Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th May 2007 18:54 UTC
Gnome In the GNOME bugzilla, there is an ongoing discussion about whether or not to include a patch into the default GNOME installation which would enable GNOME to (optionally) have a global application menubar, similar to that of the Mac OS and KDE (in the latter it is optional and off by default). Installation instructions and .deb packages, as well as a 60-page (and counting) discussion of the patch, are available on the UbuntuForums. Read on for a poll on this issue.
Thread beginning with comment 241479
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Why?
by nutshell42 on Fri 18th May 2007 13:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
nutshell42
Member since:
2006-01-12

Microsoft got it right more or less (yes, yes, you may shoot me now ;) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Office07homestu.png

In Office 2007 you can more or less create your own toolbar with the stuff you really need in the titlebar (+the file menu).
Those buttons are
a) easy to reach if the window is fullscreen, thx to fitt's law
b) but avoid the problem where you have to first move your mouse to a window, activate it, then move back to the top of the screen for the menu bar.

This behaviour is optimized for apps you generally use maximized and reduce in size only when you switch windows often, which more or less is exactly how most people use office apps.

Of course MS snatched defeat from the claws of victory on the UI front with Vista. There the toolbars are all over the place, and the menus, lists and sidebars, panels, buttons at the bottom, top and on the backside of your monitor. When MS started to copy OSX someone should have told them that iTunes isn't the best place to start...
Oh, and KDE's and XP's control panels are a triumph of usability compared to Vista's.

I'd be really interested in a DE where the office UI was used consistently for all apps. I suspect it might not work quite as well for some kinds of apps, but overall it's the best alternative to the old menus+toolbars paradigm that I know. (well, apart from the the elegance and simplicity of the CLI of course =)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Why?
by alexandru_lz on Fri 18th May 2007 13:54 in reply to "RE[3]: Why?"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

I haven't used Office 2007, but the screenshot seems familiar to me in terms of UI elements. Is that toolbar any different from a tabbed toolbar?

If so, these things already exist, and while they are useful (i.e. they can accommodate more options with less screen space), they fail to solve another problem. The reason why toolbars with many items are of limited efficiency is that there are only so many items a user can remember visually. Basically, if the user has to hover the mouse over the toolbar to get a tooltip, the whole point of the toolbar is lost -- it becomes just as efficient as a menu, only with more sugar.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Why?
by nutshell42 on Fri 18th May 2007 15:48 in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
nutshell42 Member since:
2006-01-12

I haven't used Office 2007, but the screenshot seems familiar to me in terms of UI elements. Is that toolbar any different from a tabbed toolbar?


Huh?
In Office 2007 you can more or less create your own toolbar with the stuff you really need in the titlebar (+the file menu).


Admittedly in the last paragraph I *did* mean both the toolbar in the window title bar and the ribbon but the rest clearly wasn't about the ribbon.

If so, these things already exist,
Where? AIS I'd really be interested in a DE like that at least to have tried it once.

Basically, if the user has to hover the mouse over the toolbar to get a tooltip, the whole point of the toolbar is lost -- it becomes just as efficient as a menu, only with more sugar.

The idea is that you have a menu but with more screen real estate so you can have icons for all entries and text for the most important ones plus titles for different grouped icons.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4c/Office2007ribbon.png

It makes for easier access to functions, especially instead of large menus (that's the reason MS switched to the ribbon).

Imho the tabbed nature could be more of a problem in progs where you need only one entry of a menu and after that don't need the menu at all for a long time. In that case instead of menu->entry you'd have to click menu-tab->entry->home-tab to get back to the normal toolbar.

The reason I'd be interested in such a DE anyway is that I think there are possible work-arounds to that problem.

Reply Parent Score: 1