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back to article Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Windows software developers have given a thumbs down to the black-and-white Metro-style Visual Studio 2011 and sent Microsoft back to the drawing board - preferably one with coloured pencils. More than 4,000 Visual Studio users have so-far voted on Microsoft’s UserVoice poll to say the code development suite's black-and-white …

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Boffin

Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

Disability Discrimination Act? Americans with Disabilities Act? I smell lawyers.

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Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

"I smell lawyers."

Unlikely. Accessability applies to public physical enviroments, not computer screens. Running Windows is not an essential part of life, never mind developing in Visual Studio.

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Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

I'm pretty sure there was some sort of fuss about websites a few years back, someone in the UK government was pretty sure that accessibility laws applied to them somehow.

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WTF?

Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

"I'm pretty sure there was some sort of fuss about websites a few years back, someone in the UK government was pretty sure that accessibility laws applied to them somehow."

Another politician talking bollocks. There's a shock.

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WTF?

Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

Quite right. Blind people don't deserve to use the web! We should allow everyone to discriminate however they want - freedom of speech!

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FAIL

Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

"Quite right. Blind people don't deserve to use the web! We should allow everyone to discriminate however they want - freedom of speech!"

Yeah , right on brother!

And lets not forget deaf people - its pure discrimination that radio doesn't come with subtitles!

Every disability should be catered for all the time everywhere no matter what the cost or practicalities because its ooman rights init?

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Facepalm

Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

Don't forget that avon and somerset police have sign language on their website

They supposedly say it's for the deaf that don't have English as their primary language, but you have to be able to read the links to find it

http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact/plod/

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Colour Vampires

I like that, I'm going to steal it.

But yeah, these people are right. It's just awful to use, especially when your other IDE is Netbeans with a modified City Lights setup and version control thrown in - colourtastic. I almost immediately went back to VS2010, new thingummies that don't work properly yet be damned!

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Re: Colour Vampires

Well, while I tend to agree (haven't tried the beta myself, but can't imagine using my C# VS 2010 Express without colors) but it is also a fact that many developers don't like change per definition.

Funny that you should mention NetBeans (one of my favorites) because that is another fine example of that. When version 6 came out the main toolbar got a makeover which also managed to cause a little uproar due to the 'dull' way the new icons looked. Many people disliked it and as such also complained.

Now we're on NB 7, the icons look the same and it seems to me as if people have gotten used to them. As such; some changes may grow on you with time (though I don't see this happening with the color removal to be honest).

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Coat

Re: Colour Vampires

I"m gonna sue. I invented "Party Vampires" a while ago and this is way too close.

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Facepalm

Re: Colour Vampires

You'll get over it.

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Re: Colour Vampires

I don't think this is rejection of change. Colour is enormously important in useability - picking out icons in OS/X is largely due to their colour (how many people have clicked on the wrong icon beause it has the same colour).

Icons themselves are almost meangingless - at that size people can quickly recognise position, shape and colour but not pictures.

If you don't believe that, try and describe the picture that's on the 'paste' button in Word without looking at it first. It's been the same since Word came out but I doubt many would recognise it out of context.

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Thumb Down

Yah, that's pretty depressing. Then again VS UI has never been all that clever. Dialog boxes that ought to resize but don't. Others that resize but don't remember what you last set them to. Bizarre under use of space (project options for .net). Stupidily long delays opening dialogs (assembly references in 2k8, sort of improved in 2k10 at the expense of slowing everything else down it seems).

Either the VS development team are a bunch of clueless geeks or else they just like torturing the rest of us and have an internal build that has actually been run through usability tests.

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Anonymous Coward

"Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

Considering all the other UI changes MS have forced on users in the last few years, I'll be surprised if they back down on this one.

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Joke

Re: "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

First they removed our Windows and I didn't complain.

Then they removed our multitasking and I didn't complain.

Then they removed the colour and no-one was left to complain to.

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Re: "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

...but it was all for your own good!

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Windows

Re: "I'll be surprised if they back down on this one."

They are indisputably capable of being "cut your nose of to spite your face"-stubborn but it is not entirely unknown for them to rethink if they get a big enough kicking. The capacity to hide the ribbon in Office 2010 as a "one-click" operation contra their "spin on this" attitude with Office 2007 which appeared to cost them sales (a lot of companies refused to upgrade from Office 2003 until 2010 came out) for example. If they get the feeling that ignoring the response to this beta is going to cost them they may think again - well one can always hope.

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Mushroom

Hmmm... Microsoft Listening.

Sounds a bit like an oxymoron to me.

Also to respond to the first poster who alluded to the ADA and such...When you have scotopic sensitivity syndrome, you don't use the default colors (generally black text on white background). You use colors that dampen the contrast enough to make the screen readable. Or you simply don't use the fucking product.

I suspect it will be the latter for me, as I'm not about to allow the asshats at Microsoft to give me headaches so they can engage in member-measuring about their Oh-sooo-k3wl change-for-change-sake GUIs.

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Re: Hmmm... Microsoft Listening.

"Oh-sooo-k3wl ..."

Yep, you've nailed it there. See Chromophobia at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1861890745

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Facepalm

Re: "Let's see if Microsoft is listening."

If you even hope Microsoft might be listening to you, you don't understand the nature of your relationship with them.

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Facepalm

This is what the Win 8 refresh of Aero applications are going to look like?

Please, someone, say it ain't so.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 8 too

For christ sake. SOMEONE PLEASE SLAP THE DESIGNERS INTO REALITY FOR ALL PC USERS.

AARRRGGGHHHH.

*strokes his mac*

*calms down*

*purrs at Mountain Lion*

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8 too

> *strokes his mac*

Really, there's no need for that kind of filth here.

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Re: Windows 8 too

If Mountain Lion is anything like the Lion that preceded it, it can sod off. What an absolutely worthless upgrade that was. A fullscreen focus-stealing application menu (to add to your applications menu next to your other nested applications menu - usability!), the stupidest implementation of fullscreen apps I've ever seen in my life, a raft of bugs, and not much else. Wasn't worth the upgrade from the far more dependable Snow Leopard.

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Unhappy

"Really, there's no need for that kind of filth here"

Oh damn.

I've obviously been reading the headlines wrong for the last 8 years thenn

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Re: Windows 8 too

It's not just MS that is going in for this monochrome idiocy. Have you looked at the icons in your Finder Window sidebar recently? Or the ones in iTunes. What is it with the War On Chroma?

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Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

What can you possibly have against the Mac's implementation of full-screen apps? You press the relevant button, the app goes full screen. Individual apps get individual virtual screens so you can three-finger swipe between them (or use control + cursors if you're a keyboard person). Care to enlighten us on the flaws in that?

As for MSVC 2011, I don't really see what the uproar is about. I've had no problems finding any of the supplied tools (easily, without extended hunting) and if anything the fact that colour is now reserved for content I'm actually working on has made the overall display much clearer and easier to work with.

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Flame

Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

"You press the relevant button, the app goes full screen. "

Noooooo no no no no no no, that's not quite true, is it? You click the fullscreen button, it does a pointless animation (Lion is very fond of those) and you end up in a completely enclosed version of fullscreen where you have to do needless clicking just to get at the bloody menu, and the dock isn't available even on auto-hide.

And never mind that this super-amazing-wow fullscreen capability requires apps to be modified in order to support it - are you kidding me?? All that was required was a simple button that made the window expand to fill the available space - a maximise button. But Apple couldn't have that, as it wouldn't be different enough, so they took the most basic proposition and overblew it as much as they possibly could. It might seem minor, but it's the sheer pointlessness of requiring applications to update just to support a needlessly flashy window transition that brasses me off. That isn't "revolutionary" design, it's fucking around. And sliding between fullscreen apps? Wow, you've invented the virtual desktop switcher...

The real question is: why did it take 7 revisions of OSX to get such a function? I can't think of another windowing system I've ever used that is lacking something so idiotically basic. Perhaps their next amazing, revolutionary addition to the system will be lock-sodding-screen. Perhaps they can have the OS play a fecking waltz before a huge padlock animation plays, and unlocking will require a new and totally intuitive touchpad gesture, like wiping your nose on it.

Grrrrrrr Lion pissed me off. All flash, no substance, 100% Apple. Truth is, as a practical, useful windowing system OSX is a piece of shit, massively overrated and fawned over, and it was left far, far behind by other systems many years ago.

</Rant>

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Law
Happy

Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

*claps solidly smiling proudly* Finally... somebody else said it. I really regret upgrading to Lion for all those reasons and more. (Launchpad, reversing the scrolling direction, hiding my scrollbars, incompatibilities with NTFS software I'd been using, time machine gaffs, to nam a few more).

These days, the only thing I'm really missing in Windows 7 that OSX provides is multiple virtual desktops (though work are kind enough to provide multiple monitors, so I have several real desktops instead)... and possibly Adium... love that application.

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Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

Fact check:

(1) you don't need to click to bring up the menu bar, just mouse up to where the menu bar normally is;

(2) the dock does appear available on auto-hide, just mouse down to where the dock normally is.

Other comments:

• exactly as on every other desktop in the world, not every app can go full screen. I wouldn't agree that having a flag to indicate whether an app can go fullscreen and giving it a default value of 'off' given that fullscreen wasn't previous available is "the stupidest implementation"; I'd rather say it was exactly the correct implementation.

• part of your argument appears to be that the implementation is broken because it took seven iterations to appear. I'm not sure that stands up to logical inspection, though if it helps then it actually took almost thirty years to appear since the classic OS didn't have a full-screen option either. Which presumably means that the implementation that did appear is even worse?

Naturally I appreciate you'll get upvotes and I'll get downvotes because the audience here is anti-establishment and I'm defending a hugely profitable and hugely arrogant company that is often harmful to the industry.

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Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

If you have an ATI video card you can enable virtual desktops

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Law
Pint

Re: Windows 8 too (@Greg)

"Naturally I appreciate you'll get upvotes and I'll get downvotes because the audience here is anti-establishment"

Not so - even though I agreed with the premise of Lion sucking (compared to snow leopard), you also made valid points (I don't use auto-hide dock though) - so I up-voted you both. :)

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Unhappy

Re: Windows 8 too

"he stupidest implementation of fullscreen apps I've ever seen in my life, a raft of bugs, and not much else."

Sounds like Jobs being gone is already having an affect.

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Anonymous Coward

Two points:

Point #1: I think there's some redundancy in the headline: it could just as easily be

Coder's "lives sucked out" by Visual Studio.

Point #2: Why not use Eclipse?

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Mushroom

Re: Two points:

Because VS is vastly superior maybe?

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Re: Two points:

Because Eclipse is the biggest pile of shite I've had to use since Turbo Pascal for Windows?

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Re: Two points:

Eclipse is a hideous mess, that's why.

Regarding the new VS look, I don't mind the icon cut-out style but it would be better with colour. But PLEASE stop using those hideous little rows of dots in toolbars and headings. They look like a design from Windows 3.1. Can't stand them!

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Stop

Re: Two points:

Eclipse C++ Tooling is utter sh..excrement. It might be Ok for Java, though.

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@ Wombat

Wouldnt that make them two of a kind?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Wombat

For some purposes such as quickly creating an ugly corporate data analysis app it might be the right tool. Real developers would use Perl for that, though.

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Re: Two points:

Eclipse CDT is a pile of shiiiiiiiiit.

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wussies

What respectable coder clicks on colorful UI buttons instead of using a shortcut? Or displays toolbars to waste screen space?

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Pint

Re: wussies

Carry on using Vi then, Linus! (had one too many at lunch)

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Meh

Re: wussies

I'm with you on the toolbars but there's too many shortcuts to remember and MS seem to change and/or remove them every now and again.

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Re: shortcuts

Ah, now what you want for that is a UI that combines popup availability with descriptive text (rather than screen clutter and pictorial guesswork). For added ease of use, you could navigate it by holding down Alt+whatever, where whatever is a letter that is underlined in the descriptive text.

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Pint

Re: wussies

@Shady - No no no. Obviously you had too many, and meant to say EMACS! :)

(the old standby for how to create a usenet flamewar: VI vs EMACS)

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vi vs emacs?

JOE ftw.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: wussies

Visual Studio vs Emacs vs VI

Interestingly, I routinely use all 3. I probably know the most keyboard commands for Emacs. I like Visual Studio the most. And I'm forced to use VI when I need an editor to open quickly on UNIX. Why do I like and dislike each one:

Visual Studio. Good editor. Keyboard shortcuts are good, but having everything on toolbars means you don't have to remember every keyboard shortcut. Integration with debugger and build environment far better than anything I've seen on UNIX.

Emacs. Good editor. Keyboard shortcuts are obscure, and some of the functionality for copy/paste etc. is decidedly weird. Takes forever to start up. Building anything production on top of LISP is just dumb since even compiled it takes forever to run. Had problems with things like line number display since it is a bunch of hacked up LISP - this sort of stuff should just work.

VI. Ok editor. Far too cryptic for keyboard shortcuts. Really useful for quickly editing something on a UNIX box where you don't have Emacs open.

Eclipse. Disaster of a tool. Just doesn't work for C++.

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Holmes

Just make sure the icons can be changed easily and I am sure some cool guys will have a whole set of awesome icons 1 day after release. Nuff said.. case closed.

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