Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Look harder

Windows Vista has search boxes everywhere. While this is nice, I have little use for it. I meticulously organize things. My Start menu is slim, trimmed, and efficient. I keep my inbox empty and my emails painstakingly sorted. Given just about any file on my computer, I usually know right where it is. I'm just organized like that.

But one place where I really, really like the feature is the Add or Remove Programs control panel, now the Programs and Features control panel. The things in there I don't have control over, and thus I often can't find what I'm looking for. The latest release of WPF/E (it doesn't matter what that is) requires that I uninstall the previous version. Oh, okay, I'll just do that.

But wait... where is it? I've got a billion programs in that list. Before Vista I'd have to first wait a ridiculously long time for the dialog to come up in the first place, and then I'd have to scan through the awful dialog alphabetically. (At least it's easier to read than the awful version from Windows 95...) But you never know where things are going to be sorted. Where's WPF/E?

Is it under Microsoft WPF/E?
Is it under WPF/E?
It's an unreleased product. Is it under Microsoft Codename WPF/E?
Is it under Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere?

All of those things are possible, so you have to either read every item in the list, or find at least those four places and look for it. As it turns out, in this particular example, you'd still not find it. It turns out that it's...

"WPF/E" (codename) Community Technology Preview (Feb 2007)

Ugh. Because of the quotation mark, it doesn't sort with any of the possibilities I listed above. On any previous release of Windows, it would be a pain. But, in Vista, you just click in the search box and type wpf and you find it.

This is the way things should be. It's a pity that search boxes were so rare until the past few years.

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