Instead of Regional [and Language] Options, we now have Language Options!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/11/02 01:01 -04:00, original URI:

Speaking of user interface simplification changes in Windows 8....

Remember this one?

This is UI that < 5% of all users ever launched, and < 5% of that tiny group ever modified the settings.

And half of them undid the changes after that!

Really, they want this to be less common.

Thus the new default Match Windows Display Language (Recommended) setting.

Over here:

This UI shows a LOT of language stuff, such as:

 There's more, but I can get into the rest some other time.

I have mixed feelings about this new user interface -- some good, and some bad.

How do others feel about it?

Doug Ewell on 2 Nov 2012 8:14 AM:

I can't tell; too much of the new dialog is in Cherokee.

I'm one of the 5%, of course. I don't know if that's better or worse than being one of the 47%.

I still don't understand why the default U.S. long date format—the one you say 95% will bother to never change and another 2.5% will put back the way it was—uses "dd" for the day number. Who writes today's date as "Friday, November 02, 2012" with the leading zero? Anybody? "Typical U.S. users," as the association with region implies?

Doug Ewell on 2 Nov 2012 8:23 AM:

Oh wait, there it is in English, several blogs down.

Anyway, the added convenience (or not) of these dialogs isn't for "all users." It's for users who need to change their language settings more than once per OS release, and that's 5% at best. So focus on what those users prefer, and just channel your inner Mitt and don't worry about the other 95%.

ErikF on 2 Nov 2012 8:26 PM:

I'm one of those <5% as well; I want to use English (Canada) but I hate the default date and time formats so change them right away to "yyyy-MM-dd" and "HH:mm:tt" for the short formats, and "dd MMMM yyyy" and "HH:mm:tt" for the long formats. Actually, it's interesting to note the programs that break when I do this; at work our ticketing system falls to pieces with my preferred date format!

(My pet peeve with the standard US and UK formats is that I can never tell at a glance what 02/11/2012 means. Is it 11 February or 2 November? But I realize that some things will never change and have come to grips with the fact that I'll be wrong 50% of the time.)

Doug Ewell on 5 Nov 2012 8:00 AM:

@ErikF: so you do prefer the two-digit date ('dd') with leading zero? Today is "05 November 2012" to you?

ErikF on 7 Nov 2012 4:55 PM:

@Doug: Actually, I do. I find that it helps when I'm scanning through long lists of dates (I don't have to concentrate very hard to distinguish between 1 and 10-19, for example.) I admit that my preferences are strange, but at least I have the ability to change the format, at least for most programs.

Doug Ewell on 8 Nov 2012 9:10 AM:

@ErikF: "at least I have the ability to change the format, at least for most programs." Absolutely agree that those of us in the 5% should be able to customize things. (I use 'yyyy-MM-dd' and 'H:mm:ss'.) But I still suspect the leading zero is not what the 95% really prefer.

Matthew Slyman on 15 Apr 2013 9:47 AM:

When one selects "Add an input method", one can see that the built-in keyboard layouts from Microsoft have been annotated with metadata about which general family of layouts they belong to (QWERTY, AZERTY, Dvorak etc.). Windows 8/ Office 2013 generally does a much better job at standardizing keyboard shortcuts across the platform than previous versions did (according to my testing the standardization appears to depend on this metadata).

I have been developing customized keyboard layouts using MSKLC 1.4 and the new KbdEdit Premium. Neither of these programs is able to add the layout family metadata, which instead appears as "Keyboard". The shortcuts (as in previous versions of Windows and Office) are then inconsistent between applications, and totally unpredictable. As a key design objective of my layouts, they must be 100% compatible drop-in replacements of the existing US-Dvorak layout (only, with extra diacritics, accents, international/mathematical/scientific/currency/commercial symbols etc.; using dead keys extensively in a fairly logical method of character-composition).

My wife is mightily confused when she tries to hijack my development machine to look at recipes, only to find that I've got my layout set to one of my experimental options rather than the built-in US-Dvorak layout where the Windows shortcuts work with my Dvorak-keycapped keyboard! Should I regard this "security feature" as a BENEFIT of not being able to set the metadata, or, is there a way to get my layouts into keyboard-layout-Nirvana? Neither me nor the friendly developer of KbdEdit have been able to find out this secret knowledge yet...

go to newer or older post, or back to index or month or day