From: Joseph M. Newcomer on
See below...
On Thu, 04 Mar 2010 05:29:02 -0500, Hector Santos <sant9442(a)> wrote:

>Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>>> When you add a file to a project, the ide will automatically
>>> create/extract the relative path. It will keep the full path if its a
>>> "far" path (as oppose to near/within the sub-folder space).
>> ****
>> Actually, for reasons that have never made sense and continue to fail to make sense even
>> in the 2010 beta, if I create a new file, and go to save it, it wants to put it in some
>> bizarre path that is under "My Projects" or some stupid default name hardwired in, instead
>> of to the project for which I right-clicked "Add New>File". The default is a stupid name,
>> and the fact that I am *actively working in a project* suggests that *that* is the project
>> to which I wish to add the file.
>> It's almost as bad as the "My Documents" fixation they have.
>I haven't seen VS2010 yet but I will say I am not looking for new
It isn't a new surprise. It is a very old bug, unfixed.
>> ****
>>> When you view the property of files, it will show the relative path
>>> and the calculated full path (which you can't change, dumb.)
>> ****
>> But when I ask for "recent files" or "recent projects", it won't show the complete path.
>> Office does it, VS does it, the whole idea is first-class stupidity. SHOW ME THE ENTIRE
>> PATH! I thought this was a Bad Idea the first time I saw it, and it continues to be a Bad
>> Idea. It has NEVER made sense.
>Well, devil's advocate:
>I don't need to see the whole path. If it shows just the file name,
>thats good enough for me to know its in the main project source folder.
When I have 20 subprojects, and each of them has a file of the same name, I really, really
>For me, that is why I desired a "more" productive Start Page where
>most of the intuitive stuff needs a quick "switch on" memory recall.
>There is also a considering for a "Quick Properties" dialog where the
>basic primitive stuff are presented - the "RISC" version of Project
>Properties. We have in our p-code IDE:
> Project Name:
> Project File Name:
> Project Direction Location:
> Optional Main Primary File:
> Output Folder:
> Include Directories:
> Library Directories:
>Honestly, what I don't like and I believe VS2005 still has this issue
>or less, is when you ADD more files into the projects.
>Its using the Common Dialogs like open file to the the file names and
>and if you go to a different folder, it is remembered. So its not
>restoring the current project folder.
I have mixed feelings on this one. Often, I'm adding files from another directory, either
one of my library directories or another project, or I'm adding files from the
...\lib\source directory of my current project, or I'm adding files from the current
project directory.

I think what would make this simple is a cache of "most recently used directories" which
is PROJECT-SPECIFIC. The "recent documents" isn't very good at this, because it tells me
my most recent usages of powerpoint, word, excel, six other projects, etc.; Microsoft has
NEVER understood the concept of "history" (the help "history" used to be a history of
help, but once they integrated it with the Web browser, it included google, amazon, and
tons of other places that have NOTHING to do with my recent MSDN search history!)

Ultimately, any single default is not going to work for someone in their most common
context. What is bad is the fact that it remembers contexts unrelated to the current
project, such as the stupid default "My Projects" paths which are irrelevant in real
programming. But if it maintained a per-project MRU list and a quick-access to it, life
would be a lot easier.
>I think it got better with VS2005 or it seems to depend on something I
>don't seem to recall what it would be.
>The problem know is that when you use relative paths, the compiling
>(resolving the files locations) can be off.
I've not had this problem. But maybe that means I've just been lucky.
>For example, under VS6, if I add a new source file/header via the open
>dialog the IDE implements, I have to remember to repeat it, go back to
>the source folder, pick a file that is already there or maybe cancel
>it and it remembers again.
In any intelligently-designed system, if I said "add files", it would show ONLY the
appropriate files and ONLY the ones that were not already present! But the open file
dialog does not allow for an intelligent filter add-in, so we get really poor displays. At
least in later versions if you try to add a file that is already present it doesn't annoy
you with a MessageBox telling you the file is already there!
>That could also be related to the IDE need to create/recreate the
>workspace file or solution (.DSW, *.SLN) and you can MULTIPLE of these.
Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer(a)
MVP Tips:
From: Joseph M. Newcomer on
See below...
On Thu, 4 Mar 2010 11:03:05 -0800, "David Ching" <dc(a)> wrote:

>Sorry Joe, if you haven't gotten into the habit of looking at the status bar
>for useful info by now, well, ... how long has the status bar been there?
There is rarely anything useful in the status bar, so I got out of the habit of looking at
it except in very rare situations. For example, in moving or sizing a control in a
dialog; in a sane world, there would be a tooltip right near the mouse pointer that was
tracking the size or position. But there isn't.
>But wasn't it also you who didn't know about the down arrow on the right
>side of the Open button in the File Open dialog to open the file as
>resources in Visual Studio?
Yep. A gratuitous change in the interface which was, as far as I could tell,
undocumented. The lack of help buttons that take you someplace useful doesn't, well,
help. The failure to index the idea or make it searchable (I tried several different
search keys) suggested that the capability was gone.

>I think you have many valid ideas about good UI, but the fact is situations
>that bother you simply don't bother the vast majority of Visual Studio
Maybe it's because I have higher expectations?
>-- David
>"Joseph M. Newcomer" <newcomer(a)> wrote in message
>> And anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with cognitive psychology
>> has heard of
>> something called "focus of attention", which says "People see what they
>> are looking at.
>> They do not work well when they have to look elsewhere to see what is
>> going on".
>> Fundamental GUI design says that the status bar display is a Really Bad
>> Idea, because it
>> is (a) somewhere other than where you are looking, (b) somewhere other
>> than where you are
>> looking and (c) somewhere other than where you are looking. [There are
>> three major factors
>> that sell a house: location, location, and location]
>> I worked to kill off at least two designs I was involved in because they
>> ASSUMED that the
>> user could watch two different sides of the screen at the same time. On
>> one I succeeded,
>> and the GUI was really quite pleasant to use. The product sold well, but
>> didn't survive
>> the Win16-toWin32 transition (the company moved on and didn't see a market
>> in porting the
>> old product). In another project several years later, they ignored me,
>> and the design was
>> not only a flop, but it was so bad nobody wanted to buy the product, and
>> the company
>> failed. [I know this because one of the programmers who worked there
>> later told me that
>> the single greatest complaint was the distirbuted-state GUI where you had
>> to look
>> EVERYWHERE to see what was going on, and nearly everyone who took the
>> "free trial" just
>> didn't buy. When asked why, they uniformly said "the GUI sucks". Well,
>> actually, it was
>> MS-DOS, and the GUI was going to be lame anyway, but no, this one REALLY
>> sucked, even for
>> an MS-DOS GUI! "We should have listened to you," was his observation]
>> It isn't limited to bad software design; a friend who took aerobatic
>> flying lessons got
>> into her first aircraft with variable-pitch prop. The instructor said
>> "It's easy. You
>> just keep the manifold vacuum gauge at the same position as the prop pitch
>> indicator [I
>> think those were the two indicators...] and you are golden", and her
>> remark was that this
>> was obviously easy to do because the gauges were on OPPOSITE sides of the
>> instrument
>> panel.
>> Why do we have a mouse cursor that changes shape with the mode? Because
>> ARE LOOKING! They used to display the mode in the status bar, or in a
>> static control, or
>> something like that, but it never worked. Changing the cursor shape
>> always works right,
>> joe
>> On Wed, 3 Mar 2010 08:58:28 -0800, "David Ching"
>> <dc(a)> wrote:
>>>"Joseph M. Newcomer" <newcomer(a)> wrote in message
>>>> Actually, the file menu doesn't give full information, either.
>>>BTW, the Start Page gives the full path in the status bar at the bottom as
>>>you mouse over the project name in the start page.
>>>-- David
>> Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
>> email: newcomer(a)
>> Web:
>> MVP Tips:
Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer(a)
MVP Tips:
From: David Ching on
"Joseph M. Newcomer" <newcomer(a)> wrote in message
> I tried Outlook Express as my first newsreader after the CompuServe
> forums. I had been
> using TAPCIS. But I found OE useless; for example, it didn't keep local
> copies of the
> messages, and it didn't do threading right. So if I had to go back and
> look at a message,
> it had to download it again, and if it was gone from the server, I
> couldn't see it.

Outlook Express has kept local copies of messages for some time now, and I
don't remember when it didn't.

> And it is completely useless to me if I use full Outlook, and even ends up
> creating
> problems.

Nonsense, I have used both together for years with absolutely no problem.
Just disable all e-mail accounts in Outlook Express so it doesn't conflict
with your Outlook e-mail.

> I searched around a lot before I discovered Agent. I tried at least four
> other newsgroup
> readers, but they were all of the throw-some-widgets-at-the-problem
> design, and were
> nearly unusable.

I used TapCIS as well but unlike you, did not find Agent intuitive.

> The last I'd heard about the NTTP server interface to the forums was that
> it didn't work
> at all. So I should go look again.

I need to try it also. I used to (try to) use it a lot and gave up, now
that it (somewhat) works, I don't have time.

-- David

From: David Ching on
"Joseph M. Newcomer" <newcomer(a)> wrote in message
> Maybe it's because I have higher expectations?

All of us expect our tools not to cause us pain, but somehow your pain
points are different. ;)

-- David

From: David Lowndes on
>> Maybe it's because I have higher expectations?
>All of us expect our tools not to cause us pain, but somehow your pain
>points are different. ;)


Never underestimate how much *you've* learned to use a piece of
software - no matter how good or bad it is.

You only have to sit with someone who's not already familiar with much
software, to discover how unintuitive many aspects of today's UIs
really are.

I'd recommend everyone to do this periodically to remind yourself just
how bewildering things are to someone who doesn't know.