The 30-year-old menu in Windows was supposed to be temporary

It turns out that modern menus have a small but useful menu windows pc It was designed and built on a single day in 1994. It’s just a temporary stopgap until something better comes to replace it. It never happened, and now, 30 years later, the man behind the original menu has revealed the story behind it.

If you have used Windows PCs of the past 20+ years And the storage drive has to be formatted, you may have come across the “Format Disk” menu box. This is an unassuming, simple, barebones but completely usable menu that lets you reformat your drive with different options. The various options are arranged vertically and use drop-down menus. There’s also a start and shut down option…well, that’s about it. According to senior Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer, this useful but basic menu has remained unchanged in more than three decades.

March 24, Plummer posted a lengthy but entertaining tweet Explain the history behind the Format dialog box and why it looks like this, and lay out the features vertically. According to Plummer, he penned the design for the format menu on a rainy Thursday morning at Microsoft in late 1994. The famed programmer said he and his team were porting “significant” lines of Windows 95 user interface code to Windows 95. Windows NT. When it came time to create a UI for Windows NT’s formatting capabilities, the two operating systems were “different enough” that Plummer had to come up with some new custom UI.

“I took out a piece of paper and wrote down all the options and choices you can make when formatting a disk, such as file system, labels, cluster size, compression, encryption, etc.,” Plummer explained in a tweet.

“Then I used VC++2.0 and used the Resource Editor to lay out a simple vertical stack of all the choices you had to make in the rough order you had to make. It’s not elegant, but in the elegant UI comes It was OK before.”

Here’s the thing: a better, “elegant” UI option never appeared. Thirty years later, Plummer says the dialog options you see in modern Windows are still the same dialog options he designed and created that day in 1994. “Be careful when checking for ‘temporary’ solutions,” Plummer adds.

Interestingly, even the colons in the menus lacked consistency (some options had them, some didn’t), but this was retained in the final version and remains in the “Format Disk” box to this day. However, Plummer (jokingly) hints In a follow-up reply, this “bug” may eventually be fixed. (Oddly enough, the colon is always correct German version of Windows 11. ha! )

Well, according to Plummer, he was the one who decided to limit the format size of FAT volumes to 32GB. This decision was entirely an “arbitrary choice” he made on that same rainy morning.

“So please remember…there are no ‘temporary’ check-ins,” Plummer concluded.


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