAT OFFICE 15 IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE? SAME ALL CAPS MENU? I HOPE NOT. IN ANY CASE I HOPE MICROSOFT IS MAKE A DESIGN DESCISION ACROSS THE BOARD. THAT WOULD INCLUDE THE DESKTOP APPS IN W8 AS WELL. ALL CAPS IN THE EXPLORER, THE LOSS OF THE RIBBON, ETC.

    IF I WERE DISHONEST I'D SAY I LOOK FORWARD TO METRO-STYLING MY CODE TOO; TYPING IN MIXED-CASE IS SO OVERRATED AS PROVEN BY THIS SPECTACULAR POST. IT ALSO AVOIDS UNNECESSARY SPELL CHECKING. GREAT IDEA MICROSOFT!

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    I don't really understand the ALL CAPS thing, it's not actually that Metro* and I'm not convinced it actually helps in solving the issue that there are so many menus that it looks too busy with normal text. They do seem to have done a much better job with the use of colour though, that's starting to look like a big improvement over VS2010.

     

    *Although to be entirely honest, the VS UI is so far away from what Metro is all about that I can't see why pretending to embrace some aspects of it is necessarily a good thing at all.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Who moved the cheese? Part II.

    It never fails to amaze me how much people hate change. Doesn't matter if the change is necessary, for the better, etc. It's change, and therefore EVIL!

    The only change in the RC that I truly think is an improvement is the custom chrome. The rest is minor and subject to personal preference, not for any quantifiable usability reason. Adding colors back? I'm glad they've remained minimalistic. It's pleasing in the toolbar. I think it's distracting in Solution Explorer, to be quite honest. Change to the ALL CAPS headers? Meh. That's a preference thing. I could care less one way or the other. The all caps menu items? I don't prefer it and it seems like a strange decision in conjunction with removing all caps from titles, but it honestly doesn't make any real difference.

    The really important stuff was done in the beta and remains and even was enhanced in the RC. Reduction in clutter and an emphasis on the code. A simplification of the interface, which is always a good thing.

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , wkempf wrote

    Who moved the cheese? Part II.

    It never fails to amaze me how much people hate change. Doesn't matter if the change is necessary, for the better, etc. It's change, and therefore EVIL!

    THAT'S JUST AS BAD AS "PEOPLE THAT DON'T LIKE MY IDEA MUST BE RESISTANT TO CHANGE."

    *Edit: BAS to BAD -- My apologies to Bas*

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Just as BAS?

    When arguments come down to the color of the bike shed, I'm sorry it is just "RESISTANT TO CHANGE." The closest anyone has come to a valid argument in any of these threads is that the monochrome icons make it harder to distinguish between them. Of course there's no data to back that claim up, but it at least sounds like a valid usability concern. Everything else said, over and over again, beating the dead horse into the ground, is nothing more than "I don't like change." It's boring enough to hear this the first time. Did we really need a new thread to say it all again?

  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    @wkempf: You must have had an encounter with the Borg. Do those implants itch? I'm just curious. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Charles

    I LIKE IT!!

    C

  • User profile image
    stun

    , Charles wrote

    I LIKE IT!!

    C

    I AM SORRY.  WHAT DID YOU SAY? I COULDN'T HEAR OVER YOUR SCREAMING.

    In all seriousness, I like the slight changes to the icon design and making it feel a bit lively.
    However, what the hell is wrong with those CAPITALIZED menu items? It is very irritating.

    DeathByVisualStudio explained it perfectly.

    DeathByVisualStudio wrote

    THAT'S JUST AS BAS AS "PEOPLE THAT DON'T LIKE MY IDEA MUST BE RESISTANT TO CHANGE."

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    I bet the only reason they put the all caps in menus is so people would have something obvious to complain about that overshadows any other complaints they might otherwise have, and which they can trivially revert for RTM. I've heard of this technique used by designers to manage their bosses/clients' need to feel like they're putting their stamp on the project, they will deliberately put something obvious in that they know their boss won't like so that when he comes over to do his obligatory bikeshedding it won't be anything else the designer cares about.

    Personally I thought the way caps were used in beta worked just fine, whereas I don't like them in the menu bar at all, go figure. Maybe they're trying to be semi-consistent with Office 15?

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    "MAKE TEXT ALL CAPS IN AREAS just because the next version of Windows might do that in places."

    Where does Windows 8 use text in all caps? AFAICT Zune and Windows Phone may use all-lowercase and all-caps in places, but Windows 8 uses sentence case (normal first-letter capitalization) everywhere.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    The all-caps menus look a little strange, but I can see why they did it given that they made the color of the window title bar identical to the window frame. It would be difficult to tell what are menus otherwise. However, in making the title bar blend in with the window frame to give this pseduo-chromeless look, they actually REDUCED the surface area of the window's client area. WTF?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , cbae wrote

    The all-caps menus look a little strange, but I can see why they did it given that they made the color of the window title bar identical to the window frame. It would be difficult to tell what are menus otherwise. However, in making the title bar blend in with the window frame to give this pseduo-chromeless look, they actually REDUCED the surface area of the window's client area. WTF?

    I'm not sure they have, although at first glance it does appear that the menu now takes more space. If you look at the actual space available for code in the 2010/Beta/RC side-by-side comparison image the RC definitely dedicates more vertical space to the code view than the others.

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