April 11, 2000
12:02 PM   Subscribe

Did you know that math is hard? Apparently this is true for windows applications. Thank you Microsoft, the best truly is yet (if ever) to come.
posted by plinth (16 comments total)

posted by sperare at 12:15 PM on April 11, 2000

Hold on -- that's a Netscape Navigator dialog box, not one from any Microsoft product. Microsoft can't protect users from math errors that programmers make; even the vaunted Netscape makes mistakes.

The fact that you're blaming this on Microsoft is sad.
posted by delfuego at 1:11 PM on April 11, 2000

I'm not sure about this one; isn't there a common API for those progress bars?

In any case, while this particular example may not be attributable to micros~1, it's absolutely undeniably the case that Windows Explorer has the most unreliable progress bars I've ever seen. They report "15 seconds remaining" for minutes at a time, for instance ...
posted by dhartung at 1:25 PM on April 11, 2000

No, the fact that this is considered acceptable behavior is pathetic.
posted by plinth at 1:26 PM on April 11, 2000

The photo is super imposed I tell you!
posted by Mark at 2:25 PM on April 11, 2000

I know Microsoft are far from perfect but....

Why don't you form a company to develop an OS.
Let's see how many mistakes *you* make.

Stop knocking...unless you can do better.
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:14 PM on April 11, 2000

Hey Tom,
You might consider that Plinth's programming background is such that he... can make some informed statements about this sort of thing... I've watched him in action, and given time, I'm pretty sure he could. Do better, that is.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 3:38 PM on April 11, 2000

It's not a math problem. 48157 is 67% of 71009. The progress bar's just fucked up, which is true for many Microsoft programs, like Dhartung mentioned.
posted by Awol at 4:11 PM on April 11, 2000

Sorry for the minor vitriol. I found this particular behavior shortly after I crashes MSDev (again) shortly after implementing a general plug-in architecture and implementing a feature to allow plug-ins files to be symbolic links to the actual plug-in and discovering that in order to expand a shortcut, you need a page of code (you should need no additional code or at most a few lines, but this is the nature of COM) which MS is kind enough to supply in their online documentation except that there are two versions of the sample code: 1 with 4 compile errors and one with 2.

Where was I? So yes, it was Netscape's dialog, but Microsoft's common control which was not functioning properly (although there is about a 50-50 chance for whose side of the fence the problem is on), but at times like this I do get uppity about software quality or lack thereof because the nature of my skills usually put me in the position of working around someone else's poor design.

Usually I just shake my head before taking the screen shots.
posted by plinth at 4:39 PM on April 11, 2000

I'm no programmer but I can say that my experience(s) with Unix have proven to me what a pathetic product Windows is. For people that never really experience much else I'd say a defense of their pretty Mac, or 'full-featured' Windows box is understandable. Check out this for further self-education. Linux, pine, vi, bash, rock my world and may well be the best products for a long time to come.
posted by greyscale at 7:25 PM on April 11, 2000

Speaking of software quality:

"If architects built buildings like programmers built software, the first woodpecker to come along would annihilate civilization." -- Nicholas Chase
posted by vitaminb at 7:26 PM on April 11, 2000

While I agree with you, Dan, that MSIE has some problems with their own scroll bars, it's terribly unfair to use a Netscape dialog and blame MS for it.

And yes, there is a common API for progress bars, plinth, but it's up to the programmer to update them correctly. Remember, the little numbers above the progress bar aren't linked to the progress bar unless there's code that does so explicitly -- you have to pass the max and current values into the API, and it will draw your bar for you. If Netscape isn't passing in the right max, then you'll get what you see -- it ain't Microsoft's fault. (Yep, I've made many many dialogs with that same API and control, and I've never seen an instance where it does the math wrong, unless I'm passing in an idiotic value. Programmer's error.

I reiterate -- I doubt seriously that Microsoft's control is responsible for that dialog box. (And, given the major other problems throughout Netscape's UI, I lean even more towards that being the problem.)
posted by delfuego at 7:35 PM on April 11, 2000

Here's a "math is hard" screengrab you can't possibly blame on Microsoft, no matter how much fun it is to blame stuff on them... I'll be disappointed when HomeSite 5 comes out and I have to upgrade to a stingier trial version.
posted by Sapphireblue at 9:24 PM on April 11, 2000

I just wanted to jump in to say that the very idea that you shouldn't criticize something unless you can do better is moronic.
posted by rafeco at 6:52 AM on April 12, 2000

How so Rafeco?

posted by tomcosgrave at 12:05 PM on April 12, 2000

It makes sense to me... if I go into surgery to set a badly broken leg and when I wake up I find they've just amputated it, I don't have to understand how to fix a greenstick fracture to tell the doctor that he's an idiot and my lawyer will have his Beemer.

And to make an analogy a little more on-topic: I couldn't write a web browser if my life depended on it but that's not stopped me for a second in bitching about how awful Netscape 4 is for the last... how long's it been out? Anyway.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:20 PM on April 12, 2000

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