Why is it called Windows when it does windows so BADLY??

Girlfriend is on a PC, is in Word, has her habitual 52 documents open and wants to navigate from the one she’s in to one of the others.

She is one of those people Microsoft must’ve had in mind when it enabled Long File Names back in Windows95. She doesn’t name her documents “PRTFOLIO.DOC” or even “Portfolio Common Stocks '98.doc”, but generally something like “Copy of New Fully Indexed Common Stocks from Schwab Shearson Etc. Reinvestment Schedule B Revised May '03 with Annotations.doc”. As opposed to “Copy of New Fully Indexex Common Stocks from Merrill Lynch Before Transfer to Schwab Shearson Etc. Revised April '03.doc”, see?
So…she goes to the Windows menu.

Ten choices plus “More Windows…”

Click “More Windows…” and this itsy bitsy teenie tiny window pops up showing about 20 characters’ worth of file name for about ten or eleven more file names’ worth of vertical space.

No horizontal scroll bar. No little resizeable side or corner arrows. Inside this itsy bitsy teenie tiny window are several file name lines “Copy of New Fully Indexe…”

This is seriously fucking stupid. There’s enough screen real estate on this 21st Century screen to display 40 of those stupid little boxes. But why have boxes like that in the first fucking place? Why can’t you click on the Windows menu of your program and have a drop-down list that shows you all of your open files, and if there are too many to show up on your screen, you put a little scrollie arrow at the bottom so you can scroll down further and see yet more, all in one easy glide? Or, OK, have the window pop down and stay down and put regular window scroll arrows at the side, but make it a big box to begin with, auto-resized left to right to handle the longest file name you’ve got, and if your files names are wider than your screen, fine, toss in a horizontal scroll arrow at the bottom or something.

Does Microsoft think people don’t really multitask or something? Do they ever try to use this stuff to see what it feels like?

My favorite are those applications that don’t meet some arcane criteria to actually be given their own window and/or taskbar entry. They’re there, you can Alt-Tab to them, but they just don’t behave right with the minimizing and the maximizing and whatnot. Like Exmerge. Leave it running on top of some other window, and then hit the “Show Desktop” button in the taskbar. Then hit Exmerge’s taskbar thingy. Up will pop Exmerge AND the window that it was placed on top of! Woohoo! Annoying as fuck.

And don’t get me started on NT event logs. You mean I have to pick which type of log I’m opening? Out of three types? Yeah, computers have a real tough time running through three possibilities. It even tells you when you picked the wrong type. If it is that goddamn smart, why doesn’t it just figure out what type it is for its own self? Oops, I…uh, got myself started.

Uh, unless I’m mistaken, short of the scrollbar idea (which I think is stupid) it already does that.

Office XP? Yeah, the Window menu does resize much wider if needed. It, of course, has a limit, but it looks like it is around 70 characters.

I suggest your girlfriend learn to be concise in her naming conventions.

I see your girlfriend is adept at RLNs, or Rediculously Long Names. They’re a type of LFN that, if you ever burn them to a CD, it’ll ask you to truncate them to 64 characters.

Me, I’m all for limiting filenames. Windows gives people way too much room.

Nope. The bloody window – it is specifically called the “Activate” window – most emphatically does not resize. Trust me on this. I have weilded the mouse myself on the rare occasions that I have had reasons to make use of her machine. I know sometimes you have to hover in exactly the right spot for the litle resize arrow to make its appearance. There ain’t one. And a file with the name “Neurosurgeon Recommended by George Rand” is too long to fit there.

And the Windows menu itself (the part you see before you click “More Windows…”), while sufficiently wide to display reasonable file names, really does only show 10 entries, I kid you not.

I’m sorry, that’s pathetic. I had better menus on a Smith Corona dedicated word processor. MacWrite version 1 running under Macintosh System 1 did not have this problem. We’re talking about a window that would only make sense on a fucking PALM PILOT.

I have a machine with Office XP.
I named a document Neurosurgeon Recommended by George Rand and saved it.
When I look under the Window menu I see the following:
2Neurosurgeon Recommended by George Rand.doc

If I look in the File menu I see
C:…\Neurosurgeon Recommended by Ge…
What was the rant again?

Microsoft Windows is the only software product that’s known to be insecure, unintuitive, clunky to use, and buggy as sin – and people still choose to use it. “Inconceivable!”

“The freedom I have from the grasp of Bill Gates and his Redmond Monopoly is priceless.”


Open 20 or so more documents in Word. NOW go to the bloody Window menu. Don’t see it, do you? No, you have to pick that item at the bottom, “More Windows…”, right?

Go ahead, pick “More Windows…”

Now you’re working in a ridiculously small window called “Activate”, right?

I wrote:

No one’s busted me on this so I’ll bust myself. It’s true on the surface of things, in the sense that it is a factual statement. MacWrite of that vintage did not have this problem because you could only open one document at a time :o

Well… [attempting a recovery]…programs of that general vintage that would open multiple documents at the same time and therefore had a windows menu didn’t have this problem either. SuperPaint 1.0 didn’t have this problem. You could open documents until your 128 K of total RAM was all eaten up and the contents of your Windows menu would go down to your kneecaps, and they would all be right there in the Windows menu. When you dragged the mouse down to the bottommost one that would fit on-screen they would start to scroll beneath your mouse.

My fave is when I open up my spreadsheet program, Lotus 1-2-3 (yes, I work at IBM). Upon opening, it has a window displaying recently used files. All of my files are in subfolders of the ‘My Documents’ section, so the display reads:

Gee, thanks for narrowing my choices down :rolleyes:

Yeah, I hate that SmartSuite “front end” crap that opens up when you first oepn WordPro or 123. I always just hit Cancel and then File:Open and open files the normal way.

Only three? Obviously you’re not enough of a Windows guru. Some of the Windows boxes I use have five types of event log, and two of them have six. Domain controllers have two additional logs, “Directory Service” and “File Replication Service”. Adding the DNS service adds another log, “DNS Server”.

All right, I just tried that. Really, I actually opened 22 fucking documents in Word.

It’s Word 2000, if it matters.

Yes, you get a screen called “Activate”, with a scrollable list of all the windows you have open. And I can see up to 50 characters of the file names!

Seriously, if you name your files in such a way that they cannot be distinghuised from one another upon a cursory glance over the first FIFTY. FUCKING. CHARACTERS. … your rant should not be directed at Microsoft, shitty as they may be.

It shoudl be directed at the person naming the files.

Now, the gripe Cheesesteak has is legit. The latest documents option displaying the full path, that’s just plain nonsense.

I should point out that this is really a problem with Word, not with Windows itself. Yeah, they’re both from Microsoft, but they are different products.

Cheesesteak’s gripe is with Lotus, which isn’t even a Microsoft product. And besides, he deserves it anyway, for using the Administrator account for day-to-day activities.

Maybe it does. Hers is the version of Word that along with Excel and PowerPoint comprise “Office XP Educational Edition”. She doesn’t get 50 characters in the “Activate” window. Maybe 20.

And if you’re going to support 256 characters in the OS…well, then, support them, don’t sort of support them some of the time in some places. (That part’s a rant I could extend to MacOS X as well, btw).

KellyM, this is how they gave me the machine. Not to say it isn’t completely wrong, but I’m not about to screw around with it now. I also pride myself on being an equal opportunity complainer.

Of course, this is the same group that took a full day to call the local CE when my computer was completely dead.

Because it does them better than DOS.

I had another comment to post, but I thought I’d check to see if the problem occurs in my version of Word. I don’t usually use MS Word, since I use NoteTab Light for almost everything I need to do of that sort (It’s a text editor, not a word processor). I figured it’d be easy; I’ve never had a problem with Word before.

If you don’t feel like reading the below, let me just say - I confirmed the same problem with my edition of Word.

Here’s what I did:

Created a file with a ridiculously long file name (‘This file has a ridiculously long name.doc’). Saved it. Saved it under an even longer name, to compare.

Checked to see which version of Word I have, under Help->About.(Microsoft Word 2002 SP-1).

Go to open some more documents. Word crashes gracefully, and I click “Send Report”.

Reopen the program, close the ‘save after crash recovery’ pane. Go to open file. Try to change directory. Program crashes.

Open once more, on a whim. Go to open file. This time, something seems to happen (the dropdown to get to the other directories shows up after three seconds, but then freezes and disappears). “Maybe other programs make it run slow, I think.” Close all other open programs. Open Word again, nothing’s changed.

Reboot computer, open NoteTab to compose this message.

Go back to Word, open the LFN documents, then go to open more documents. It is still taking a ridiculously long time to change directories (though no crashes). I opened up the process mgr to see what’s going on, but all that happens is, every time I change directories, Word’s activity stops for two seconds, then comes back up (no difference between hard drive & network drives). I’ve never seen a problem like this and I really don’t know what caused it. When I eventually get to a new directory, I can open all the files I want, no problem. I then go to the ‘Window’ menu, click ‘More Windows’, and see ‘Activate’ – in a tiny little window that can’t be resized.

So, yes, I can confirm it’s a problem in my version.

My original comment was this : a similar problem that almost drove me crazy yesterday - but more serious, since I can’t control the length. I needed to see my PATH environment variable, so I opened up the correct control panel for it (System->Advanced->Environment Variables, I think). Problem is, all the loaded software has created a rather long PATH name. So long it won’t fit in the thirty-two characters I’m allowed to see of it. And the window won’t resize!

Finally I click on ‘Edit’, which brings up a dialog to type in the new value. Again, a non-resizable window. It can see the end of it at least (although I can’t really see most of it, since I’m seeing the variable names, not the substituted text), and I can drag off the edge to get the rest of it. I eventually copied and pasted it to at least get what I could.
When I was in NoteTab I got to wondering, so I opened a lot of documents. Now, NoteTab is tabbed (who’d have guessed) so there’s no ‘window’ selection. But all the document titles (full titles) are shown on tabs, in a line across the top of the text area of the currently open document.

It eventually gave out at about 130 characters, but this is limited by window/screen size and not anything else. When I get too many files open, I can click on the left-right arrows to see the other file names. Although if I do certain things, I can’t see all of the title at a time. So I select ‘stack tabs’, and extra rows of tabs appear below the top one. I suppose if all 20 were LFN’s I’d lose a lot of screen in that view. Okay, enough about NoteTab. Well, one more thing … after closing the files, when I clicked on the ‘Reopen’ submenu, it’d resized to fill up the screen due to the LFN, another nice feature.

So it can be done right. And even though I don’t need the features, I’m going to be paying for the full version of NoteTab.

And what operating system would that be again, oh great one?

JRootabega: That would be Windows NT Server, version 5.0.