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[tdf-discuss] Re: Experimental UI for LibreOffice proposal


My two cents.

Advice: Listen to Wolfgang (earlier posts), whoever he is. I vote with him.

To elaborate: One of the reasons I dumped the DOS version of Microsoft Word
and switched to WordPerfect back when personal computers first started
becoming prevalent was that only HALF the screen was devoted to the user's
document.

Fast forward to Microsoft Word for Windows. The reason I finally dumped
WinWord for good was that, while I was aware of several annoying bugs that
were present from its earliest incarnation, they remain today even though
the entire user interface changed significantly with several of the
releases. The last straw was the version that came out at around the time
Vista appeared - the one that introduced the ribbon. There was nothing
particularly wrong or offensive about the new interface, and there were even
some nice things about it - it's just that I'm one of the seven or so people
on earth that actually use a word processor to write documents longer than
two pages and don't wish to totally relearn everything in order to continue
work on a document in progress. Unless there are some CLEAR IMPROVEMENTS in
usability with a new interface, why do it???

Some examples: Let's change the keyboard layout to Dvorak, since that is
clearly more efficient. Nope - it might be in theory, and possibly even in
practice for a few folks, but even with documented advantages, it just isn't
going to happen.

Or, how about let's swap the positions of the cold and hot faucets in the
shower to freshen up the interface? Stick to providing a choice of chrome or
brass or whatever, and change the color of the wall tiles if you want, but
leave the fundamental interface alone unless there is a compelling reason to
change it - such as some new functionality that can't otherwise be
accommodated.

And, if we would like to step away from word processors to more general
subjects, let's change the piano keyboard so the lower notes are on the
right and the treble ones on the left. If my meaning isn't clear, here's an
experiment to try: since those who propose writing new interfaces obviously
think they have better ways of organizing things (and let's assume that to
be correct!), wait until your wife leaves for the day, then go into the
kitchen and reorganize the drawers and cabinets. If you could record and
post the conversation where you are explaining to her how much more
efficient she will be, I'd bet I'm not the only one who would enjoy
listening.

It's probably human nature to want something to look new and spiffy, or to
reorganize everything, but a quick survey of this forum and other areas
suggest that we as a community would be better served by thorough feature
testing and such things.

Sorry if this turned out to be a rant - my only excuse is that I'm old and
just naturally cranky :)



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