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Why Microsoft Developers Need a Style Guide

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the offense-is-the-worst-thing-in-the-world dept.

Businesses 262

snydeq writes "What your interface communicates to users can be just as important as what your software does, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister in discussing the latest edition of the 'Microsoft Manual of Style', a style guide aimed at designers and developers who create Microsoft software, as well as those who write about it. 'The gist of much of Microsoft's advice is that a user's relationship with computer software is a unique one, and it's important to craft the language of software UIs accordingly,' McAllister writes. 'Occasionally, Microsoft's recommendations verge on the absurd. For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'"

cancel ×

262 comments

Obviously it is... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014043)

You silly open source GIMP developers...

Re:Obviously it is... (0, Offtopic)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014363)

I don't know what problems you have with a narrow ornamental fabric or braid of silk, wool, or cotton, often stiffened with metallic wire or coarse cord running through it, used as trimming for dresses, curtains, furniture, etc.

Re:Obviously it is... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014441)

writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister in discussing the latest edition of the 'Microsoft Manual of Style', a style guide aimed at designers and developers who create Microsoft software

So if you don't work at Redmond for Microsoft Inc. then none of this matters to you?

Oh wait, they meant to say Windows software. Just more shitty Slashdot editing.

Nobody is happy (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014045)

The only intuitive interface is the anus, and even people like goatse mess it up.

When loading a kernel module... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014047)

Cancel, or "pimp this bitch"

Re:When loading a kernel module... (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014981)

"It looks like you're trying to write a letter expressing your dissatisfaction with an escort service. Would you like help trying to bitch out this pimp?"

I have an idea for the style guide (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014057)

How about, when naming variables, you have to put the first letter of the typename in the start of the variable name!

And then later let's change the types in the API but keep the unmatching old names for compatibility!

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (5, Funny)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014197)

I don't know, I found the chapter on EnterpriseInterfaceThunkClassEnterpriseGeneratorCOMParameterInterfaceThunk32 COM_Enterprise_Enterprize_ENTERPRISE very illuminating.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014259)

How about, when naming variables, you have to put the first letter of the typename in the start of the variable name!

Hungarian notation isn't about using the typename at all.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014403)

How about, when naming variables, you have to put the first letter of the typename in the start of the variable name!

Hungarian notation isn't about using the typename at all.

Please tell that to Microsoft.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014459)

How about, when naming variables, you have to put the first letter of the typename in the start of the variable name!

Hungarian notation isn't about using the typename at all.

Please tell that to Microsoft.

When reading through this [microsoft.com] you misconstrued references to the word 'type' mean 'typename'?

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (2, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014957)

As an old classic Visual Basic programmer, there was a good reason to use hungarian notation. You had a sorted dropdown list of the classes/types, from which after choosing one, could then choose the method/property to implement in an adjacent dropdown list. Point being, your textboxes were grouped together and your enums were grouped together, and so on. It made managing the code easier.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (5, Informative)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015037)

There were a lot of who went through college in the early-mid 90s where Hungarian notation was considered proper software development and scores were marked down in various programming classes if you didn't adhere to it. It was the late-90s/early-2000s when people apparently discovered that it was a very, very bad idea especially as we refactored 5-10 year old code. Now it seems we're happy if you just use camel-case.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014365)

I find this is only useful for weak-typed languages, and not-tiny project.
If your project is tiny, then it's easy to follow variables (I mean, small almost-script sort of things).
If it's stronly typed, there's no sense it adding this to the variable name: use a better IDE if you don't know what a variable is at a certain point.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014881)

If it's stronly typed, there's no sense it adding this to the variable name: use a better IDE if you don't know what a variable is at a certain point.

No, there would be no sense adding it if it were the typename, but it isn't. For example a long representing the column width isn't lColWidth or lWidth it would be colWidth because it's the 'kind' (since people often interpret 'type' in this context to mean 'typename') of thing being represented, not the way it is being represented.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015057)

I find this is only useful for weak-typed languages, and not-tiny project.

still utterly useless to stick type into the variable name, for example look at python.

if you don't know what type a variable is you probably don't know what it's actually doing or actually representing and you should not be screwing with it until you do.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014391)

Static variable types are so 1995.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (1)

jedwidz (1399015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014533)

Static variable types are so 2025.

FTFY

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014583)

Please cite an API released by Microsoft in the last 5 years that uses Hungarian notation.

You must be one of those people who are trapped in 1995, and make jokes about Windows giving a BSOD.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014681)

Shut up, jackass.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (-1, Offtopic)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015103)

I concur.

Re:I have an idea for the style guide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39015017)

Damnit. Your witty comment caused my computer to BSOD

AFD.SYS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014059)

AFD.SYS does not mean "Ancillary Function Driver"... but you didn't hear that from me.

Rude words (5, Informative)

madprof (4723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014065)

Obviously they do have to put in the bit about not using words that some might find offensive in case someone, having a bad day, put it in and they had no come back.
It's quite incredible what some developers, at any size of company, will do sometimes.

Re:Rude words (5, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014143)

What if you are actually writing software for a pimp or dog breeding?

Re:Rude words (2)

madprof (4723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014175)

Then it would be in context and no one would find it offensive.

Oh hang on I'm supposed to come up with a witty reply, not a dull one. :)

Re:Rude words (5, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014189)

Then you use neutral terminology, like 'executive-level sex worker' and 'that one secretary who talks too much.'

Re:Rude words (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014869)

What if you are actually writing software for a pimp or dog breeding?

Use string variables.

Re:Rude words (-1, Troll)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014867)

So, Leftists do everything possible to cajole corporations into being as soul-crushing as possible, and then complain that corporations are soul-crushing and work in contemporary America is boring. Brilliant.

Re:Rude words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39015023)

So, Leftists do everything possible to cajole corporations into being as soul-crushing as possible, and then complain that corporations are soul-crushing and work in contemporary America is boring. Brilliant.

nah, that's your (usually conservative) PTA mothers, etc. Reading dirty words written by the sinner programmers gets them all up in arms. Just to make sure nice Johnny Appleseed doesn't hear such horrible cursing, Microsoft took an extra step towards keeping him safe and out of trouble!

Re:Rude words (2)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015187)

I take it that this is sarcasm, although having long lost faith in humanity, I am no longer sure.

Re:Rude words (1)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015135)

And then they mod you down if you dare point it out.

There goes my DirectX game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014077)

'Pimp the Bitch'

They are bad at naming things. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014093)

Take the 'Malicious Software Removal Tool' for one example. Sounds to me like a malicious program that goes and removes software from your computer. They should have called it the 'Tool for Removing Malicious Software'. I look at such ambiguity with a laugh. I recently had a dialogue box on my computer saying something along the lines of "Problem Reporting _____". (I forget the exact text.) Does that mean that the system is reporting a problem, or having a problem reporting? Considering that most users of the software are not experts, they should try harder to make things less confusing.

Re:They are bad at naming things. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014203)

>Take the 'Malicious Software Removal Tool' for one example. Sounds to me like a malicious program that goes and removes software from your computer

Thank you for your bad ass-insight [xkcd.com] .

Re:They are bad at naming things. (5, Funny)

adjuster (61096) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014343)

Reminds me of the short-lived Critical Update Notification Tool Microsoft released back in the early 2000's. (Yeah-- they really named it that, though they _quickly_ backpedaled on the name...)

Re:They are bad at naming things. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014475)

Maybe that's when they added the part about offensive names into their guidelines.

Re:They are bad at naming things. (2)

bsims (895751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014535)

And who can forget Microsoft Services for Unix... with the offical abbriviation of SFU

Re:They are bad at naming things. (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014613)

I wonder what reason they gave in the memo announcing the change.

I remember how an electrical wholesaling industry association set up their first computerized order system which they called the Direct Order Entry Processing System.

In the memo they said they changed it because it was "too hard to pronounce."

Re:They are bad at naming things. (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014715)

Considering that a fair number of MS coders are apparently not experts, I always assumed the ambiguity was intentional, or at least the best they could muster.

Re:They are bad at naming things. (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014833)

Take the 'Malicious Software Removal Tool' for one example. Sounds to me like a malicious program that goes and removes software from your computer.

The name accurately describes what the software does and how. Your explanation that it is a malicious tool that removes software is correct. Your mistake is to assume it is a tool to remove malicious software.

Re:They are bad at naming things. (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014895)

Got a link for more info? Not only have I never encountered a false positive from that tool, I've never seen it have any effect at all, even on obviously infected machines.

Re:They are bad at naming things. (1)

Rashkae (59673) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014853)

I just had to deal with Microsoft Security essentials, i it's default settings, deleting an entire Thunderbird Inbox when it detected a virus attachment. (not quarantined, mind you, deleted, with no warning or message other than a little note in history log.) As far as I'm concerned, your first impression is not too far off the mark.

Re:They are bad at naming things. (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015127)

They should have called it the 'Tool for Removing Malicious Software'

I'm sorry, you'll have to take up your grievance with Richard Stallman; Apparently GPLv3 is the only license allowed for derivatives acronyms such as TRMS.

Bad title (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014123)

I just want to go on record as saying I hate this headline. I didn't pick it. Furthermore, I don't think there's anything in particular about Microsoft developers that makes them "need a style guide" more than anybody else, and that notion had absolutely nothing to do with my column. I just thought it was interesting that a Microsoft style guide exists, that it's available for sale, and that it has some interesting stuff in it about writing for software UIs that a lot of developers probably don't think about. That's about it.

Re:Bad title (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014229)

Why is this for sale? You'd think they would want more well-designed software for their platform, especially with Metro just around the corner.

Re:Bad title (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014371)

Wouldn't that be why it's for sale, instead of remaining, say, a Microsoft internal document?

Re:Bad title (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014743)

I believe the parent was wondering why they are offering it for a price, rather than for free.

Re:Bad title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014855)

Oh, in that case - it is because people only value something with a price. For example, if a new Hollywood movie was released with a price of FREE nobody (well almost nobody) would want it. If it was released with a price of $19.99, lots of people want it. Some buy it, some pirate it - but they want it. For this thing, probably nobody cares if you just pirate the guide. The price is just to make sure you want it.

Re:Bad title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014921)

... So if someone in Hollywood suddenly goes crazy and releases Next Big Blockbuster free, noone will watch it.

Also, that explains why there's no free (as in beer) software whatsoever - nobody wants it, as there is no price.

Free and pay-whatever-you-want e-books and other artistic works are also non-existant.

Re:Bad title (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39015107)

I think the implication here is that you should give away your style guide for free to give every developer access to it, hopefully leading to a more cohesive platform experience.

Re:Bad title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014239)

Welcome to Slashdot. A wasteland of bigotry and ugliness. Anything to get the hits. But what else can you expect out of a Wall Street held company?

Re:Bad title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014249)

Microsoft's had a style guide forever. Motif had a style guide. 15 years ago when a was writing GUI application every serious publisher of GUI-based OS or API had a style guide. It's the best way to encourage consistency across applications and the accompanying documentation. Does that not happen anymore? I'd have thought Microsoft or Apple NOT having a style guide would be news-worthy, but this is like mentioning the sky is blue.

Re:Bad title (5, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014349)

It's the best way to encourage consistency across applications and the accompanying documentation. Does that not happen anymore?

no, it doesn't happen anymore. The original style guide was good - it said how much space to leave around the edges of dialogs, how big to make buttons and where to put the ok/cancel buttons. the end result was an overall look and feel that made sense no matter which application you used, and that meant TCO was reduced as users knew how to use it.

Fast forward to the XAML/WPF/C# era and all that went out the window in favour of "rich" UIs where you have a stupid coloured orb that everyone thinks is decoration until you realise it's the main system menu, and every application has a different set of awful skins.

I would hope (haven't read it) that this redresses the balance.

Re:Bad title (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014831)

What the fuck dick lily shit are you smoking? Cock? Have you used Windows in the last thousand years, or do you straight up believe the neckbeard penis in your ass?

Re:Bad title (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39015133)

I just thought it was interesting that a Microsoft style guide exists, that it's available for sale

Believe it or not, the style guide has been around since Windows 3.1 days. We used it as the basis of our GUI design back then (essentially it described what would eventually become the "Windows Classic" theme).

These days I work with Java (*shudder*). We Java Dev's don't need a style guide - because there are too many other fricken problems to worry about to have time to waste on "Style". (Like Why The F#$# did my form just become 3km wide?)

Master/slave (5, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014127)

Similarly, the relationship between USB peripherals could be described as "master/slave," but these terms could also be considered offensive. (The "Microsoft Manual of Style" says such language is prohibited in "at least one U.S. municipality.")

Dear Neil McAllister,

That terminology originally comes from disk drive buses, and the municipality is Los Angeles [snopes.com] . Are you really a tech writer?

Sincerely,

Suspicious

Re:Master/slave (4, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014161)

Addendum:

Huh?

Dear Neil McAllister,

Netscape named their implementation of ECMAScript as 'JavaScript' as the result of a cross-promotional stunt with Sun. Netscape was bought by AOL. AOL merged with Time-Warner. This merger was the largest acquisition in business history. I can't believe you don't know this.

Sincerely,

Thinking You Were Born Yesterday, Or Perhaps Last Week At The Earliest

Re:Master/slave (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014167)

Missing context that Slashdot ate:

This howler stuck out, in particular: "JScript is the Microsoft implementation of the ECMAScript scripting language specification, an open standard. Do not refer to it as 'JavaScript,' which is the corresponding implementation by Time Warner." Huh?

Re:Master/slave (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014837)

I would also say, "Huh?"

Yes, I'm *quite* aware of the history, thanks very much, and I still say "Huh?", a fish-and-bicycles sort of "Huh?" to be more precise.

"Ownership of a few leftovers of corporate leftovers long after the fact" != "originate" or "develop" or "maintain".

Re:Master/slave (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014861)

That's legalese for you.

Re:Master/slave (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014237)

Netscape named their implementation of ECMAScript as 'JavaScript' as the result of a cross-promotional stunt with Sun.

Except I seem to recall JavaScript pre-dated ECMAScript - and the ECMAScript Wikpedia page [wikipedia.org] seems to support my recollection of the timing.

The naming was certainly a promotional stunt, though.

Re:Master/slave (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014411)

Netscape named their implementation of ECMAScript as 'JavaScript' as the result of a cross-promotional stunt with Sun. Netscape was bought by AOL. AOL merged with Time-Warner. This merger was the largest acquisition in business history. I can't believe you don't know this.

Maybe he was pointing out that the AOL/Time Warner acquisition happened after Netscape's JavaScript was released?

Re:Master/slave (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014183)

Considering it is still utilized in USB specification ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_On-The-Go [wikipedia.org] ), and that Master/Slave annoyances that all of us have lived with from disk (disc? ;) drives have thankfully been obsoleted with SATA, I'd say Author of TFA is doing a fine job of drawing on currently relevant subject matter, rather than trying to relate content in Microsoft's latest style manual to someone who's stuck in the days of IDE.

Re:Master/slave (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014219)

That's a fair criticism, but the prohibition was originally about IDE, and it was pretty widely known when it happened. One should always hesitate and do research before publishing a suggestion that something is absurd or outlandish.

Re:Master/slave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014597)

from disk (disc? ;)

FYI, it's "disk" if it's a hard drive and "disc" if it's a CD or a DVD.

Re:Master/slave (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014185)

Please explain how the wording and research of a the content of a quote is the writers fault?

Re:Master/slave (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014285)

Please explain how the wording and research of a the content of a quote is the writers fault?

It isn't, but it makes one hell of a fallacious attack :)

My embarrassment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014275)

Once when discussing hard drives and controllers, I asked my co-workers, "It is primary/secondary and off of those master/slave or the other way around? I don't do hardware enough to remember those things."

One of my co-workers was African American and after that came out of my white mouth, I regretted it: not because I'm PC or anything but because I truly respected him and admired his skill as an engineer.

My African American co-worker being an uber-geek-professional and without missing a beat answered it.

I really hate the whole race relations in America.

Say what you will about Obama and his polices, but having a black President has really helped us as a people in the States and I hope it has added to the healing.

Re:Master/slave (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014283)

Master/slave terminology is still in vogue to describe field bus topology in the industrial automation industry. Apparently those old modbus guys didn't get the memo. And Crenshaw Blvd. has yet to be offended by those old engineers.

Re:Master/slave (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014333)

That terminology originally comes from disk drive buses

He's obviously not disputing that, you're quite clearly missing the point.

Re:Master/slave (3, Informative)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014877)

That terminology originally comes from disk drive buses

It's much older than that [historyoftechnology.org] .

You may scoff, but style is everything (4, Funny)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014133)

Choose the single leg double-hand overarm for distance.
Or, if you want maximum impact, and hence noise when the chair lands, go for height: a full seat grab upper thrust is your best option.
Then there's the full intimidator, often accompanied with shrieks alluding to colorfully burying someone whilst holding it by two legs high above your head - this move requires two full laps of the office before deployment.

Shorter version (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014171)

Why MS devs need a style guide: they thought the ribbon was a good idea. 'Nuff said.

If it's in the Style Guide, it actually happened.. (4, Interesting)

DontScotty (978874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014217)

And - people can not avoid or fix mistakes which they do not know about.

Silence on an issue = consent. So, if MSFT had not mentioned avoiding "'pimp' or 'bitch"; someone raised in an environment where that was ok - (looking at you, teens and young twenty-somethings who grew up saying "That's Gay" when you meant wrong, bad, or odd) may not fully realize the problem with borderline and unacceptable language.

Example: Error Message = "What a bitch! Just dumped a debug file in my program folder" or in the HELP>ABOUT saying "Hey, if you want additional functionality, allow me to pimp the ENHANCED version @ paymemorecash.local"

Re:If it's in the Style Guide, it actually happene (3, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014569)

while the derogatory terms etc may seem obvious, there are plenty of less obvious mistakes that people fall into. For instance we used naming conventions on errors in on of our production applications that referred to greek mythology and specifically the underworld. It came as quite a shock when we received official complaints from religious nutcases that said they were offended by our blasphemy. Since then we have had to rewrite a lot of that to use far more boring errors.

Re:If it's in the Style Guide, it actually happene (1)

DontScotty (978874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014611)

"came as quite a shock"

Probably better said than what I wrote. When you are generating something for mass consumption, you have to guard the sensibilities of the most sensitive persons.

Of course, one could go on their own rebellious way, and have a small but loyal cult following - however I believe most of the code written for programs is destined to be seen by more than the general three-close-friends.

Re:If it's in the Style Guide, it actually happene (0)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014761)

So, if MSFT had not mentioned avoiding "'pimp' or 'bitch"; someone raised in an environment where that was ok - (looking at you, teens and young twenty-somethings who grew up saying "That's Gay" when you meant wrong, bad, or odd) may not fully realize the problem with borderline and unacceptable language.

That's retarded... You and your Political Correctness police can go to hell.

If you want language guidelines, the proper thing to do is just state that ALL SLANG IS VERBOTTEN in business environments. Problem solved.

The other problem is non-native speakers. You can only do so much to protect them from themselves. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go do the needful...

Re:If it's in the Style Guide, it actually happene (2)

DontScotty (978874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014847)

It's not MY political correctness police.

These have become social norms. Norms, that you are FREE to violate. However, violation may come at a cost.

If you are self-employed, you may lose customers.
If you are an employee, you may lose your employment.

I've LOST positions due to language issues/barriers. I'm pretty sure other people have as well.

Much the same way as "http://hothardware.com/News/Tweet-Your-Way-to-Losing-a-Job-Offer/"

McAllister's an ID10T (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014291)

'Occasionally, Microsoft's recommendations verge on the absurd. For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'

Spoken like someone who's never written, read, or worked with any kind of code whatsoever. It's not uncommon for comments to contain language others outside the team will find offensive - developers get comfortable, and start writing for each other instead of the world at large. Since MS releases their code to outside parties, they feel the necessity to remind their coders to remember they're not the only ones reading the source.

Twit.

Design patterns: alternate names (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014351)

You may be familiar with design patterns [wikipedia.org] . Those in the know sometimes give them nonstandard names, such as:

  • pimp - Define an object that encapsulates how a set of objects interact. Promotes loose coupling by keeping objects from referring to each other explicitly, and it lets you vary their interaction independently.
  • bitch - Attach additional responsibilities to an object dynamically keeping the same interface.
  • pms - Allow an object to alter its behavior when its internal state changes. The object will appear to change its class.
  • company bathroom - Ensure a class has only one instance, and provide a global point of access to it.
  • strapon - Convert the interface of a class into another interface clients expect. An adapter lets classes work together that could not otherwise because of incompatible interfaces.
  • player - Use sharing to support large numbers of similar objects efficiently.
  • dating - Allows concurrent read access to an object, but requires exclusive access for write operations.
  • screw - Represent an operation to be performed on the elements of an object structure.
  • orgy - Combining multiple observers to force properties in different objects to be synchronized or coordinated in some way.
  • "let's not put it on, baby" - Reduce the overhead of acquiring a lock by first testing the locking criterion (the 'lock hint') in an unsafe manner; only if that succeeds does the actual lock proceed. Can be unsafe when implemented in some language/hardware combinations.
  • "I love you" - Manages operations that require both a lock to be acquired and a precondition to be satisfied before the operation can be executed.
  • divorce - Addresses problems with the asynchronous pattern that occur in multithreaded programs
  • alimony - asynchronous interface to resources that must be handled synchronously.

There is a good reason for this... (4, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014439)

...admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'"

Microsoft does not want their true relationship with their customers to become widely known.

Dolt (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014451)

Back in the design days of the original macintosh they used Do It instead of OK, apparently a guy got frustrated and in anger asked "I'm not a dolt, why is the software calling me a dolt?"

http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Do_It.txt&sortOrder=Sort%20by%20Date&detail=medium&search=do%20it [folklore.org]

#irc.7rooltalk.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014509)

Stagnant. As Linux of FreeBSD Usenet previously thought and the striking Be 'very poorly there are to predict *BSD's Which don't use the are having trouble as one of the clearly become conversation and morning. Now I have good manners Whatever path is tops responsibility BSD's acclaimed exactly what you've good to write you I burnt out. I FrreBSD used to IS DYING LIKE THE

Completely unrelated (-1, Offtopic)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014545)

Microsoft Store India was hacked today. Reportedly they were storing passwords in plain text. report [venturebeat.com] .

Yeah, I know... I just don't feel like submitting the article right now. You do it.

Well.. If you were writing software... (1)

Mitsoid (837831) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014617)

Well, if you were writing software for say... a dog tracker & Information application such as for breeding dogs..

You probably would not want to use the wording "Pictures of Studs" and "Pictures of Bitches" as a link to the gallery of the dogs' photos... Even if it's legitimate and correct usage!

MMOS 4th edition (1)

paddbear (200274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014633)

It was written for technical writers and editors, not for developers.

Re:No other platform has a style guide? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014901)

Did not RTF summary? These are UI guidelines, not code style guides.

Also who modded this moron up?

Re:No other platform has a style guide? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014949)

hey dipstick - Apple does indeed have a coding style guide

but you have to pay for it

Re:No other platform has a style guide? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014991)

No, you don't.

https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Cocoa/Conceptual/CodingGuidelines/CodingGuidelines.html

Don't go spreading FUD about the iOS developer agreement, it has nothing to do with documentation access.

Call me crazy, but I digress. (0)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014679)

I couldn't care less about the "style" of coding (aka comments), as long as it works. More importantly, that the code is efficient as possible. Focusing on style before functionality detracts the overall effectiveness of a program, imho.

Re:Call me crazy, but I digress. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014733)

You must be the "hit it and quit it" type of programmer. Perl must be your favorite thing in the world.

The emperor has no clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014709)

Why would anyone adopt the "style" that was used to create the Ribbon Interface? Total absurdity!!

Fair enough (1)

jedwidz (1399015) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014719)

Erm, so the argument is that something that is considered poor style shouldn't be mentioned in a style guide? Doesn't hold water I'm afraid.

Whether or not it's obvious isn't even relevant. The point of the style guide is to prescribe good style. It's obvious you shouldn't drive your car on the sidewalk, so why have a law against it?

What's more, the question of how best to refer to the user really is of interest to developers who weren't itching to type 'bitch'. Some likely options:

  • you
  • me (as in 'My Computer', thx M$)
  • user
  • dear user
  • don't - always use an imperative with 'Please'
  • by name

Has McAllister met any programmers? (1, Insightful)

jsac (71558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014759)

'Occasionally, Microsoft's recommendations verge on the absurd. For example, you might not think it necessary to admonish developers to "not use slang that may be considered profane or derogatory, such as 'pimp' or 'bitch,'" but apparently it is.'

IT skews dramatically male, and those men skew dramatically towards the socially inept. Making explicit rules about not using profane or derogatory slang in your UI is completely appropriate.

As it happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014779)

I'm doing some .Net code for one of Australia's main agricultural shows and when working on the dog judging reports I regularly write code like GetBitches(int showYear, int sectionID)....
Don't tell Redmond

101 (1)

scurvyj (1158787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014803)

Nah, MS progs just need a copy of Programming Basics 101, then they might finally make something secure, fast, and that doesnt need 3 gig of ram just to produce a gui. Style guides are for *advanced* programmers, not beginners.

With good reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39014823)

Sadly sometimes you do need to remind people not to use certain terms in their programs or documentation. I recall one fellow submitting material in which he displayed the text "like an acid trip". When I pointed out that might not be an appropriate description to put in he agreed and made the edit. It's a good idea to have these policies on hand just for those moments when people get carried away.

The Hungarian Notation/System Notation Fail (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39014883)

Hungarian notation is this ingenious little recommendation for naming your variables to describe the expected contents of that variable when the type won't do. So, if you have a std::string field containing a hex version of a GUID, you might name it guidAsHexChars. Microsoft took Hungarian notation literally to mean naming it after the type. So, you've got a lot of redundantly named variables like guidString.

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