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Bug of the moment 2011-07-14

This, folks, is what a window manager is for:

View complete screenshot

The operating system should provide a service for verifying window bounds. You tell it how large your window is, and where you intend to put it on the display (centre on cursor’s display, centre relative to parent window, relative to mouse cursor, largest area spanning all displays etc). The window manager then inspects your bounds, and chooses the best placement possible, moving the window wholly onto the nearest display if necessary (in a direction opposite the offending overlap), and then reducing it in size if it still doesn’t fit. Global regions such as a taskbar or systemwide menu bar are taken into account.

I don’t know how Microsoft Management Console has succeeded in repeatedly opening windows obscured by the taskbar when there is clearly space to slide the window up a bit. This brought back memories of similar but more complified issues in Mac OS X Tiger, firstly Apple Mail creating a sheet larger than my iMac’s display (yes this is a factory default mail rule):

View complete screenshot

Also, the Finder tended to open Info windows far too tall:

View complete screenshot

However, the Apple issues are in part due to Apple, like Microsoft, having not implemented a dynamic layout engine as with other window toolkits (GTK, Qt, EIKON and XUL).

Microsoft have no excuse though for blatantly mis-positioning a window. Microsoft Management Console in Windows 7 is hit and miss, but then, it always was hit and miss: a good idea, badly implemented at every level.

Posted 14th July 2011 – Comments and questions?