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Dear MS VS 2005 developers

P: n/a
Does anybody know to whom I can send this letter so that it hits home before
Visual Studio 2005 goes production?

Dear Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 developers,

This is a request for you to change four of the most basic controls to
improve them and make them more consistent amongst themselves.

I am speaking of the four controls into which text is entered:

a. Textbox

b. Masked Edit

c. Combo Box

d. Date Time Picker

e. Check boxes (ok, so it's really five controls)

Let's start with something I call an improvement: Let's stop wasting 4
pixels of valuable form real estate on each and every control listed above.
Here is the waste: it takes 3 pixels to draw a 3D border around each of
these controls (I guess that's where the "3" in 3D came from, huh?). But
seriously, if the border were drawn as a single pixel then it would take
only 2 pixels of form real estate to draw each control, not 6 pixels. Now,
when you multiply the number of controls on a form times 4 wasted pixels,
that equals a lot of wasted real estate on every form.

A 3D control border buys you nothing. Besides, the above five controls' 3D
appearance is inconsistent with that of tabpages, menu items, listviews,
toolbars, etc, etc. I think it's time we all abandon the archaic 3D look
and become good citizens of flatland. One exception is in order: allow both
flat and 3D buttons. Since a button's analogue in the real world is truly
3D, therefore, it should look like it needs to be pushed.

Now that we know how to reclaim four pixels per control, let's not stop
there. Why do text boxes have to be 20 pixels in height? There must be at
least 3 to 4 pixels of white space between the border and the text itself.
Let's standardize on an 18 pixel height for all of the four text controls.
There, we've saved another 2 pixels of real estate for every one of those
controls on every form. That leaves the 16x16 dropdown arrow icon as is, no
changes needed.

Now lets move on to the problem of consistency. Inconsistency in the
properties for these five (four) text controls is really a problem in Visual
Studio. Each of these controls should have the following properties:

a. FlatStyle (not for DatePicker)

b. BorderStyle = FixedSingle (not for DatePicker)

c. MaximumSize (overridden in ComboBox)

d. TextAlign (like label) text rides at bottom in DatePicker at 18
pixels height.

Since all of these text controls can and often do appear together on a
single form, all of them should be height-alignable and text-alignable to
make the best presentation. It is ridiculous to have to make them all 21
pixels in height just to match the combobox height.

Finally, if you would like to see how all of these controls should look
right now, before doing any control redesign or coding, may I refer you to
this web site: http://www.lumisoft.ee/lsWWW/ENG/ind...?type=products

There you will find a textbox, datepicker, combobox, masked edit box, and a
check box as described above. And, please, please, please check out the
..FlashControl property built into each of these controls. It makes your
ErrorProvider control unnecessary and possibley obsolete. (It also wastes
more form real estate).

So why I am telling you all this? Yes, I am using these controls, not
yours. Problem is, they are not quite industrial-strength enough to use in
enterprise applications. If you could only redesign your controls so that
they could look like these controls, and back them up with your
industrial-strength properties and methods, the world of application design
would be a much better looking, more real estate efficient, and a more
consistent place to develop in.

I will get off my soapbox now and await your reply.

Thank you for listening.

Dean Slindee
Nov 21 '05 #1
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10 Replies


P: n/a

"Dean Slindee" <sl*****@charter.net> wrote in message
news:VB******************@fe02.lga...
Does anybody know to whom I can send this letter so that it hits home
before
Visual Studio 2005 goes production?

<snip>

Here's the place.

http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/default.aspx

Note the link under the heading "Product Feedback Center" entitled:

"Make a Suggestion or Report a Bug"
--
Peter [MVP Visual Developer]
Jack of all trades, master of none.
Nov 21 '05 #2

P: n/a
Dean,

In addition to Peter, maybe as well a better place for your request

http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/Sho...spx?ForumID=32

However you make me curious why "not the datetime picker", what I have seen
in these newsgroups is that the control that needs beside the combo/listbox
the most attention.

Cor
Nov 21 '05 #3

P: n/a
"Dean Slindee" <sl*****@charter.net> schrieb:
Does anybody know to whom I can send this letter so that it hits home
before
Visual Studio 2005 goes production?


I doubt that there are high chances to get that fixed in the Whidbey
version, however, you can report suggestions and bugs in the MSDN Product
Feedback Center:

<URL:http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/productfeedback/>

--
M S Herfried K. Wagner
M V P <URL:http://dotnet.mvps.org/>
V B <URL:http://classicvb.org/petition/>

Nov 21 '05 #4

P: n/a

Dean Slindee wrote:
[snip]
Finally, if you would like to see how all of these controls should look

I think you mean 'how I want all these controls to look'
right now, before doing any control redesign or coding, may I refer you to this web site: http://www.lumisoft.ee/lsWWW/ENG/ind...?type=products
There you will find a textbox, datepicker, combobox, masked edit box, and a check box as described above. And, please, please, please check out the .FlashControl property built into each of these controls. It makes your ErrorProvider control unnecessary and possibley obsolete. (It also wastes more form real estate).

So why I am telling you all this? Yes, I am using these controls, not yours. Problem is, they are not quite industrial-strength enough to

use

Maybe you should fix your controls rather than ask MS to completely
redesign the standard controls and do your development for you ?

--
Larry Lard
Replies to group please

Nov 21 '05 #5

P: n/a
Cor,
I think we are actually thinking the same, but that you read my cryptic note
the opposite of what I intended. When I wrote: a. FlatStyle (not for
DatePicker)

what I meant to say is that in VS 2005 Beta 2 there is no FlatStyle property
for the DatePicker, and I think (we both think) there should be a FlatStyle
for that control, as well as TextBox, ComboBox, ListBox, CheckBox, etc.
Right?
Dean Slindee
"Cor Ligthert" <no************@planet.nl> wrote in message
news:Om**************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
Dean,

In addition to Peter, maybe as well a better place for your request

http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/Sho...spx?ForumID=32

However you make me curious why "not the datetime picker", what I have seen in these newsgroups is that the control that needs beside the combo/listbox the most attention.

Cor

Nov 21 '05 #6

P: n/a
Definitely disagree.

MS is the primary Windows control supplier. Their conrols need to be
improved and the controls also need to be designed to be more consistent
with each other. I am an application builder and do not want to reinvent
controls. What I want to do is point out to MS that even single individuals
(in Estonia) are designing better controls than MS is, and it's time MS made
some improvements. That way, both you and I can benefit, as well as our
users.

Dean Slindee
"Larry Lard" <la*******@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@o13g2000cwo.googlegr oups.com...

Dean Slindee wrote:
[snip]
Finally, if you would like to see how all of these controls should

look

I think you mean 'how I want all these controls to look'
right now, before doing any control redesign or coding, may I refer

you to
this web site:

http://www.lumisoft.ee/lsWWW/ENG/ind...?type=products

There you will find a textbox, datepicker, combobox, masked edit box,

and a
check box as described above. And, please, please, please check out

the
.FlashControl property built into each of these controls. It makes

your
ErrorProvider control unnecessary and possibley obsolete. (It also

wastes
more form real estate).

So why I am telling you all this? Yes, I am using these controls,

not
yours. Problem is, they are not quite industrial-strength enough to

use

Maybe you should fix your controls rather than ask MS to completely
redesign the standard controls and do your development for you ?

--
Larry Lard
Replies to group please

Nov 21 '05 #7

P: n/a
Dear Dean,

"Dean Slindee" <sl*****@charter.net> wrote in message
news:VB******************@fe02.lga...
Does anybody know to whom I can send this letter so that it hits home
before
Visual Studio 2005 goes production?

Dear Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 developers,

This is a request for you to change four of the most basic controls to
improve them and make them more consistent amongst themselves.

I am speaking of the four controls into which text is entered:

a. Textbox
The textbox control in VS.NET beta 2 has the following border style
properties: none, fixedsingle, fixed3d; has a maxlength property with a
default of 32767 which can be changed, and has a text alignment property,
textalign left, textalign center, textalign right.
b. Masked Edit
The masked textbox control in VS.NET beta 2 has the following border style
properties: none, fixedsingle, fixed3d; has a maxlength property derived
from the textbox control that isn't supported by the designer's property
window, and has a text alignment property, textalign left, textalign center,
textalign right.
c. Combo Box
The combobox control in VS.NET beta 2 has the following flatstyle
properties, flat, standard, popup, and system; has a maxlength property that
can be changed; has a maximumsize and a minimumsize property; but doesn't
have a textalign property nor a border style property. It does have a flag
that changes whether the OS does or doesn't draw the control's elements in
the list, so you can get the text appearance that you want by subclassing
the control.

d. Date Time Picker
The datetime picker control in VS.NET beta2 has a maximumsize and a
minimumsize property. Having text appearance properties or methods by
default might be useful.
e. Check boxes (ok, so it's really five controls)
The Windows Forms checkbox control in VS.NET beta2 has the usual flatstyle
property values, has a flatappearance property that is modifiable, and has
the textalign property with nine possible alignment values.

snip

I will get off my soapbox now and await your reply.

Thank you for listening.

Dean Slindee


Thanks,

Charles
Nov 21 '05 #8

P: n/a
Dean,

I will not say should be, however when it is done for some than for all.

Cor
Nov 21 '05 #9

P: n/a

"Dean Slindee" <sl*****@charter.net> wrote in message
news:UT***********@fe06.lga...
Definitely disagree.

MS is the primary Windows control supplier. Their conrols need to be
improved and the controls also need to be designed to be more consistent
with each other. I am an application builder and do not want to reinvent
controls. What I want to do is point out to MS that even single
individuals
(in Estonia) are designing better controls than MS is, and it's time MS
made
some improvements. That way, both you and I can benefit, as well as our
users.

Dean Slindee


So, did you follow the links provided above and post your suggestion?

--
Peter [MVP Visual Developer]
Jack of all trades, master of none.
Nov 21 '05 #10

P: n/a
Dean,

I agree with you. The controls are not consistent and in all
applications I have built so far, I have to rebuild some of the
controls. I have built my masked text box (by the way, why the heck a
text box, label, panel etc can have only black border ???), and couple
of others controls. Now I am trying to build a panel that has
rounded edges (why everything has to be a square ???)

Somebody provided LumiSoft controls link in one of the posts above
and I find that their are quite good but they as well have some
drawbacks such us:

1. to close a combo or datetime picker you have to click on another
control - this is very, very bad
2. change dpi on your monitor and you will see what happens with
datetime picker controls, probably others as well
3. inside time control, to chenge from hours to minutes and to
seconds, you have to use mouse instead of control doing it for you by
itself like datetime picker does.

I am not using these but found these 3 problem just by testing them, I
bet there are more hidden issues.

I really think Microsoft should work on these issues. The controls
should allow us to customize they look (border color, border style
such as edged, rounded, bevel, etc) They have provided us with such a
great tool (vs.net) that is way more complex than the issues we are
bringing up here, so why not to fix them. It is benefits for both us
developers and microsoft, isnt' it.

_dino_

On Sun, 8 May 2005 21:06:18 -0500, "Dean Slindee"
<sl*****@charter.net> wrote:
Does anybody know to whom I can send this letter so that it hits home before
Visual Studio 2005 goes production?

Dear Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 developers,

This is a request for you to change four of the most basic controls to
improve them and make them more consistent amongst themselves.

I am speaking of the four controls into which text is entered:

a. Textbox

b. Masked Edit

c. Combo Box

d. Date Time Picker

e. Check boxes (ok, so it's really five controls)

Let's start with something I call an improvement: Let's stop wasting 4
pixels of valuable form real estate on each and every control listed above.
Here is the waste: it takes 3 pixels to draw a 3D border around each of
these controls (I guess that's where the "3" in 3D came from, huh?). But
seriously, if the border were drawn as a single pixel then it would take
only 2 pixels of form real estate to draw each control, not 6 pixels. Now,
when you multiply the number of controls on a form times 4 wasted pixels,
that equals a lot of wasted real estate on every form.

A 3D control border buys you nothing. Besides, the above five controls' 3D
appearance is inconsistent with that of tabpages, menu items, listviews,
toolbars, etc, etc. I think it's time we all abandon the archaic 3D look
and become good citizens of flatland. One exception is in order: allow both
flat and 3D buttons. Since a button's analogue in the real world is truly
3D, therefore, it should look like it needs to be pushed.

Now that we know how to reclaim four pixels per control, let's not stop
there. Why do text boxes have to be 20 pixels in height? There must be at
least 3 to 4 pixels of white space between the border and the text itself.
Let's standardize on an 18 pixel height for all of the four text controls.
There, we've saved another 2 pixels of real estate for every one of those
controls on every form. That leaves the 16x16 dropdown arrow icon as is, no
changes needed.

Now lets move on to the problem of consistency. Inconsistency in the
properties for these five (four) text controls is really a problem in Visual
Studio. Each of these controls should have the following properties:

a. FlatStyle (not for DatePicker)

b. BorderStyle = FixedSingle (not for DatePicker)

c. MaximumSize (overridden in ComboBox)

d. TextAlign (like label) text rides at bottom in DatePicker at 18
pixels height.

Since all of these text controls can and often do appear together on a
single form, all of them should be height-alignable and text-alignable to
make the best presentation. It is ridiculous to have to make them all 21
pixels in height just to match the combobox height.

Finally, if you would like to see how all of these controls should look
right now, before doing any control redesign or coding, may I refer you to
this web site: http://www.lumisoft.ee/lsWWW/ENG/ind...?type=products

There you will find a textbox, datepicker, combobox, masked edit box, and a
check box as described above. And, please, please, please check out the
.FlashControl property built into each of these controls. It makes your
ErrorProvider control unnecessary and possibley obsolete. (It also wastes
more form real estate).

So why I am telling you all this? Yes, I am using these controls, not
yours. Problem is, they are not quite industrial-strength enough to use in
enterprise applications. If you could only redesign your controls so that
they could look like these controls, and back them up with your
industrial-strength properties and methods, the world of application design
would be a much better looking, more real estate efficient, and a more
consistent place to develop in.

I will get off my soapbox now and await your reply.

Thank you for listening.

Dean Slindee


Nov 21 '05 #11

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.