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I don't think it's that no-one can be bothered so much as it's really hard
to get EVERYONE to agree with any proposed design change.  With a project
this size changing the UI can result in a lot of angry users.  Just look at
what happened to MSOffice after Ribbon.  Leaving aside the arugments of
whether it did indeed change things for ther better, it undeniably changed
them dramatically.  This resulted in lots of hate from people that were
force to change their work flow.  Also was inconvienient to the people who
had to switch between 3 different versions of word.
Leaving aside the angry user for a second, you've also got to convince the
management that this is a good idea.  Then you've got to find programmers
who are willing to make this new design.  LibreOffice uses it's own
internal toolkit with a custom selection of UI elements thus any massive UI
change would require the writing of new UI elements into the toolkit and
probably the rewritting of a fair ammount of old ones.  Not being familiar
with the actual code involved this could take anywhere from a few months to
a year or more depending on how well designed the toolkit is.

On Thu, May 1, 2014 at 12:26 AM, Pedro Rosmaninho <>wrote:

The mock-ups posted by Evil Overlord are very nice. But if there's no real
discussion or interest in this board to improve the LibreOffice UI then
this won't change in the near future.
And with the discussion mostly focusing on portraying the Sidebar as a
"problem" instead of a potential way to kickstart an UI evolution I guess
real changes are very far away.

It's a shame that the members of the LibreOffice UI team have no interest
in improving the UI because right now, a lot of other open-source projects
(such as Gnome, KDE, Elementary, Cinnamon, etc, etc) are doing great
innovations in design and UI/UX and LibreOffice as one of the most
prominent open-source projects is completely stagnant in that regard -
prefering to stick to an UI inspired by an outdated piece of closed source
software (Microsoft Office 2003).

On Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM, Daniel Hulse <

Evil Overlord wrote

Your mockup looks okay, but I'm a little confused. You say that
controls are bad, but you included duplicate direct formatting controls
your bottom toolbar. For me, the whole point is to shift controls to
sidebar, and avoid toolbars. I don't think there's any problem with
duplicate controls, so long as it's clear they do the same thing.

Those are not in fact duplicate controls. The bottom bar is direct
formatting, while the sidebar is stylistic formatting. What that means is
that all the controls shown on the right edit the current selected style,
while the bottom bar formats the current selected area/where the cursor
is--it's contextual, and does not edit the current style. That's why
no option to choose the typeface or font size there (although you could
you pressed the "more" button which  I now see didn't make it into the
mock-up) The idea is that this would make it incredibly simple to edit,
define, and apply styles--instead of editing the current style by
a style from the stylist and looking through cumbersome dialogues that
in the way of the document. At the same time, editing options that are
better done directly--that only have to do with individual words or parts
words--are preserved in the bottom bar.

Evil Overlord wrote
I don't think it would be unreasonable to have a default sidebar, but
it customizable so that those who wish to can put their own controls
they want them. Far better than trying to divine the correct placement
single controls would be to allow users to create the interface they're
comfortable with; the tools I use most often won't be the ones you
Most software seems to have headed this way in recent years, and it's a
good thing.

Customization is /okay/, but my point is that it has to be limited so
it doesn't diverge too far from the actual design of the software--it
to happen within constraints. For example, you could rearrange elements
individual sections of the sidebar, or add appropriate elements. You
add whatever buttons you want to the end of the standard toolbar--I for
like to be able enter a formula really quickly, but don't think that
necessarily needs to be there for everyone. The idea is that the actual
purpose of each part of each element of the ui should not be broken in
customization. Meaningful customization is not about radically changing
layout and button placements, or arranging every button in the exact
you want it just for the fun of it--it's about getting to needed
functionality quickly. It shouldn't be a substitute for learning how a
of software works, and allowing customization should not take the place
designing something well in the first place.

I'm not sure what you're talking about about customization in software
becoming more common. If anything, the rise of mobile and web apps (which
are rarely customizable) suggests otherwise.

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