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Poll

What do you think of applications stealing focus?

It's a good thing.
It's OK.
It's annoying.
It's outright evil!

Last post Author Topic: Applications Stealing Focus...  (Read 21381 times)

mouser

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2007, 05:31:28 PM »
i knew josh was gonna hit me for dcupdater.
note that it's an option in dcupdater, though i suppose i should make the default to not popup and grab focus.

Josh

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2007, 05:41:17 PM »
Of course I was going to nail you for it. IT COST ME A TOURNAMENT MATCH!!!!

Darwin

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2007, 07:04:09 PM »
Renegade - you really struck a nerve with this thread - onto a second page on it's first day. Wow!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Lashiec

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2007, 10:06:13 AM »
It's OK? IT'S OK?! Who voted it's OK? >:( ;)

J-Mac

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2007, 11:48:31 AM »
Not OK!!  It IS evil!!!

Man, I hate when focus is lost - and BTW, a window doesn't have to appear for it to steal focus.  Anytime another program causes the one you are currently using to LOSE focus - you know, where nothing appears but the title bar dims? - that is as bad as it gets.

I often have to use Dragon Naturally Speaking to input any large amount of text - my one arm stops working if I do a lot of keyboard work. And I can have Word open, dictating away - and suddenly the title bar dims and the dictation is going absolutely nowhere!!  If I am staring at the monitor I may notice it quickly.  If not, I may dictate a paragraph before realizing it is for nothing.  Plus, when using speech recognition you really have to get into a rhythm and speak fluidly - no choppy, hesitating speech - or the recognition quality goes down the tubes. Whenever this got really bad I would stop everything and go nuts on the PC until I found the offending application - then I would remove it while laughing maniacally! (Computers do this to us!)

Last time it was Windows Desktop Search - it was installed when I installed OneNote 2007 - OneNote needs WDS if you want to search for text in graphics.  I don't use WDS otherwise, so that went.

Other desktop searches occasionally go crazy and start indexing even when you don't have it scheduled to do so.

Process Tamer is the best weapon I've found thus far.

Jim
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 11:50:02 AM by J-Mac »

jgpaiva

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2007, 07:28:23 AM »
Evil. definitelly.

Happened to me with the reboot windows thinguie, i inadvertedly rebooted the computer while i was doing something else. (don't ask me how, it was an unfortunate chain of events).

I didn't know tweakui could solve this. I shall look into it ;)

J-Mac

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2007, 08:19:44 AM »
Evil. definitelly.

Happened to me with the reboot windows thinguie, i inadvertedly rebooted the computer while i was doing something else. (don't ask me how, it was an unfortunate chain of events).

I didn't know tweakui could solve this. I shall look into it ;)

To eliminate the unexpected restart of Windows due to Automatic Updates, do the following:

  • Click Start>Run and then when the Run box opens type gpedit.msc
  • Next click on Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update
  • In the right pane you will see several settings - looks like the "Services" screen. There are two ways to do it here:
  • 1) Double-click on "Prompt for restarts with scheduled installations" and change the setting there to 720 minutes or 12 hours. That allows you to go the rest of the day without that nag screen. Or...
  • 2) Click on the Disable bullet and you'll never get that nag - but then you have to remember to restart on your own or the Updates won't take effect.

I have it set for 720 minutes and I never see that nag anymore!

Jim

tinjaw

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2007, 10:44:11 AM »
Dude! J-Mac! Thanks for that tip.  :Thmbsup:

Armando

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2007, 11:08:38 AM »
It's outright evil.
I wouldn't mind seeing a transparent something appear briefly, without stealing the focus.
But unless I decide to give focus to a window, or configure a program, a widget, something, to act accordingly, I don't want it to steal the focus ! Period.

Darwin

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2007, 11:19:03 AM »
E-V-I-L. Pure, unadulterated, evil  >:(
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2007, 11:39:48 AM »
yes.
evil_santa.jpg

steeladept

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2007, 11:37:14 PM »
This gave me what I think would be an awesome idea for an application...I find most focus stealing applications downright evil and feel your pain for those of you who mentioned it.  Try having that happen in a mainframe session where it is time critical AND location/type sensitive!  It is horrible and can cost companies millions if not caught.  That said, certain notifications practically require it so that they can actually do what is intended - namely notify you.  Many people talk about the popup balloon being the best alternative, but I think that is crap.  It slows everything and stutters your screen if you are lucky, otherwise it is just as bad as any popup (sometimes worse as you can't always dismiss it).

Given all these things, my thought is this.  Create an app that puts a border around the edge of the screen.  Make it variable size, variable colors, whatever...  The goal of this border is to do a few things.  1) Make an unobtrusive border that the application fills the inside of in full screen mode and windows like normal in non-full screen mode.  2) It should intercept all focus theft attempts and redirect them as a flash of the border to notify the user without actually stealing the  focus.  Seriously, I don't know how much of this is doable, but it really makes the most sense to me.  Any ideas?  Takers?

Armando

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2007, 11:52:08 PM »
I find that an interesting idea... Or why not instead have the title bar of the current active window flash + a horizontally scrolling note (on the bar) describing the event wanting to steal focus ? (most application have a title bar... that way, you don't loose screen estate)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2008, 12:42:51 PM by Armando »

app103

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2008, 11:38:07 PM »
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.

J-Mac

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2008, 01:23:25 AM »
I couldn't agree more, app103.  Most with tray balloons don't have an option to turn them off.  E.g., NOD32. Everytime it updates definitions it pops a tray balloon up - sometimes a dozen or more a day.  And if I am away from my PC for a few hours and it updated 6 or 8 times, it pops up that many times in a row; as soon as I close one the next pops, and the next...

Aarrgghh!!

Jim

Armando

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2008, 12:44:09 PM »
So... What's the solution to all these "stealing focus" woes?

yksyks

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2008, 12:46:00 PM »
There's no ultimate solution, I'm afraid. As I complained before, the batch file I'm using works, but the setting gets lost after a while. I was not able to catch the culprit, but while monitoring the ForegroundLockTimeout value I noticed that TweakUI tries to reach this variable on one more location with "not found" result. So I created this value in registry and added appropriate line to my startup batch file. I don't know exactly what does this mean, however, the result is not bad--so far the setting was not rewritten!
REG ADD "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v ForegroundLockTimeout /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00030d40 /f
REG ADD "HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop" /v ForegroundLockTimeout /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00030d40 /f
REG ADD "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop" /v ForegroundLockTimeout /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00030d40 /f
The other thing is that not all applications behave decently and respect these settings, but this is another story. Enjoy and let me know if it works for you, too.

justice

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2008, 02:00:41 PM »
Specifies the time, following user input, during which the system keeps applications from moving into the foreground, says technet.

yksyks

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2008, 02:14:41 PM »
Sure, I know, I was speaking about the 3rd line with "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop".

semi-pro

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2009, 06:41:44 PM »
A little late here, but you never know who might be reading...

As noted above, no ironclad Windows XP setting or tweak exists to stop certain applications, because they do not respect the Windows "ForegroundLockTimeout" regkey listed above. For those programs that do comply, constantly resetting ForegroundLockTimeout will work using solely the HKCU regkey.

Adding ForegroundLockTimeout to the HKLM branch is not only ineffectual and superfluous, it disables the ability to set "Prevent applications from stealing focus" with TweakUI (because the HKLM value overrides TweakUI's per-user setting.)

Innuendo

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Re: Applications Stealing Focus...
« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2009, 11:26:40 AM »
Missed this thread the first time around. Maybe someone at MS reads DC? New behavior in Win7 prohibits apps from stealing focus. It's been a long time coming & I really enjoy the feature.