From: peter (Peter da Silva) Date: 02:33 on 03 Sep 2003 Subject: I Hate Solomon IV We have this timecard system we use based on some kind of business process package called Solomon IV. I have never seen a program that did as bad a job of following the Windows GUI guidelines (which are, at least in principle, pretty good) as this one. Lotus Notes is better. It looks like they started by screen-scraping a 3270 program and assigned random Windows operations to virtual 3270 buttons, and never bothered changing anything once it was more or less working. First, the program is in two separate windows, One of these windows is nothing but a launcher for the other components, but all the menus are in this window. The other window has no menu, no toolbar, and if you close the first window it generally crashes. Then, none of the entry controls are standard. The first one you come across is the one for the date. It looks at first like a normal text entry. Oh no, that would be too easy. It's got the whole date hilighted in yellow, and if you enter anything in the wrong place it collapses the date to "//" and expects you to enter it again. I haven't quite figured out the rules by which it decides to advance to the next field, so I end up having to reenter the date fairly frequently. If you enter fields in the wrong order you can't go back and correct them, they get locked. You *have* to enter your employee ID (why? It knows who you are, you already logged on!) and then the date and so on. If you need to go back you have to quit and start over. The main entry area is is a fairly conventional looking grid. When you want to enter a job or department number, you don't right-click or double-click, you hit F3. If you double-click it brings up a more detailed view of the current line of the grid, and the only way to make THAT go away to edit another line is to double-click again. Sometimes. It seems there's right and wrong places to doubleclick. There's no indication of this, by the way... aborting is so normal I just aborted it until I happened to doubleclick right and had an epiphany. F3 brings up a new window, containing another grid. For some reason, this grid has scrollbars but you can't use most of the normal scrollbar operations on them: the thumb is a fixed minimum size and locked in the middle. You click above or below them, the grid scrolls, the thumb stays exactly where it is until you get to the top or bottom, when it suddenly jumps to the end. There's a normal pulldown box that shows the status of the card (in progress or complete). As soon as you select "complete" all the fields lock up, the only thing you can do is "save" or close the program and start over, losing all your changes. If you close the window it closes it. No warning. Throws away all your changes. I guess people got tired of having to say OK because aborting the session was such a normal thing to do.
From: Earle Martin Date: 10:57 on 03 Sep 2003 Subject: Re: I Hate Solomon IV On Tue, Sep 02, 2003 at 08:33:28PM -0500, Peter da Silva wrote: > I have never seen a program that did as bad a job of following the > Windows GUI guidelines (which are, at least in principle, pretty > good) as this one. Don't get me started. Here's a nice example of Windows applications in action: http://www.jshift.com/services/design/horrors/taskbar_abuse.asp > First, the program is in two separate windows, One of these windows > is nothing but a launcher for the other components, but all the > menus are in this window. The other window has no menu, no toolbar, > and if you close the first window it generally crashes. Nice. And I love the way they don't bother to line up any of the text entry fields (or is that only the Mexican version?): http://www.mx.solomon.com/images/other/control4.gif
From: peter (Peter da Silva) Date: 12:49 on 03 Sep 2003 Subject: Re: I hate Solomon IV > Nice. And I love the way they don't bother to line up any of the text entry > fields (or is that only the Mexican version?): > http://www.mx.solomon.com/images/other/control4.gif That's a perfect example of the screen-scraper interface. On a 3270 those fields would be about as lined up as they can be in a small fixed-character- cell fixed-screen-size form.
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