Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Windows 7 Gripes

Windows 7 isn't all good -- it's mostly good but I continue to find little quirks where they "dumbified" things which were more useful in Windows Vista.

Taskbar Behavior

In Windows 7, the Taskbar is Always-On-Top. The only way to have full sized windows on your primary screen is to turn on the Auto-Hide Taskbar option. There is no longer an OS supported way to have a TaskBar that is not always on Top. Basically, this is a "dumbification" of the UI that ends up with a choice between wasting screen space or forcing you to auto-hide the Taskbar.

There is a hack in the Windows Seven Forum though to reintroduce this Vista/XP functionality... I'm not sure why MS removed useful functionality from Vista in making 7.

The hack isn't perfect though and has some flaws. It would have been much nicer to just have the feature in the OS and work correctly.

Windows 7 Explorer Quirks

Open Window Position

New Explorer Windows open to wherever you moved the most recent Explorer Window. They do not remember where they opened from before for that directory (or root). Windows XP and Vista both remember where Explorer windows were opened for a particular file root. For example, you could get "My Computer" or a directory shortcut to open in a consistent screen location before. Now they open wherever the last active Explorer window was.

Folder Views

Menu "Tools"->Menu Item "FolderOptions"->Tab "View"->Item "Folder Views"->Button "Apply To Folders"

This no longer actually applies the current folder view to all other folders -- only to folders of similar types. In particulare, it doesn't work at all for certain folder types.

It mainly bothersome because I'm stuck with the "XBOX360 Neighborhood" browser constantly defaulting to "tile" view even though I prefer "list" view and I have to change it anytime I recreate the folders (i.e. clean builds) on my development system.

Read-Only Handling in Explorer

In Windows 7, Directories can not be made Read-Only, only the files within them are made read only. The button for the properties probably doesn't work the way you expect it to (i.e. it defaults to read-only but files created there are not really read-only - they only change state when you update the checkbox and click OK).

Also, delete (or move) will delete (or move) Read-Only files without any additional confirmation (other than the initial confirmation you may get with non-Read-Only-protected files).

Basically, the "read-only" flag no longer protects files in the Windows 7 Explorer GUI. Just a word of warning to y'all.

NOTE ON CMD commands with Read-Only Flag: The "read-only" flag is also ignored for "rd /s" or "rmdir /s". However, the "read-only" flag still does work for some commands like "del".