Experimental new LibreOffice UI

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Jean-Francois Nifenecker Jean-Francois Nifenecker
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

Le 16/04/2013 18:08, Pedro a écrit :
> FYI
>
> Meanwhile at the Apache development site...
>
> https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2347109/AOO4_rev_1468069.png
>
> (screenshot by me, under Win XP SP3, using Industrial theme and after
> un-selecting the usual top toolbars, which duplicate most of the buttons
> showing on the new left panel)

This is the most clever way for advanced styles users [1] to get rid of
all those clumsy toolbars at once. Well done.

[1] anyone wanting to be efficient using a word processor should be
taught about styles *only*.

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Jean-Francois Nifenecker, Bordeaux

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Pedro Pedro
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

In reply to this post by steveedmonds
steveedmonds wrote
I assume the panel can be docked left or right. We were just discussing
at work yesterday how the MS ribbon wastes so much space and it should
be down the side.
Indeed it can. You just need to drag it to the opposite side (as you can with all LO and AOO toolbars)

I couldn't agree more about using the ribbon (or any horizontal space waster) when most monitors now have a 16:9 aspect ratio or similar (i.e. getting wider and shorter when compared to the old 4:3 format). This is particularly important in small monitors such as 10" netbooks where vertical space is absurdly limited (600 pixels!).

I hope the screenshot in my previous post provides food for thought ;)

Cheers,
Pedro
mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

Hi guys,
I find this discussion a bit misguided. The idea seems to be simply to do
an all-encompassing, radical UI redesign without considering the pros and
cons of the current one, platform and toolkit limitations, or a possible
development plan. It seems as though you are trying to find solutions
without first framing the problem(s).

Right now, the plan is to do iterative improvements rather than a one-go
radical redesign, as we don't have the development power for one (we don't
even have enough interested devs to work on our proposed easy hacks right
now [1]), we want to test and refine as we go, and we want the transition
to be as smooth as possible.

However, I don't mind considering the big picture.
Given that most UI redesign proposals stem from Microsoft Office's UI
redesign, let's compare our current UI to Office's.
The advantages of Office's UI, as I see it, are:
* A single place to access commands. The user doesn't have to hunt for
commands across menus, toolbars, dialogs, and sidebar panes to find the
desired command.
* Context. Irrelevant disabled commands are inaccessible and the most
relevant commands are brought to the forefront, thereby making it much
easier to find the desired command. Commands that are not relevant to
editing the current document, like New, Open, Templates, or Print, are
hidden away.
* No dialogs. There's very little need to use dialogs, which speeds up the
editing process and keeps the user focused on the document.
* Previews. Changes are previewed instantly in the document. Whereas
dialogs tend to have a preview area showing only the selection, using the
ribbon, the user can see what the changes look like inside the document.
* Better categorization. LibreOffice uses different categorization systems
for menus, toolbars, panes, and even the "Customize..." dialog. All of them
are unsatisfactory, with vague categories and oddities. Office has a single
categorization system and while it also has vagueness and inconsistencies,
it's a bit more logical.
* Visual design. The icon theme and the skin in Office seem much more
modern than our current look.
* Less customization. It's much harder to mess up your installation in MS
Office than in LibO with bad choices. Also, the Office Options screen is
much easier to go through and use.

The disadvantages:
* Readability. It's much harder to read through the ribbon than a standard
toolbar, as there is no clear path for the eyes to follow.
* Complexity. The ribbon is much more complex than a standard toolbar.
Therefore, it's harder to maintain and to make it adapt to changes.
* Touch-friendliness. The ribbon is not suited to a touch-environment. Even
under "Touch mode", it can be hard to target the commands shown with
smaller icons.
* Nonconformity. The ribbon is alien to all platforms except Windows. Mac
OS requires a menu bar for each application.
* Space usage. The ribbon takes up a ton of space. (Some propose putting it
on the side, yet that could be a problem for people who need to have two
documents side-by-side, e.g. translators.)
* Inconsistencies. While I argued above that the categorization is better,
it certainly has its quirks. For example, some commands cannot be found
within the ribbon and are instead presented in a "Quick Access" toolbar or
are not presented at all. The "Home" category is too vague.

Notice that the advantages listed above don't require a ribbon-like UI and
can be accomplished using toolbars while retaining all of the advantages of
LibreOffice's current UI. Focusing on toolbars also allows a smoother
change and less development effort. The proposed EasyHacks are a first step.

Whatever we do, though, I hope we don't make things even more complex than
they are now.

Feel free to add your own observations.

[1] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Blueprints

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Jean-Francois Nifenecker Jean-Francois Nifenecker
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

Hi Mirek,

Le 20/04/2013 17:15, Mirek M. a écrit :
> Hi guys,
> I find this discussion a bit misguided. The idea seems to be simply to do
> an all-encompassing, radical UI redesign without considering the pros and
> cons of the current one, platform and toolkit limitations, or a possible
> development plan. It seems as though you are trying to find solutions
> without first framing the problem(s).

\o/

WRT usability, we should consider that there's more than one usage. I
can see at least two: basic users (home users, newcomers) and advanced
users.

Home users mostly use the toolbuttons and menus. They hardly know about
keyboard shortcuts and close to none have heard about styles.
For this public, the UI -- as-is or ribonnized -- is certainly useful.

Advanced users want their job done with efficiency. For this they have
learnt about keyboard shortcuts and they use styles extensively.
For this public, the toolbars are almost completely useless. They eat up
screen space for no added value. Conversely, the Stylist and Navigator
are the toolbars of choice.


-> I think the UI should consider both of those people, who have many
antagonist needs. My dream is a UI that would smoothly bring the
low-knowledge user to advanced knowledge.

--
Jean-Francois Nifenecker, Bordeaux

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Keith Curtis Keith Curtis
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

In reply to this post by mirek2
Hi Mirek;

On Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 8:15 AM, Mirek M. <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi guys,
> I find this discussion a bit misguided. The idea seems to be simply to do
> an all-encompassing, radical UI redesign without considering the pros and
> cons of the current one, platform and toolkit limitations, or a possible
> development plan. It seems as though you are trying to find solutions
> without first framing the problem(s).
>

I'm not going to lead a pros and cons discussion of radical UIs. My idea is
just that in Python we could very quickly prototype anything radical you
could draw. What exactly is better is above my pay grade. I'm here asking
if you've got anything.

I'm not interested in finalizing toolkit discussions. That is a dev issue
rather than a UX issue. I'm just going to document that there is no de
facto Python widget library and let the dev team figure out which is the
best for LibreOffice.

I'm not here asking for a development plan. I've got the first step figured
out which is just to create a totally empty Python toolbar / sidebar. After
that, anyone with Python knowledge could be involved to fill it in.


> Right now, the plan is to do iterative improvements rather than a one-go
> radical redesign, as we don't have the development power for one (we don't
> even have enough interested devs to work on our proposed easy hacks right
> now [1]), we want to test and refine as we go, and we want the transition
> to be as smooth as possible.
>

I think you should have plans for a radical redesign. Incremental
improvements are important for today's customers but it is also good to
think beyond that for excitement, strategic, and competitive reasons.

I understand that given you find the incremental improvement slow you don't
understand why it would make sense to spend any effort on anything very
different. But a key point of this proposal is that we could prototype
something radical in Python.

It doesn't surprise me that you find it hard to get people to work on Easy
Hacks, nearly all are C++, and require lots of knowledge beyond that. It is
like looking for supermodels, when there are plenty of regular models
(Python programmers) around. It is really not that hard to prototype
anything you could draw for Writer in a few months of one person fulltime.

Unless you know what you want, you don't know how smooth the transition
will be.


> However, I don't mind considering the big picture.
> Given that most UI redesign proposals stem from Microsoft Office's UI
> redesign, let's compare our current UI to Office's.
> The advantages of Office's UI, as I see it, are:
> * A single place to access commands. The user doesn't have to hunt for
> commands across menus, toolbars, dialogs, and sidebar panes to find the
> desired command.
> * Context. Irrelevant disabled commands are inaccessible and the most
> relevant commands are brought to the forefront, thereby making it much
> easier to find the desired command. Commands that are not relevant to
> editing the current document, like New, Open, Templates, or Print, are
> hidden away.
> * No dialogs. There's very little need to use dialogs, which speeds up the
> editing process and keeps the user focused on the document.
> * Previews. Changes are previewed instantly in the document. Whereas
> dialogs tend to have a preview area showing only the selection, using the
> ribbon, the user can see what the changes look like inside the document.
> * Better categorization. LibreOffice uses different categorization systems
> for menus, toolbars, panes, and even the "Customize..." dialog. All of them
> are unsatisfactory, with vague categories and oddities. Office has a single
> categorization system and while it also has vagueness and inconsistencies,
> it's a bit more logical.
> * Visual design. The icon theme and the skin in Office seem much more
> modern than our current look.
> * Less customization. It's much harder to mess up your installation in MS
> Office than in LibO with bad choices. Also, the Office Options screen is
> much easier to go through and use.
>
> The disadvantages:
> * Readability. It's much harder to read through the ribbon than a standard
> toolbar, as there is no clear path for the eyes to follow.
> * Complexity. The ribbon is much more complex than a standard toolbar.
> Therefore, it's harder to maintain and to make it adapt to changes.
> * Touch-friendliness. The ribbon is not suited to a touch-environment. Even
> under "Touch mode", it can be hard to target the commands shown with
> smaller icons.
> * Nonconformity. The ribbon is alien to all platforms except Windows. Mac
> OS requires a menu bar for each application.
> * Space usage. The ribbon takes up a ton of space. (Some propose putting it
> on the side, yet that could be a problem for people who need to have two
> documents side-by-side, e.g. translators.)
> * Inconsistencies. While I argued above that the categorization is better,
> it certainly has its quirks. For example, some commands cannot be found
> within the ribbon and are instead presented in a "Quick Access" toolbar or
> are not presented at all. The "Home" category is too vague.
>
> Notice that the advantages listed above don't require a ribbon-like UI and
> can be accomplished using toolbars while retaining all of the advantages of
> LibreOffice's current UI. Focusing on toolbars also allows a smoother
> change and less development effort. The proposed EasyHacks are a first
> step.
>

You could quickly prototype any kind of toolbar or ribbon in Python.

Do you have a better toolbar design? I'd update my wiki page with anything
radically better. For this task, I suggest you not worry about what is
doable and instead what you want.

-Keith

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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

Hi Keith,

On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM, Keith Curtis <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ...
> > Notice that the advantages listed above don't require a ribbon-like UI
> and
> > can be accomplished using toolbars while retaining all of the advantages
> of
> > LibreOffice's current UI. Focusing on toolbars also allows a smoother
> > change and less development effort. The proposed EasyHacks are a first
> > step.
> >
>
> You could quickly prototype any kind of toolbar or ribbon in Python.
>
> Do you have a better toolbar design? I'd update my wiki page with anything
> radically better. For this task, I suggest you not worry about what is
> doable and instead what you want.


Alright, sure. (I just don't want you to get your hopes up that this will
ever be implemented in LibreOffice. As I was told by several LibO devs, the
chances for LibO changing toolkits is basically zero to none.)

If you need a quality mockup to work from, spiceofdesign made an excellent
one on deviantart:
http://spiceofdesign.deviantart.com/art/Writer-Concept-351501580?q=gallery%3Aspiceofdesign&qo=2.
It's somewhat similar to my own vision for the UI, though I propose several
changes:
* Have the static toolbar on the same line as the contextual toolbar, as
pictured on https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Writer-appmenu1.png.
This toolbar should only contain Undo, Redo, Save, and Tools items. It
should not contain New, Open, Templates, Print, or Share, as those aren't
relevant during editing. (In case this proves controversial, MS Office and
iWork also hide these in order to keep a focused workflow.)
* The mockups on
https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Whiteboards/Toolbars#Mockupsdetail
how the Tools menu could evolve.
* Each toolbar should have a Hidden Items Menu (HIM) [1] containing the
hidden commands of that toolbar (i.e. those set as "hidden" in
"Customize..."). The dialog relevant to that toolbar should be among these
commands, if it exists.
* Dragging commands from the toolbar to the HIM should hide them. Doing the
opposite should show them on the toolbar.
* Pages should be selectable. [2] Selecting a page would trigger a toolbar
with page-related commands. [3]

[1] https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62079
[2] https://www.libreoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=60416
[3] https://www.libreoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=61080

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Keith Curtis Keith Curtis
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 8:44 AM, Mirek M. <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Keith,
>
> On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM, Keith Curtis <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> ...
>> > Notice that the advantages listed above don't require a ribbon-like UI
>> and
>> > can be accomplished using toolbars while retaining all of the
>> advantages of
>> > LibreOffice's current UI. Focusing on toolbars also allows a smoother
>> > change and less development effort. The proposed EasyHacks are a first
>> > step.
>> >
>>
>> You could quickly prototype any kind of toolbar or ribbon in Python.
>>
>> Do you have a better toolbar design? I'd update my wiki page with anything
>> radically better. For this task, I suggest you not worry about what is
>> doable and instead what you want.
>>
>
> Alright, sure. (I just don't want you to get your hopes up that this will
> ever be implemented in LibreOffice. As I was told by several LibO devs, the
> chances for LibO changing toolkits is basically zero to none.)
>

Everything is a question of resources and efficiency. Anyone who says that
there is no chance of LibreOffice changing toolkits are simply saying they
can't imagine the resources for it would show up. But there is no need to
change LibreOffice's widgets to build a prototype. It depends on what
people mean by "implemented." I wouldn't worry about my hopes, I'm happy to
get a blank Python toolbar. My biggest concern right now is whether the
first tool panel will be able to dock only on the side or also on top.


> If you need a quality mockup to work from, spiceofdesign made an excellent
> one on deviantart:
> http://spiceofdesign.deviantart.com/art/Writer-Concept-351501580?q=gallery%3Aspiceofdesign&qo=2.
> It's somewhat similar to my own vision for the UI, though I propose
> several changes:
> * Have the static toolbar on the same line as the contextual toolbar, as
> pictured on https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Writer-appmenu1.png.
> This toolbar should only contain Undo, Redo, Save, and Tools items. It
> should not contain New, Open, Templates, Print, or Share, as those aren't
> relevant during editing. (In case this proves controversial, MS Office and
> iWork also hide these in order to keep a focused workflow.)
> * The mockups on
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Whiteboards/Toolbars#Mockupsdetail how the Tools menu could evolve.
> * Each toolbar should have a Hidden Items Menu (HIM) [1] containing the
> hidden commands of that toolbar (i.e. those set as "hidden" in
> "Customize..."). The dialog relevant to that toolbar should be among these
> commands, if it exists.
> * Dragging commands from the toolbar to the HIM should hide them. Doing
> the opposite should show them on the toolbar.
> * Pages should be selectable. [2] Selecting a page would trigger a toolbar
> with page-related commands. [3]
>
> [1] https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62079
> [2] https://www.libreoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=60416
> [3] https://www.libreoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=61080
>


Hmmm, looks different and interesting. It could also be done in Python,
except possibly for the buttons on the title bar. However, you could
temporarily put them into another toolbar below.

If someone creates a new UI, and a way to save and restore the old menus
and toolbars, then people could try it out and work through the issues, and
just switch back to the old interface when needed.

The more thorough and tested the UX proposal, the more likely it will get
implemented. Furthermore, once you've got a prototype you like, you won't
really care when that happens.

I'll put this text on the wiki page as another design.

-Keith

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Jean-Baptiste Faure Jean-Baptiste Faure
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

In reply to this post by Keith Curtis
Hi,

Le 06/04/2013 01:30, Keith Curtis a écrit :
> Hi all;
>
> I've written a proposal for a new experimental UI for LibreOffice Writer:
> https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/User:KeithCu

I am not sure to understand well, but it seems to me that you removed
the Navigator, Styles and Formatting and the status bar. If I am not
missing something, that is not only a new design, it is a new workflow
for the end-users.


Best regards.
JBF

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joel7 joel7
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

I'm wondering if anyone has looked at the UI that Adobe uses for Buzzword? You have to go to Acrobat.com and login to "Workspaces":
https://workspaces.acrobat.com/app.html#o
Also, you must have an Adobe account. Buzzword was a great standalone tool until Adobe bought it, marginalized it and left it to rot, but the UI is still pretty good I think. I think Writer would look great with something lightweight akin to Buzzword.
Joel
Wolfgang Keller Wolfgang Keller
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

> I'm wondering if anyone has looked at the UI that Adobe uses for
> Buzzword?

Dysfunctional webcrap resembling that "Google Apps" garbage.

Definitely the wrong way to go, especially in terms of functional
concept, but also concerning the GUI.

Sincerely,

Wolfgang

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Fitoschido Fitoschido
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Wolfgang Keller <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Dysfunctional webcrap resembling that "Google Apps" garbage.

I woulnd’t expect to take your point seriously, because your short
message only consisted of using harsh words to try to diminish that UI
concept, instead of providing a solid rationale ;-)


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Mariano  Gaudix Mariano Gaudix
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Re: Experimental new LibreOffice UI

In reply to this post by Keith Curtis
Hi.

A question.

Anyone know how to program with VLC?

I would    learn    to use  the     VCL libraries  (  Visual Component Library )    .

You know  of   some  website or manual to learn  to program   GUI  with  libraries  VCL ?

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I have some  concepts

see video  



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz5UnNLtDA8


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ckRn_sx8CE



///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




But  i  must write   these  concepts  with  the  VCL  libraries (  Visual Component Library )   .

I would see .
if  i  can  create  some concepts    with  VCL .
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