The incredible missing Language Bar, Windows 7 Edition
by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/07/26 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/07/26/10189661.aspx
A few years ago, I wrote The incredible missing Language Bar.
It was about the complex story of the Language Bar and the times that it would stop appearing -- when it went missing.
And then a few days ago, jmdesp commented to that blog:
I'd love a Windows 7 update of this story. Especially for the case of a language bar that is missing for all applications, is still missing after a reboot (so the minimize theory doesn't seem to be working), but *does* get visible for elevation privilege requests (and only for them)
Well, new version makes for new rules -- and the old rules may no longer apply.
Now as near as I can tell, they had kind of a "no way to win" scenario down in Language Bar Land for Windows 7.
I mean, there was a slowly building groundswell of people who didn't like the shall we say "harder to support" features that the Language Bar provided.
People hated how their preferences were forgotten when they crossed the "1 to many" border for keyboards, in either direction. They hated how the UI was underfoot when they asked it not to be. And they hated how it simply disappeared seemingly without warning.
So what the owning team apparently did was they changed the rules....
For the people who never change any of the Language Bar settings, they get the old behavior.
On the other hand, for those who want it remembered that they enabled the Language Bar and asked for it on the Desktop, from this dialog:
The UI will always remember that you wanted to be on the desktop.
Even if you got rid of the extra keyboard(s) and then added it/them back later.
And for those who want it to be hidden?
Their Language Bar will always stay hidden, no matter how many input languages they add.
It was now smart enough to remember when you told it to GET LOST!
Until/unless they change this UI again, that is.
Okay, so from now on, the "missing Language Bar" can be deterministically returned to visibility, at will.
This is definitely an improvement, by the way!
Now this leaves one last problem, of course....
The one that jmdesp pointed out, about the privilege elevation requests.
The problem there is that everything that happens there happens in Session 0.
And though after painful bugs and time they have improved the communication between the session from which the elevation request came and Session 0 in regard to the available keyboards, several of the other "per user" settings such as the Language Bar visibility setting really couldn't be brought over as easily. So they basically didn't bring it over....
This can still lead to confusion occasionally, though a lot less often than the previous way.
In my opinion, all of this adds up to a net improvement. More deterministic, easier to fix problems when you get them.
But usage patterns vary. A LOT. So good for me may or may not be good for you, right?
So, is it good for you? How do you feel about all this?
Joshua on 26 Jul 2011 8:37 AM:
Meh. The second thing I do is turn off use secure desktop for UAC elevation as there's an unfixed accessibility bug. (The first thing is load HCB.)
Quppa on 26 Jul 2011 9:20 AM:
Am I the only one who is occasionally graced with a phantom English US input language that appears for seemingly no reason and refuses to go away until the machine is restarted (it doesn't appear in the 'installed services' list)? It wouldn't matter except it interrupts my alt-shift rhythm (which I press once to switch from my most commonly used language to my second most commonly used language, then twice to get back again, skipping a third language).
Michael S. Kaplan on 26 Jul 2011 10:56 AM:
It has been pointed out to me that the CredUI/ConsentUI pieces are a secure desktop analogous to but not the same as Session 0, which seems reasonable (obviously the known Session 0 keyboards don't pop up there, so this makes sense).
I suppose that makes the fact that the state info isn't also carried over a bit less reasonable, though I suspect it may be an intentional difference....
Niels on 26 Jul 2011 3:23 PM:
No you are not alone, in fact this blog post reminded me of that exact thing and I was just about to ask about it myself.
I eventually decided to set up hotkeys for the two input methods I usually switch between, so I won't have to worry about an English US keyboard suddenly appearing by itself.
It's worse when it happens e.g. for my father, who then calls because his keyboard is suddenly acting all weird.
r on 26 Jul 2011 7:16 PM:
Yeah, I get the thing with the US English keyboard adding itself too. Launching certain programs seems to be what triggers it. Since I never switch away from the Japanese keyboard, all it does is add a superfluous icon to the language bar.
Michael, do you know anything about this?
jmdesp on 27 Jul 2011 7:37 AM:
So thanks for the answer Mike, I already tried to add the following comment three time but it failed, trying again after a windows live connexion with some old ID.
So I forgot to tell about the most annoying part of my problem : I know perfectly well about that dialog box, the trouble is that the options there don't work, they don't even stick.
"Docked in the taskbar" appears as selected, if I change to "Floating on Desktop" nothing happens, even after applying, clicking OK, etc.
And if I come back to that dialog box, "Docked in the taskbar" is the slected option *again*.
If I try to change any of the three settings down, it's the same behaviour, closing/reopening the dialog always shows me the original values again, not the one I tried to select.
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