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Other GUI oddities page 5

Font substitution can be rather broken at times, and Firefox sometimes shows text on a page as follows:

I don’t know what font this is or why it keeps getting chosen as a substitute, or why Windows cannot come close to rendering readable text. It gives the appearance of being enlarged above its maximum size, but who’d create a font whose maximum point size is unreadable to begin with?

Alternatively, as Mr Anonymous demonstrates, your text could be too large:

One would assume that, under Windows, programming with windows would be relatively straightforward given the name of the system. However, they turn out to be far more cryptic than you realise. For example, trying to figure out how the system knows and decides whether a dialog box should have a system menu, and what should be in it, especially since there’s not supposed to be any difference between a window and a dialog box. A window created as a dialog box will not get a system menu yet retains the WS_SYSMENU flag, making the flag rather dubious. The flag DS_MODALFRAME seems to be the deciding factor on whether the system menu truly appears, and this flag cannot be set with SetWindowLong(): Windows simply ignores you outright.

Here, Automatic Update’s dialog box has been granted a system menu, but with the wrong contents:

Move and Close are present, but not Minimize. Working with windows in Windows makes you realise that the operating system makes quite a hash out of the eponymous objects, and precisely why a window manager is called a window manager.

REALbasic offered no means to create basic message dialog boxes, and with only a Mac OS 9 computer to work with, I wrote my own class to attempt a cross-platform implementation (mostly, appropriate button layout). Unfortunately, like the Web, it fails miserably to do anything with absurdly long “words”:

View complete screenshot

One day, I may even fix this one, which for a change should be relatively straighforward even for multiple monitor displays. REAL went on to support message dialogs natively but did a suitably poor job of them.

The following screenshot appears to be a case of a developer manually specifying the font to use with a dialog box instead of using the user’s choice (which happens to be the system default anyway):

The next screenshot amazes me that it wasn’t a system crash. I asked the Mac to hide the Finder (probably with Hide Others) and then accidentally clicked a Finder window before it was done being hidden. The Finder’s windows were all removed from view but the program was also activated, leading to the system showing the active process as being hidden:

How I escaped a system crash with that, goodness only knows.

If your current system does not support foreign character sets, there’s a reasonable bet that the user is not in one of those countries right now:

By the way, Snap!