Intentional, or maybe not. Hard to say from the outside....

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/09/24 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

There are a lot of things that happen between versions of a product like Windows.

Not all of them are especially noteworthy in a way to end up in any kind of product review or documentation.

One of the things that happens that would fall into this category would be small incremental improvements based on complaints from customers.

Sometimes though, whether the "improvement" is actually better in terms of what it gives the user is unclear, especially when one has small behavior changes.

It can even make one suspect that the change itself was unintentional, like perhaps a side effect of other, planned changes.

At that point, there is little to do but have it end up in a KB article.

Or a blog. :-)

For example, take the following report:

OS: Windows Server 2003 (can also reproducible on Windows XP)

Issue: When we set customized settings for Regional and Language options , the customized settings, in particular currency settings are not saved.

Details: From the main page "Regional Options" We select a value from the top drop down menu, say English (United States), click on Customize and go to currency tab. We change the value from default $ to some other. Click on apply and ok. We go back to main page.

After this, from the drop down menu for  "select an item to match its preferences", click on some other value, say English (United Kingdom) and even without clicking on ok or apply, click the drop down menu and select the previous value, i.e. English(United States) and the customized settings we did earlier for that will be reset back to default, i.e. it will show as $.

I am able to reproduce this on my Windows Server 2003 SP2 machine as well as we have tested this on Customer's XP machine as well.

However, I am not able to reproduce it on my Windows 7 machine as the customization once set will remain the same and we have additional reset button under customization which will reset it back to default. May be the absence of reset button is the reason behind this behavior on Windows Server 2003 / XP machines.

This is a perfect example. Prior versions has noted the strange inconsistencies with multiple level apply buttons and the fact that settings were not retained when someone might expect them to be.

And with some of the many changes underneath Regional and Language Options, they were saving more of the interim state prior to that main "Apply" button on the main dialog.

Now I know for fact that people have complained about the general issues with state in the control panel applet -- between the changes that temporarily get applied and then get rolled back on cancel, the ones that you hit the apply button but then cancel after a "nested apply", the changes that happen instantly and affect the clock in the system tray.... Many people fined the behavior confusing.

I don't know whether the reported change was intended or not, for what it is worth.

I know that some of the internal changes to Region and Language that happened in Vista required information to be cached a little differently, so perhaps it is a side effect of that.

Or perhaps it was intentional. Though to be honest it occurs rarely enough that the only time it would be really useful would be when there were many changes being made -- which would be even more rare.

One time the change truly comes in handy? If you have many changes, some of which you are copying from other locales! You can make a change, look at the other locale, make the next change, and so on. Not too common, but I can see that being useful....

I'll be honest, I have no idea if it was done on purpose or not.

What do you think?

And do you like change to this one part of the "state inconsistency cloud" in the interface?

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