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Mistral Associates - News August 2022
Bugs happen! Any developer pretending they don't is only deluding themselves. However this wasn't so much a bug we just dealt with but more a programming anomaly. An anomaly caused by Microsoft making unnecessary Windows, 'Critical Upgrade', so called 'improvements'. Without warning and without thinking through the consequences! It needed overcoming and improving by us nonetheless.
In common with virtually all user operable PC software, Mistral's programs are launched from a Desktop icon. In Mistral's case clicking on this opens a form on the desktop known as a Program Group. Larger software systems, or Apps as nerds and children like to refer to them these days need them. Again in Mistral's case, we try and make our Program Group forms comprehensive, informative and even entertaining. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" as the saying goes!
Activating 'Always on Top' makes the Mistral Program Group form dominant such that it will always appear visible over the top of any other App running and visible on the Desktop at the same time. Mistral's Program Group form is intentionally kept compact so as to make this feasible; And useful!
It is not unusual for an engineer to be working with many programs at the same time and being able to see a Program Group allowing App launches instantly at all times, and without having to contend with the frequent idiosyncrasies of Microsoft Windows unexpectedly hiding things when you least want it to, is certainly useful.
To overcome the problem Mistral now forces an App form to appear slightly to the right of and below the Program Group form. Thereby making it obvious the App has opened as it should. Users then have options of sliding the Program Group form away to one side, or toggling off 'Always on Top', or even closing the Program Group, leaving the selected App still running.
A simple and effective solution? Yes, simple to say it but one which took over a week of program coding work, testing, re-compiling thousands of system files, and server uploading to achieve. At a four figure cost!
Finally, don't forget that all Mistral's larger systems feature switching between its larger, illustrated Program Forms and the ultra compact 'Menu Strip'. This can be dragged and dropped with the Mouse to either the top or bottom of the screen, and thus well clear of any other currently running Apps.