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Bug of the moment 2007-10-28

One day, I may have to give up Bug of the Moment, as I fear that more and more of my screenshots represent problems long since resolved in the operating system in question (although I was pleased^Wsaddened to see that taskkill.exe has the same flaws as kill.exe). I’ve yet to post a Vista screenshot, and Leopard is now out also.

As a non-Linux, non–X Window System user, I’m only starting to understand the true purpose of a window manager. Not very surprisingly, it does indeed embody some of ideas I’ve put down for the Cy/VOS graphical interface as well as address all sorts of fundamental problems with Windows and Mac OS windowing. One of the issues I was addressing, with the Low-level Window Manager, was the strict stacking order of windows.

As a counterexample, consider Windows menus. I have a couple of favorites in Explorer that point to computers on the local network. I made the mistake of right-clicking on one of the entries which, since that computer (my iMac) is not even on the network at the moment, caused Explorer to hang with the menu open. (Whether or not opening a contextual menu on a menu item is sensible, is a debate unto itself.)

Rather than wait for a timeout, I opened a fresh Explorer window, and then discovered something:

Windows, or Explorer at least, puts menus at the very top of the global window stack, on top of all other programs’ windows. I’ve seen stuck menus before: Firefox once left a menu stuck on the screen even though it doesn’t even use native menus.

Incidentally, the weird grey background behind the tree icons is triggered by switching colour scheme. I was forced to switch colour scheme because when Windows drops into 256-colour mode (e.g. SysInternals Bluescreen screensaver) it screws up the active colour scheme and you have to go back and reset all your colours. This is my normal colour scheme:

And this is after I’ve been into 8-bit colour and back:

Posted 28th October 2007 – Comments and questions?