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[3]: I hate the ribbon...
by Obscurus on Mon 25th Jun 2007 11:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I hate the ribbon..."
Obscurus
Member since:
2006-04-20

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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracktion, http://www.mackie.com/products/tracktion3/record.html) 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:
2006-08-23

(?)

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

RE[5]: I hate the ribbon...
by DonQ on Mon 25th Jun 2007 21:25 in reply to "RE[4]: I hate the ribbon..."
DonQ Member since:
2005-06-29

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.


Human visual field is certainly horizontally extended - look for example here (nice images somewhere in middle of article):
http://vision.arc.nasa.gov/personnel/al/papers/64vision/17.htm

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: I hate the ribbon...
by Obscurus on Tue 26th Jun 2007 09:12 in reply to "RE[4]: I hate the ribbon..."
Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

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.


Horses for courses. I prefer a single monitor uninterrupted by bits of plastic. Many programs are not designed to work with dual monitor setups, and I find that kind of fractured workflow frustrating.

2 eyes are for binocular vision, not for looking at wide things with.

Binocular vision merely requires two eyes separated by some distance. The simple fact that your eyes are side by side rather than one on top of the other makes them able to take in and process more information in the horizontal plane than in the vertical plane. Coupled with the fact that your cheeks and eyebrows limit the amount of vertical space you can scan without moving your head, and the fact that you can turn your head from side to side much further than you can tilt your head forward and back means that wide screens are a much more natural format for presenting information.

If you want to see a visual system optimised for scanning the horizon, go look at a sheep's eyes.

Sheep have a whopping great blind spot in the front of their head, so your twin monitor setup might actually suit them.

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.


Interestingly, as someone who also has a degree in biology (I work on rodents), I have perhaps gotten a bit more out of my studies and profession than you have. The human eyes pick up a much wider field of information in the horizontal plane than the vertical (see reasons above for example). Of course we do not have the field of vision that sheep have, but even without moving your head or your eyes, you will have a greater visual awareness horizontally, because you have two eyes side by side (the human eyes sees 180 in the horizontal plane, versus 135 in the vertical - admittedly, this is closer to 4:3 than 16:9, but that assumes no movement of the eyes). If one eye was above the other, then this situation would be quite dramatically different. This is a well known principle, and is the main reason even 4:3 monitors are wider than they are tall, why more people prefer widescreen TVs and cinemas, etc, etc. I'm surprised you didn't pick this up in your studies.

Sure there have been plenty of vertical writing systems invented, but as a proportion of the total number of writing systems invented, they are in a very small minority. And the vast majority of vertical writing systems use ideograms (more information contained per unit of linear space) so that excessive vertical scanning is reduced.


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.


Having used Sonar, Cubase and various other sequencers in the past, absolutely nothing compares to the ease of use and efficient workflow that Tracktion offers. Perhaps you haven't used sequencers before, but sequencers with windows popping up all over the place are a workflow nightmare for me, and totally kill my creativity. A great many people agree with me, as Tracktion's user base is growing rapidly.

There is even a Linux window manager (Twindy) based on the Juce SDK used to write Tracktion. Haven't tried it though.

Reply Parent Score: 1