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I don't think Microsoft's Ribbon is that big a deal either way. You
can effectively cover Microsoft Word 2007 training in about a 70-page
booklet and a 20-page project/tutorial style booklet---the same for
Microsoft Excel. In fact, the only problem I have with the ribbon is
that it isn't that customizable.

I agree with the argument that Libreffice needs to jazz up the
interface a bit, but I like a clean---no gimmicks---toolbar and
shortcut keys (some of which could be more intuitive). The main
problem with any application's shortcut keys is that they don't make
sense, in relation to work flow. And customizable short-cut keys are
overwhelming to new comers (The default shortcuts aren't intuitive out
of the box;  I could screw it up even worse.); I have noticed that a
lot of people are afraid they will 'break' their software.

I think a great solution to the GUI debate would be to take a page
from the Mozilla Foundation: resign the toolbar as an 'addon'. This
would separate LibreOffice from the rest of the pack: innovate, yet
stay the same---allow users to evolve at their own pace; as their
skills increase, so will their need for more sophisticated toolbars.
LibreOffice could also design task/profession toolbars or flavor them
by geographical regions.

The first two toolbars should be a Libre-polished 'classic' toolbar
and a 'ribbon' clone. The eye candy should be left and right arrows on
either side of the toolbar that causes the toolbar to slide in either
direction. Users can organize their toolbars, in a toolbar addons
window, in drag-and-drop fashion. Anyone can design and share their
idea of what a toolbar should be with the community via the toolbar
addon page.

This will be very appealing to companies that aren't really interested
in adopting Microsoft's ribbon---they're IT can even customize the
toolbar for their work flow/image needs.

Also, how about modularizing the suite altogether, I only use
LibreOffice, but I have to download a 300Mb file and tie-up valuable
hard drive space with the rest of the suite. That's on top of
Microsoft Office's (a necessary evil, so I don't get rusty) hard drive

Well, that's my two bits.

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