Friday, November 23, 2007

Vista Annoyance: Favorites

This picture illustrates one of my major annoyances with Windows Vista: the favorites list. I realy liked the idea when I saw it on OSX, and even tried to emulate it myself on XP. You can imagine my excitement when I saw it was going to be in Vista. But, like many things in Vista, the implementation is lacking.

On the right is a Windows Explorer window. The favorites list is there by default, all is well. I can add, remove, and reorganize favorites, and in general it's pretty good. If I change the order in one window, it changes it in them all (even already-open ones).

On the left is a "Save As" dialog. Note that it, too, has the favorites list. And it's got all the ones from the Explorer list. But what's going on? They're not in the same order; they're not in any order, really. I have no idea what order they could possibly be in. And what's with the extra entries? Desktop appears twice, and they threw in "Recent Places" and "Computer" for some reason. They might be useful, for all I know, but what are they doing there? If they're important, put them at the top, and separate them visually somehow. Let me know that "hey, these aren't part of your favorites list, but they're pretty useful in this context, so I'm going to put them in for you, right at the top and out of the way." Don't try to pretend like I put them there.

I look at the list on the left, and I get confused. There's too many for me to want to look over them all, and hunt for the place where I want to save the file (hint: it's always the desktop). I like the list on the right- it's still a little busy, and all the blue icons are too similar for me to find them very easily, but it's nice. That list is mine; I can do whatever I want with it.

One thing I don't like about the list, since I'm on the topic, is that you can actually move things by dragging them onto the icons. So if you're trying to add a new one, make sure that when you let go of the mouse you see the solid black "I'm moving this right here" line, otherwise you will be moving your entire file/folder to that location. At least when you reorder it won't let you move (even though visually, it looks [and even says] that you're moving).

It may *say* Move, but it's really just going to reorder

This is just one of the particularly irksome things about Vista that makes me wonder what happened to Microsoft.

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