*Not* new in Vista SP1 -- the Add font dialog....

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/09/25 03:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/09/25/5111148.aspx

Regular reader Ivan Petrov asked over in the Suggestion Box:

Hi Michael :-)

Are there going to be any changes in Vista SP1 to the UI of the Add font dialog?



Sorry Ivan, Vista SP1 has a very hardcore philosophical principle -- no features, only bugs, and even then only serious regression bugs with no backcompat consequences.

Given that, the Add Font dialog (which has for the most part sucked since its design was finalized back in Windows 3.1 and although some updates have happened as I talked about in About the Fonts folder in Windows, Part 2 (aka Adding Fonts), hardly qualifies as a serious regression (indeed as any kind of regression) or as anything but a feature.

The whole folder and the dialog actually belong to the Shell team (not the Typography team), and as such has really not had much opportunity for growth or change other than some of the behind-the-scenes changes mentioned in that post above. Until and unless that ever changed, it is hard to see how the dialog really could do much....


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# Mike Dimmick on 25 Sep 2007 5:57 AM:

And as always, it's a little bit of a wart that very few people will ever see - most fonts are installed with applications through an application installer. I must confess I don't know how standalone fonts purchased online are installed. Even if you just have a set of .otf/.ttf files you can simply drag them to the Fonts folder, although this is actually a little difficult to find in Windows XP if you're using the new Control Panel (click Appearance and Themes, then Fonts under See Also in the left-hand pane). This can be a bit alien to Windows users who don't install software by dragging and dropping!

But it does bring to mind the 'broken windows' theory, that if this has been 'missed', what else has? Yes, I know: it hasn't changed because it works and is so infrequently used. It's jarring because of the major changes to other things that already worked.

I was discussing this with some others on Codeproject the other day and linked to Eric Sink's article 'Act Your Age' (http://software.ericsink.com/Act_Your_Age.html) in which he advises that if you're trying to sell to the mass market, Pragmatists and Conservatives (and let's face it, Microsoft are trying to sell Windows to the Laggards these days), you need to be very careful what you change. Quote:

"In the Pragmatists and Conservatives stage, listen even more carefully.  These people are nothing like you.  You're a geek and you enjoy technology for its own sake.  They just want their problems solved, and they don't care in the slightest about the religious wars we fight amongst ourselves.  Don't assume you know anything about the problems they're facing.  Oh and by the way, we're the ones who are abnormal, not them.

"Remember, Pragmatists are practical.  They want no-nonsense solutions to their problems.  If you throw in a feature just because one of your developers thinks it was cool, the Pragmatists will not be impressed.

"If you're selling to the Conservatives, don't start making gratuitous changes.  Conservatives are like cats -- if you move too fast, you'll scare them."

You moved too fast. Changed too much. Customers are scared. A lot of them are sticking with Windows XP because they trust it. Don't pull the rug.

# Andrew on 25 Sep 2007 9:17 AM:

I would consider this feature broken.

I have about 1000 fonts installed and have a folder with about 1100 fonts and want to install only the ones that I don't have.

Using the dialog that comes with windows I get confirmation 1000 times if I want to replace the font. If I say "No" the entire operation is cancelled with only the fonts that I said yes to installed.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Sep 2007 9:21 AM:

Hey Andrew -- Yes, but is it a regression? That is a bug that has been around since the beginning!

I agree in that it is in my opinion a bug and has been in every version, but justifying a fix in a service pack requires more than there being a bug, it requires justification for why it should be fixed NOW in particular....

# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Sep 2007 9:22 AM:

Hey Mike --

This is an issue for its own blog post, I think, one planned for tomorrow based on some family conversations I have been having....

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referenced by

2008/03/21 Did UnC "My name is URL" on TV the other day? Fontastic!

2007/09/25 They say 'No news is good news', right? Unfortunately, here is some news

2007/09/25 Also *not* new in Vista SP1 -- Bulgarian keyboard layouts

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