Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ribbons


(Excel 12)

Jensen Harris has an interesting blog on the new Office 12 UI. To be perfectly honest, I hate hate hate hate hated it when I first started working at Microsoft. Now I hate it... much less. As things have been refined (considerably) over time, the stupid things have been corrected, things have been streamlined, new icons and layouts have dramatically improved consistency, and it just makes more sense. I don't think that it's something that would prevent me from upgrading to Office 12 anymore; it certainly was a year ago. I think I now like the Ribbon better than menus, but I never really liked menus that much.

I'm skeptical of how it would apply to FrontPage, though. FrontPage is half Word half Visual Studio, and while I guess I'd be okay with the Word half using the ribbon, they're gonna have to pry the Visual Studio toolbars from my cold, dead hands. While my Word toolbars are pretty heavily customized, I've mostly just got more commands on them; I haven't removed a whole lot, except for retarded stuff like Copy, Cut, Paste, Undo, Redo, and Help. My Visual Studio toolbars, on the other hand, barely resemble the stock toolbars. I've spent a lot of time putting exactly the commands I want on there in the order that I like them. No stock UI, no matter how well-designed, is going to be better than something I put together myself.

The Office UI needs to still cater to power users of the applications, and I don't think that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 12 are customizable enough for people who want a more personal experience. All I know is that if they switched Visual Studio over to the Ribbon, I'd probably turn into one of those eccentric wackos who uses emacs or vi, except I'd be the eccentric wacko who only uses Visual Studio 2007, and has it tricked out with all sorts of silly hacks that lets me use it to build apps for the 4.0 .NET framework, sort of.

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