Holy cow, I wrote a book!
Whenever I write an article explaining that programs should avoid
doing X, I can confidently
a comment saying,
Microsoft Product Q does this!" as if
But they're saying "gotcha" to the wrong person.
Because, and I'm sure it's a shock to many people to read this,
I did not personally write every line of software Microsoft ever produced.
(And even if I did write it, I may have written it as a younger
developer, before I learned about said rule.
Because, and I'm sure this is also a shock to many people,
I was once a beginner, too.)
If you find a Microsoft product breaking a rule,
then go complain to that product team.
Complaining to me won't accomplish anything.
I don't have access to their source code, and even if I did,
don't have permission to go in and make changes to their code,
nor do I have the time to go in and learn how their product
works and figure out the right place to make the fix.
and I don't know if you all can handle three shocking revelations in
product teams do not send me every line of code for review.
Indeed, one of the reasons I write here about things programs
should or shouldn't do is because I myself will see a Microsoft
product breaking a rule!
By discussing the problem here rather than in an internal
mailing list, the information gets out to everybody.
And maybe, just maybe, the product team will read the entry and
say, "Oops, I think we do that."
Because (shocking revelation number four) not all Microsoft
programmers are seasoned experts in Win32 user-interface programming.
(Articles where I was consciously tapping my colleagues on the head
my discussion of CallMsgFilter,
the long and sad story of the Shell Folders key,
reminding you to pass unhandled messages to DefWindowProc.
In fact, for every "do/don't do this" article,
I'd say odds are good that
with enough searching, you can
find a Microsoft product that breaks the rule.
And when you do, complain to that product team.
difference between the tray and the notification area
was in part a response to all the other groups that perpetuate the
misuse of the terminology.)
So when I write something like,
"Applications shouldn't do this", go ahead and insert the phrase
"and this means all applications, including those published by Microsoft."
When I write, "some annoying programs", go ahead and
insert the phrase, "which might even include programs
published by Microsoft".
I'm not going to insert those phrases into every sentence I write.
I'm assuming you're smart enough to realize that general statements
apply to everyone regardless of who signs their paychecks.
Of course, if the consensus of my readership is that
I shouldn't tell you not to do things
until every last Microsoft product has been scoured to ensure that none
of them violate that rule either,
then I can abide by that decision.
I'll just stop posting those tips here and keep them on the internal
It's much less work for me.