The Sidebar Problem

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krackedpress krackedpress
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Re: The Sidebar Problem


I hate MSO ribbon menu system.
I had to work with it last week and it was a battle to find what I
needed in Word 2010.




On 03/20/2014 04:43 AM, Nagy Ákos wrote:

> Maybe one solution is that make the same think, that do Kingsoft Office.
> Kingsoft office, in installation procedure offer two skins:
> Classic - with menu, and LO style icons
> Ribbon Style - with ribbon menu
>
> and in Ribbon Style offer a Sidebar (Taks Window) too, for styles,
> shapes, etc.
>
> Professional users, who use menu, templates and advanced formating
> options, leave the actual desing, and for users who like ribbons,
> modern design, and local formatting, offer a ribbon menu.
>
>
> 2014.01.28. 18:06 keltezéssel, Mirek M. írta:
>> Hi guys,
>> Ever since we've adopted the sidebar, we've had issues with duplicate
>> panels [1]. Worse yet, the sidebar brings yet another UI element to look
>> through for commands. This might not sound like a big problem, but this
>> makes our already hard to use UI even harder to use, and is bound to get
>> worse as the sidebar develops.
>>
>> I'd recommend to read through the usability problems Microsoft found
>> with
>> its Office task pane (which was very much like our sidebar):
>> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/04/03/567261.aspx .
>>
>> So what should we do?
>>
>> I've been a big advocate of having a single place where to look for
>> commands. (That, by the way, is the single biggest advantage the Ribbon
>> brought to MS Office [2].) In our case, that place would be the toolbar.
>>
>> My proposed solution would be to split the sidebar into individual
>> panels
>> (e.g. Properties, Formulas, Custom Animation, Slide Transition, etc.)
>> and
>> add buttons for launching them to the relevant toolbars. This would not
>> only solve the problems of panel duplication [1], but it would also add
>> context to the individual panels. For example, the Slide Layout and
>> Slide
>> Transition buttons would appear in the Slide toolbar. The Functions pane
>> could appear when clicking the functions button in the formula bar.
>> Properties could easily replace all the toolbar buttons that currently
>> point to the relevant formatting dialogs. And we already have buttons
>> for
>> Styles, the Gallery, and the Navigator.
>>
>> In any case, it's imperative that we do something about the problem. We
>> can't afford to dig ourselves even further in terms of UX.
>>
>> [1] https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=73151
>> [2] "The Ribbon is the starting point for all functionality." --
>> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2005/10/11/479586.aspx
>>
>
>


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Nagy Ákos Nagy Ákos
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

For this reason is a very good solution to offer two choise, because a
lot of people think that the old style is unusable.

2014.03.20. 15:32 keltezéssel, Kracked_P_P---webmaster írta:

>
> I hate MSO ribbon menu system.
> I had to work with it last week and it was a battle to find what I
> needed in Word 2010.
>
>
>
>
> On 03/20/2014 04:43 AM, Nagy Ákos wrote:
>> Maybe one solution is that make the same think, that do Kingsoft Office.
>> Kingsoft office, in installation procedure offer two skins:
>> Classic - with menu, and LO style icons
>> Ribbon Style - with ribbon menu
>>
>> and in Ribbon Style offer a Sidebar (Taks Window) too, for styles,
>> shapes, etc.
>>
>> Professional users, who use menu, templates and advanced formating
>> options, leave the actual desing, and for users who like ribbons,
>> modern design, and local formatting, offer a ribbon menu.
>>
>>
>> 2014.01.28. 18:06 keltezéssel, Mirek M. írta:
>>> Hi guys,
>>> Ever since we've adopted the sidebar, we've had issues with duplicate
>>> panels [1]. Worse yet, the sidebar brings yet another UI element to
>>> look
>>> through for commands. This might not sound like a big problem, but this
>>> makes our already hard to use UI even harder to use, and is bound to
>>> get
>>> worse as the sidebar develops.
>>>
>>> I'd recommend to read through the usability problems Microsoft found
>>> with
>>> its Office task pane (which was very much like our sidebar):
>>> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/04/03/567261.aspx .
>>>
>>> So what should we do?
>>>
>>> I've been a big advocate of having a single place where to look for
>>> commands. (That, by the way, is the single biggest advantage the Ribbon
>>> brought to MS Office [2].) In our case, that place would be the
>>> toolbar.
>>>
>>> My proposed solution would be to split the sidebar into individual
>>> panels
>>> (e.g. Properties, Formulas, Custom Animation, Slide Transition,
>>> etc.) and
>>> add buttons for launching them to the relevant toolbars. This would not
>>> only solve the problems of panel duplication [1], but it would also add
>>> context to the individual panels. For example, the Slide Layout and
>>> Slide
>>> Transition buttons would appear in the Slide toolbar. The Functions
>>> pane
>>> could appear when clicking the functions button in the formula bar.
>>> Properties could easily replace all the toolbar buttons that currently
>>> point to the relevant formatting dialogs. And we already have
>>> buttons for
>>> Styles, the Gallery, and the Navigator.
>>>
>>> In any case, it's imperative that we do something about the problem. We
>>> can't afford to dig ourselves even further in terms of UX.
>>>
>>> [1] https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=73151
>>> [2] "The Ribbon is the starting point for all functionality." --
>>> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2005/10/11/479586.aspx
>>>
>>
>>
>
>


--
Ákos


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Mattias Põldaru Mattias Põldaru
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by Jean-Baptiste Faure
07.02.2014 20:41, Jean-Baptiste Faure kirjutas:
> I think it is not a good idea because with a single place where to look
> for commands you are sure that an important part of the users will not
> be able to find these commands easily. On the contrary, if you design
> several ways to access to the commands, then you multiply the chances
> for each user to find them and to memorize where they are in order to
> find them quicker next time.
Following is mostly off-topic, feel free to ignore if you are not into
literature.

Jean, you made me giggle :)

Let me explain what is wrong with your picture with an analogy.
First your case: a person walks around the city, reaches the park and
hey, how convenient, finds a hammer on top of the fountain. Later under
the bridge, hey, what a surprise, a nail. Off we go, got some work to do!

Now let's assume the person actually want's to find a hammer and a few
nails. First place to look for both is a hardware store. Where is the
hardware store? Probably the best one is where all the building material
stores are. There might still be one hammer in the park and a few nails
under the bridge but these are useless.

The same is true for software.

> My proposition is to transform the sidebar into a container in which the
> user can dock the toolbars she want. The idea is to increase the
> versatility of the UI so that the user could configure the UI in the
> best way for her.
Not opposed to that, seems like a good idea :)

Best regards
Mattias

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Derek Cooper Derek Cooper
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Re: The Sidebar Problem


On 03/20/2014 12:22 PM, Mattias Põldaru wrote:

> Let me explain what is wrong with your picture with an analogy.
> First your case: a person walks around the city, reaches the park and
> hey, how convenient, finds a hammer on top of the fountain. Later under
> the bridge, hey, what a surprise, a nail. Off we go, got some work to do!
>
> Now let's assume the person actually want's to find a hammer and a few
> nails. First place to look for both is a hardware store. Where is the
> hardware store? Probably the best one is where all the building material
> stores are. There might still be one hammer in the park and a few nails
> under the bridge but these are useless.
>
> The same is true for software.

Consider an actual scenario that plays out regularly:

The local hardware store is running a sale on brand x product, in the
case hammers, and stocks a point-of-purchase display near the entrance.
  A customer in need of a hammer enters through the garden section and
proceeds directly to the tools section.  The customer doesn't find a
hammer that meets his needs, so she leaves empty-handed and a bit
frustrated. At best the retailer has lost a sale. At worst the customer
learns that the retailer isn't a reliable source and starts shopping
elsewhere.

Smart retailers make sure products can be found where customers expect
them, even if that means stocking two locations.

Now to a point I was thinking about yesterday regarding the use of
icons. Years ago I taught classes on the use of basic office software.
Mostly I taught Microsoft Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Outlook. I quickly
learned that it's very difficult to teach people by showing them icons.
Fortunately, Microsoft had spent a lot of money studying software
usability. Microsoft applications at that time took a systematic
approach.  Any given command might be accessed through the menu, by
clicking on a button or by using a shortcut key combination.  The entry
in the menu displayed an icon, the command name, and the shortcut
combination (assuming it had all three). Any buttons on the interface
displayed the associated icon from the menu.

I taught my students to find the command in the menu first. Once they
found that they could find the corresponding button or learn to use the
shortcut keys. Buttons and shortcuts improve productivity, but menus are
where people find the option first.

Since introducing the ribbons, Microsoft interfaces have become much
more difficult to navigate. Now we have to search help or hover the
mouse over the buttons trying to find the right one. I would strongly
suggest that Libreoffice not abandon the menu interface with icons. It
should always be an option.

On a side note I'd like to see one improvement to how applications do
menus.  I'd like to see an autocomplete menu where users can find the
command they're looking for. Something where you could type "print" and
it would show all the printing commands. Each command would display the
associated icon, the shortcut, link to help and (maybe in a popup)
provide the menu path and any context menu paths.

Derek Cooper
Continental PC

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Mattias Põldaru Mattias Põldaru
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

20.03.2014 19:39, Derek Cooper kirjutas:

>
> On 03/20/2014 12:22 PM, Mattias Põldaru wrote:
>
>> Let me explain what is wrong with your picture with an analogy.
>> First your case: a person walks around the city, reaches the park and
>> hey, how convenient, finds a hammer on top of the fountain. Later under
>> the bridge, hey, what a surprise, a nail. Off we go, got some work to
>> do!
>>
>> Now let's assume the person actually want's to find a hammer and a few
>> nails. First place to look for both is a hardware store. Where is the
>> hardware store? Probably the best one is where all the building material
>> stores are. There might still be one hammer in the park and a few nails
>> under the bridge but these are useless.
>>
>> The same is true for software.
>
> Consider an actual scenario that plays out regularly:
>
> The local hardware store is running a sale on brand x product, in the
> case hammers, and stocks a point-of-purchase display near the
> entrance.  A customer in need of a hammer enters through the garden
> section and proceeds directly to the tools section.  The customer
> doesn't find a hammer that meets his needs, so she leaves empty-handed
> and a bit frustrated. At best the retailer has lost a sale. At worst
> the customer learns that the retailer isn't a reliable source and
> starts shopping elsewhere.
>
> Smart retailers make sure products can be found where customers expect
> them, even if that means stocking two locations.
I love menus, these are the simplest way to give advice online or over
the phone. From the earlier discussion I implied it's about duplicating
things in sidebar and toolbar got an impression that even more places
for same things would be good. My bad if that's was not the case.

> Now to a point I was thinking about yesterday regarding the use of
> icons. Years ago I taught classes on the use of basic office software.
> Mostly I taught Microsoft Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Outlook. I
> quickly learned that it's very difficult to teach people by showing
> them icons. Fortunately, Microsoft had spent a lot of money studying
> software usability. Microsoft applications at that time took a
> systematic approach.  Any given command might be accessed through the
> menu, by clicking on a button or by using a shortcut key combination.  
> The entry in the menu displayed an icon, the command name, and the
> shortcut combination (assuming it had all three). Any buttons on the
> interface displayed the associated icon from the menu.
>
> I taught my students to find the command in the menu first. Once they
> found that they could find the corresponding button or learn to use
> the shortcut keys. Buttons and shortcuts improve productivity, but
> menus are where people find the option first.
I wholeheartedly agree. GNOME default is now not to use icons inside
menus (clutter), but shortcuts are still there, very useful.

> Since introducing the ribbons, Microsoft interfaces have become much
> more difficult to navigate. Now we have to search help or hover the
> mouse over the buttons trying to find the right one. I would strongly
> suggest that Libreoffice not abandon the menu interface with icons. It
> should always be an option.
Agreed, I also have had to google simple stuff because it's buried deep
into ribbon.

On the other hand there are a few good things, such as better show of
mnemonics after pressing Alt key.
Ribbon also has nice style picker (has nothing to do with ribbon
concept, was just implemented at the same time), which makes using
styles easier and more natural, thanks for that sometimes people
surprise me by using styles.

> On a side note I'd like to see one improvement to how applications do
> menus.  I'd like to see an autocomplete menu where users can find the
> command they're looking for. Something where you could type "print"
> and it would show all the printing commands. Each command would
> display the associated icon, the shortcut, link to help and (maybe in
> a popup) provide the menu path and any context menu paths.
That sounds like something only a CS teacher would come up with :) Nice
idea.

Mattias

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krackedpress krackedpress
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by Nagy Ákos

OK
Now the question - where is the "side bar" in LO?  I have latest non-RC
4.2.x and do not see a "side bar" anywhere.  Of course it could be a
long way off.

As for the dual menu option, well you will really need to be specific
about the user has the choice and what they are.  It would be nice to be
able to choose one than choose the other, without re-installation, if
the first one does not work for the user, plus easy to change -i.e. not
buried somewhere in a ribbon somewhere.

Yes some users like a more "modern" GUI and/or menu system, but others
can get rather lost in it trying to find out how to do things in the
"new way".  I know we got a lot of users from MSO who did not like the
ribbon "system".  A lot of MSO users had to be "heavily" retrained to
deal with "ribbons".  Many businesses did not want to go to the newest
version of MSO because they would have to learn the new interface.  Some
have upgraded while others have not.  Some have gone to LO, of those who
did not buy into the MSO hype of getting [must get really] the new
version every time it came out, and for every computer in "your" company
no matter how much it would cost you.


I have not installed any other version, except a trial one, for MSO
since MSO 2003 came out.  The only reason I did was to read/convert
OOXML [.docx and the others] to the 2003 and earlier formats.  That was
before LO came out.  Most times I do not need to do that anymore, but I
now have access to MSO2010 so I should be able to use that option
instead of a trial, unless it is a MSO file of the newest version[s]
beyond what MSO2010 can read "correctly".  I tend to convert all .docx
files to .doc and .odt. One for the MSO users and the other for me.




On 03/20/2014 11:34 AM, Nagy Ákos wrote:

> For this reason is a very good solution to offer two choise, because a
> lot of people think that the old style is unusable.
>
> 2014.03.20. 15:32 keltezéssel, Kracked_P_P---webmaster írta:
>>
>> I hate MSO ribbon menu system.
>> I had to work with it last week and it was a battle to find what I
>> needed in Word 2010.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 03/20/2014 04:43 AM, Nagy Ákos wrote:
>>> Maybe one solution is that make the same think, that do Kingsoft
>>> Office.
>>> Kingsoft office, in installation procedure offer two skins:
>>> Classic - with menu, and LO style icons
>>> Ribbon Style - with ribbon menu
>>>
>>> and in Ribbon Style offer a Sidebar (Taks Window) too, for styles,
>>> shapes, etc.
>>>
>>> Professional users, who use menu, templates and advanced formating
>>> options, leave the actual desing, and for users who like ribbons,
>>> modern design, and local formatting, offer a ribbon menu.
>>>
>>>
>>> 2014.01.28. 18:06 keltezéssel, Mirek M. írta:
>>>> Hi guys,
>>>> Ever since we've adopted the sidebar, we've had issues with duplicate
>>>> panels [1]. Worse yet, the sidebar brings yet another UI element to
>>>> look
>>>> through for commands. This might not sound like a big problem, but
>>>> this
>>>> makes our already hard to use UI even harder to use, and is bound
>>>> to get
>>>> worse as the sidebar develops.
>>>>
>>>> I'd recommend to read through the usability problems Microsoft
>>>> found with
>>>> its Office task pane (which was very much like our sidebar):
>>>> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/04/03/567261.aspx .
>>>>
>>>> So what should we do?
>>>>
>>>> I've been a big advocate of having a single place where to look for
>>>> commands. (That, by the way, is the single biggest advantage the
>>>> Ribbon
>>>> brought to MS Office [2].) In our case, that place would be the
>>>> toolbar.
>>>>
>>>> My proposed solution would be to split the sidebar into individual
>>>> panels
>>>> (e.g. Properties, Formulas, Custom Animation, Slide Transition,
>>>> etc.) and
>>>> add buttons for launching them to the relevant toolbars. This would
>>>> not
>>>> only solve the problems of panel duplication [1], but it would also
>>>> add
>>>> context to the individual panels. For example, the Slide Layout and
>>>> Slide
>>>> Transition buttons would appear in the Slide toolbar. The Functions
>>>> pane
>>>> could appear when clicking the functions button in the formula bar.
>>>> Properties could easily replace all the toolbar buttons that currently
>>>> point to the relevant formatting dialogs. And we already have
>>>> buttons for
>>>> Styles, the Gallery, and the Navigator.
>>>>
>>>> In any case, it's imperative that we do something about the
>>>> problem. We
>>>> can't afford to dig ourselves even further in terms of UX.
>>>>
>>>> [1] https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=73151
>>>> [2] "The Ribbon is the starting point for all functionality." --
>>>> http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2005/10/11/479586.aspx
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>


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V Stuart Foote V Stuart Foote
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

From: krackedpress
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:51 PM
 

>Now the question - where is the "side bar" in LO?  I have latest non-RC
>4.2.x and do not see a "side bar" anywhere.  Of course it could be a
>long way off.


Open any component. Then View --> Sidebar. But, it can also be hidden, on right edge of screen, to right of vertical scroll bar there would be a 'Show' button vertically stretched along the edge.



Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

Hello Tim,

V Stuart Foote <[hidden email]> a écrit :

>From: krackedpress
>Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:51 PM
>
>
>>Now the question - where is the "side bar" in LO?  I have latest
>non-RC
>>4.2.x and do not see a "side bar" anywhere.  Of course it could be a
>>long way off.
>
>
>Open any component. Then View --> Sidebar. But, it can also be hidden,
>on right edge of screen, to right of vertical scroll bar there would be
>a 'Show' button vertically stretched >along the edge.

Jumping here quickly. I think the takeaway is that you don't have to use the sidebar. It is redundant to other elements of the UI and is by no means no more modern than LibreOffice's interface since it comes from Lotus.

On other points: we are NOT interested in becoming a MS clone à la KingSoft. Just saying.

Best,

Charles.

>
>
>
>
>
>
>--
>View this message in context:
>http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/The-Sidebar-Problem-tp4094331p4102419.html
>Sent from the Design mailing list archive at Nabble.com.

--
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krackedpress krackedpress
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by V Stuart Foote



Sorry, but I do not see sidebar originally.  Is it only in 4.2.x or was
it in 4.1.5?
Never noticed it before, even when I was testing 4.2.0/1

I will have to "play" with it and see if I want to keep it "active" or
just not keep it active at all.

Have the developers and test people tried the sidebar with various color
themes that is from the desktop/window theme options?  It looks OK with
my light[er] green color theme, but it could have some "hidden" icons
that is not easily seen with the colored themes.  I had to deal with
that when I was creating some top/bottom themes for LO and Firefox.  
Plus some of those themes on the FF web site uses alternative font
colors.  I have not tested that yet to see if those font colors work
now.  I was told it was being worked on when the "LO theme" option was
created.

Here is a link to my desktop screen clip.  Without the sidebar active.
http://lungstrom.com/documents/no-sidebar.jpg

Green is my color, as well as Linux Mint.

The "theme" is one of my own, but I have not switched to a green
"theme", yet, to go with the rest of Mint's green theme.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/krackedpress/themes



On 03/20/2014 09:19 PM, V Stuart Foote wrote:

> From: krackedpress
> Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:51 PM
>
>
>> Now the question - where is the "side bar" in LO?  I have latest non-RC
>> 4.2.x and do not see a "side bar" anywhere.  Of course it could be a
>> long way off.
>
> Open any component. Then View --> Sidebar. But, it can also be hidden, on right edge of screen, to right of vertical scroll bar there would be a 'Show' button vertically stretched along the edge.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/The-Sidebar-Problem-tp4094331p4102419.html
> Sent from the Design mailing list archive at Nabble.com.


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Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

Hello Tim,

I am sorry but I just realized that I forgot to mention thar in the 4.1.x the sidebar could only be activated as part of the experimental features. I believe it is still experimental in the 4.2.x branch. In other words you must activate the experimental features beforehand in order to access tje sidebar.
Can someone confirm the sidebar is still experimental in the fresh branch please?

Thanks,

Charles.

Kracked_P_P---webmaster <[hidden email]> a écrit :

>
>
>
>Sorry, but I do not see sidebar originally.  Is it only in 4.2.x or was
>
>it in 4.1.5?
>Never noticed it before, even when I was testing 4.2.0/1
>
>I will have to "play" with it and see if I want to keep it "active" or
>just not keep it active at all.
>
>Have the developers and test people tried the sidebar with various
>color
>themes that is from the desktop/window theme options?  It looks OK with
>
>my light[er] green color theme, but it could have some "hidden" icons
>that is not easily seen with the colored themes.  I had to deal with
>that when I was creating some top/bottom themes for LO and Firefox.  
>Plus some of those themes on the FF web site uses alternative font
>colors.  I have not tested that yet to see if those font colors work
>now.  I was told it was being worked on when the "LO theme" option was
>created.
>
>Here is a link to my desktop screen clip.  Without the sidebar active.
>http://lungstrom.com/documents/no-sidebar.jpg
>
>Green is my color, as well as Linux Mint.
>
>The "theme" is one of my own, but I have not switched to a green
>"theme", yet, to go with the rest of Mint's green theme.
>https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/krackedpress/themes
>
>
>
>On 03/20/2014 09:19 PM, V Stuart Foote wrote:
>> From: krackedpress
>> Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:51 PM
>>
>>
>>> Now the question - where is the "side bar" in LO?  I have latest
>non-RC
>>> 4.2.x and do not see a "side bar" anywhere.  Of course it could be a
>>> long way off.
>>
>> Open any component. Then View --> Sidebar. But, it can also be
>hidden, on right edge of screen, to right of vertical scroll bar there
>would be a 'Show' button vertically stretched along the edge.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> View this message in context:
>http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/The-Sidebar-Problem-tp4094331p4102419.html
>> Sent from the Design mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
>
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Jean-Baptiste Faure Jean-Baptiste Faure
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

Hi Charles,

Le 21/03/2014 13:55, Charles-H. Schulz a écrit :
> Hello Tim,
>
> I am sorry but I just realized that I forgot to mention thar in the 4.1.x the sidebar could only be activated as part of the experimental features. I believe it is still experimental in the 4.2.x branch. In other words you must activate the experimental features beforehand in order to access tje sidebar.
> Can someone confirm the sidebar is still experimental in the fresh branch please?

On my own build of LibreOffice 4.2, I do not need to activate
experimental functions to enable the sidebar. Sidebar is enabled by
default for Impress.

In version 4.1 you need to first check Enable experimental sidebar (on
restart) in Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Advanced
That done you can hide or show the sidebar using menu View > Sidebar

Best regards.
JBF

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Jean-Baptiste Faure Jean-Baptiste Faure
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by Mattias Põldaru
Hi,

Le 20/03/2014 17:22, Mattias Põldaru a écrit :

> 07.02.2014 20:41, Jean-Baptiste Faure kirjutas:
>> I think it is not a good idea because with a single place where to look
>> for commands you are sure that an important part of the users will not
>> be able to find these commands easily. On the contrary, if you design
>> several ways to access to the commands, then you multiply the chances
>> for each user to find them and to memorize where they are in order to
>> find them quicker next time.
> Following is mostly off-topic, feel free to ignore if you are not into
> literature.
>
> Jean, you made me giggle :)
>
> Let me explain what is wrong with your picture with an analogy.

Why analogy? Whe discuss about software, and your analogy is a false
model of the software.
In your analogy there is chance, no chance in software menus, toolbar,
etc. If you find a way to do something one time, you are sure that you
can redo the same thing this way.

Best regards.
JBF

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Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by Jean-Baptiste Faure
Hello Jean-Baptiste,

Le Sat, 22 Mar 2014 10:26:47 +0100,
Jean-Baptiste Faure <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> Hi Charles,
>
> Le 21/03/2014 13:55, Charles-H. Schulz a écrit :
> > Hello Tim,
> >
> > I am sorry but I just realized that I forgot to mention thar in the
> > 4.1.x the sidebar could only be activated as part of the
> > experimental features. I believe it is still experimental in the
> > 4.2.x branch. In other words you must activate the experimental
> > features beforehand in order to access tje sidebar. Can someone
> > confirm the sidebar is still experimental in the fresh branch
> > please?
>
> On my own build of LibreOffice 4.2, I do not need to activate
> experimental functions to enable the sidebar. Sidebar is enabled by
> default for Impress.

I see; but do you need to activate the experimental features to have in
in Writer?

>
> In version 4.1 you need to first check Enable experimental sidebar (on
> restart) in Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Advanced
> That done you can hide or show the sidebar using menu View > Sidebar


Yes indeed.

Cheers,

Charles.

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Stefan Knorr Stefan Knorr
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

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Hash: SHA1

Hi all,

On 22/03/14 11:15, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
> I see; but do you need to activate the experimental features to
> have in in Writer?

In 4.2: No.

Astron.
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krackedpress krackedpress
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
On 03/22/2014 06:15 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:

> Hello Jean-Baptiste,
>
> Le Sat, 22 Mar 2014 10:26:47 +0100,
> Jean-Baptiste Faure <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
>> Hi Charles,
>>
>> Le 21/03/2014 13:55, Charles-H. Schulz a écrit :
>>> Hello Tim,
>>>
>>> I am sorry but I just realized that I forgot to mention thar in the
>>> 4.1.x the sidebar could only be activated as part of the
>>> experimental features. I believe it is still experimental in the
>>> 4.2.x branch. In other words you must activate the experimental
>>> features beforehand in order to access tje sidebar. Can someone
>>> confirm the sidebar is still experimental in the fresh branch
>>> please?
>> On my own build of LibreOffice 4.2, I do not need to activate
>> experimental functions to enable the sidebar. Sidebar is enabled by
>> default for Impress.
> I see; but do you need to activate the experimental features to have in
> in Writer?

I see it in Writer [4.2.1.1] and I tend not to enable experimental
features - ever.


>> In version 4.1 you need to first check Enable experimental sidebar (on
>> restart) in Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Advanced
>> That done you can hide or show the sidebar using menu View > Sidebar
>
> Yes indeed.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Charles.
>





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Jean-Baptiste Faure Jean-Baptiste Faure
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RE: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
Hello Charles,

Le 22/03/2014 11:15, Charles-H. Schulz a écrit :
> Hello Jean-Baptiste,
>
> [...]
> I see; but do you need to activate the experimental features to have in
> in Writer?

For 4.2, no.

Best regards.
JBF

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Daniel Hulse Daniel Hulse
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

In reply to this post by krackedpress
I don't think it's fair to compare the sidebar to a ribbon because they have a different scope. The ribbon takes the place of both menus and toolbars--which means this same element you use to change the font is used to cut and paste, insert charts, open dialogues, save the document, and do pretty much everything. The sidebar has a different scope, and while we haven't formally defined that, I think we should. A good starting point for that would be "controls for editing aspects of the document." This would mean it would take the place of all of the toolbars that have to do with editing or inserting, along with the styles pane, gallery, and the like. (I suppose that would exclude the navigator from the sidebar, which might be reasonable. I see several use-cases involving using using the navigator and editing at the same time.) This would mean the sidebar would be used to change the current style, add shapes and lines, bold/underline words etc, while the menus would still be used for pretty much everything they are used for now. So the goal of the sidebar wouldn't be so much to replace the menus but instead to complement them.

Rosmaninho Rosmaninho
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

Hello,

I am a mere user of the LibreOffice suite so I know that my opinion won't
count for much compared with that of some of the great contributors present
in this mailing list.
Nevertheless I would like to leave my opinion on the sidebar.
Even though it isn't a new UI or concept since it came from Lotus Simphony
(sp?) it is so unknown to the common user that it feels as a new and fresh
UI paradigm to most users.

Furthermore, it brings something that LibreOffice direly needed for a long
time: a refreshed UI. *All of this while not radically changing the way
that the users interact with the LibreOffice UI because it does not mess
around with the menus, nor with the actual presence of the toolbars*.

I have attached two pictures of how I use the Sidebar in Writer and Calc.
Basically they are taking the place of the toolbars on the top. I maintain
only the toolbar with the printing options, cut, copy, paste, save, open
and a few other elements not present on the Sidebar.

For my use case the advantages that the Sidebar brings over the traditional
toolbars are:
1 - It allows me to do is save precious vertical space while using the
horizontal space much more efficiently. This gives me a better view of my
document and a better view of the formatting options that are usually
present on the toolbars.
2 - It gives more editing options and more visual information about what
those options do. With the toolbars on top, very often a lot of editing
functions are hidden after the arrow because space constraints don't allow
the toolbars to show all formatting options. This does not happen with the
Sidebar and makes it easier for me to edit the document/spreadsheet.
3 - It allows me to do formatting without opening so many pop-up menus
getting placed on top of the document and without me having to drag those
menus around.

The people who are resistant to the sidebar shouldn't think of it as
replacing the toolbars on the top or as radical change in UI paradigm. The
Sidebar ARE toolbars that instead of being placed on the top of the UI are
placed on the side. They ARE toolbars that are making a more efficient use
of the available space. The Sidebar actually is a way of preserving the
actual UI paradigm and even to refine it.

Quite frankly, not improving on the Sidebar concept and adopting it as the
default way of depicting the toolbars is just a waste of potential to
provide an improved workflow to the LibreOffice users. All of this without
having to radically redesign the UI of Libre Office (which is not
necessary) and it would be something that would differentiate LO from M$
Office by providing the same sane UI that LO uses but with an even more
efficient way to display the toolbars than the Office 2003 UI paradigm.

If the Sidebar concept is so bad then why is it the default for Impress? If
it brings advantages in the way that it displays formatting options in
Impress, then those same advantages also apply to Writer and Calc.

I would suggest to fully port all the toolbars to the sidebar by creating
more categories on the sidebar even.
And since what matters to 90% of the users of a piece of software is the
default options, when it reaches a satisfactory level of polish adopt it as
the default way of displaying the toolbars in Writer and Calc as it is in
Impress.

The LibreOffice design team is full of talented and competent contributors.
I am quite sure that if most of you put your minds to it, you could make
the sidebar a stellar improvement to the way of displaying toolbars just as
Daniel Hulse is suggesting.


On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 7:03 PM, Daniel Hulse <[hidden email]>wrote:

> I don't think it's fair to compare the sidebar to a ribbon because they
> have
> a different scope. The ribbon takes the place of both menus and
> toolbars--which means this same element you use to change the font is used
> to cut and paste, insert charts, open dialogues, save the document, and do
> pretty much everything. The sidebar has a different scope, and while we
> haven't formally defined that, I think we should. A good starting point for
> that would be "controls for editing aspects of the document." This would
> mean it would take the place of all of the toolbars that have to do with
> editing or inserting, along with the styles pane, gallery, and the like. (I
> suppose that would exclude the navigator from the sidebar, which might be
> reasonable. I see several use-cases involving using using the navigator and
> editing at the same time.) This would mean the sidebar would be used to
> change the current style, add shapes and lines, bold/underline words etc,
> while the menus would still be used for pretty much everything they are
> used
> for now. So the goal of the sidebar wouldn't be so much to replace the
> menus
> but instead to complement them.
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context:
> http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/The-Sidebar-Problem-tp4094331p4103226.html
> Sent from the Design mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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Daniel Hulse Daniel Hulse
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

Thanks Rosmaninho.

You're right--this really isn't a new concept. Sidebars like ours are particularly familiar from graphics editing software like Photoshop and GIMP. LibreOffice wouldn't be the first office software to use it, either. Kingsoft Office, the Calligra suite, and iWork all use sidebars.

Currently, LibreOffice's UI is more-or-less follows the paradigm of Office 2003. This made sense in the past, when Office 2003 was the dominant office suite, because it benefited users for them to have a near carbon-copy replacement of the suite they already knew how to use. Now, six years after Office 2007 arrived with the ribbon, the fundamentals of LibreOffice's interface still use this paradigm. Things have changed, though, and will continue to change. The ribbon is widespread and common--it's in nearly all Microsoft software, and has even made it into other software like AutoCAD. The traditional dockable-toolbar-base ui is in decline as major software companies are finding new paradigms to fit their needs.

That being said, I don't think implementing a ribbon is the best idea for LibreOffice. Many of our existing users use LibreOffice because it doesn't use a ribbon, and implementing one would likely alienate them. In addition, ribbons don't work so well in desktop environments with a global menu, like OSX and Ubuntu. Finally, it would be a bad symbolic gesture and would probably keep us from ever following the GNOME HIG.

I've identified why the ui paradigm needs to evolve and why we can't use a ribbon. So, in order to keep LibreOffice relevant, we need to either make up a totally new ui paradigm or copy an existing one. Making up a new ui paradigm is both difficult and has a likelihood of being difficult and contrived, so at least taking inspiration from existing paradigms should be a given. This leads us back to Kingsoft Office, the Calligra Suite, and iWork. While the Kingsoft suite oddly uses both a sidebar and a ribbon, both the Calligra Suite and iWork have fully-functioning user interfaces based off of a sidebar, a status bar, a single toolbar, and a menu. Thanks to Lotus Suite's donation of the sidebar, officially implementing an interface like this right now would be simple.

Unfortunately, the sidebar in LibreOffice as it is today has some problems and needed refinements, but implementing it would mark the start of progress towards an interface defined not by an old piece of Microsoft software, but by deliberate decisions by the ux and design teams.

Daniel.
Rosmaninho Rosmaninho
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Re: The Sidebar Problem

Daniel,

Considering the good work that the design team implemented in other areas
such as the new Start screen, the new icon theme, among other things I am
certain that if everyone decided to push in the same direction and refine
the Sidebar, it would truly make Libre Office shine.

Not only that but it would bring the LO to a more efficient UI paradigm. In
my opinion, it's just a great opportunity for the LO design team to grab
something, give it their own twist to make it their own and make LO stand
out against competing office suites instead of being "that open-source
office suite taht imitates Microsoft Office 2003".

I don't think that you guys should be timid and the Sidebar and the new
icon theme should ship as default UI in 4.3 or 4.4. It's the work and
contribution of a lot of people and would mark an evolution of LO and
finally a complete break from the Open Office past not only in terms of
code-base and licenses but also on the UI. Using those two elements and
working on them would make LO and its community stand on its own.
And the fact is that people will only notice the great work and
contribution of the LO design team if those items ship as default with LO.
The traditional toolbars may still be present, just not as default.

Also, right now with the changes that are occurring in the computing world
people are way more receptive to try different things than a few years ago.
Thank iOS and Android and the touch software developed for them for that
change in behaviour from the users.



On Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Daniel Hulse <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Thanks Rosmaninho.
>
> You're right--this really isn't a new concept. Sidebars like ours are
> particularly familiar from graphics editing software like Photoshop and
> GIMP. LibreOffice wouldn't be the first office software to use it, either.
> Kingsoft Office, the Calligra suite, and iWork all use sidebars.
>
> Currently, LibreOffice's UI is more-or-less follows the paradigm of Office
> 2003. This made sense in the past, when Office 2003 was the dominant office
> suite, because it benefited users for them to have a near carbon-copy
> replacement of the suite they already knew how to use. Now, six years after
> Office 2007 arrived with the ribbon, the fundamentals of LibreOffice's
> interface still use this paradigm. Things have changed, though, and will
> continue to change. The ribbon is widespread and common--it's in nearly all
> Microsoft software, and has even made it into other software like AutoCAD.
> The traditional dockable-toolbar-base ui is in decline as major software
> companies are finding new paradigms to fit their needs.
>
> That being said, I don't think implementing a ribbon is the best idea for
> LibreOffice. Many of our existing users use LibreOffice /because/ it
> doesn't
> use a ribbon, and implementing one would likely alienate them. In addition,
> ribbons don't work so well in desktop environments with a global menu, like
> OSX and Ubuntu. Finally, it would be a bad symbolic gesture and would
> probably keep us from ever following the GNOME HIG.
>
> I've identified why the ui paradigm needs to evolve and why we can't use a
> ribbon. So, in order to keep LibreOffice relevant, we need to either make
> up
> a totally new ui paradigm or copy an existing one. Making up a new ui
> paradigm is both difficult and has a likelihood of being difficult and
> contrived, so at least taking inspiration from existing paradigms should be
> a given. This leads us back to Kingsoft Office, the Calligra Suite, and
> iWork. While the Kingsoft suite oddly uses both a sidebar and a ribbon,
> both
> the Calligra Suite and iWork have fully-functioning user interfaces based
> off of a sidebar, a status bar, a single toolbar, and a menu. Thanks to
> Lotus Suite's donation of the sidebar, officially implementing an interface
> like this right now would be simple.
>
> Unfortunately, the sidebar in LibreOffice as it is today has some problems
> and needed refinements, but implementing it would mark the start of
> progress
> towards an interface defined not by an old piece of Microsoft software, but
> by deliberate decisions by the ux and design teams.
>
> Daniel.
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context:
> http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/The-Sidebar-Problem-tp4094331p4103408.html
> Sent from the Design mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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