Matt Gemmell

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An action-adventure novel — book 1 in the KESTREL series.

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Sorry, you can't do that

Interface 1 min read

Windows XP tells me why I can't do what I just did.
Don't panic, I'm just using XP at work - I haven't anti-switched or anything. 
Anyhow, I dragged something onto 
one of the taskbar buttons in Win XP Pro, expecting either to have a dragged 
file opened by the app which the button represented, or to have dragged data 
pasted at the current insertion point in the button's window (assuming the data 
type was acceptable to the application and view in question). It didn't 
work, but Windows was good enough to 
<a href="http://mattgemmell.com/images/bad_ui/winxp_taskbar_drag_error.png">tell me why</a>.



<a href="http://www.mrry.co.uk/">Derek</a> tells me that that doesn't happen 
in Win2k, and it instead just displays the "unavailable" cursor during the 
drag over a taskbar button. This makes marginally more sense, though it's 
just avoiding the issue rather than blatantly telling you you're <em>wrong</em> 
to expect what I think is reasonably intuitive (and certainly very useful) 
behaviour.



The thing that amuses me is that, since this dialog was apparently added 
in XP, there were clearly enough people like me who were dropping items 
onto taskbar buttons that Microsoft decided they had to do <em>something</em> 
about it... and that something was to... er... tell all those folk that they 
couldn't do that.