Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:18 UTC
Features, Office The OpenOffice.org team has been experimenting with a new user interface for the suite of programs, and they've presented the first rough prototype of this new interface, more specifically for Impress. The general gist? It's Microsoft Office 2007's ribbon interface.
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copycat
by stooovie on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:21 UTC
stooovie
Member since:
2006-01-25

Perfect proof of Copycatism in Linux/OSS world. While i really like certain OSS projects, majority of open software that actually has some user base is a plagiate of windows/mac SW. I would guess OSS devs have freedom to explore new grounds, but rather they stick to paradigms proven by proprietary vendors.

Reply Score: 5

RE: copycat
by GiantTalkingCow on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:27 UTC in reply to "copycat"
GiantTalkingCow Member since:
2009-01-27

Agreed. And what's more, in this case they've copied a bloody awful UI paradigm, and there's no indication that they've learned anything from Microsoft's mistakes. The default layout looks awful, takes up far too much spaces, and if the first pic is any indication, seems to be organized somewhat arbitrarily. I can only hope that unlike Microsoft's, this UI will be customizable, with users being able to create their own tab layouts. As is, this is the software equivalent of someone trying to copy a Ford Pinto.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: copycat
by gustl on Thu 6th Aug 2009 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE: copycat"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Totally agree but for one thing.

If OOo wants to venture into MSOffice user interface land, they should make sure that ALL buttons are at the exact same place and provide as similar a functionality to MSOffice as possible with OOo.

Why?

Because forcing somebody to learn ANOTHER brain-dead user interface seems to be no good idea to me.

The second advantage of this approach would be to save a lot of testing work to find out what is the best layout. I think Microsoft poured a lot of brainpower and testing into this to make it at least bearable.

No matter what they do, they better keep the current UI at least as an option.

Reply Score: 2

RE: copycat
by chekr on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:29 UTC in reply to "copycat"
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

If your saying that they are copying the "ribbon" then take a look at the bluefish editor tools interface...keep in mind that their interface pre-dated MSO '07

Kind of turns your argument on its head :-D

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: copycat
by Ventajou on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE: copycat"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

Looks like a ripoff of Coldfusion Studio 5:
http://gemsres.com/photos/story/res/42061/fig3.jpg

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: copycat
by B12 Simon on Thu 6th Aug 2009 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: copycat"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Blimey that takes me back. I still use Homesite+ on an almost-daily basis (IMO there's not a better text editor on Windows) but with most of the interface clutter switched off.

We've just switched to Office 2007 and all I can say is I'm glad I know the keyboard shortcuts.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: copycat
by netean on Thu 6th Aug 2009 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: copycat"
netean Member since:
2006-01-08

I miss homesite as well. It was the first real editor I used, I still think it had/has some superb features that I've not found elsewhere. Such a crying shame that macromedia (now adobe) killed it in favour of dreamweaver.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: copycat
by drstorm on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:46 UTC in reply to "RE: copycat"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

bluefish editor

Oh, yeah! Surely, that's where Microsoft got the idea. They didn't spend millions of dollars on R&D, but instead they just copied this:
http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/screenshots/python_fref.png

Can you seriously believe that? I can't.

Besides, that tabbed toolbar is not ribbon, and tabbed toolbar has been around for ages - in Delphi, for example.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: copycat
by Kroc on Thu 6th Aug 2009 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: copycat"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And those screenshots still have a traditional menu--with hundreds of commands in them. We can keep traversing back in time as to who invented tabbed commands, but the fact is that these are not the same thing as the ribbon. The ribbon outright replaces menus entirely, and that's not an easy task with an app like Word that has 1'500 commands.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: copycat
by kenji on Thu 6th Aug 2009 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: copycat"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

Just what I was going to say (no pun intended).

Notice that the traditional MENU is still there, something MS ribbon should have had. Ribbons are fine for common mundane tasks but they cannot display every option and command available (even in context). That is what menus do so wonderfully. I think that the combination of both interfaces might be the way to go but considering that this is just a mock-up, the menu might go away in the final iteration.

What is so wrong about menus? Cupled with keyboard shortcuts they are very efficient and fast if you're proficient.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: copycat
by google_ninja on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: copycat"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Ribbons are fine for common mundane tasks but they cannot display every option and command available (even in context). That is what menus do so wonderfully. I think that the combination of both interfaces might be the way to go but considering that this is just a mock-up, the menu might go away in the final iteration.


What features got the heave-ho in office 2k7?

What is so wrong about menus? Cupled with keyboard shortcuts they are very efficient and fast if you're proficient.


The problem with menus is that they don't scale up. They are fine if you have 20ish commands, when you have a few hundred discoverability goes out the window.

I am an infrequent word processor user, and I adore word 2007, just because it is very easy to make your documents look fantastic. I use Visual Studio every day (another product with about 40-50 items per menu, many of which bring up a tabbed or listed dialog with plenty of panes), and even though I know it inside and out, features I use infrequently often require a good deal of hunting (sometimes googling) to find again, and I am totally lost without my highly customized .settings file and addins.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: copycat
by kenji on Thu 6th Aug 2009 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: copycat"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

What features got the heave-ho in office 2k7?

Not sure what you mean. I didn't mention anything about MS Office.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: copycat
by historyb on Fri 7th Aug 2009 01:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: copycat"
historyb Member since:
2005-07-06

I think MS is going to use the ribbon in Visual Studio too in time, I thought I read it somewhere could be wrong though

Edited 2009-08-07 01:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: copycat
by daschmidty on Thu 6th Aug 2009 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: copycat"
daschmidty Member since:
2007-03-01


What is so wrong about menus? Cupled with keyboard shortcuts they are very efficient and fast if you're proficient.


The problem is the "if you're proficient" part. Excel is the biggest offender here imo. The only people I knew who could effectively work with Excel using the menu-based interface were people who had used it long enough to have memorized where everything was. For "Power users" change in interface should make no difference if you already have the shortcuts committed to memory.

For "regular users" however who want to use software like Excel as a tool, (ie I want my job to be "engineer" not "professional spreadsheet maker") I have found the ribbon to be more intuitive and have had a much simpler time doing what I need to do. I was always annoyed by the "menu hack" people who would look down upon you for not having memorized some obscure macro or function or something as though it was a sign of computing proficiency.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: copycat
by kenji on Thu 6th Aug 2009 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: copycat"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

For "regular users" however who want to use software like Excel as a tool, (ie I want my job to be "engineer" not "professional spreadsheet maker") I have found the ribbon to be more intuitive and have had a much simpler time doing what I need to do. I was always annoyed by the "menu hack" people who would look down upon you for not having memorized some obscure macro or function or something as though it was a sign of computing proficiency.


Are you calling me a menu snob? ;)

I grew up on DOS (and Wordperfect, FoxPro etc) so menus are second nature to me. A good menu is well organized and very easy to traverse.

Point is that one user's 'arcane' command is another user's killer feature. Ribbon + Menu seems the way to please all users.

I am not talking about MS Office here, at least not exclusively.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: copycat
by r_a_trip on Thu 6th Aug 2009 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: copycat"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Millions of RD wasted on a UI fart that still irks me to the core after 6 months of use. I was lucky the company I work for held on as long as they did to Office 2000.

OOo trying to copy that undead abortion of a UI puke is a big thumbs down.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: copycat
by drstorm on Thu 6th Aug 2009 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: copycat"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

Feeling a bit cranky today?

Reply Score: 1

RE: copycat
by benir0 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:52 UTC in reply to "copycat"
benir0 Member since:
2006-07-26

Hmmm...the possibility of being a "copycat" never stopped MS or Apple from using any idea. There is very little new under the sun. The problem is that the idea as presented isn't a very good one.

Reply Score: 2

RE: copycat
by siride on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "copycat"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Don't blame Linux/OSS. This is a Sun project, mostly worked on by Sun folks.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: copycat
by Macrat on Thu 6th Aug 2009 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE: copycat"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

Don't blame Linux/OSS. This is a Sun project, mostly worked on by Sun folks.


Sun folks trying very hard to justify their continued employment with Oracle.

Reply Score: 0

RE: copycat
by MacTO on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:56 UTC in reply to "copycat"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

I'm sorry to tell you this, but there are plenty of innovative ideas in the FLOSS world. We see those ideas both through discussion and implementation.

So why don't we see this innovation in common desktop environments? It is because we (as users) demand something that looks like and works like popular commercial products. The developers who dare to think different tend to have their hard work adopted by a very small number of users. So is it any wonder why many developers would prefer to work on the copycat projects?

Reply Score: 8

RE: copycat
by unoengborg on Fri 7th Aug 2009 12:47 UTC in reply to "copycat"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

I would guess OSS devs have freedom to explore new grounds, but rather they stick to paradigms proven by proprietary vendors.


The OSS devs have as much freedom as the users of their software allow. E.g. look at K-Office, an excellent office suite, but very few people uses it, most likely becaus they feel unfamiliar with the new interface.

BTW Microsoft have not always been dominant on office software, they got where they are by making it easy to switch to Microsoft, e.g. by making it easy to import, and to some extent files to competing system, and to have similar features. This is the same thing we are seeing in OpenOffice today.

Free software developers depend on the market demand just like Microsoft or Apple. If you can't get users to use your software, there will be very few potential buyers of support, less advertising income from your website, and when you try to advertise your developer skills e.g. at a job intervju the chances are much less chanse that the employer knows what you have done.

The problem is that a few venders controls large parts of the software ecosystem, and we get defacto standards of how things should look and work. If you don't fit in that ecosystem you are gone. This is a problem that applies to both free and non free software.

Reply Score: 2

Srolling toolbar...you like?
by chekr on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:36 UTC
chekr
Member since:
2005-11-05

If you try out the prototype try the scrolling toolbar concept. With a bit of polish and some beautiful/tasteful icons it could work very well. For a screenshot see: http://myunix.org/2009/08/06/new-ui-design-for-open-office-star-off...

Does anyone else like this concept? I think it is much better than the "ribbon" style but I'm keen to hear others opinions on it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Srolling toolbar...you like?
by nathbeadle on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:51 UTC in reply to "Srolling toolbar...you like?"
nathbeadle Member since:
2006-08-08

I've always kind of liked that idea... I thought it worked very well on Apple's site to allow you to find the product you are looking for.

Saying that... I think it really only works well when it's only one item tall and there is a logical order to the items being displayed. So the question is, are you going to have a huge button for BOLD or are there going to be buttons stacked similar to the ribbon in office?

I think this would have to be designed carefully. I could see this being a BIG problem is there are a few more buttons that you really use that cause you to scroll a bit, and then having to scroll back to change the font face and size.

I would say I'd prefer a more ribbon like interface. When you choose a section, all the buttons are there and constantly in the same place. With the scrolling, depending on where you "left off"... your buttons will have moved.

Looking forward to seeing what others say!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Srolling toolbar...you like?
by Coxy on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:26 UTC in reply to "Srolling toolbar...you like?"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

That's polished?

Reply Score: 2

RE:
by jhoo on Sat 8th Aug 2009 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Srolling toolbar...you like?"
jhoo Member since:
2006-03-24

That's polished?


That's sarcastic? Just incase it's not, he's inviting you to check out the prototype which he said could look good with icons and polish.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Srolling toolbar...you like?
by sseehh on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:52 UTC in reply to "Srolling toolbar...you like?"
sseehh Member since:
2009-04-20

yes i like this. i think by combining all of the options into a unified continuous space that slides along is better than segregating options into discrete sections.

Edited 2009-08-06 16:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Srolling toolbar...you like?
by sj87 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Srolling toolbar...you like?"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

yes i like this. i think by combining all of the options into a unified continuous space that slides along is better than segregating options into discrete sections.

I don't see how it makes pointer-based navigation any easier or what are its gains considering usability. It's basicly just Ribbon + a scrolling animation. You scroll the bar by clicking on a Ribbon-like tab or alternatively use a scrollbar, which is utter crap TBH.

Edited 2009-08-06 17:16 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:46 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Microsoft used solid data and a _lot_ of prototyping to get to the Ribbon. They created it based on the problems they had, the functions they had, the users they had.

Will OpenOffice solve their own problems or assume their problems are the same as Microsoft's problems?

I can’t say I’m filled with enthusiasm.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by sj87 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 15:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

Will OpenOffice solve their own problems or assume their problems are the same as Microsoft's problems?

You didn't even bother to read the article before bursting to flames, did you?

They have more or less the same design goals as the Microsoft Office team had, and what do you know, they come up with prototypes that are about as close to the ribbon interface as you can get. They're also using tracking data --


I myself rate the proto better than current UI and hope it will also look ok on Linux (preferably even on KDE4).

Edited 2009-08-06 15:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Ribbon
by qroon on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:47 UTC
qroon
Member since:
2005-10-21

Ribbon interface consumes a lot of vertical space. Most of the monitors now are 'wide screen' so I think it would be better to have a customizable interface that can be pinned/moved to the right of left of the screen.

OT: I miss those non-wide monitors.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ribbon
by nathbeadle on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:52 UTC in reply to "Ribbon"
nathbeadle Member since:
2006-08-08

I COMPLETELY AGREE!!! I would love to have the "ribbon" down the right hand side.... Letter-sized pages aren't wider than they've always been, so wide screens just put more dead space on the side!!!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ribbon
by dindin on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Ribbon"
dindin Member since:
2006-03-29

SECOND THAT!. I am one of those folks who hates the ribbon at first but then came to like it very much. I did not have to go through upteen menus and submenus to find a function/action to apply.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ribbon
by Kroc on Thu 6th Aug 2009 15:23 UTC in reply to "Ribbon"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The ribbon consumes no more vertical space than the default toolbars in the Microsoft apps, and the ribbon can be minimised. The ribbon being larger is a myth. http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2006/04/17/577485.aspx

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ribbon
by qroon on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Ribbon"
qroon Member since:
2005-10-21

http://i27.tinypic.com/fcup86.jpg

The above image is side by side shot of OO.org and MS Office 2007. Office 2007's Ribbon consumes more vertical space. And if you maximize the window, you can even move the second toolbar on OO.org to be on the first row.

Now, imagine that on netbooks with lesser vertical space. And yes, people use document editors on netbooks ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Ribbon
by Kroc on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ribbon"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

But that’s with two toolbars on. Add a picture, do charting and so on and you soon have a lot more than two toolbars on screen. The ribbon never increases in size as you move from tab to tab with no functionality hidden. If you turn on all the toolbars in Open Office or Word 2003, you won’t be left with any document.

Reply Score: 1

Copying or not....
by alkonaut on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:48 UTC
alkonaut
Member since:
2009-08-06

The whole issue of who is copying who is pointless. At some point in history the toolbar was new, and at some point before that the menu was new and so on. The ribbon UI is just tabs on toolbars, and a large toolbar could already make the menu redundant.

Most people I meet say that the ribbon makes them more productive, and I guess Microsoft has a LARGE team of dedicated to research in UI productivity, and a LARGE number of focus group tests before Office2007 was released. Their results in fact must have been so clear that they even decided to scrap the "classic" UI and not even provide it as an option.

The thing with the ribbon UI though is that you need to do it well if it is going to work, otherwise people would probably be more productive in the familiar but perhaps inherently less productive classic menu+toolbar interface. Luckily for the OO.o people their applications are feature wise a lot like the office 2007 applications, so if they can't afford focus groups and UI labs, they can at least copy the MS ribbons.

The OO.o suite is not just an attempt to provide a decent multi platform office suite, it's an attempt to provide an alternative to and a migration path from MS Office. And that migration would be a lot harder if the UI:s were suddenly completely different.

Reply Score: 1

The Ribbon Interface is great... except
by Yamin on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:48 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

The Ribbon Interface is great... except when you need something not on the ribbon. I remember my first time using Word 2007 and I couldn't find 'Save As'. Little did I know of the strange circle on the top left would actually bring up a menu. There's also things like styles that you just need to know where to click to get into the advanced options.

I just wish they did something to let you know what to do to access the features not on the ribbon. Flashing buttons, sliding arrows saying click here... I don't know what the solution is. I know the circle does blink, but it didn't attract nearly enough to get my attention so I knew it was there.

Overall though, I do prefer the ribbon interface.

Reply Score: 4

mono Member since:
2005-10-19

Save As is not the most regular task so it doesn't need to be in front of the user. I guess it's in the office menu because of the measured data which Microsoft collected from the testers.
You can still put it on the quick menu but if you want to use save as for a complicated task then you should use its keyboard shortcut after all.

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

You're totally right! A prime example was the first time I needed to find the Fill button in Excel 2007... it's not nearly as easy to find as it used to be in the menu. What they need is a search field for the functions, like what you get on MacOS in the help menu....

But on the whole I'm a fan of the ribbon, too.

Reply Score: 2

It's about time
by KingRocky on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:58 UTC
KingRocky
Member since:
2009-07-30

The OpenOffice interface is so UGLY that any change would be an improvement! It's the main reason I haven't dumped MSOffice just yet.

Reply Score: 0

RE: It's about time
by turrini on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:52 UTC in reply to "It's about time"
turrini Member since:
2006-10-31

I thought people often use office to do work.

If you want to see beauties, go watch TV.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: It's about time
by Ultimatebadass on Fri 7th Aug 2009 07:21 UTC in reply to "RE: It's about time"
Ultimatebadass Member since:
2006-01-08

What's wrong with having a nice looking work environment?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Coxy
by Coxy on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:24 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

'it's a prototype, people!',

Yeah, but this is an open-source project. The final will probably look just as bad!

Edited 2009-08-06 14:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Coxy
by Soulbender on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Coxy"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, but this is an open-source project. The final will probably look just as bad!


Well, that would make it a perfect copycat of the Ribbon UI then.

Reply Score: 3

eazel7
Member since:
2007-09-09

Hey, ribbon UI is great. OpenOffice.org is not very usable, you know, feels like if you were using Office 95 with steroids. The overall usability of OOo is like if you would need a manual to do every little thing.
I liked the scrollable toolbar concept, hope they to develop that.
I agree about the migration thing, but if there is no 'alternative' UI for OpenOffice (be it customizable or a new one, a creative one) the 'migration' will always rely on pursuing MS Office's tail. Maybe a middle point could be the scrollable toolbar if it is well designed.

Reply Score: 1

B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

At home I held onto Office 97 til ditching Windows, maybe 4 years ago. I never had a single reason for upgrading.

Reply Score: 2

Horrible Ribbons
by Jason Bourne on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:28 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

I find MSOffice Ribbons hard to learn and confusing. Why copy it? If they are so tired of the classic menus, then invent something else. Ribbons for a program like this makes no sense.

Reply Score: 3

Like it, but...
by J.R. on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:31 UTC
J.R.
Member since:
2007-07-25

I actually like it, but why do they have to make the buttons so huge? Almost no room left for the actual document.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Like it, but...
by siride on Thu 6th Aug 2009 14:38 UTC in reply to "Like it, but..."
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

It's GTK+ or inspired by that...so the buttons and other UI elements must take up as much space as possible.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Like it, but...
by qroon on Thu 6th Aug 2009 17:56 UTC in reply to "Like it, but..."
qroon Member since:
2005-10-21

At first glance, I thought they had a calculator on the interface ;) The buttons look like calculator buttons on Vista.

Reply Score: 2

I have three words for you OOo Devs
by Kwitschibo on Thu 6th Aug 2009 15:06 UTC
Kwitschibo
Member since:
2006-01-17

WHAT THE f--k?


Note: i just wont to work with an office suite... ribbons are so crappy.

Reply Score: 2

Nice to see this
by theosib on Thu 6th Aug 2009 15:29 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

I've seen lots of interesting UI innovations from Apple. And I've been seeing some excellent innovative stuff from KDE lately. But the ribbon interface is one of the few innovations that I've seen coming out of Microsoft that I thought was truly clever.

I'm not saying that it's perfect or that it should be applied to everything. But it has its uses, and I think MS has done a reasonably good job of making use of it.

I'd love to see that paradigm applied to things besides Microsoft products. I'm concerned about patent issues, though. You don't want to do some half-assed thing just to skirt around patent claims.

I see lots of abuses of the patent system, over things that are obvious and not very clever. But the ribbon interface, I do find to be clever and non-obvious. So unless there's a body of prior art, Microsoft does deserve to have a patent on it. Although that's unfortunate for the rest of us who don't fancy using Microsoft products in general.

I'm conflicted over this, because usability problems are a major beef I have with FOSS software, and so we should be using every trick we can to try to improve things.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nice to see this
by smashIt on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:50 UTC in reply to "Nice to see this"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd love to see that paradigm applied to things besides Microsoft products. I'm concerned about patent issues, though. You don't want to do some half-assed thing just to skirt around patent claims.


ms once had a statemant on their homepage that everyone can implement the ribbon as long as its not in an office-suite (good luck OOo ;) )

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Nice to see this
by lemur2 on Fri 7th Aug 2009 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice to see this"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

ms once had a statemant on their homepage that everyone can implement the ribbon as long as its not in an office-suite (good luck OOo ;) )


MS also once won a court case against Apple by arguing that look-and-feel elements of a design weren't protectable IP.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Nice to see this
by atif on Fri 7th Aug 2009 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nice to see this"
atif Member since:
2009-08-07

Agreed... but ribbon goes beyond normal look and feel.... its a whole concept.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nice to see this
by fresch on Fri 7th Aug 2009 07:55 UTC in reply to "Nice to see this"
fresch Member since:
2006-09-12

Don't worry, OOo will just call it tabbed toolbars... and if Microsoft still presses the issue, they'll be slapped with the "tabbed toolbars as prior art to ribbons"-gauntlet. ^_^

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Beachchairs
by Beachchairs on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:28 UTC
Beachchairs
Member since:
2009-04-10

OMG you mean mere mortals will be to use OOo now!
This is fantastic.

Reply Score: 0

Keyboard navigation
by darknexus on Thu 6th Aug 2009 16:51 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I hope OO.O does a better job of keyboard navigation on their ribbon than Microsoft did.

Reply Score: 2

well
by po134 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 17:26 UTC
po134
Member since:
2009-05-15

offering users a choice between the 2 paradigms seems to me like the best possibility.

Msft would appear like admitting defeat by letting us choose between old menu/ribbon but to me it looks like a great way for OSS to please both lovers of each paradigm.

Choice is the key here.

Reply Score: 1

it's HORRIBLE!
by casuto on Thu 6th Aug 2009 18:27 UTC
casuto
Member since:
2007-02-27

it's HORRIBLE!

Reply Score: 1

Save As
by fretinator on Thu 6th Aug 2009 18:58 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I still remember when our team (software developers) was upgraded to Office 2007. One of us opened a document, modified it, and proceded to save the changed document with another name (Save As). Where was it? We couldn't find it on the ribbon. The menus were gone - were we supposed to no longer perform a basic operation such as "Save As"? We were astounded. After some googling we found that clickiing the large Windows icon in the upper left brought up menus that allowed us to "Save As". Some further playing around and we figured out how to add a "Save As" icon to mini-toolbar at the top of the window. We found this whole exercise to be very frustrating. After 20 years of "File|Save As", this was the new and improved alternative. Wierd!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Save As
by fresch on Fri 7th Aug 2009 07:58 UTC in reply to "Save As"
fresch Member since:
2006-09-12

"We fear change." *intense stare*

Garth Algar

;-P

Edited 2009-08-07 08:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Save As
by jhoo on Sat 8th Aug 2009 22:56 UTC in reply to "Save As"
jhoo Member since:
2006-03-24


We couldn't find it on the ribbon. The menus were gone - were we supposed to no longer perform a basic operation such as "Save As"? We were astounded. After some googling we found that clickiing the large Windows icon in the upper left brought up menus that allowed us to "Save As".


So tell me, which took you longer, typing out that comment or googling for the Save As? Because if it is the later, and you really are a software engineer, that is deeply depressing. If it is the former, then what is your point? That it took you a few web searches to get to grips with the basics of a radically redesigned UI?

As a side note, I want to see a vimperator style UI for OpenOffice.org

Reply Score: 1

RE:
by fretinator on Sun 9th Aug 2009 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Save As"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

The point is, I thought it was a strange design decision to deeply hide something as simple as the "Save As". Yes, we googled and found it, but I thought it strange that we had to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Save As
by phoenix on Mon 10th Aug 2009 05:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Save As"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"
We couldn't find it on the ribbon. The menus were gone - were we supposed to no longer perform a basic operation such as "Save As"? We were astounded. After some googling we found that clickiing the large Windows icon in the upper left brought up menus that allowed us to "Save As".


So tell me, which took you longer, typing out that comment or googling for the Save As? Because if it is the later, and you really are a software engineer, that is deeply depressing. If it is the former, then what is your point? That it took you a few web searches to get to grips with the basics of a radically redesigned UI?
"

The big deal is that you shouldn't need to do a google search to figure out how to save a document. After all, what is the one thing, guaranteed, that you will do with all new documents you create? Save it.

Reply Score: 2

RE:
by mbooth9517 on Sun 9th Aug 2009 13:51 UTC in reply to "Save As"
mbooth9517 Member since:
2006-07-15

I still remember when our team (software developers) was upgraded cars. One of us got in the car, sat down, and proceded to try to get the car to move. How to do it? We couldn't find the saddle. The reins were gone - were we supposed to no longer perform a basic operation such as "Getting a horse to move"? We were astounded. After some googling we found that putting the key in the ignition and turning it allowed us to "Get the car to move". Some further playing around and we figured out how to get the car to turn using the steering wheel. We found this whole exercise to be very frustrating. After 20 years of "Pulling on the reins", this was the new and improved alternative. Wierd!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by hyriand
by hyriand on Thu 6th Aug 2009 21:59 UTC
hyriand
Member since:
2006-04-03

While I don't think the screenshot is very shiny, I do like the general idea of the ribbon. Microsoft might not have organised every feature properly, but the ribbon itself is a pretty good idea compared to menus. Menus are silly things: popping up out of nowhere, nobody knowing exactly when they'll disappear. Do they disappear when your mouse leaves the menu, or will they disappear when you click something else? In the second case, will the click be processed by the application or will it be ignored?

Most people are very reluctant to change though. Geeks and authism go hand in hand it seems ;-)

Reply Score: 1

what's wrong with copying
by slumbergod on Thu 6th Aug 2009 22:17 UTC
slumbergod
Member since:
2009-08-06

I am a Linux user and I always preferred the ribbon interface introduced by Microsoft. So what if OO copy it. Microsoft have copied plenty of open source initiatives in recent years.

OO has long needed a make over so I welcome this move. I hope they give users a choice of ribbon and traditional though so that simple people who are unable to adapt can live in the past.

Reply Score: 1

Prototype
by historyb on Thu 6th Aug 2009 23:25 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I like the interface, needs a bit of work but I tested the Java version out and really liked it. This coming from someone that could not stand the ribbon until I used it more

Reply Score: 2

InDesign UI/Ribbon
by blitze on Fri 7th Aug 2009 01:36 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

Would be nice to see something akin to tabbed Ribbon Interface which utilises the sides of your screen given that most monitors are now wide screens.

Lots of UI at the top makes for wasted space for viewing ones document.

Reply Score: 2

RE: InDesign UI/Ribbon
by lemur2 on Fri 7th Aug 2009 03:30 UTC in reply to "InDesign UI/Ribbon"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Would be nice to see something akin to tabbed Ribbon Interface which utilises the sides of your screen given that most monitors are now wide screens. Lots of UI at the top makes for wasted space for viewing ones document.


http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/10518
"Ever since Microsoft Office 2007 replaced menus and toolbars with ribbons, rival office suites have been faced with the dilemma of either copying and looking modern or retaining the functionality of traditional program design and looking out of date. OpenOffice.org 3.0 met the challenge with a compromise that kept the traditional structure but increased the number of floating palettes or windows—selections of tools that could be positioned anywhere on the desktop or docked in the toolbar or against one side of the editing window. In version 2.0, KOffice's developers have opted for a similar solution, calling them dockers and adding controls for turning each one on or off in the Settings menu.

Dockers are accompanied by two panes to either side of the editing window. On the left is a pane with icons specific to the application. On the right is the pane containing multiple dockers. Click on an icon in the application pane, and the available dockers on the right change. The application pane, the docker pane or any individual docker can be removed from its position to float freely by dragging its title bar with the mouse. You also can drag dockers into different positions on the right-hand pane."


http://www.osnews.com/story/21575/KOffice_2_0_0_Released
"Instead of just pumping out another Office 2003 UI re-implementation (like a certain other project insists on doing), the KOffice team sat down and designed their interface specifically for widescreen displays. Instead of using toolbars, they opted for placing tools in a sidebar. These tools can be torn off and treated as windows, docked on both sides, and so on. This brings some serious flexibility into the mix."


http://www.koffice.org/2009/05/koffice-200-released/
"Unified Look and Feel
All the applications of KOffice has a new GUI layout better suited to todays wider screens. The GUI consists of a workspace and a sidebar where tools can dock. Any tool can be ripped off to create its own window and later be redocked fo full flexibility. The users setup preferences are of course saved and reused the next time that KOffice is started."


There you go.

stoovie:
"Perfect proof of Copycatism in Linux/OSS world."


Counter-example provided. Point rebutted.

Edited 2009-08-07 03:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Choice
by Moredhas on Fri 7th Aug 2009 04:26 UTC
Moredhas
Member since:
2008-04-10

As long as we have an easily accessible option to choose the interface we want, I couldn't care less if their new prototype were based on virtual knobs and dials; as cumbersome as that would be (though come to think of it... that could be nice for a touch screen and/or netbook interface, turn up the font size, anyone?). I'll judge any interface on it's merits after I've used it for a while. If the OOo developers can offer us more than an outright ribbon clone, then good on them. If the ribbon works well in OOo, then that's fine too. I am concerned though, haven't Microsoft patented the crap out of the ribbon? I can see a similar idea being plausibly different enough to avoid a lawsuit, but an outright clone might draw unwanted attention.

Reply Score: 2

Please Do Not Do This Bull$hit to OO!
by BrendaEM on Fri 7th Aug 2009 05:40 UTC
BrendaEM
Member since:
2005-11-23

Oo, look a UI, and it takes up around 10% of the screen.

I have news for you: When I write, as I have done so for over 200,000 words, the only thing that shows is the "Close Fullscreen" box, the one that I want an option to shut off. I have more mews for you: when I use writer, the "Main" toolbar is always off; the formatting bar can stay.

You have it all wrong, and so does MS. Different does not equal better. Being open means being smart enough not to worry about the yearly model change.

Stop it! Stop it! Stop it now!

(What better thing to ruin my user rating for.)

Edited 2009-08-07 05:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

OSS needs to innovate more
by TLZ_ on Fri 7th Aug 2009 11:08 UTC
TLZ_
Member since:
2007-02-05

Instead of copying Microsoft and Apple.

The only non-developer tool OSS I know of that succeeded is Firefox. And did Firefox copy IE? No. They was innovative, they went their own ways.

If you want people to switch to your software it isn't enough that it's "as good"(although it really often isn't) and free, it as to be *better*.

People don't switch products because one is slightly better either, they switch because they are alot better.

I'm baffled by the little amount of innovation in mainstream products in OSS. One would believe it is a less risk for them to try new things.

I think KDE is definitely going a right direction though. I don't like KDE(I prefer less complicated interfaces), but they really deserve praise for trying new and innovative things.

If you look at OSS-software that's meant for technical people (weird window managers for instance) you'll find a lot of different ideas and concept are being explored. Why not do this for software meant for regular users as well?

Reply Score: 2

Very bad idea!
by nonya on Fri 7th Aug 2009 13:56 UTC
nonya
Member since:
2009-08-07

If OOo actually decides to implement this ribon-like interface, users should have the choice to use the classic menus instead. In fact, the clasic menus should be the defaulr, with the ribbon-like crap being able to be selected.

I have always thought that OOo is too similar in its menus to MS office, and a better thing would have been to make it more like WordPerfect. Wordperfect was always superior to MS office in MANY ways.

If this ribbon like crap becomes the only available UI in OOo, I will be looking for a new program!

Reply Score: 2

zaine_ridling
Member since:
2007-05-13

"The revamped Office 2007 user interface drew praise all around the world."
_______
Huh? I did a meta-review of word processors back then and the Office 2007 UI was roundly criticized by new and old users alike. I'll never use a ribbon in any app because I'm not an idiotic 1st grader. I can actually read and type things like words and keyboard shortcuts.

Jeebus H.

Reply Score: 1