Meta-content: Suggestion Box 4 will open sometime next year


Yesterday, I finished composing the last entry taken from an item in Suggestion Box 3. My prediction that the backlog would clear in early 2010 was off by exactly one year: The last Suggestion Box 3 entry is scheduled to be posted on January 3, 2011.

I figure I'll open Suggestion Box 4 sometimes next year. But I'll leave it open for only a little while, to avoid the problem with Suggestion Box 3 where I left it open for so long that it took six years to clear out.

(Then again, maybe I should stick to a six-year cycle for emptying the Suggestion Box. That would certainly discourage people from putting "Please help me with my problem" type entries into it. Unless they're willing to wait six years for a response...)

Comments (22)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Raymond,

    What was the year 2015 like?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, four hundred comments! No wonder it took so long…

  3. Anonymous says:

    On the other hand, you could post more than just 2 posts a day (crank it to 10?).

    I for one would enjoy to have even more reading material from you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Koro: I’m pretty sure writing this blog isn’t Raymond’s full-time job.

  5. Anonymous says:

    My math evaluates the question-answer delay at only 4 years, which is perfectly reaso… well okay :)

    (The last real questions seems dated May 2007, so if the answer comes in January 2011, that makes a little less than 4 years… Of course I expect the lag to be very variable as the questions may come in burst whereas your output seems slower!)

    I see that the delay for the first questions was about 2.5 years, so people can save a year by being early… if also you add the fact that the new suggestion box will be short-lived, I predict a rush when you open it Raymond!

    And alas rushing may lead to lower quality…

    OTOH, maybe the earlier birds will be the one that have been holding their question for 3 years, and had time to either polish it or solve it, leaving really interesting questions to be posted! Amidst the noise… :)

    Time will tell, and I wish you good luck with the new suggestion box!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So are you ever going to have some way to contact you about the site other than the sporadically-open suggestion box? I was reading some old entries and wanted to report that the image at http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2003/09/10/54831.aspx was broken. I was since able to find an image of the thing – a real screenshot, in fact – at toastytech, so I didn’t look any harder for a way to ask you about this at the time.

    But anyway back to the reason I posted, is there somewhere I missed that issues like broken images can be reported?

    [Old images have been broken for a while since the hosting service went down. Fixing them is on my rather long “to-do” list, but first I have to *find* the original image! (If you want to contact me, you can exercise your search muscles. My email address is out there; you just have to find it. A good number of people manage to do so every week.) -Raymond]
  7. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps you could open the suggestion box on alternate thursdays or something.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shush man… Raymond’s queue is over a year and a half now. Opening the suggestion box every alternate tuesday would put his queue into the next century…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Alas! If only the shell people at Microsoft spent time on fixing the horribly broken and lacking-features-by-design shell and Windoze Exploder. I’d gladly put Windows XP even behind my past if the Exploder was fixed by Windows 7 SP1. But I know that won’t happen so I happen to live in the hope that Windows 8 will address ALL the issues or else I am not so happy but plan to remain on Windows XP till the day when 70%+ 3rd party apps no longer support it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You could write another book, "The New Old New Thing 2010", and put all of next year’s posts in it. That way all your fan bois can get it in advance and CmdrTaco can plan his posting schedule in advance, too.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Somewhat morbid but I take some comfort that, were you to be taken to the great debugger in the sky (Flying Spagetti monster code must be impressive and his noodly appendage will benefit from Ray’s guiding hand) we will have a buffer of these missives to wean us gently off of our obsession with historical quirks and oddities.

  12. Brian Tkatch says:

    "Yesterday, I finished composing the last entry taken from an item in Suggestion Box 3."

    Um, cogratz! ??

  13. DWalker59 says:

    I have a question about Windows 98.  Oh wait, nevermind.  :-)

  14. Mike Dimmick says:

    @Anonymous: yeah, I’d like it to massage my feet too.

    Seriously, WHAT features is it lacking? WHAT is broken? If you want problems to be resolved it helps to spell out exactly what you think is broken.

    I know that *specifically* Windows Vista’s Explorer has a tendency to treat a single image file in a folder as meaning that the folder contains Pictures and Video, when the folder also contains many other files which I’d rather just see in the General Files view; I don’t know if this has been fixed in Windows 7. As always it’s a case where heuristics can lead to the wrong result: I thought we’d been over this with auto-tuning menus in Office?

    The problem is difficult to reproduce because it generally only occurs when you revisit a folder after the cache of folder customizations has overflowed, and that folder has been trimmed from the cache.

    Don’t ever expect major changes to functionality in a service pack. That’s not what they’re for.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have no specific questions or suggestions – and if I did want an answer now, I’ld have to do the research myself (what a concept) instead of waiting a few years and hoping for an answer I can cut’n’paste into my poject.

    However, from reading this blog I’ve learnt about a whole bunch of things that I didn’t know I should be asking about in the first place. And even the "this should be obvious" and "this is why we did it that way 20 years ago" type stuff is generally interesting.

    Therefore, my suggestion is "ignore people who’re just being difficult, and please don’t let them put you off."

  16. Anonymous says:

    Alternatively, keep the suggestion box open full time, but only cover those items that you think will turn into really interesting articles. It’s a suggestion box, not an order box.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That’s what he does anyway.  But people often don’t even search before posting, so the suggestion count quickly skyrockets.

  18. Anonymous says:

    @Mike Dimmick: My one Vista Explorer annoyance – the lack of the "Up" toolbar button (the one that takes you to the parent directory).

    Clicking the breadcrumb bar is annoying because the "up" is now in a different spot in every window.

  19. Anonymous says:

    @Mike Dimmick, If you were a regular reader of this blog and its comments, you’d know what is broken as Exploder has been bashed enough times here and in Microsoft’s forums. I don’t care to explain as long as Mr. Raymond Chen here gets it (I know he does). If there’s a horrible POS in NT 6, this is it. The shell! The shell team almost tried to finish off the Windows product/its potential market.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Since the question I’ve been waiting to submit has been present as a severe problem in Windows for at least a decade and there’s no sign anyone’s going to fix it, I guess there’s no great hurry with submitting this, it’ll still be around for Suggestion Box 26…

    (And for the “What problem would that be then?” crowd, I was planning to leave the question for the suggestion box, but for those who can’t wait it’s “Why is the error handling in Windows Update so appallingly bad?  If anything at all goes wrong you’re given a 1960s CICS-style hex error code and then have to resort to googling for that value, to find hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of people with the same error code and no idea what to do either.  Almost every Windows component has been updated or improved over time, but even in the latest update of Vista if anything goes wrong it’s still ‘Error 0x8017A9F, now sod off’.  Is Windows Update done by some special product group that doesn’t believe in error handling?”.

    (I don’t know how much time I’ve spent after failed updates trying to figure out what really went wrong, and what to do to fix it.  In more than half the cases after several hours work I just give up because it’s impossible to diagnose).

    [Here’s the answer already: I don’t have any inside knowledge about Windows Update. Try asking the WSUS team or the Microsoft Update team. (Sounds like your gripe is with the error reporting, not the error handling.) -Raymond]
  21. Anonymous says:

    >Here’s the answer already: I don’t have any inside knowledge about Windows Update.

    D’oh!

    >Try asking the WSUS team or the Microsoft Update team

    I wasn’t sure if that was the right group to ask, given the endless, endless complaints about this on the MSDN forums (and, outside Microsoft, on pretty much any Windows-related web board) and the total lack of response in terms of fixing Microsoft Update, I was hoping some independent party could throw a bit more light onto why this has never been fixed (this is making the assumption that the Microsoft Update folks are aware of the near-impossibility of recovery from an error based on the CICS error codes that Microsoft Update provides as its only diagnostic but have chosen to ignore the issue, it’s also possible that they’ve missed about ten years of user complaints and genuinely don’t know there’s a problem).

    In any case thanks for responding, it saved me waiting for S.B 26 :-).

    [I don’t know if they’re the right group to ask either, but seeing as WSUS is the server side and Microsoft Update/Windows Update is the client side, presumably that covers both ends of the equation. (Not sure why you thought I worked on Windows Update.) -Raymond]

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