Thursday, May 12, 2011

And Now, For your Moment of Nerd

I have to rant about this. It annoys the hell out of me. And It is perpetual and easily fixable. And I don't say that glibly with programming items.

Window focus is that funny setting that pulls a dialog box or window to the front of your screen, above whatever else you're doing. You might recognize internet popups or login boxes as things that take focus, and assault you with their presence.  Usually, this is used when they are required obstacles in the way of your progress - or intentional annoyances intended to get you to BUY MORE SOMETHING.

Many windows in my life take focus. Outlook makes me log in. My VPN goes through a series of behaviors that spawn windows. Things make me hit okay, continue, save, etc. But here is my pet peeve:

a) If you're going to take focus, put my cursor anywhere near the right place. Outlook spawns a big login window, but my cursor isn't in the "username" box, so I invariably find myself typing my username and password into a now-hidden word or ppt doc in the background.

b) If you aren't actually demanding anything of me, do not take focus. My VPN launches about 5 separate windows as it boots, and they flash across my screen and take momentary focus. The problem is that I don't anticipate it (logging in takes a couple minutes) and continue typing in my email/chat/word window. Only what I type is temporarily diverted to the flashing VPN screens, thereby both losing my work and jacking up the login process in ways I can't explain. So I have to start over.

c) If you need focus, for goodness sake, take it. I can't tell you how often some add-printer process spawned a screen I needed to address - only it was underneath every other window in my world. Hunting for a dialog box that is NOT on my task bar is less than fun.

This has been my moment of nerd. Thank you for indulging me.

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