sharprs sharprs

Niner since 2004


  • Bill Hill - There is only one space after a period

    What I find interesting here is that some people are saying it's bad because it's antiquated.  There's a funny "rule" we have that says "Don't use prepositions at the end of sentences."  Well why not?  It's completely arbitrary.  But they still force it on us.  Why?  Because it's the nature of language.  So, why do so many of us still double-space between sentences?  Because it's the nature of society to perpetuate practices as long as they have no ill effects.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, a ton of the confusion comes from the difference between term-paper writing and book publishing.  You see, in my days in school, any paper we wrote would be left-aligned, double-spaced (line spacing), lots of header crap, centered unadorned title, name + page numbers on all but the first page, indent every paragraph, MLA style references.  Really the important point there was left-aligned.  I don't recall ever having read a book that was left-aligned.  They're all fully justified.  As far as writing my papers goes, Word makes absolutely no spacing decisions, other than when to word-wrap and whatever comes as part of the font.  Because it's left-aligned.  If I wanted justified, I would single space.  Because then things do get wacky.

    Here's some reasons I double space...

    - when I search for a sentence, I rely on greater spacing (legally blind here)
    - when I read something left-aligned I feel unfulfilled if it's single-spaced
    - because it's the way I've always done it, and since there is nothing evil about it, there's no reason to stop now

    I'd also like to affirm whoever said that everyone reads by pattern-recognition.  That's actually why I'd never teach a kid by "phonics," because it just wouldn't work.  But that doesn't mean we don't interperet punctuation.  Like the period in illogical places, we notice.  Like a contraction with no apostrophe, wed notice.  We'd read it right, but we'd notice.  So to my linguistic mind, it makes perfect sense to have two spaces in left-aligned documents as a secondary end-of-thought marker.  Especially if we're going to read out loud.

    Interesting thought, before I go: In books and newspapers, ever come across the line you couldn't read?  I have.  And it's because the spacing failed.  Miserably.

  • Kam Vedbrat - How flexible will Longhorn's user experience be?

    So... I'm still of the mind that the new style Start Menu wasn't thought out well enough and should be completely reworked.  Of course, I'm also of the mind that "personalized menus" are about the worst thing to ever happen.

    The way I see it, the quick launch (if people use it) does the function of the recently used programs, because if it's frequently used, people of the sort who care about that sort of thing will already have it on their quicklaunch.  So it also takes the place of personalized menus.  Except it really is personalized, and not based on whether you've used the program lately.

    The reason the Classic start menu style is great is because it has broad categories as its only items, and then perhaps some really important thing like Windows Update.  And the reason broad categories first is good is because anything elseis just too cluttered, takes up way too much space, is ugly.

    My only problem, which I'm sure will be fixed in Longhorn, is that the Search should not be a menu, but an item, because when I'm looking for something I'm not going to care where it is or whether it's a computer or a folder on another computer...
  • Bill Hill - Why isn't ClearType on by default in Windows XP?

    Yeah, I was one of those ones that posted on Scoble's site about how I don't like ClearType.  My LCDs are at native resolution, but I just can't deal with any color wackiness.  In fact, I bought my LCD just because the previous monitor I had was starting to crap out on me, so there were hardly-noticable shadows and whatnot.

    My hope is that HD displays will be common enough that it won't matter much anymore, because there'll be so many more DPI that more traditional methods will produce results just as good and without the color blur.

    But as I've said before, if you want to change something major like this, you really should just force it.  People adapt.

  • Dan Appleman - Where are teenagers feeling computing pain?

    Theres no real danger in a cookie.  They can't be executed unless you've already got other major security issues.  So unless you're one of those paranoid people who wouldn't give their neighbor their phone number, there's nothing to fear from a cookie, just like there's nothing to fear from a dead snake.

    On a related note, I've always thought it funny how people are afraid they'll get a virus from a jpg (an image editor won't try executing images, and if Windows tried, it'd tell ya "This is not a valid Win32 application").  What they aren't realizing is it's a fear of being fooled into thinking it's a jpg when there's actually a hidden .exe on there.  That possibility for exploit is another motivation for my suggestion to not hide extensions by default when the next installment of Windows finally horns its way into the market.