Microsoft Bad Design Perpetuation. Again.

17 01 2005

It boggles me how, in this modern day and age, corporations can still consider Microsoft a true source of quality software.

I am an online VAR for a credit card processing service. Part of their service is being able to go online and view residual reports. Sounds fine. When i view the page, the font is incredibly tiny. Fortunately, Firefox has ye ole magical Control-+ function, which zooms the fonts up one notch.

I decided to do a little investigation. Using the web developer plugin, I viewed the sites stylesheet (yes, they actually did use a stylesheet, though they also used in-stream styles, and table layouts out the wazoo). I found these gems:

font-size: 7pt;
font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

Searching for the source of this offense, it became clear in the header of the HTML page:

<meta name="GENERATOR" Content="Microsoft Visual Studio 7.0">
<meta name="CODE_LANGUAGE" Content="C#">

Tell me again why people would use a Microsoft product when the result of said product is CRAP like this? Oh yes. “Long as it looks fine on my IE, it must be okay!” – Doesn’t matter it has 3x as much code as is necessary, and huge chunks of the code is CRAP.




2 responses

17 01 2005
Brad Wilson

In fairness, there are plenty of tools that allow you to write crappy CSS. It’s not exclusive to Microsoft. It’s also possible to write perfectly compliant HTML & Firefox friendly CSS in Visual Studio, if that’s what you want.
There are reasons to tear into Microsoft, but this isn’t really one of them.

17 01 2005

Brad sez…
There are reasons to tear into Microsoft, but this isn’t really one of them.
While I understand the sentiment of your comment, I don’t agree. Microsoft should realize that their tools are generally used in their default configurations, with very little tweaking by a generally unsophisticated userbase. This is the case because said userbase trusts Microsoft to ‘do the right thing’ for them. They shouldn’t have to tweak or tune what the tool is offering, it should do the right thing to begin with.
Naturally, it is possible to use tools to write good or bad code – such is the nature of a tool – it’s not the tool, it’s the user. However, if the operator has a general expectation that the tool will do something correctly, isn’t it appropriate to assume the tool will do so? In this case, I feel the tool (Visual Studio) has NOT done the right thing, and the developer will never be the wiser, because ‘it looks fine to them’.

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