Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Jun 2007 13:44 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Federkiel writes: "People working with Apple computers are used to a very consistent user experience. For a large part this stems from the fact that the Lisa type of GUI does not have the fight between MDI and SDI. The question simply never arises, because the Lisa type of GUI does not offer the choice to create either of both; it's something different all along. I usually think of it as 'MDI on steroids unified with a window manager'. It virtually includes all benefits of a SDI and and the benefits of an MDI." Read on for how I feel about this age-old discussion.
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RE[2]: I hate the ribbon...
by lproven on Sun 24th Jun 2007 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE: I hate the ribbon..."
Member since:

Oh, nonsense, man!

Surely anyone who has a clue about actually /using/ apps efficiently realises a few basic points:

[1] screen height is generally more important than width, especially in word processors, web browsers and so on

[2] screens are getting wider as both TFTs and movie viewing becomes more common

[3] for easy legibility, one should always set programs to zoom their contents to fit the window as a default

[4] therefore, it follows that the effective place to put your toolbars in Office, the taskbar in Windows and so on are down the left and right edges of the screen, not across the top. Leaving them across the top squanders precious depth, meaning you can see less of your document. Put them at the sides, then zoom the doc to fit width, and you get bigger fonts *and* more lines visible, both at once. Plus, lateral top-to-bottom toolbars once again benefit from Fitt - you just whack the mouse over to left or right.

Can you do that with Fluent? I think not. And I have tried.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: I hate the ribbon...
by Kroc on Sun 24th Jun 2007 18:39 in reply to "RE[2]: I hate the ribbon..."
Kroc Member since:

Some fields do not work so well sideways. The font combo box for example. Toolbar functionality is reduced in some places when putting all toolbars on the side. Sideways text does not make good UI, and the most common screen resolution in the world is 1024x768, shortly followed by 800x600. It'll be a while yet until everybody is on widescreens.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: I hate the ribbon...
by lproven on Sun 24th Jun 2007 19:18 in reply to "RE[3]: I hate the ribbon..."
lproven Member since:

Well, true, but so what? If I want to format fonts, I use the character formatting dialogue. It's more valuable by far to me to have a larger amount of the document visible than to be able to occasionally change fonts from the toolbar. Priorities!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: I hate the ribbon...
by Obscurus on Mon 25th Jun 2007 11:19 in reply to "RE[2]: I hate the ribbon..."
Obscurus Member since:

Some valid points, however, what I and many other users of wide screen monitors like to do is have two documents side by side - a 22" Monitor at 1680*1050 displays two A4 word documents side by side at approximately actual size (although the menus and toolbars obviously detract a little from this). this makes copying and pasting from one to the other much easier, and allows you to compare documents. As someone who dabbles in web development, I find it handy to have a browser and my text editor side by side as well.

Also, the human visual system is inherently better at taking in more horizontal information than vertical information. Our peripheral vision works well in the lateral plane, because our two eyes are side by side, not one on top of the other. It is for this reason that the vast majority of writing systems that have been invented go from left to right or right to left, not top to bottom. And for this reason, if I can get away with it, I prefer having documents in landscape format, unless it really needs to be in portrait.

I personally would rather do away with menus altogether - programs like Tracktion (, which use a single screen interface with no menus are much more enjoyable to work with than apps with menus and toolbars floating all over the place (for me at least).

As far as MS Office goes, the ribbon is brilliant in my opinion.

Get rid of menu bars altogether, I say! I dislike the way both windows and mac handle menus and windows.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: I hate the ribbon...
by lproven on Mon 25th Jun 2007 16:09 in reply to "RE[3]: I hate the ribbon..."
lproven Member since:


I don't really see any of your objections. I do, frequently, have 2 documents side by side: I have 2 17" monitors, one next to the other. I find 2 screens much more easy, simple and productive than one whacking great one, and 17" monitors come free with a packet of cornflakes these days.

2 eyes are for binocular vision, not for looking at wide things with. If you want to see a visual system optimised for scanning the horizon, go look at a sheep's eyes. There's nothing about the human visual system that I'm aware of (as someone with a degree in biology) that's optimised for horizontal scanning and there have been plenty of vertically-oriented writing systems.

As for your music app: jesus wept. If you think that's a friendly, explorable and discoverable interface, you should be using Unix from a command line, sunshine.

Reply Parent Score: 2