John C. Dvorak on not fixing the obvious


I've been reading John C. Dvorak's Inside Track and other columns since I was old enough to. He's entertainingly opinionated, self deprecating and very often wrong. It's why we love him.

His latest article was an absolute corker. Some choice parts:

There is a belief within the tech community that Microsoft lost control of Windows years ago as the company turned over personnel—including the programmers who actually knew the base code of Windows itself. It has long since become what people call spaghetti code—a tangle impossible to unravel.

As much as I grew up being bitten by Microsoft bugs, this is not unique.

Every patch has to be run through a regimen of tests to see if anything breaks. One thing is fixed and soon something else does not work right.

Ditto. Regression testing is an entire industry.

I have one machine running Vista—which I have come to appreciate as an excellent highly backward-compatible OS.

I'm assuming the lack of comma meant "excellent" described backward-compatiblity. Say what you will about Vista, but I'll bet it runs ancient Windows stuff better than, say, FreeBSD.

None of this is helped by the boneheads in marketing who demand the coders do things they shouldn't.

Metro in a nutshell.

On websites, this includes running videos down at the bottom of the page utilizing delayed auto-start. You have a browser running with a bunch of tabs and suddenly the speakers blare as a video starts. There is no way of finding this rogue video without examining the entire page of each tab and often you still cannot find the blaring video (unless you're on Chrome).

Or using NoScript, or just don't use Flash.

(Every time this happens I'm reminded of the promises of HTML5 to rid the world of Flash. It has failed to do anything of the sort.)

Well, other than the fact it has. Apple and Android killed it with mobile, by not bunding it, or including such a terrible implementation that even Adobe dropped it. But it was open, remember? Oh Google, don't ever change.

Unfortunately, HTML5 hasn't rid us of digital restrictions management (DRM), which is a legitimate concern.

Is a drop-down menu really a better idea than showing all the options without having to roll over something?

It does come down to balance, but with the new hotness being that meatstack icon, it is being abused. Don't worry though, it'll go the way of Georgia or Helvetica Neue Ultralight body text soon enough.

I invite readers to add their observations to the comments with weird anomalies that bug them.

I'll finish off with one. Whenever I deal with Windows machines, I always have to relearn the Control Panel with new releases. The simple visual and naming consistency they achined with Windows 95 has long since given way to a mish mash of constantly renamed, redesigned stuff. Please stop doing this.

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