Another of those tiresome articles about Windows Users Who Don’t Understand Their New Macs. (They just assume it’s natural when Mac users have to learn Windows, but aberrant and infuriating when the converse is true.)

A couple of columns ago, I introduced you to a friend and lifelong professional Windows user who agreed to let me observe and document her trial run at switching to the Mac.

Have her write her own blog, for fork sakes.

It went on from there to her discovery of pervasive cross-application drag and drop,

Actually usable on Mac, not so on Windows, because Windows defaults to maximizing nearly every window. (“It’s all about the Maximize button.”) As far as a Windows user is concerned, only one program is working at a time. It’s DOS with more garish colours.

In Windows, every document that isn’t nested inside a parent window… is presented as a separate instance of the application

…which is totally fucking nuts. You’re running one program.

Each distinct document has its own window and menu bar, and when you close the last open document, the application exits

…which is also totally fucking nuts. I don’t want to keep reopening applications (Photoshop, anyone?) just because I don’t have a document I’m working on. These are nominally multitasking operating systems; I can have more than one program open if I want even if I’m only going to use it later.

In contrast, each document that is opened by a given Mac application is shown in a menuless window. In fact, no windows have menus.

Not strictly true. Palettes can and do have menus, as do some other applications, like Fire.

They all share one menu bar across the top of the screen, and that menu flips depending on which application has focus (is “on top”). When you close the last document in a given Mac application, the app stays open, but with no visible windows. All you see is the menu. What sense does that make?

Because I didn’t quit the fucking program. I just closed a document. Can’t Windoids differentiate between a document and a program? (I guess not. They can’t differentiate between a program and a program, since they have this need for different “instances” of the same one.)

A single menubar in the same location is dependable and easier to use. In practice, with full-screen Windows applications (nearly all of them), with only one window open at a time (as Windows predisposes you to do), the menubar is in a similar relative location all the time – at the top of the screen.

She’s getting mired in other aspects of Mac-ness, like the fact that two files with the same extension (such as .mpg) can open in two different applications.

A serious problem!

These are small conceptual hurdles that she’ll overcome with time, but on each occasion that the Mac “gets in her way” with issues such as these,

No, she has major conceptual issues. She isn’t using Windows anymore and has to accept that she’s wrong to expect a Mac to act like it.

Now get her to write her own fucking blog.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.03.16 16:40. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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