Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Sep 2008 19:09 UTC
Windows We all know that Windows 7 is on its way, planned for release somewhere late 2009 or early 2010. We already know it will have a multitouch framework, no major kernel and/or driver framework changes, and a new taskbar people at Microsoft are not supposed to talk about right now. The firs two milestone releases didn't appear to be very exciting, but now there is - supposedly - a milestone 3 (build 6780) release, and there is a screenshot, and more information on UI changes. According to Microsoft blogger Stephen Chapman, the ribbon will make its way to Windows 7.
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What a WOW
by Drune on Thu 18th Sep 2008 19:31 UTC
Drune
Member since:
2005-12-04

Just imagine Windows Explorer with ribbon UI.
Scares me..

Reply Score: 3

RE: What a WOW
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:05 UTC in reply to "What a WOW"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Ribbon UI is the best UI innovation since the overlapping window.

Seriously, it allows greater access to the full features of Office. It makes using Office a dream.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: What a WOW
by Kwitschibo on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
Kwitschibo Member since:
2006-01-17

Sorry, but Ribbons are the biggest UI disaster since Microsoft Bob.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: What a WOW
by Luminair on Fri 19th Sep 2008 05:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a WOW"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

the ribbon concept is excellent, microsoft just botches the implementations of it

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What a WOW
by evangs on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

I don't know if you're being sarcastic, but I find the ribbon a very useful UI invention. Granted, I wouldn't go so far as to call using a ribbon UI a dream (which could easily turn into a nightmare!).

Still, it's is a very clever way of making the functionality of a complex application easily accessible without cluttering up the screen with toolbars/coolbars/palettes/etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What a WOW
by KugelKurt on Fri 19th Sep 2008 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

Ribbon UI is the best UI innovation since the overlapping window.

A toolbar with tabs is used in Delphi since version 1.0. I don't say it's bad or anything. The Ribbon is just hardly innovative.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: What a WOW
by TommyCarlier on Fri 19th Sep 2008 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a WOW"
TommyCarlier Member since:
2006-08-02

The new UI of Office 2007 consists of more than just the Ribbon, and the Ribbon is not just a toolbar with tabs. I suggest you start reading the detailed list of blog posts by Jensen Harris about the development of the new UI: http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/pages/table-of-contents.aspx

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What a WOW
by google_ninja on Fri 19th Sep 2008 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a WOW"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

You obviously have never used office 2k7

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: What a WOW
by KugelKurt on Sat 20th Sep 2008 12:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a WOW"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

No. I don't buy a Windows and a MS Office 2007 license just to look at Ribbon.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What a WOW
by Kroc on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:13 UTC in reply to "What a WOW"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

This actually gives me hope.
The Ribbon is the first seriously long, hard look at the whole concept of the WIMP interface in 20 years.

The Office team managed to remove the menu, entirely, from one of the worst possible programs that you could have taken as an example. Office had hundreds of menus, approaching a hundred toolbars - it would be the equivalent of redesigning Photoshop to have no menu or toolbars, or Maya, or 3D Studio Max. That is the level of complexity they had to approach, and succeeded.

The Ribbon is proven by user testing to be better. The only users who suffer with it are, guess who, indignant old users who prefer the old model and are unwilling to adapt. It's like MFC runs through their veins.

Using the ribbon for 7 gives me hope it might just make Windows functionality up-front and accessible to all users.

Edited 2008-09-18 20:21 UTC

Reply Score: 18

RE[2]: What a WOW
by Nelson on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

If Kroc approves you know it's impressive ;)

Just teasing.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: What a WOW
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a WOW"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If Kroc approves you know it's impressive


...or from Cupertino.

;)

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: What a WOW
by Kroc on Thu 18th Sep 2008 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a WOW"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I still pertain, the iPhone is a joke.
I might like Apple stuff, but surprise, it actually works:

The iPod was introduced. Creative laughed.
The iPod nano was introduced. Creative laughed.
The iPod Shuffle was introduced. Creative laughed.
Creative arn't laughing now.

It's 2008 and Windows Media Player still doesn't do podcasts.

Providers have had 10 years to get their act together and only now, does anybody who's not Apple think that having a single, unified method of purchasing and installing software on a phone is a good idea.

You know those cartoons where the good guy's sidekick suggests an idea, and then the good guy suddenly has a good idea and repeats just what the sidekick said. That's how it is with Apple and the Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What a WOW
by Kroc on Thu 18th Sep 2008 22:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a WOW"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

If I approve, it's because I appreciate good engineering. Nothing out of the ordinary with that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What a WOW
by kaiwai on Thu 18th Sep 2008 21:16 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

This actually gives me hope.
The Ribbon is the first seriously long, hard look at the whole concept of the WIMP interface in 20 years.


Agreed. I was waiting for a moment when someone would finally come up with an alternative to the jungle that is menu's and toolbars. The problem is that the old way of doing things just isn't scalable - or worse, what happens is that the end user assumes that the feature doesn't exist but it does - but hidden behind layers of menus.

The Office team managed to remove the menu, entirely, from one of the worst possible programs that you could have taken as an example. Office had hundreds of menus, approaching a hundred toolbars - it would be the equivalent of redesigning Photoshop to have no menu or toolbars, or Maya, or 3D Studio Max. That is the level of complexity they had to approach, and succeeded.

The Ribbon is proven by user testing to be better. The only users who suffer with it are, guess who, indignant old users who prefer the old model and are unwilling to adapt. It's like MFC runs through their veins..


When one talks to the 'little people' - the real people out there who use Microsoft software, day in and day out; they're bloody happy with the new interface. The only people who hate it are those self appointed 'power users' - I'm sure you've seen them in businesses, a mouse with 1000 buttons, thinks they're computer genius's because they remember 100 short cuts off by heart.

For me, I've got Office 2008 on my Mac, and the ribbon work has even found its way in (to some degree) their Office 2008 for Mac - and believe me, having used all the versions prior, it makes a HUGE difference when it comes to usability.

Using the ribbon for 7 gives me hope it might just make Windows functionality up-front and accessible to all users.


I want to see the WHOLE interface WPF based and using Ribbon everywhere. I want one consistent user experience right through out the operating system rather than the a hodgepodge of the different UI experiences so far with the the current operating systems.

Edited 2008-09-18 21:19 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: What a WOW
by dreamlax on Thu 18th Sep 2008 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a WOW"
dreamlax Member since:
2007-01-04

I want to see the WHOLE interface WPF based and using Ribbon everywhere. I want one consistent user experience right through out the operating system rather than the a hodgepodge of the different UI experience so far with the the current operating systems.


I think that is most people's problem/issue with Ribbons and Office 2007. It's the first time they've seen them and they don't see them in any other program. Using more ribbons and providing a more consistent interface will probably grab ribbons the reputation it deserves. I'm not really a big fan of ribbons, I like clicking on menus and toolbar buttons, but I imagine I'm in the minority.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: What a WOW
by mrhasbean on Thu 18th Sep 2008 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a WOW"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

For me, I've got Office 2008 on my Mac, and the ribbon work has even found its way in (to some degree) their Office 2008 for Mac - and believe me, having used all the versions prior, it makes a HUGE difference when it comes to usability.


Office on the Mac uses a variation on the UI concepts Apple introduced with AppleWorks YEARS ago, and that they now use in their iWork suite. There is a (collapsable) horizontal mini-ribbon with commonly accessed functions, but there is also a floating, tabbed, auto expanding, context based, VERTICAL "ribbon" palette, which is what I see many people asking for here.

The difference is they also left the unobtrusive menu in place for all those dinosaurs who just want to get on with the job when they get their shiny new app...

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: What a WOW
by thebackwash on Fri 19th Sep 2008 04:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a WOW"
thebackwash Member since:
2005-07-06

Let's get something out of the way: I'm a big mac head. That said, Office 2007 is a dream for me. I *love* the ribbon interface. Microsoft has hit a home run here. They even have an infinitely deep "file" menu in the upper left hand corner. Well done. The more I think about it, the more I realize the depth of design that went into it. It's really that good.

The only downside I can really see is that as the window changes width, the position of the toolbar entries shift around as they shrink to fit the width, and the fact that some people simply can't grasp tabbed interfaces of any kind. These are no problem for me personally, but I know that my mom can't find anything on a computer unless it's in the same exact spot as before. She's asked me on numerous occasions how to do something, and almost inevitably what she wants is accomplished by clicking the big, honking, **pulsating** button which is jumping out at her screaming "God, woman, just click me!" A typical dialogue might go something like this:
--How do I send this mail?
--Click the send mail button.
--There's no send mail button.
(I walk over and click the send mail button which is clearly visible.)
--Did you even *look* for it?

How much worse it will be when the button isn't even on screen!

I do not look forward to the day when I have to help people who can't figure out that in the Office 2007 ribbon, things move for space constraints, and that sometimes the functionality is in a different tab. I think it's a reasonable tradeoff which allows Office to using the toolbar space for big buttons when available, and it's also a reasonable method of avoiding the dreaded "toolbar too full" chevron. The modality of tabs is why I believe a regular menubar of some sort must remain in the application. Some people simply cannot operate modally. Period.

On another note, what's annoying for me, and it could be just my peevishness, is that the quick access toolbar shifts the centering of the text in the title bar. I disable that toolbar, though it probably could be useful, just because it is disorienting to have the text move.

It's strange to see after all these years that we're moving away from a menubar-and-toolbar paradigm, and toward pop-up menus in toolbars, as we've finally figured out how to effectively scale the menu-and-toolbar interface. I believe this is a huge and a positive shift. Menubars or a main application-level menu should always be present as far as I'm concerned, and I'm not sure if I like the decentralization of functions in the toolbar without some menubar system behind it. (As I understand it, the menubar is supposed to be the fallback containing all of an application's functionality, so if you can't find something, it'll be in the menubar.) That said, bring on more Office 2007 toolbars. I can't get enough of them!

Edited 2008-09-19 04:19 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: What a WOW
by Laurence on Fri 19th Sep 2008 11:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a WOW"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Office on the Mac uses a variation on the UI concepts Apple introduced with AppleWorks YEARS ago, and that they now use in their iWork suite.


I seem to recall Lotus Smart Suite having something long these lines as well. Not as graphically impressive as Office2k7 nor iWorks (hazard a guess here as never used it), however it did exist in a basic form on Lotus Smart Suite.

The thing about ribbons is it's not a revolutionary new invention - more just a clean "upgrade" to an existing invention. So it's not really as streightforward to pin credit to specific inventor as one might think (or Microsoft might try to claim).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What a WOW
by helf on Thu 18th Sep 2008 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

yeah, I agree. I hated the idea of the ribon at first, but now that I have had to use Office 2007 (specifically, Word), I've fallen in love with it. It is awesome. Very intuitive and easy.

People that hate it probably were like me and haven't even used it.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: What a WOW
by hobgoblin on Fri 19th Sep 2008 08:33 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

or more correctly, have the old menus memorized to the last pixel in muscle memory...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What a WOW
by TemporalBeing on Fri 19th Sep 2008 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

This actually gives me hope.
The Ribbon is the first seriously long, hard look at the whole concept of the WIMP interface in 20 years.


True.

The Office team managed to remove the menu, entirely, from one of the worst possible programs that you could have taken as an example. Office had hundreds of menus, approaching a hundred toolbars - it would be the equivalent of redesigning Photoshop to have no menu or toolbars, or Maya, or 3D Studio Max. That is the level of complexity they had to approach, and succeeded.


Perhaps true in complexity level. I don't think they necessarily succeeded in every aspect yet though...

The Ribbon is proven by user testing to be better. The only users who suffer with it are, guess who, indignant old users who prefer the old model and are unwilling to adapt. It's like MFC runs through their veins.


No, I adapt quite well. For example, I really can't stand MFC and love Qt. I'm also eagerly awaiting KDE4; and primarily use OpenOffice.

I have also used Office 2007, and it drives me nuts. My wife (who had to use it at her last jobs) love it; but I much prefer the older UI as it actually had things that made sense and were practical. I don't like have to scroll through numerous tabs just to find the one function that was easily accessible before.

Fortunately, I'll be able to install Office 2007 SP1 on her laptop too, and then she'll be able to natively use ODF again.

Using the ribbon for 7 gives me hope it might just make Windows functionality up-front and accessible to all users.


Windows is far from being "up-front and accessible to all users" any more. Yes, they are still one of the few that support both keyboard & mouse out-of-the-box (short-cuts, etc.); but they're fast falling behind. The requirements of Vista show that very well.

Now, if they managed to get Win7 to have an default install-base of < 200 MB (with GUI and basic applications), improve performance, etc. then I'll be impressed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What a WOW
by KugelKurt on Sat 20th Sep 2008 12:53 UTC in reply to "RE: What a WOW"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem is that MS will not force app developers (be it 1st or 3rd party) to use Ribbon eg by removing the classic toolbar implementations (there are several part of Windows already). This means that the Windows GUI will be further diversified. Some apps use the toolbar implementation that first shipped with Win95, others use the toolbar that's also available since IE4, other's use Window.Forms from .NET, and many other are using custom widgets (Firefox, OpenOffice, MS Office, WordPerfect Office, Photoshop,...).

Reply Score: 3

RE: What a WOW
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:13 UTC in reply to "What a WOW"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

IE7's menu changes are bad enough.

Reply Score: 1

porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

One of the companies we support moved to Office 2007 because they were sold on the idea that it really was much easier to use.

They have had to revert to Office 2003 as they couldn't afford to waste time retraining and relearning things that they already new how to do. There was nothing intuitive or easy about 2007 and even simpler tasks became hugely complex as people played the where-in-the-world have they moved this feature now?

So now they plan to do this for all of the Windows interface?

Brilliant, I can't wait for that one.

Reply Score: 0

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They have had to revert to Office 2003 as they couldn't afford to waste time retraining and relearning things that they already new how to do.


Gawk, imagine what the world would look like if all people were like that.

We'd still be flinging poo at one another from trees.

Reply Score: 12

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

We'd still be flinging poo at one another from trees.

Instead of flaming one another from our web browsers.

Reply Score: 21

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

+4375637567348564385.

Reply Score: 1

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

And we'd be better for it!

Whether you realize it or not, not everyone is made to understand computer interfaces. Some people are just too scared to simply click around and learn a new interface. They think that they'll break something (and with Microsoft products, they probably will).

Besides, sometimes it's just enjoyable to fling poo.

Reply Score: 3

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

kinda like how one dont drive a car or plane on trail and error?

i wonder how we would approach computers, if user errors could be fatal...

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Interestingly enough that's the argument often used against Linux and alternatives. That people will need to be re-trained, that they arent used to it and that it will cost money. Funny how then the same people (not you Thom) who derided the alternatives are praising when MS does the same.
It's a funny old world, innit.

Reply Score: 3

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

known evils and all that...

Reply Score: 2

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Interestingly enough that's the argument often used against Linux and alternatives. That people will need to be re-trained, that they arent used to it and that it will cost money. Funny how then the same people (not you Thom) who derided the alternatives are praising when MS does the same.
It's a funny old world, innit.


True. And interestingly enough, it lowered the cost for many to switch to OpenOffice or Lotus Symphony, etc. as the re-training cost was at worst the same as moving to Office 2007, and at best far lower; plus they didn't necessarily have the licensing fees that Microsoft charges...

Yep...it hurt them at least as much (if not more) than it helped them...

Reply Score: 1

porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

No, it's called business sense and return-on-investment. Why pay lots of money to retrain everyone on something that they already know how to do well?

This company was sold the idea that their employees would be more productive with no training needed and it was ONE BIF FAT LIE.

This migration was such a fiasco that Microsoft returned the money for the licenses when they were threatened by the company in question with going public with the story.

Progress is making people more productive or making the new capabilities of an application so compelling that people are willing and eager to under re-training.

Reply Score: 2

luzr Member since:
2005-11-20

"They have had to revert to Office 2003 as they couldn't afford to waste time retraining and relearning things that they already new how to do.


Gawk, imagine what the world would look like if all people were like that.

We'd still be flinging poo at one another from trees.
"

I do not know. Innovation is generally good, but in my opinion, changing things just for the sake of change is stupid.

Reply Score: 2

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I do not know. Innovation is generally good, but in my opinion, changing things just for the sake of change is stupid.

But most people who have given Office 2007 an honest chance and gotten past the initial confusion seem to think that the improvements are for the better.

In this case it's changing things for the sake of seeing if there is a better way than the old way and that should be applauded.

Reply Score: 3

g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Did Office 2003 contain any real improvements over Office 2000? Not that I found, but since it was practically the same in every other way, no-one cared. It was business as usual. Does Office 2007 have any real improvement over 2003? Not that I can see, but it is very different for the sake of being different, so it's a needless waste. Businesses cannot afford to be fashionistas and change everything every few years only because "last year's software" isn't "in" at the moment.

Let's go back to your analogy. If being different for the sake of being different was the way people always did thing, we'd still be flinging poo at eat other from the trees, but we'd be "innovating" by mixing it with different types of leaves and in 2007, we'd improve it by mixing it was cactus, rose thorns, and porcupine quills.

Reply Score: 1

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

We'd still be flinging poo at one another from trees.


That will probably be Microsoft's next patent - a unique and innovative method of flinging poo.

Not sure if anyone here has realized, but apparently Microsoft are trying to patent the ribbon (and then planning to license the ribbon idea to third party developers royalty-free, as long as those third party developers aren't doing anything to compete with Microsoft)...

Reply Score: 2

Kwitschibo Member since:
2006-01-17

wrong place

Edited 2008-09-18 20:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

I have the same problem at work. People complain endlessly. Then I show them how to change their approach to working in the Office app e.g. how Office 2007 is very much context sensitive and things start coming to them. Office 2007 has may nice touches. The zoom bar is very handy. The attachment preview saves a lot of time.

Office 2007 is a big step forward but you have to be willing to open your mind.

Reply Score: 4

license_2_blather Member since:
2006-02-05

And you have to have time to spend on it. When I need to get work done, I get very "old and indignant" when the UI is totally changed, there is little in the way of transition aids, and it takes me twice as long to find things.

If I had time I'd be willing to give it a chance, but unless my employer purchases Office 2007, my only exposure to it will be helping friends with it. Office 2003 (and increasingly, OpenOffice) fulfill my needs for "office" software.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

One of the companies we support moved to Office 2007 because they were sold on the idea that it really was much easier to use.

They have had to revert to Office 2003 as they couldn't afford to waste time retraining and relearning things that they already new how to do. There was nothing intuitive or easy about 2007 and even simpler tasks became hugely complex as people played the where-in-the-world have they moved this feature now?

So now they plan to do this for all of the Windows interface?

Brilliant, I can't wait for that one.


If you are hiring people who are unwilling to relearn new skills as part of their job - then obviously you've hired people who aren't suitable for the job title. For me, I've held a variety of jobs in the past - and each job I continuously up-skilled myself; what is the next thing coming around the corner, what is the new product in the pipe line.

Continuous up-skilling is part of your job description and it isn't for the company to do it - it is for YOU to do it, and if YOU fail to do it, then YOU should get fired for not keeping yourself up to date with the equipment provided by the company.

Me? I've moved from Word Star 2000 to Wordperfect/Harvard Graphics/Lotus 1-2-3 to Lotus Smartsuite to Wordperfect Suite, then to Microsoft Office with dabbling in OpenOffice.org - each time I've moved, I hit the ground running without any problems. Why? because I *LEARN* the fundamentals of computers so that I can transport existing skills to new software packages and apply the same knowledge to a new situation.

The problem is that people are taught as if they were automated macro's, and if they get out of their comfort zone - if an icon is ever so slightly moved - they lose their orientation. Quite frankly, I really fear what the future will be like with people like that in charge.

Reply Score: 5

mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

Yes, lets rewrite the linux kernel in c++ because change should be a part of the job.

Obviously retraining people who are just as productive with the new or old is a waste of money. Given your bizarre take on shoving ribbon up peoples rumps a company you ran might end up in the ground rather fast.

At least give the people a reversion choice. No-choice foisting is just arrogant jerk programming.

Reply Score: 4

evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Yes, lets rewrite the linux kernel in c++ because change should be a part of the job.


Rewriting the Linux kernel in C++ is no small feat and there are no gains to be had. Ribbon on the other hand has made a thoroughly complex interface much easier to use.

There is no comparison between the two.

Reply Score: 2

mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

The parallel I gave (C->C++) is fine, its just that you have trouble thinking clearly in abstractions.

Change for the sake of change is wrong, and when a new method can be implemented side by side with the old method without penalty its arrogant and stupid.

Its funny, everyone I know seems to hate ribbon and disables or avoids this trash wherever possible. You might see utility is shuffling deck chairs, most of us are busy.

Stanford has free CS, EE and Robotics courses online now, you might want to sign up for a few so you can stop being such a moron and lusting after forced UI design changes from the worst UI designer in the industry whose only appeal is a large compatible software library that doesn't change for the hell of it (until Vista/2007, which is widely derided especially by IT departments.)


http://see.stanford.edu/default.aspx

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2330703,00.asp

Stanford is offering some of its most popular engineering classes free of charge to students and educators around the world, according to the university.

tah tah.

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Perhaps they had problems running Office 2007 on their stone tablets?

Reply Score: 3

dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Funny, I've seen more or less the exact opposite. People where completely confused for the first day and still grumbling half way through the second, by the end of the second day they've re-learned how to do most of their basic tasks, by day four they had pretty much gotten the hang of everything and by the end of the week most people far preferred it to office 2003.

These where people with normal levels of computer experience and without any sort of training.

Reply Score: 3

Menus
by ebasconp on Thu 18th Sep 2008 19:41 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

Maybe I come from the "old wave", but I find menus more functional, easier to use, more organizated and they do not occupy all my screen.

Reply Score: 14

RE: Menus
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:09 UTC in reply to "Menus"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Yes, you are the "old wave"

The ribbon is a much more functional way to access program features. organizing by the task you are performing and having all the relevant functions visible at the same time is much better than deeply nested menus.

The ribbon is task based UI design. much more efficient and much more pleasing to work with, except for those who are so inflexible as to not be able to make the adjustments.

I really think that 90% of the reasons to hold back on moving forward in design is due to 10% of the users.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Menus
by ebasconp on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Menus"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Yes, you are the "old wave"

The ribbon is a much more functional way to access program features. organizing by the task you are performing and having all the relevant functions visible at the same time is much better than deeply nested menus.


A menu with a lot of submenus containing submenus is not a problem of the menu by itself, but an application usability design problem. A simple menu containing a lot of things in a good structured way is a simple and nice UI tool.

You can easily iterate through all the menu options or you can easily reach a menu option using your keyboards, I do not know if that is possible and easy through ribbons.

The ribbon is task based UI design. much more efficient and much more pleasing to work with, except for those who are so inflexible as to not be able to make the adjustments.

I really think that 90% of the reasons to hold back on moving forward in design is due to 10% of the users.


If the change is for good, the "pain and sorrow" will be worth it, but otherwise (as in this case), there is no need to suffer ;) ... I always will prefer a nice and clean UI than an UI filled with lots of little figures than probably I will never use.

Anyway, I will agree fully with your comments if Apple replaces its top level menu for a top level ribbon ;)

Edited 2008-09-18 20:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Menus
by mrhasbean on Thu 18th Sep 2008 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Menus"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

I really think that 90% of the reasons to hold back on moving forward in design is due to 10% of the users.


Tell that to the corporations who have to retrain 90% of their staff at a massive up-front cost, not to mention the cost in productivity without significant gain at the end of the retraining.

Its not about holding back on moving forward, its about how you implement the "moving forward". No "legacy" mode in the first version to contain a new UI concept is just plain stupid.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Menus
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu 18th Sep 2008 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Menus"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

good thing there is a legacy mode in Office 2007.

http://on10.net/blogs/sarahintampa/Office-2007-quotLegacyquot-Mode/

Edited 2008-09-18 23:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Menus
by OddFox on Fri 19th Sep 2008 04:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Menus"
OddFox Member since:
2005-10-05

That is not a legacy mode, it is an add-in that emulates certain aspects of the previous look-and-feel. Legacy mode implies that the program is inbuilt to be able to fall back to how it used to feel/function, not that someone has released something you could download (and buy, as I notice there is a Professional version of this for sale). I guess some people wont mind spending 30$ to get Office 2007 to behave more like previous versions.

Edited 2008-09-19 04:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Menus
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Menus"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

yeah, and people who paid like $600 bucks for o2k7 should have to pay another $30 to fix the asinine new menu system that everyone I know dislikes? I even asked the VP-level PA's and they are competent and responsible people who after months still dont like it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Menus
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat 20th Sep 2008 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Menus"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

It is not there to fix a problem, it is there to satisfy the fools who do not want to get more productive.

Reply Score: 2

Well...
by fretinator on Thu 18th Sep 2008 19:43 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Somehow the reference to "lipstick on a pig" comes to mind...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Well...
by apoclypse on Thu 18th Sep 2008 19:54 UTC in reply to "Well..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Well done sir, well done!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Well...
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:10 UTC in reply to "Well..."
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Why would you bring Sara Palin into this? The fact that you used Lipstick in your comment is a clear indication that you were talking about her and I find your remark highly sexist.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Well...
by bhuot on Thu 18th Sep 2008 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
RE[3]: Well...
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri 19th Sep 2008 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well..."
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

You + Sarcasm = disaster.

Cripes.... I thought I was laying it on pretty thick with the faulty logical connection between Palin and the lipstick.

Reply Score: 3

You can use it now
by sagum on Thu 18th Sep 2008 19:48 UTC
sagum
Member since:
2006-01-23

Aa part of Microsoft's new Windows Live suite, Windows Live Movie Maker has had a make over with its introduction featuring the new Ribon menu bars. You can check it out here, along with screenshots. Vista only for this one though.

http://download.live.com/moviemaker

Reply Score: 1

Comment by OSGuy
by OSGuy on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:05 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

Well the ribbon bar does look good however the status bar shown on the screenshots looks like it's dating the stone age. I know it's beta so let's hope the status bar and the rest of the UI, control borders etc get changed to Office2007 style because the way it is now (as shown on the screenshot) it looks half baked and simply weird.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by SJ87
by sj87 on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:07 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

Ribbon might work in an environment that's got lots and lots of features that might all be needed in regular tasks. One of those environments is Office. But Ribbon in Paint? Sick. The only thing I don't hate in it is that it doesn't look like the same old Paint we've had for fifteen years (or something). With today's wide-screen displays it's even less rational to waste the vertical space than it might have been some years ago, when the 4:3 screens still ruled the world.

On the other hand, MS Paint itself is a completely useless "tool" (and WordPad too, since all branded machines come with MS Word bundled), so maybe it doesn't matter anyways. Windows Explorer and Media Player on the other hand... I don't think Ribbon would prove useful even in Outlook Express.

Edited 2008-09-18 20:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by SJ87
by emarkp on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by SJ87"
emarkp Member since:
2005-09-10

Ding ding ding! Vertical space is at a premium. Put a tabbed interface on the side, and leave me with a menu with full functionality. It's not hard MS.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by SJ87
by Bobthearch on Thu 18th Sep 2008 22:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by SJ87"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I wonder if the user will be able to click and drag the 'ribbon' from top to the bottom or to either side? Microsoft's toolbars have had that capability for years.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by SJ87
by evangs on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by SJ87"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

They could just bundle Paint.NET, which would be totally awesome. 1) It replaces MS Paint which is utterly useless. 2) It would show case the .NET framework as a viable client side framework. I find it disconcerting that while MS pushes Winforms and WPF as next generation GUI libraries, many of their applications are still Win32.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by SJ87
by casuto on Fri 19th Sep 2008 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by SJ87"
casuto Member since:
2007-02-27

They could just bundle Paint.NET, which would be totally awesome.


Paint.NET is NOT a Microsoft product, so it's impossible to be part of Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by SJ87
by evangs on Fri 19th Sep 2008 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by SJ87"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

It's written by one guy. Hire him and get him to work on Paint.NET full time and you can bundle it with Windows and get rid of the atrocity that is MS Paint.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by SJ87
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by SJ87"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

I think most people jump right into photoshop after mspaint.exe . Or at least those of us that do work for a living.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by SJ87
by apoclypse on Fri 19th Sep 2008 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by SJ87"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Why not? MS has bought out apps before and included them in their OS. So has Apple (Logic, Final Cut, iTunes). If the app is good enough then MS should consider just buying the application and including it. Liek I said they have done that many times before (directx comes to mind as well as .net).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by SJ87
by TommyCarlier on Fri 19th Sep 2008 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by SJ87"
TommyCarlier Member since:
2006-08-02

The developer of Paint.NET works at Microsoft. He does not intend Paint.NET to ever be included in Windows because that would make the development schedule of Paint.NET depend on that of Windows. Now he can release new versions often.

Reply Score: 1

bla
by PipoDeClown on Thu 18th Sep 2008 20:34 UTC
PipoDeClown
Member since:
2005-07-19

exciting things are in the past, these days most technology is being reapplied are redigested again and again, different colours same ideas.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j02b8Fuz73A

Reply Score: 2

I bet you $100
by Milo_Hoffman on Thu 18th Sep 2008 21:00 UTC
Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I bet $100 that Notepad/Wordpad STILL DO NOT HAVE a spellchecker.


They added all this ribbon stuff...but STILL no spellchecker that users have been asking for since Windows 3.0.


That pretty much sum's up everything you need to know about Microsoft.

Edited 2008-09-18 21:01 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: I bet you $100
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 19th Sep 2008 08:03 UTC in reply to "I bet you $100"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

There's a pretty strong incentive to not mess at all with notepad, so I doubt you'll see any new features there. Notepad is essentially always going to be an Edit box with a simple shell around it that doesn't do a whole lot because it needs to have very few dependencies.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I bet you $100
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:11 UTC in reply to "RE: I bet you $100"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

But IE7Pro and Mozilla have spell checkers. Its inexcusable something so simple be omitted.

Reply Score: 1

terrible on laptops
by _txf_ on Thu 18th Sep 2008 21:06 UTC
_txf_
Member since:
2008-03-17

Whilst I think that the ribbon is a clever idea, I find that it takes up way too much vertical space.

Anyone with a laptop not the size of godzilla will have a vertical resolution of 900,800 or even less. With the ribbons more space is wasted on the ui that could have been used for the content/documents (or at least enable dragging the tab bar to the side).

With all the focus (multi-touch etc) on portable devices this seems to be another completely schizophrenic decision by MS.

Edited 2008-09-18 21:09 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: terrible on laptops
by A30Guy on Thu 18th Sep 2008 23:47 UTC in reply to "terrible on laptops"
A30Guy Member since:
2005-07-06

If the Ribbon takes up too much vertical space, double click on one of the tabs and it will be minimised. Single click on a tab and it will be displayed again and will auto-hide when you return to the body of the document.
Simple as.

Reply Score: 2

v Mac
by WaYneO13 on Thu 18th Sep 2008 21:22 UTC
ribbon and spatial UI
by buff on Thu 18th Sep 2008 22:00 UTC
buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

I dislike the ribbon UI as much as I dislike the dreaded spatial behavior of Nautilus. Extending the ribbon UI to the desktop and more applications will infuriate even more people than those that dislike Vista. I didn't think Microsoft could find another way to alienate its customers after Vista. I was wrong.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ribbon and spatial UI
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:10 UTC in reply to "ribbon and spatial UI"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

Cool icon. Gort, Klaatu barada nikto!.

Anyways, I think MSFT post XP/2003 have really gone into bad territory, its far easier to embrace Aqua than it is to embrace Aero/Ribbions. Its to the point of absurdity.

Reply Score: 1

I'm not enthused.
by drcoldfoot on Thu 18th Sep 2008 22:14 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

I wish I can be more excited about the new ribbon feature. But my first impression is that this is yet another worthless feature that will eat up valuable Monitor real estate. But I'll stay tuned to test before a final judgment.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm not enthused.
by lemur2 on Thu 18th Sep 2008 23:57 UTC in reply to "I'm not enthused."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I wish I can be more excited about the new ribbon feature. But my first impression is that this is yet another worthless feature that will eat up valuable Monitor real estate. But I'll stay tuned to test before a final judgment.


My guess is that Microsoft are using the ribbon everywhere because Microsoft have got a patent on the ribbon GUI interface.

Microsoft's dream would be to have "ubiquitous ribbon GUIs" on computers everywhere, so that the bulk of newbie users would expect a ribbon GUI and could not operate a more traditional menu/toolbar interface ... and hence all desktop software would have to be sourced from Microsoft, or at least pay Microsoft a royalty.

This is the one and only reason why you will see a ribbon interface on Microsoft's applications ... my prediction is that you will see it used in Microsoft applications even where it make no sense at all.

Given that many screens these days have 16:10 aspect ratios, and that the market seems to be moving towards smaller screens and ultraportable netbooks instead of larger screens, IMO it is a wonderful thing that "the ribbon" GUI eats up vertical screen real estate, and that Microsoft's patent is unlikely to cover a ribbon-type GUI that is vertically orientated on the left or right side of the screen ...

Edited 2008-09-18 23:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Hmm...interesting
by motang on Thu 18th Sep 2008 23:26 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

Well I for one like that they are implementing the Ribbons interface. But that is just me as I like things that are different, that is the main reason I go so far to have a different OS on each of my computers. ;)

Reply Score: 1

v Lock-In
by membrain on Fri 19th Sep 2008 02:59 UTC
RE: Lock-In
by edogawaconan on Fri 19th Sep 2008 03:11 UTC in reply to "Lock-In"
edogawaconan Member since:
2006-10-10

or maybe they just prefer using UI they deem better

Reply Score: 4

RE: Lock-In
by lemur2 on Fri 19th Sep 2008 04:57 UTC in reply to "Lock-In"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

For *me*, this smells like a lock-in strategy. Let's get everyone used to Ribbons, so they'll have a hard time working with other UIs elsewhere; from a rational standing point i see no other good reason to do this (the argument of otherwise-just-a-failed-investment doesn't really hold here, because, this is Microsoft, guys, they wouldn't deeply care for a few hundred million lost if they found it's something not worth keeping).


I'm actually hopeful that this latest attempt at lock-in by Microsoft won't actually work.

http://www.workswithu.com/2008/09/16/can-ubuntu-overcome-the-status...

The more Microsoft change things from one version of Windows/Office to the next, the more capable people become at adjusting to a different thing than what they were used to before.

This works just as well for adjusting to a new OS altogether as it does to adjusting to a new version of Windows.

Paradoxically, going with a non-Windows option that this UI change enables you to at least attempt (you have to learn a new UI anyway, so why not learn a non-Microsoft one?) actually allows you you utterly escape the very lock-in that Microsoft are seeking to entrench.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Lock-In
by kaiwai on Fri 19th Sep 2008 05:47 UTC in reply to "Lock-In"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

For *me*, this smells like a lock-in strategy. Let's get everyone used to Ribbons, so they'll have a hard time working with other UIs elsewhere; from a rational standing point i see no other good reason to do this (the argument of otherwise-just-a-failed-investment doesn't really hold here, because, this is Microsoft, guys, they wouldn't deeply care for a few hundred million lost if they found it's something not worth keeping).


Not necessarily. If you look at the ribbon, it seems like a natural extension of the tool bar fused with the tab based interface - one could easily, if they got a decent lawyer (who actually had his shit together) to argue prior art. Then again, IMHO - patents on software shouldn't be given out to the same level they're done today.

Anyway, I think that the ribbon, although a HUGE improvement over the menu based paradigm, I still prefer the 'grand unified menu' at the top and the way which iWorks/Office 2008 is done. But I guess I would be in the minority (given that all alternative operating systems seem to be hell bent on copying Windows, right down to some of the stupid UI ideas too).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Lock-In
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Lock-In"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

If XP/2003 and windows before the Ribbon era are so stupid and copied stupidly, why is there so much shrink wrap and custom software developed there ? I guess everyone in the world making this a popular place to use software are all idiots then.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Lock-In
by kaiwai on Sat 20th Sep 2008 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lock-In"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

If XP/2003 and windows before the Ribbon era are so stupid and copied stupidly, why is there so much shrink wrap and custom software developed there ? I guess everyone in the world making this a popular place to use software are all idiots then.


They do have stupid UI paradigms; the only reason why people use them is because they ignorant as to the alternatives that exist. For someone like me who used Amiga/Atari/Apple computers before using a PC - the whole concept of a menu on every window is a stupid idea.

Reply Score: 2

Paulhekje
Member since:
2007-10-03

I love to use the keyboard instead of the mouse for a lot of functions. When I don't know the short key I use <ALT><...> to go through the menu's.

The ribbon is hell when you try to navigate with keys, especially when using a word processor.
The ribbon could be nice in photo-editing.

Edited 2008-09-19 06:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

A30Guy Member since:
2005-07-06

The ribbon can be easily navigated with the keyboard - easier in fact than menu bars.
Press the Alt key on the keyboard. Tags will appear on all the Ribbon tabs. Press the letter for the tab you want; H for Home, N for Insert.
The tags will move to the command level. Press the letter to activate the required command.
In this way a picture dialog box can be opened with three keystrokes ALT N P.
It only takes a little time and an open mind...

Reply Score: 3

I like it... [cringes]
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 19th Sep 2008 06:17 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Yeah, I admit... I like the ribbon interface. I did a side-by-side comparison of the new vs. old versions of Paint and Wordpad, and the ribbon *does* look more intuitive. Plus, it's probably the biggest change to the programs since... what, Win95 or earlier? And one I actually welcome.

Now if only Microsoft would get rid of the bloat, turn more bells and whistles off by default, tone down the unnecessary notifications and systray balloon tips, make a sane "limited vs. admin" users setup (not that UAC bullshit). Yeah, that won't happen even if Hell freezes over, but that's what it'd take for me to really "enjoy" using Windows again.

The ribbon is a nice application enhancement when it works, but there needs to be some system-wide changes IMO before it'll be worth it. It could be sold as a "light" (as in lightweight; not light on features) version of Windows for those who don't fit in the absolute mainstream (the "oooh, shiny!" crowd).

Oh, and IMO DRM's got to go; make the ability to play Blu-Ray purely optional and require a separate decoder to be purchased (or a specially labeled version of Windows). Same with that WGA crap, completely remove that garbage, but yeah, I know it's probably here to stay too.

Yeah, yeah, I'm just dreaming. This is Microsoft we're talking about here. None of this is ever going to happen. And for that, there's always Linux and Ubuntu... plus early projects such as ReactOS and Haiku.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I like it... [cringes]
by Kroc on Fri 19th Sep 2008 07:36 UTC in reply to "I like it... [cringes]"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You are so right, but I can't mod you up as I've already commented. For Windows to move on, the Registry *has* to go.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I like it... [cringes]
by hyper on Fri 19th Sep 2008 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE: I like it... [cringes]"
hyper Member since:
2005-06-29

For Windows to move on, the Registry *has* to go.


May I ask why? Registry is much faster than text files. It contains standard API to read and write. And it has been proven many times, that registry *is not* the thing which slows windows down, contrary to what many thinks.

So why does it have to go?!? Just because you would prefer it? I don't think so. Many more people (including me) would complain about if its gone.

Actually using database is a very good idea for system settings storage. Just look at the mess which *nix config files are. Different syntax, random locations, etc. Registry just makes more sense. If you put all the stuff from registry to text/xml, can you imagine how many megabytes they would take? Can you imagine overhead to read/write? You can? Good.

PS. Yes, applications should store settings as files in AppData directories and that's what Microsoft encourages. But you cannot force everyone in thousands of 3rd party devs to do so.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I like it... [cringes]
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 20th Sep 2008 08:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I like it... [cringes]"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

May I ask why? Registry is much faster than text files. It contains standard API to read and write. And it has been proven many times, that registry *is not* the thing which slows windows down, contrary to what many thinks.

Ok, so maybe it's not what slows your system down. At least, not in NT-based Windows. Maybe it's not even faster than text configuration files. But it sure as hell is what's still keeping it virtually impossible from successfully backing up all your settings and data in Windows and transferring them to another machine, or even back on to the same damn system.

So why does it have to go?!? Just because you would prefer it? I don't think so. Many more people (including me) would complain about if its gone.

I won't complain. Its main use is "hiding" information from users, such as registration info, which shouldn't even *need* to be hidden. All it does is complicate reinstalls and moving one system to another. And Microsoft and other companies like it that way. Why? Because you depend on *them* for all your backup needs, such as for moving to a new system. Plus the fact that it makes it more difficult to move a Windows installation from one PC to another, forcing you to buy "moving" software when you buy a new Windows PC.

Actually using database is a very good idea for system settings storage. Just look at the mess which *nix config files are. Different syntax, random locations, etc.

Yeah, and I like it that way. It's not hidden and--get this--it's commented so you can understand how to read it. And even if it's not commented, it's still easy to figure out just by looking at it. And if all else fails, there are man pages to explain what you don't understand.

Registry just makes more sense. If you put all the stuff from registry to text/xml, can you imagine how many megabytes they would take? Can you imagine overhead to read/write? You can? Good.

The registry is a good idea in concept. In reality... it's a disaster and a pain in the f****** ass, and it ties you to one single machine. And even gives you trouble if you try to reinstall the same OS onto the same machine. Genious, ain't it? Yeah, I just love the registry...

Edited 2008-09-20 08:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I like it... [cringes]
by Kroc on Sun 21st Sep 2008 08:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I like it... [cringes]"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Thank you for seeing reality.
In practice, the registry is a disaster.

It makes backup and restore in Windows a pain in any form. Windows geeks are given over to the idea that "Backup" means 'duplicating files to somewhere else' and "Restore" means 'doing a full re-install and re-configure'. That's not Restore, that's doing your annual re-install early!

Reply Score: 2

RE: I like it... [cringes]
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 19th Sep 2008 08:13 UTC in reply to "I like it... [cringes]"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

And for that, there's always Linux and Ubuntu... plus early projects such as ReactOS and Haiku.

Yikes! I don't mean to reply to my own topic but there's one major oversight I completely missed. I meant "Linux and BSD", not "Linux and Ubuntu." Oops.

But yeah, "No Bullshit Edition" sounds like a good name for the imaginary Windows OS I was describing. Has a nice ring to it, don't ya think? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I like it... [cringes]
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:08 UTC in reply to "I like it... [cringes]"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

A large part of the bloat is coming in with "advanced" UI bull crap. I used to think Stardock Window Blinds was bloated, Aero and beyond are horrific.

Reply Score: 1

The Story of the Ribbon
by TommyCarlier on Fri 19th Sep 2008 06:41 UTC
TommyCarlier
Member since:
2006-08-02

If you're interested in the history of the Ribbon, the motivation behind it, the early prototypes: Jensen Harris (Group PM of the Office UX Team) did a presentation at MIX08 that explains everything. You can watch the video and download the slides here: http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2008/03/12/the-story-of-the-r...

Reply Score: 2

Worst. UI. Idea. Ever.
by zaine_ridling on Fri 19th Sep 2008 10:19 UTC
zaine_ridling
Member since:
2007-05-13

Not only is the ribbon for 3-year olds, but it's highly inefficient. Worse, it eats up valuable vertical screen space. I DON'T NEED 1-INCH ICONS!

Look at this way. How many more will make the switch to Linux in the next four years because of this ignorant shit?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Worst. UI. Idea. Ever.
by Phoenixfire159 on Fri 19th Sep 2008 11:30 UTC in reply to "Worst. UI. Idea. Ever."
Phoenixfire159 Member since:
2006-12-05

Whoops, didn't see this post before I commented. Damn I completely agree. Hate wasting vertical space.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Worst. UI. Idea. Ever.
by AnXa on Fri 19th Sep 2008 12:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Worst. UI. Idea. Ever."
AnXa Member since:
2008-02-10

Me too, but since this is the FIRST ever big UI upgrade to Paint and Wordpad and punch of other applications at least in what? 20 years? oh man, this is going to be huge. Espesially if they manage to fix the performace issues and make ui more consistant. Server 2008 is not bad performance wise. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Other companies using the ribon
by nirishdave on Fri 19th Sep 2008 11:04 UTC
nirishdave
Member since:
2008-09-03

We will be including a ribbon UI in the next version of our software. The current version of the software does something similar using icons and tool bars.

EDIT: Cant seem to correct my spelling in the title.

Edited 2008-09-19 11:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Vertical space
by Phoenixfire159 on Fri 19th Sep 2008 11:29 UTC
Phoenixfire159
Member since:
2006-12-05

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I'm a programmer and I really like my vertical space. The ribbon frankly takes up too much vertical space on my screen. Before I had the menu bar and two toolbars underneath it. Now the ribbon has a 'tab' bar, and the large format buttons that take up about three and a half times the height of one of the old toolbars.

So basically before = 3 lines for menu + toolbars
Ribbon = 4.5 lines for menu + toolbars

In my opinion that's kind of a big deal.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Vertical space
by mickrussom on Fri 19th Sep 2008 19:06 UTC in reply to "Vertical space"
mickrussom Member since:
2006-05-13

I agree with you 100% here. Ribbons suck up screen real estate like nothing else.

Reply Score: 1

DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

I haven't used the ribbon too much yet to have an informed opinion about it but I have been watching some accessibility initiatives on an university campus nearby recently and I can tell you that unless it has some way to let people with disabilities use it easily through a keyboard or through some sort of enabling technology, Microsoft better be sure to put all the functions of their applications on old fashioned menus in addition to the ribbon.

Those of you praising this as the greatest thing ever created for the WIMP paradigm have not yet watched someone trying to use a screen reader to use their computers or whose fingers cannot hold a mouse properly, even less hit a small icon in a tabbed interface. Even people without any physical or cognitive disability whatsoever might have problems with things changing location all the time due to the contextual nature of the ribbon: I know that my mom would have a heck of a problem trying to keep up!

Yes, it is beautiful and bling sells. I'm not even against making it more attractive as this is obviously a plus. But they definitely need to take all the user cases - at least, as much as possible as stated in the Universal Design guidelines - into account before pushing such UI changes down everybody's throats.

Edited 2008-09-19 12:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

TommyCarlier Member since:
2006-08-02

The ribbon has good keyboard accessibility, maybe even better than that of the classical menus and toolbars. Check out this blog post by Jensen Harris: http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2005/10/13/480568.aspx

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You're under the mistaken impression that MS cares about accessibility. The only accessibility they put it is enough so that third party screen readers and other products can take advantage of various video driver hooks, API hacks, and some limited accessibility APIs to then retrofit accessibility onto Windows. Being one who relies on a screen reader myself, and having made various scripts/hacks/what have you for programs in Windows that either do not hook to the Microsoft accessibility APIs at all or are just plain awkward to use I can tell you firsthand it's absolutely ridiculous. MS does enough to comply with section 508 and nothing more.
If you want to see very big strides in accessibility take a look at what Apple has been doing--the results they've achieved in this amount of time are amazing. A very good screen reader built right into the operating system, for instance, and a comprehensive accessibility framework that they are slowly but surely updating their own software to use. This will happen even faster in Snow Leopard, as Carbon will finally be phased out and accessibility is a 99% certainty in any native cocoa application--and when it isn't, it doesn't take much to implement the missing accessibility at all. This is also good for developers, as it makes them more aware of accessibility issues and, since the screen reader and magnifier are right there, they can easily test their programs accessibility. Compare this to the windows screen readers, the most popular of which costs $1200 and, being the bolted-on approach, often renders windows unstable. Most small software developers are not willing to pay for that, and I don't blame them. Add to that Apple has come out with the first truly accessible consumer device--the 4th generation iPod nano. I'm hoping that this actually makes MS sit up and take notice--while I am very much a Mac lover, I believe true accessibility to all platforms is important (KDE, I'm pointing at you here too). If you actually se MS and Apple side by side in their accessibility efforts Apple is the clear winner especially in recent years. Even the GNOME accessibility effort, slow and bug-ridden as it is, has done more in terms of making a platform accessible than MS has done.
In terms of the ribbon (back on topic here) I find that while it is keyboard accessible up to a point, you already have to have a basic idea of what will be there. I can't move around it like I can a menu with the keyboard. I also dislike the ribbon for its context-sensitive nature, I really don't like when software tries to hold my hand. Office's UI was indeed cluttered, I'll give them that. Still, given the ribbon's layout it's just not something I prefer.
The question of lock-in concerns me as well. As I understand it, one of the previous commenters had it right--that MS will license the ribbon, royalty free, to anyone's product as long as they're not competing with MS directly. I have, however, found another condition in addition to this one: the product must meet Microsoft's UI guidelines. In other words, MS has to approve your program. Does anyone smell trouble coming? Also, what mainstream programs won't be directly competing with Microsoft? Wordprocessors, spreadsheets, chat/IM/VOIP clients, email readers... fail, on all of these and more as MS has a product in all of these areas. So, if you want the program to have a ribbon you'd better not be competing with MS and they'd better like the way your program looks. If you don't have a ribbon you won't fit into the overall UI. Completely insane. Of course this does depend on whether MS is actually able to patent this user interface concept. Personally, I've always found patents on user interfaces to be a bit silly but the law is what it is until someone manages to change it. Now, how the patents work outside of the US I honestly can't say, as I'm not a lawyer.

Reply Score: 1

jasongrieves Member since:
2007-02-15

You're under the mistaken impression that MS cares about accessibility.
In terms of the ribbon (back on topic here) I find that while it is keyboard accessible up to a point, you already have to have a basic idea of what will be there.


It doesn't sound like you answered the question with a "Yes" or "No" because its not available yet. Your making the assumption that its the same ribbon as in Office. We will have to wait and see how accessible Win7 is when we get it publicly. Feel free to continue reading if you want to see my response to the other points made in the post.

Microsoft's approach to accessibility has always been to provide the framework and means to plug into the UI and allow Assistive Technology (AT) vendors to create software for different users. They provide some built in AT which allows you to install a more commercial and powerful screen reader. Although I don't use JAWS, I have a lot of friends that do. It is a great solution to the operating system. You mention it makes Windows unstable? I'd like to see some hard data on that. My friends use JAWS and love it. In fact anyone can download JAWS for a free trial and take a shot themselves. Please do not over generalize your bad experiences, as a lot of us have had great experience with AT on Windows.

Apple has come out with the first truly accessible consumer device--the 4th generation iPod nano.


Apple is offering the first accessible consumer device? Don't you think your doing a bit of an inustice to the thousands of AT vendors out there that design commercial hardware/software for people with disabilities? Take a look at some of the products at http://www.abledata.com/ who lists the thousands of software/hardware solutions for users created by other companies way before Apple.

I believe true accessibility to all platforms is important

you'll be happy to hear MS is involved in the AIA, working with Novell to bring an accessibility framework to Linux and Windows. See point 3 below. I believe interoperability is a key to future improvements in accessibility across the board.

MS does enough to comply with section 508 and nothing more.


Although there may not be a lot of AT users on OSNews to argue with you, I would like to bring up my research on what MS is doing in accessibility.

Microsoft is committed to accessibility on a lot of fronts:
1) UIA - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms747327.aspx, is the new framework that is replacing MSAA on Windows. It provides a greater flexibility and has a lot of potential to overcome the issues MSAA faced. Your correctly identified the limitations of that framework, but MS is working hard to find a better solution.
2) Windows, IE 8, Office, etc- http://www.microsoft.com/enable/ Showcases the products and services Microsoft is committed to with regards to accessibility. IE 8 makes great strides in accessibility compliance and ARIA
3) AIA http://www.accessinteropalliance.org/ Microsoft is committed to accessibility and its interoperability on other operating systems. Its not just show, look at what Novell is doing with UIA http://www.mono-project.com/Accessibility
4) AT Vendors - There are a lot of unique solutions available for people on Windows. It is apparent that Microsoft views accessibility as a space where AT vendors can provide the best solutions, albeit, expensive ones. With the thousands of software and hardwrae solutions that work with Microsoft, I would like to see a side by side comparison if the software developed for Apple (including what Apple produces) and the software developed for Windows (including what MS produces). Apple may provide more in the box, but Windows reaches a lot of more people. Whether they use MSAA, UIA, or other API's/workarounds, they still provide so many more solutions for a diverse group of people. Also take a look at MS developer center for accessibility http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/default.aspx
5) Bill Gates commits the company to accessibility http://www.magnifiers.org/access/speechgates.shtml
6) VPATS - http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/products/section508.ms... MS provides extremely detailed VPATS to discuss their limitations in accessibility. Yes, this relates to 508, but take a look at their VPATS which actually provide workarounds for some of the issues and problems people have.
7) Testing Tools - Open source accessibility testing tools are made available by Microsoft on Codeplex http://www.codeplex.com/AccCheck - AccChecker is a great tool. UIA Verify is also impressive http://www.codeplex.com/UIAutomationVerify
8) Windows SDK tools - Allow you to see how accessible your application are with the Windows standards. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3755582A-A...
9) Windows 7 Accessibility- we don't know much externally yet, but the Windows Accessibility site points to the Win7 blog. I am sure we'll see more from them soon.
http://blogs.msdn.com/accessibility/archive/2008/08/19/new-windows-...
10) CSUN - One of the biggest AT conferences in the world, and each year Microsoft showcases their work. http://blogs.msdn.com/accessibility/archive/2008/03/28/inspiration-...

I'm concerned over your comment as it generalized a lot of us that use Windows and assistive technology. You mentioned your a "Mac lover" which is fine, but please don't say that MS doesn't care about accessibility. As a low vision user, I am happy with my current software and hardware working in Windows.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Given that this has gone way off the topic I suggest that, should you wish to continue this discussion, we do so off of this thread. You missed the point of some of my statements and on others we have a very different viewpoint on what actually constitutes effort for accessibility. Again though this has gone too far from the topic of this comment thread, and I'll not bore the rest of the people here by discussing something they probably don't care about.

Reply Score: 1

ashishguptaissist Member since:
2008-09-23

Hi Dark Nexus,

While I understand that many screen readers cost an absurd amount of money, I'd urge you to consider taking a look at Issist (www.issist.com). Issist has been developed specifically to provide affordable Assistive Technology to the visually impaired.

iZoom 2.0, the flagship product, is a professional grade product that retails at $199, and is NOT made with a bolt-on approach. It is the only screen reader software that works WITH Windows, and is highly stable. iZoom2Go is the USB Key version that retails for $299, and can be used on ANY computer without installation.

Reply Score: 1

SCREENSHOT
by SK8T on Fri 19th Sep 2008 13:06 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

I found some screenshots, maybe they are authentic

http://www.chip.de/bildergalerie/Windows-7-erste-Fotos-vom-Mileston...

Reply Score: 2

axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

Anyone that has used toolbars and tabs will instantly recognize what the ribbon is.

It's not a big deal, actually. It's not a revolution. It's just a re-ordering of buttons and textboxes.

And it's not that helpful. I counted the clicks required to do most tasks in Word 2003 and in Word 2007. Most tasks are done with the same number of clicks in both environments, so there is no real improvement in anything.

The Ribbon is change for change's shake; Microsoft is trapped in its own products, which offer so many features that is very hard to innovate any more! they needed something to move the market forward, and hence the ribbon was born.

Reply Score: 1

ribbon interface
by richmassena on Tue 23rd Sep 2008 03:57 UTC
richmassena
Member since:
2006-11-26

For a company with 90%+ of the market, this is a bold move for them, and I can applaud Microsoft for that.

I dislike the ribbon interface, though I admit I haven't given it a fair chance. I started using office with Word 6.0 in the mid-nineties and it's worked in the same manner since. I don't dislike change, but I do resent having to relearn familiar tasks for no perceivable long-term benefit.

To criticize Microsoft on the actual implementation -- they weren't bold enough. If you're going to commit to such as drastic new interface in the Office suite, why not the whole interface? If you click on any of the panel menus within Word (for example) to fold out additional options, you get the same dialog box as the old Word. This makes the ribbon look bolted-on, which looks cheap and careless. I hope they fully integrate the ribbon and follow OSX with fold-out modal dialogs for these tasks. But knowing Microsoft, it will be a half-a**ed job, with promises of it being fixed in the next version.

Reply Score: 1