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Windows Me Annoyances by David A. Karp

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Make Good Use of the Web View

The Web View (i.e., Web content in folders ) component allows you to make any folder (including the desktop) look and feel like a web page, complete with hyperlinks, graphics, and even JavaScript. But why would someone want to do this?

Traditionally, interface designers and users alike have prized clean, unobtrusive, attractive, and simple interfaces. The Web View isn’t any of these. The Web View is, on the other hand, fairly customizable; exactly how customizable depends on your knowledge of HTML and the amount of free time you have.

Now, it’s unlikely that most users will have much use for the default Web View, which only augments a fairly simple interface (the “classic” Windows Explorer) with a bunch of unnecessary graphics and text. Figure 8-1 shows the same folder in its “classic” view as well as its Web View.

The default Web View takes up much more space and displays a more complex interface, yet offers little advantage over its classic counterpart

Figure 8-1. The default Web View takes up much more space and displays a more complex interface, yet offers little advantage over its classic counterpart

I see a tremendous wasted opportunity here. Although the Web View that Microsoft provides offers little apparent benefit to most users (other than some pretty colors), the capability to customize the Web View is potentially quite useful. What’s so confusing about the entire design is how complicated Microsoft has made the customization process.

Although the intent of the Web View is to make ...

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