Friday, November 9, 2007

Unintended Consequences

I have found in my meager and short development career that even the easy things may not be so easy or obvious. Simple "user experience enhancements" that Microsoft has added are not really enhancements when you believe your site is saying "Please dick here", that is clearly an unintended consequence.

It all started when I turned on my machine and was alerted to the fact that Real Player has a security flaw. Okay, things happen and my hat tips to any company who fixes and alerts / nags the end-user to update.

The unfortunate thing here (as I saw it) were the following two things:

1) The patch tried to launch Real Player and initiate the update, but Real Player Froze. I personally was able to "patch" this flaw by uninstalling Real Player. HA! (Off-topic here, so I won't go any further with that).

2) The text "PLEASE CLICK HERE" immediately grabbed my attention and I thought I must have hit a phishing site or some other malware site. (more on phishing and malware another day). It appeared that the site was saying "Please dick here ..."!!

Here is what I saw in Internet Explorer:

I was dumbfounded when seeing this and out of curiosity, I looked in Firefox to see if there was difference on the font, there was:

It is subtle, but you can certainly see a space between the "c" and the "l" on "click" in Firefox. After looking into this, I determined this is because of Microsoft's anti-aliasing attempts to make text more readable. To tweak this you should and get the best "user experience" visit the Windows ClearType Tuner page.

Good luck and safe browsing.

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