There is another way that applications steal focus, and it's just as evil...Do not flash my taskbar button unless you are going to give me the option to turn that feature off.
If you have a hidden taskbar (like me), when the button flashes it causes the taskbar to unhide and stick till the flashing button is clicked by the user. It doesn't matter if you make the button flash once, 3 times, or keep flashing till the user clicks...the taskbar will still lock itself in the open position till the button is clicked.
If you have seen my taskbar, you will know why I hate the button flashing.
It makes multi-tasking damn near impossible.
Yahoo Messenger and GTalk are the worst offenders of this.
Just imagine this:
I am working on a project when someone messages me on Yahoo or GTalk... Taskbar flies out halfway across my screen, covering my work till I click the button and bring the message window to the front. I reply to the person and go back to work. A few seconds later it all repeats when they have something else to say to me.
I'd like to be able to have a conversation AND work...not choose one or the other.
There is no way to completely turn off button flashing in Windows, despite what people may think. With TweakUI our options are to flash once, flash x number of times, keep flashing, or let application steal focus. (all of these are unacceptable)
There are other options a developer can use to get my attention than stealing focus or flashing the titlebar and/or taskbar button.
- Make some noise.
- Pop up a tiny image in the corner of my screen that will not steal focus.
Again, these should all be OPTIONS
And don't use tray balloons, as these have the same effect as the flashing button and I have turned that off.