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I know it's FREE... but still!!!!!!

I've been using a power toy from Microsoft called SyncToy v1.0 for Windows XP for some time now.  It works great for syncronizing various file types between multiple machines.  In one example I syncronize a projects folder across 5 machines (3 laptops and two pcs) so I can work on these projects on whichever machine I feel like doing so at the moment.  I also use it do some syncronizing of video files recorded with Media Center Edition to the laptop(s) so I can watch these videos on the go.  Of course, by syncronizing, I'm meaning that it only has to copy what is different; thus reducing the copying time.

It appears that a new version of this power toy was released sometime after 3/9/2006 and it's called, appropriately enough, SyncToy v1.1 for Windows XP.  Not really sure what has changed from a functional standpoint... but I can tell you what has changed from a visual standpoint.  AND IT'S NOT A GOOD CHANGE!

Before I move on to what the problem is, let me show you two screen shots.


SyncToy v1.0 for Windows XP


SyncToy v1.1 for Windows XP

See any difference in the UI?  (Hint, look at the buttons.)

I know I might be a little anal in regards to this particular issue, but when I see something that is called:

SyncToy 1.1 for Windows XP

Then, to me, there's just some things it should do.  First and foremost, it should look like something that is designed to run on Windows XP; meaning, it should utilize XP Visual Styles.  Obviously it was done correctly in 1.0; but for some strange reason this somehow got “removed” from the 1.1 version.  Why?

What I installed this new version on a new machine, I thought I had some sort of configuration problem.  At first I didn't realize that there was a new version and running the 1.0 version on one machine looked correct and on the new machine (running 1.1) the buttons, listview, etc. were using the non-visual styles UI elements.  Once I realized that the “new” version somehow dropped this; I had a WTF moment.

Why?!?!... Why!?!?... Why?!?!.... Oh! Why!?!?! has this changed?  How is it possible that some lines of code, or a manifest file, from the previous version managed to “remove” itself from the new version/build?

Yeah... I know it's a free product... but come on... XP has been out for how long now?  You'd think that XP Visual Styles would be the norm in software today... even more so... you'd think that if it supported visual styles that it would have continued to support it as a new version was released.  Grrrrrr!!!

Note: As this is a visual issue, this doesn't mean I'm going to stop using the tool.  It's just downright annoying.  If you haven't looked at the power toy... do yourself a favor and do so.  Lots of options to handle lots of scenarios.

(And for those reading my blog for a while... yes, this isn't the first time I've pointed this type of thing out.)

Published Wednesday, March 22, 2006 4:33 PM by CorySmith
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