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Fyi, your post is extremely difficult to read due to poor formatting (no
line-wrapping and more importantly no paragraph breaks).


On 2010-10-15 10:03 AM, Michel Gagnon wrote:
Le 2010-10-14 18:03, Mirek M. acrit:Hi everyone, Since it seems like
LibreOffice won't adopt the UI Oracle's preparing for OOo, I'm starting
a massive LibreOffice UI proposal series. Here's the
wonder what is the interest of Microsoft and others, including you, to
replace menus with a ribbon-like interface. I think it brings the worst
in terms of usability. Why?We have grown to use a certain menu
organization. File, Edit, Format, Tools, Windows and Help are, in that
order, fairly standard menu items in all applications, and even the
basic list of menu items is even fairly standardized. The ribbon
interface changes that to a certain extent and requires a relearning
process.There are a few menu items that are easily displayed with icons,
but most icons are either very hard to read or require a lot of real
estate or both. Look at Microsoft Word or at WordPad on System 7 and
look at icons used for page or paragraph margins, or for search and
replace (very similar to the one for spelling). Because of that, Ms
Office 2010 and WordPad adds text below many icons (more real estate)
and a tool tip which is basically the former menu item.Because of real
estate requirements, there are a limited number of buttons that may be
displayed on a screen, whether it is with a traditional set of buttonsla
Office 3.2 or with a ribbonla Microsoft Office 2007-2010. So there is a
need for multiple menus that call different ribbons like Ms Office. or
buttons that need still another action like custom margins.Using a
typical menu item requires one move with the mouse: move it to the top
to select the menu and slide it toward the menu item, then release. Sub
menus require a little more dexterity.On the other hand, using a typical
ribbon "menu" item requires a move and two clicks: a first click at the
top to select the proper ribbon, then a click on the proper icon. And
because of the limited real estate, it is more likely that one then
falls onto yet another dialogue box.A traditional tool bar is always
there; so its commands may be accessed very quickly. But it works only
because of its limited number of icons.So what would be the best
approach? Probably a mix of both systems.A traditional menu system for
structured commands. In a word processor, I see comprehensive commands
like Page setup, Paragraph setup, Font setup, Style setup (with a dialog
box like that of Office 2003), Table setup, etc. Simple commands like
"Align to the left" could either be in a submenu or even forgotten
altogether because they already are accessible through the Paragraph
Setup dialog box. Displaying them in a submenu makes learning and
training easier : the command is seen, its shortcut is seen, etc.If a
ribbon-like approach is used, there should be shortcuts not only for
items, but also for each of the ribbons. For instance, I should be able
to press alt-F for the File ribbon, alt-E to show the Edit ribbon,
etc... and each of these shortcuts should become as standard as
control-Z, X, C and V for the basic cut and paste possibilities.Of
course, control-C for Cut and control-shift-L (or control-L) for
Align-left should also exist for a direct access to menus.Icons are good
when the graphic is obvious to all and when clicking on it has a direct
result. One of the major pitfalls I currently see is that most are
non-configurable (same problem with Microsoft Office and OpenOffice). So
for me, the Left-Align and Bold icons work (but the keyboard shortcuts
are so quicker), but the bullet icon doesn't work because it does not
use my preferred settings: I would like it to apply my "Bullet 1"
setting (usually a hanging indent of 1 pica with no further indent, but
some documents have a different style definition). Ditto for the 5 or 6
different Page Setting icons that are defined in Ms Word 2007: none of
them have the margins I need for my documents!How would a mixed system
work?One way to do it would be to have the menus first, followed by
ribbons. For instance, the new LibreOffice would have File-Edit-Display
(maybe)-Insert-Format-Table-Tools-Window menus, then Basic (file and
edit ribbon items)-Insert-Format (document, paragraph and text
items)-Table ribbons. The menu could appear either on a single line or
on two lines if/when the window is too narrow.Finally, should a ribbon
sit on the right or at the top? Why not have it either way? The ribbon
is a glorified toolbar and traditional toolbars have worked in either
position, either docked or undocked. So why not have the "ribbon menus"
call a toolbar anyway?By the way, since we talk of a new interface, one
aspect I don't like of OpenOffice 3.x are the toolbars that appear and
disappear according to paragraph styles. For instance, when bullets are
chosen (or a bullet style), the bullet toolbar appears (by default at
the top) and shifts all text down 1 cm. Go back to a standard paragraph
and it shifts up again. Why not have a user interface made with one or
two user-defined toolbars like we currently have on OpenOffice 3.x and
Ms Office 2003, plus one toolbar that would be always there, albeit with
variable content (a.k.a. the "ribbon"). Users would decide where they
want that big grey box and LibreOffice would fill in the proper
icons.--Michel Gagnonmichel@mgagnon.netMontral (Qubec,
Canada) -- To unsubscribe, e-mail to All messages you send to this list
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Best regards,

Charles Marcus
I.T. Director
Media Brokers International, Inc.
678.514.6200 x224 | 678.514.6299 fax

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