Holy cow, I wrote a book!
Today is another example where the right thing to do is
not to answer the customer's question but rather to solve
the customer's problem.
A customer liaison asked,
"What do the registry keys X and Y do?
We noticed that they are both read from and written to
when you open a common file dialog.
"I'm curious as to your curiousity.
I'm afraid that you are curious because your
customer is curious,
and then the customer will start relying on the keys
in a strange and unsupported way."
The format of those keys has varied from one version of Windows
so there is nothing there applications can rely on.
But maybe we can figure out why the customer is snooping there
so we can solve the customer's problem.
The customer liaison was kind enough to explain.
"The customer wants to know how to set the default
folder shown in the Open and
Save As dialogs."
The algorithm for choosing
the default folder shown in the
Save As dialogs is spelled out
in the documentation of the
There is no registry key that can force all
dialogs to use a particular folder.
But what is the customer's actual problem?
The customer liaison explained,
"The customer wants to change the default save location
for Paint and Notepad."
Okay, now we're getting closer to a solvable problem.
Paint defaults to saving in the user's Pictures folder,
and Notepad defaults to saving in the user's
so you can use folder redirection to point
to locations of your choosing,
noting of course that this will affect all applications
which look for those folders.
It turns out that this was what the customer actually needed.
They redirected the user's
Documents folders to their preferred location
and everybody was happy.