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Aug
14
answered Is there any reason to send “no-reply” emails?
Aug
5
comment Why do showers have “hot” and “cold” knobs rather than “temperature” and “quantity” knobs?
@StijndeWitt: For places where it's necessary to flush cold water from the hot line before hot water becomes available, I would think a device that severely curtailed output flow above a certain temperature would be far less wasteful than one which enforces a minimum hot/cold mix; indeed, such a device could yield optimal water usage if the user turned on full hot, waited for the shower to cut output to a trickle, then dialed in a suitable temperature and waited for the output to come back on and got in.
Aug
5
comment Why does the fridge thermostat have an inverted scale?
@peppe: Even if the designers of my fridge thought so, I don't think the word "cold" is indicative of the highest-temperature end of a device's operating range. I can't think any single word that's really good, but I think "less cold" would be relatively unambiguous.
Aug
4
comment Why do most smartphones need to hold the power button in order to startup?
@SNag: Can you think of any reason why holding the power button down for a long time would be required even on phones which flip shut? I've always preferred phones that flip shut to those that hope nothing will trigger erroneous actions while they're in a pocket or bag, every phone I've had, even the ones that flip shut, required an annoyingly long button push to turn on.
Jul
30
comment When should bold, italics, and colour be used to draw attention in a sentence?
Characters next to highlighted text should have their formatting determined by visual considerations. Italic or oblique text followed by an upright roman exclamation mark, for example, can look really bad!
Jul
24
comment Why do web sites display dates in an inaccurate representation e.g. “a year ago”?
@acbabis: Going one digit beyond the decimal conveys approximate month/season, and is more compact than e.g. "Aug 2013". Going more than that doesn't help much, because the next logical subdivisions (month and week) aren't decimal subdivisions of a year. more helpful would be "23.1 months ago".
Jul
24
revised What's the purpose of “This page is intentionally left blank” we see in books?
added 315 characters in body
Jul
24
comment Why do web sites display dates in an inaccurate representation e.g. “a year ago”?
In many cases, a story's time would be described as "A summer evening some years ago". The month and hour are expressed with more precision than the year or day, even though "hour" is a finer unit of measure than "day". Expressing the time as "7.1 years ago" would convey some information about the season; "about 7 years ago" would say nothing useful in that regard.
Jul
23
comment What to do if the requirements for an action are suddenly not met anymore?
Why no "cancel" button? I would think "Cancel" should return the user to the configure-new-game screen, in case the user notices how the new game is configured and wants to adjust his settings as a consequence?
Jul
23
answered What's the purpose of “This page is intentionally left blank” we see in books?
Jul
8
comment Do disabled buttons still need to be contrast compliant for accessibility?
...will be the same as the one before (whatever that was). The actual content of the button is irrelevant provided that looks like it could be a low-contrast version of the high-contrast button. It's not necessary that the low-contrast button be uniquely identifiable; it's merely necessary that it be consistent with the high-contrast button, and that it not appear totally "generic".
Jul
8
comment Do disabled buttons still need to be contrast compliant for accessibility?
@AndrewMartin: For things like "Continue buttons", I agree with you [though a high-contrast label, near but outside the button, which states why it's disabled could be useful for sighted and non-sighted users alike, and could allow users who couldn't actually read the text of a "Continue" button to know what it said]. For most kinds of toolbar icons, however, the actual content of the button is generally irrelevant. What is relevant is that replacing a high-contrast button with a grayed out version of something similar conveys the message that the next high-contrast button appearing there...
Jul
6
comment Is the folder structure dying?
@martineau: One wouldn't want to use such a feature all the time (which is why I suggested it be an option), but if one is going to be archiving a bunch of folders that have large amounts of duplicated content, there are many cases--especially when the destination device is slow--where identifying duplicates and sending "duplicate of X" references rather than links could save a huge amount of time.
Jul
4
comment Is the folder structure dying?
@immibis: I wonder why utilities like that don't include an option to maintain a list of the hashes of the files it has processed, and--upon finding that two files have the same hash--check if they're bit-wise identical and avoid the duplication if so?
Jul
2
comment Do disabled buttons still need to be contrast compliant for accessibility?
@JonasDralle: In many cases, the primary purpose of showing disabled buttons rather than hiding them altogether is not to convey information, but to visually reserve space. The fact that the space does not contain a usable button is generally more important than the nature of the active button that it sometimes (but not presently) contains.
Jul
2
comment Is the folder structure dying?
@JDługosz: What exactly does POSIX require with regard to hard links? If the system implemented links which were different from file entries, but from the point of view of POSIX operations looked the same (and automatically updated when files moved, and guarded files that would otherwise be deleted), would that be legitimate, or does POSIX require that they be indistinguishable in every way?
Jul
2
comment Is the folder structure dying?
@Falco: Given that FAT32 is used by nearly all digital cameras, I'd say it deserves to be called a "major file system" and it has no concept of hard links. I'm not sure if NTFS has hard links which are indistinguishable from an original file reference. Were I designing a file system today, I don't think I'd include Unix-style hard links that were indistinguishable from normal files, though I might include a form of "link to file that has no "normal" rooted reference", and provide a means of "moving" such a file to a normal location.
Jul
2
comment Do disabled buttons still need to be contrast compliant for accessibility?
Something like a disabled "Continue" button would indicate to users that they can't continue, but in many cases disabled controls will be irrelevant to what the user is currently doing, and will be showing rather than hidden not for purposes of making them "visible" per se, but rather to have them serve as placeholders which call less attention to themselves than gaps would.
Jun
29
answered Are two toggle buttons better than a tri-state switch?
Jun
15
answered Does drawing a dash across the numeral 7 (seven) increase readability?