The Old New Thing

Why highlighting by inverting colors is a bad idea

Often people will say, "Oh, we can highlight by inverting the color." This may have worked great on two-color black-and-white displays, but in the world of 32-bit color this no longer is effective. Consider the following picture. See if you can guess which one is inverted...
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I thought you said people don't know how to read analog clocks

I had mentioned in passing in a comment on 10/10/2003 10:07PM that one of the reasons the clock on the taskbar isn't analog is that some disturbingly high percentage of people (30%? 40%? I forget exactly) do not know how to read an analog clock. Yet there is is in the Longhorn sidebar. ...

Drawing an active-looking caption even when not active

"Why would somebody ever want to do that?" you might ask. Well, this is a common appearance for floating toolbars. (But aside from that case, I can't think of any other valid reason to draw a window as active even though it isn't.) Fortunately this is easy to do. Just add this line to the WndProc...
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When vendors insult themselves

During Windows 95, when we were building the Plug and Play infrastructure, we got an angry letter from a hardware vendor (who shall remain nameless) complaining that we intentionally misspelled their company name in our INF files in a manner that made their company name similar to an insulting word...

Getting a custom right-click menu for the caption icon

Explorer does it. Now you can too. It's a simple matter of detecting a context menu on the caption icon and displaying a custom context menu. Here are the simple changes to our scratch program to display a rather pointless one-item menu. When we receive a WM_CONTEXTMENU ...
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Being the Nobel Peace Prize

For Hallowe'en this year, I'm going to be the Nobel Peace Prize. (I like being things that people would never even think of as a possible Hallowe'en costume. Last year, I was an inter-office envelope. People addressed me from place to place.) I chose the Nobel Peace Prize in part because...

Kinder Überraschungen

Laura John entertains her colleagues with Kinder Surprise eggs. I love these things. I understand that Kinder Surprise eggs are illegal in the US for two reasons. Whenever I go to Germany I smuggle some Kinder Überraschungen into the States. (Yes...

Writing a sort comparison function

When you are writing a sort comparison function (say, to be passed to ListView_SortItems or *gasp* to be used as an IComparer), your comparison function needs to follow these rules: Reflexivity: Compare(a, a) = 0. Anti-Symmetry: Compare(a, b) has the opposite sign of Compare(b, a), where 0 is considered to be its own opposite. Transitivity...
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