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LibreOffice 4.3 Released With Many Exciting Changes

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  • LibreOffice 4.3 Released With Many Exciting Changes

    Phoronix: LibreOffice 4.3 Released With Many Exciting Changes

    LibreOffice 4.3 has been released today as the latest major update to the popular open-source office suite that continues in its battles against Microsoft Office...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTc1MjQ

  • #2
    Personally, it would be more worthwhile for them to re-vamp the GUI, clean it up, and streamline it. It's extremely hard to do though, and requires very talented UI designers.

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    • #3
      @Azpegath: as long as we don't end up with ribbons ...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by YoungManKlaus View Post
        @Azpegath: as long as we don't end up with ribbons ...
        At first, I really hated the ribbon bar. With MS office 2007, it wasn't that special. But on newer versions it's a real time saver and much easier to use. I just with they had a vertical ribbon bar, which LibreOffice appears to have done, somewhat (its disabled by default). Horizontal space beyond a certain size is useless, so there was absolutely no reason MS couldn't give the option for a vertical bar. With office tools gaining so many features, the old menus and toolbars are starting to become clustered, disorganized, and unwieldy. It worked back in 2003 (especially when screen real estate was limiting) but today, I find them annoying.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
          At first, I really hated the ribbon bar. With MS office 2007, it wasn't that special. But on newer versions it's a real time saver and much easier to use. I just with they had a vertical ribbon bar, which LibreOffice appears to have done, somewhat (its disabled by default). Horizontal space beyond a certain size is useless, so there was absolutely no reason MS couldn't give the option for a vertical bar. With office tools gaining so many features, the old menus and toolbars are starting to become clustered, disorganized, and unwieldy. It worked back in 2003 (especially when screen real estate was limiting) but today, I find them annoying.
          I agree with both of you... I think ribbons aren't that bad, at least not after almost getting used to them. But the categorization of them is really bad, and the size of the different buttons is to me completely off. The most used buttons should be the larger ones, etc. For me, MS Office is just very wrong in that sense.
          Ribbons might be a move in the right direction, but we need them developed even further, so it feels right and more intuitive.

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          • #6
            If they ever do change the user interface, I hope they make it optional. Then people could decide what they wanted, rather than being forced to use something they don't like.

            Heck, if they use a flexable enough framework, other perople could try out different ideas and put them up as extensions.

            Personally I like the old syle and don't want to be forced to learn a completly new interface.

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            • #7
              At first I hated ribbons, but now... I still hate them with passion! It's the most useless UI element I've ever seen. Every time I have to use MSO at work it's a real pain. I usually end up writing plaintext with a normal editor and then pasting it to MSO when I really have to write a company doc :-P.

              So nobody touch the UI of LibreOffice. If anything new should be made, then it has to be optional, with the current one staying default.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cyber Killer View Post
                So nobody touch the UI of LibreOffice. If anything new should be made, then it has to be optional, with the current one staying default.
                This is why desktop Linux never hits the mainstream... too many options, none of them great on their own. I think that is why Apple is so successful. They tell the customer what the customer wants, and the customer gets it. Customer's don't really know what they want, or they all want different things. If you are going to play that card, however, you have to really know what you are doing... which may be why it doesn't happen that often. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analysis_paralysis

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ua=42 View Post
                  If they ever do change the user interface, I hope they make it optional. Then people could decide what they wanted, rather than being forced to use something they don't like.

                  Heck, if they use a flexable enough framework, other perople could try out different ideas and put them up as extensions.

                  Personally I like the old syle and don't want to be forced to learn a completly new interface.
                  Not a bad idea, but keep in mind that the more "optional" functionality you have, the more code (and above all: functionality, tests, requirements, flow, etc) you have to maintain.

                  But going that direction, Blender is very exciting! A completely dynamic UI which can be altered via python scripts, etc.

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                  • #10
                    I don't care so much how the interface looks, but I think it should be intuitive.

                    For example, if you want to permanently change the paper size for all new documents, you have to create a new template and then set that template as the default template. That's not intuitive: intuitive is a knob in the preferences. (At least, that's where I expect it.)

                    More generally, it is necessary to Google for how to do anything except basic formatting. The goal should be, rather than introducing fancy new 3D graphics, to simply make the program intuitive.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bastiaan View Post
                      I don't care so much how the interface looks, but I think it should be intuitive.

                      For example, if you want to permanently change the paper size for all new documents, you have to create a new template and then set that template as the default template. That's not intuitive: intuitive is a knob in the preferences. (At least, that's where I expect it.)

                      More generally, it is necessary to Google for how to do anything except basic formatting. The goal should be, rather than introducing fancy new 3D graphics, to simply make the program intuitive.
                      Exactly, that was my point as well. Making things "intuitive" is a lot harder than most people think though.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Azpegath View Post
                        Exactly, that was my point as well. Making things "intuitive" is a lot harder than most people think though.
                        That's perfectly true. Still, it being hard is not a good reason not to try it. And it can be a gradual process. I think an attempt was made to simplify page numbering already.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bastiaan View Post
                          I don't care so much how the interface looks, but I think it should be intuitive.

                          For example, if you want to permanently change the paper size for all new documents, you have to create a new template and then set that template as the default template. That's not intuitive: intuitive is a knob in the preferences. (At least, that's where I expect it.)
                          If you ask ten people what's the meaning of "intuitive" in an user interface, probably you'll get 15 answers... For instance I have a LaTeX background and for me a "knob in preferences" that magically change all new documents like MSOffice do is something horrifying: in my mind, styles+templates is a synonym for formatting, thus I find setting a default template quite "intuitive", just like choosing a documentclass

                          Originally posted by bastiaan View Post
                          More generally, it is necessary to Google for how to do anything except basic formatting. The goal should be, rather than introducing fancy new 3D graphics, to simply make the program intuitive.
                          That's true, but I'll change "make the program intuitive" by "give the program an easier learning curve". The problem with LibO, AOO and all OpenOffice derivatives is not that they are difficult to use: they are easy once your learn how they work. The real problem is actually learning how they work.

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                          • #14
                            To everybody who wants a revamp of some kind (UI, "intuitiveness", whatever), please note that there is literally only a couple people (last I heard) working in the "User Interface" section of Libreoffice. Literally 2-3 people. If you want something done, they need help...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bpetty View Post
                              This is why desktop Linux never hits the mainstream... too many options, none of them great on their own. I think that is why Apple is so successful. They tell the customer what the customer wants, and the customer gets it. Customer's don't really know what they want, or they all want different things. If you are going to play that card, however, you have to really know what you are doing... which may be why it doesn't happen that often. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analysis_paralysis
                              I guess you should use Gnome3 - its devs seem to have taken the 'apple way of shoveling their preferences down users throats' that you are so fond of. I as a customer exactly know what I want, in case of document software I want to just use LaTeX, but if that's unavailable, then I want the normal word processor UI that has been with me nearly my whole life ever since I started using computers in the early 90s. That is: toolbars with 16x16px buttons, menus, context menus, etc - I can customize this interface to my personal liking in a matter of minutes, modify toolbars, keyboard shortcuts, write some scripts to help me get stuff done, etc.

                              As for the dumb users, that really don't know what they want - everybody should stop caring about them. There's this famous quote about making better idiot proof software and the universe making better idiots, and it's totally true. Nothing will ever be 'easy' enough for them, so we should start making software for 'us' (people with tech knowledge), and if they want to use it too, then just give them a kick in the *** and make them learn.

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