tantalising : Java Glossary

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tantalising
A malicious or perhaps lazy style of user inteface design. For example, you offer the user three choices for flavour of milkshake: strawberry, chocolate or vanilla. He clicks on strawberry or chocoalate and gets a message they are not available. The proper way to handle this is to disable (grey-out) the strawberry and chocolate options or remove them entirely.

Tantalising can be done in coding as well, for example making all constructors of a class private making the class effectively non-extendable, but declaring the class itself public. The class can’t be extended, but on a quick glance looks like it can be. A programmer will set out to extend it, but may not find out till debug time it is impossible.

It is a slightly more subtle form of the child’s prank of laying out a piece of paper currency tied to a nylon fish line and yanking it away when someone tries to pick it up.


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