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RedOffice 4.0 Beta Updates OpenOffice UI

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the but-is-it-better dept.

GUI 224

Johannes Eva writes "As IBM Lotus Symphony shows its first public version 1.0, the Chinese OpenOffice.org derivative RedOffice offers the first beta of its new version 4.0. The open source RedOffice gets a new UI inspired from Microsoft Office 2007, with a vertical 'ribbon.' Is this the future of OpenOffice.org?"

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Microsoft (5, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625789)

Oh dear. More evidence for the Microsoft "fact"-sheet that open source is indeed communism.

Re:Microsoft (5, Interesting)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626103)

Oh dear. More evidence for the Microsoft "fact"-sheet that open source is indeed communism.
Be that so. Although some Russian leaders have ruined the idea of communism for many people, much of what we love about FOSS software could be seen as communist (or, at the very least, Marxist) ideas. That said, I love the MSO 2007 interface. Although I've used several different office products over the course of the years, I do not consider myself proficient in any of them. Nor do I want to invest the time to get proficient. In the rare times that I've used MSO 2007 at the university (at home I run Kubuntu), I've found that I can do my work quicker in MSO than in OpenOffice, which I am more familiar with. I would love to see the ribbon as an alternative UI in OOo. I don't see any reason that the program cannot have two UI's, other than lack of programmer time developing it.

Re:Microsoft (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626175)

Here, let me correct that for you:

"Although some Russian, Chinese, Cambodian, Cuban, Yugoslavian, Romanian, and Polish leaders have demonstrated the ultimate outcome of communism for many people..."

Re:Microsoft (5, Informative)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626361)

Whoever modded that 'Flamebait' should have moded that 'Insightful'.

Speaking as someone who used to live behind the Iron Curtain, and DAILY thanks his parents for emigrating to Australia.

Re:Microsoft (1, Funny)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626683)

Wow. If Australia is what you call an improvement, please.. pretty please don't ever set foot in Canada or your head will literally explode!

Re:Microsoft (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627127)

Everyone knows that frozen heads can't explode.

Re:Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626459)

Well, communism works great, if there is abundance. And in case of software, there is abundance.

Capitalism works on axiom "there is infinite human needs and wants, in a world of finite resources", and it can't normally work in world where production (copying) and distribution is very cheep, so it must make resources scares artificially (DRM and such).

Anyway, what these communist countries did wrong was what Software vendors and MAFIAA did - applied good paradigm in wrong situation.

Re:Microsoft (4, Interesting)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627005)

Well, communism works great, if there is abundance. And in case of software, there is abundance.
Thank you, that describes exactly the situation in as few words as I've yet seen.

Re:Microsoft (5, Interesting)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627035)

What's particularly interesting is that China will be a huge proponent of OSS, as the government is very suspicious of closed-source software, especially ones developed in the US (*cough* Microsoft *cough*).

The people might not respect copyrights (the culture certainly doesn't have any interest in the concept of "intellectual property"), but the government will have to at least pay lip service to it, and that usually means playing by the GPL.

It's ironic, but it also makes sense that "open" governments have to hide their dirty laundry, while governments that have no need to maintain the pretense of being democratic and free can actually openly air their dirty laundry.

At the end of the day, the goal of governments, and the people working for them, is controlling the governed, and it's not only unrealistic, but naieve to think otherwise. The US government is just as guilty of this as Iran or North Korea, as we've been witness to over the past few decades since the witch hunt of the 50's, the difference being that the US government's limits are more in line with our expectations, and the Iranian government's limits are not. That and what we define to be within the boundaries of "good" appear to be more productive than what North Korea defines to be "good."

Anyway, I digress.

As soon as they get their act together, we should be seeing more OSS initiatives from China. After all, they wouldn't want the NSA hiding keyloggers in the export versions of Windows or Acrobat or PowerDVD or WOW or stuff like that. China will want control of the software that gets installed in their government computers, and oddly enough, the only way to do that without reinventing the wheel is to release control of the software.

Of course, proprietary software is still useful for making surveillance tools, but that's something we get to choose to install on our systems--for now at least.

Re:Microsoft (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626583)

For what it is worth, Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito worked out fairly well. He took several ethnic groups that wanted to kill each other, and kept the peace by trying to enforce a semblance of equality between the groups. After his death, it all went to shit, there was some genocide, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. But the communist rule of Tito in Yugoslavia wasn't a bad thing.

Re:Microsoft (2, Interesting)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627027)

For what it is worth, Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito worked out fairly well.
As do numerous small communes throughout the world, most notably the Israeli kibbutzim.

Re:Microsoft (1)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626989)

Here, let me correct that for you:

"Although some Russian, Chinese, Cambodian, Cuban, Yugoslavian, Romanian, and Polish leaders have demonstrated the ultimate outcome of communism for many people..."
All on the Russian model, and mostly with Russian assistance. Don't make me start linking to wikipedia now.

Re:Microsoft (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626241)

Be that so. Although some Russian leaders have ruined the idea of communism for many people,

Who supplied you with all your news about what was going on in those Communist states? Was it Stalin, or was it your own national news?

It's not communism-the-economic-model that's the problem, it's totalitarianism-the-political-model. You can't dissociate the two in your mind because your own nation has been brainwashing you to think of them as inseparable, most likely since the time you were born.

Both democratic capitalist states and totalitarian communist states have carrots and sticks.

In the democratic state, you are dominated through economics, but liberated from autocratic government, in totalitarian communist states, you are dominated by government, but liberated from dynastic capitalist empires.

Capitalism is the same as Totalitarianism, Communism is the same as Democracy, ain't nobody free on this hunk of dirt, and very few who even know well enough how to even ask for freedom in the first place.

Communism not a problem? (4, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626509)

It's not communism-the-economic-model that's the problem...

So removing people's monetary incentives to work harder or learn difficult skills is not a problem? You must have a lot of faith in people's unselfishness.

Your naive outlook makes you a perfect target for domination. ;)

Re:Communism not a problem? (2, Insightful)

xappax (876447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626607)

So removing people's natural desire to work together or share knowledge about difficult skills is not a problem? You must have a lot of faith in people's selfishness.

Your sociopathic outlook makes you a perfect businessperson, but questionable human being. ;)

By force or by enticement? (2, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626927)

So removing people's natural desire to work together or share knowledge about difficult skills is not a problem? You must have a lot of faith in people's selfishness.

Touche. But I read the parent poster's comment to mean "Communism is not inherently worse than capitalism." I disagree. While there are clearly people who will create FOSS merely for their own satisfaction, there are plenty of unpleasant/difficult jobs out there, and you either have to force people to do them, or entice them. The most straightforward way to entice them is to offer more money until the demand rises to meet the need.

If you think that lots of people will spend 4 years in college, 4 more years in medical school, and 3 years in residency to become a doctor who gets 4 a.m. emergency calls, then be happy making the same amount of money as their hamburger-flipping comrades, I do think that's naive. I wouldn't want a doctor who went into the field *only* for money, but yes, money is a factor in nearly everyone's career decisions.

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626711)

These are obviously the words of a commie. Get him!

Which rock are you living under? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627089)

It's not communism-the-economic-model that's the problem, it's totalitarianism-the-political-model. You can't dissociate the two in your mind because your own nation has been brainwashing you to think of them as inseparable, most likely since the time you were born.

I can't dissociate the two in my mind because practical experience has amply demonstrated that the economic model of communism needs a totalitarian state to work. Can you cite one single example of a country that adopted a communist economy under a democratic government, and managed to keep it working for at least five years?

In the democratic state, you are dominated through economics

False, because states that have a free economy become prosper. You are much more dominated by economics in Cuba than in the USA. And don't start with this "embargo" thing, because if the Cuban economy were productive enough they wouldn't care a bit about having commerce with the USA.

Capitalism is the same as Totalitarianism, Communism is the same as Democracy,

And black is the same as white, wet is the same as dry, etc. Sorry, but you cannot play with words like that, not if you want to express a coherent thought.


The important lesson that must be learned from the current Chinese regime is that they abandoned the communist economic model, after trying [wikipedia.org] and trying again [wikipedia.org] with different ways to run a communist economy.


Now, OTOH, this meme about "Free Software is Communism" may be right, and this could be the one way in which a communist economy could function. It seems that there are enough people who are willing to share, as long as nothing is taken away from them.


There was even a joke in the Soviet Union about this: the party commissar asks a peasant to share his cows with the other and the peasant agrees. Then the commissar asks the peasant to share his pigs and again the peasant agrees. But when the commissar asks the peasant to share his hens, the answer is no. "Why", the commissar asks. "Because I raise hens, not cows or pigs" is the answer.


Maybe some day we will have fully automated production, and nanotechnology, and human-equivalent artificial intelligence, and whatever else is needed to have a totally automatic production of goods. In that day, a communist economy may function, but with restrictions. For instance, real estate will still be a scarce resource, which will have to be controlled in some way, be it a totalitarian state or a capitalist economy.


But for now, free software production is the only economic system that has ever been able to function adequately in a communist model.

Re:Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23627143)

"ain't nobody free on this hunk of dirt, and very few who even know well enough how to even ask for freedom in the first place."
You sound like a teenager who is going through a big disillusionment phase where you think you know it all and enjoy making grand sweeping statements. The fact is that some people are more free than others.

You are not impressing me.

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626375)

i hate the ribbon, just can't get the hang of it.

Re:Microsoft (2, Interesting)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626497)

Communism/totalitarianism == top down control of people and the economy

Capitalism/Democracy == Emergent economy, and bottom up determinacy of government.

Commercial software develop sounds more like communism, and OOS sounds more like capitalism. It's all about perspective.

Re:Microsoft (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626609)

Capitalism/Democracy == Emergent economy, and bottom up determinacy of government.

Oh yeah, it sure is great how we in the USA have such excellent representation in government. By golly, our system 'just works!'
/sarcasm

Re:Microsoft (3, Insightful)

xappax (876447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626797)

This is a common misconception. Communism does not imply authoritarian control of the economy.

Large-scale implementations of communism have tended to use authoritarian control to force a communist economic model. This was, in my opinion, an astonishingly bad idea.

Communism simply means that the economy is managed by the community. If the community government is totalitarian, communism will be enforced through totalitarianism. If the community government is a decentralized direct democracy, then the economy will be managed through direct democratic involvement by all the people.

This is in contrast to capitalism, in which the economy is ostensibly managed by nobody, and in practice managed by those who control the lions share of money or resources. This commonly leads to a small number of successful capitalists gaining effective centralized control of the economy.

Since a capitalist economy cannot be managed by the community, there is no recourse should the economy become dominated by a small number of centralized companies or people. Despite the democratic, emergent properties of the community government, the economy can still easily slip into a model that is centralized in all but name.

Re:Microsoft (2, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626661)

Some of us like FOSS because of its capitalist and free market ideas.

Re:Microsoft (2, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627103)

Here's the thing about software Marxism. Unlike real-world Marxism, nothing is prohibitive: you're still able - anyone is still able - to leverage the "communal" product for personal gain, with enough ingenuity and effort.

Such principles work in software, because there is (theoretically) infinite supply, whereas every single item in the real world requires production costs by nature. The infinite capacity for being copied, duplicated, and modified (cheaply!) negates the negatives of the philosophy much more thoroughly than it introduces more issues (ie, the effective resistance against monopoly).

wait a minute.... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626121)

I thought open source was terrorism [theregister.co.uk] ! I guess we have to wait for the al-Qaeda version of OpenOffice. Soon the world's mujahideen will have the full open suite of office productivity tools they need to destroy the Zionist-Crusader alliance.

Re:Microsoft (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626161)

Actually that was the first thing I thought. The idea of Red "commie" Office just seems so Fox News friendly.

With talk of Wikipedia as Maoist and Linus's "communist roots", I'm not looking forward to the cultural backlash on all things "Open".

Re:Microsoft (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626785)

Yes but now we've got freedom and communism. It's a very groovy time.

Future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626973)

Is this the future of OpenOffice.org?

Is ripping off MS Office the future of OOO? We would have to kind of say no, since that's it's history, not it's future.

However, we'd have to say yes, since ripping off MSO will obviously continue as long as OOO is around.

FOSS: everyone else's ideas long to be free!

Re:Future? (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627139)

Of course, because there are so many ways to do a word-processor... and also, of course, we all know that MS came up with the whole concept and design and interface all by themselves. Ah, the nerve of FOSS!

The only excuse for your attitude is extreme youth---something like less than 6 years old...

Keep the Chinese in your prayers (-1, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625807)

While we may disagree with them politically, economically, and ideologically, they are still a country of human beings. And a large number of those human beings are trying to cope with the devastation and after-effects of a terrible earthquake.

http://www.paulgravett.com/articles/133_china/133_china.htm [paulgravett.com]

Re:Keep the Chinese in your prayers (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625939)

And a large number of those human beings are trying to cope with the devastation and after-effects of a terrible earthquake.

Which is why we should be happy/sad/elated/positive/thoughtful about RedOffice?

Did I miss something here?

Re:Keep the Chinese in your prayers (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625983)

Well, his name is BadAnalogyGuy, after all. Just add non-sequiturs to his bag of tricks and it'll all become obvious :-p

p.s. -- no offense to BadAnalogyGuy

Short and Long answer (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625831)

Here's the short answer: no.

Here's the long answer: every derivative of OO can make its own UI if they choose to, such as in this case from windows. This doesn't mean all OO will do so. Therefore, no.

Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (5, Funny)

Airw0lf (795770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625869)

http://www.johannes-eva.net/images/2008_05_27_redoffice_review/2008%2005%20-%20RedOffice%20-%20Screenshot%208%20Format%20Templates.png [johannes-eva.net] That text in French says "One should eat the cat hot. When it's cold it's disgusting..." Whatever happened to the "quick brown fox?"

Re:Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (3, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625877)

Must be ancient chinese recipe.

Re:Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23625909)

Ancient? I'm quite sure I had it yesterday...

Re:Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23625899)

Maybe it's pointing out the perils of pussy-eating necrophilia?

Re:Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (5, Informative)

tijmentiming (813664) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626141)

The Quick brown fox is the sentence to show all the available characters in the english language. Every other language has it's own sentence. It's called a Pangram: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangram [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (1)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626277)

Yes, but that ("Il faut manger...") is clearly not a pangram, or anywhere close.

Re:Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626293)

Except the 2 sentences repeated in the picture doesn't use every letter. It's missing Z,X,V,W,Q,J,B,K,P, and Y. So out of 26 letters, it only uses 16. Probably would have been better to go with Lorem Ipsum.

Re:Bizarre Screenshot From Writer (1)

jonas_jonas (1135553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626565)

Well, that's difficult in chinese, because it would be a very very loooooooong sentence.

Most of this [designinmainz.de] is chinese

cjk radicals [decodeunicode.org]

cjk unified ideographs 1 [decodeunicode.org] 2 [decodeunicode.org] 3 [decodeunicode.org] 4 [decodeunicode.org] 5 [decodeunicode.org] 6 [decodeunicode.org] 7 [decodeunicode.org] 8 [decodeunicode.org] 9 [decodeunicode.org] 10 [decodeunicode.org]

cjk unified ideographs extension a 1 [decodeunicode.org] 2 [decodeunicode.org] 3 [decodeunicode.org] 4 [decodeunicode.org] 5 [decodeunicode.org] 6 [decodeunicode.org] 7 [decodeunicode.org] 8 [decodeunicode.org] 9 [decodeunicode.org] 10 [decodeunicode.org]

cjk unified ideographs extension b 1 [decodeunicode.org] 2 [decodeunicode.org] 3 [decodeunicode.org] 4 [decodeunicode.org] 5 [decodeunicode.org] 6 [decodeunicode.org] 7 [decodeunicode.org] 8 [decodeunicode.org] 9 [decodeunicode.org] 10 [decodeunicode.org]

cjk compatibility ideographs supplement 1 [decodeunicode.org] 2 [decodeunicode.org] 3 [decodeunicode.org]

Article conclusion (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626205)

Says it all really:

Redoffice 4.0 beta new UI is really intuitive and useful. The "Live Preview" function is great and should definitively be adopted in OOo after 3.0. Though slower than OOo 3.0 beta, RedOffice runs at an acceptable speed on my old harware. I also hope they will release a Linux version soon.

RedOffice shows a possible way OOo could develop in the future. However, the chinese writing is extremely compact and allows RedOffice's exceptional menu structure. It remains doubtfoul that the user interface could be translated in other languages without major changes in its layout.

Re:Article conclusion (0, Offtopic)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626231)

You think people read articles on slashdot?

You must be new here!

Red... (2, Funny)

Justabit (651314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625843)

Is it ribbon or tape?

Re:Red... (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625957)

Is it ribbon or tape?
RedOffice Assistant: I can see that you're trying to create a table. Please wait 14-21 days while the RedOffice Table Committee meets to determine if we'll allow you to do that.
User: Arrgghh!!!

Re:Red... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626313)

Red Clippy: I see you're writing about Tianamen square. Do you want to turn yourself in to the nearest police station, or shall we come pick you up?

innovation? or ... (2, Interesting)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625871)

imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

Re: innovation? or ... (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625949)

imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?
China is one of the greatest flatterers out there by that measure!

Re: innovation? or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626633)

Hey, humility is a confucian value, you insensitive clod!

Oh no... (1, Funny)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625947)

In future, we all speaka the Chinese?!

Re:Oh no... (4, Funny)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626061)

In future, we all speaka the Chinese?!
Damn dude, didn't you watch Firefly?

Re:Oh no... (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626219)

I believe that the Mandarin in Firefly was mostly a fun way to get curses past the USA censors.

Having just typed that sentence, I think I've blown my mind.

Re:Oh no... (2, Informative)

Falstius (963333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626697)

Considering how badly they pronounced the Chinese, it would have gotten past the Chinese sensors.

"dog ten"[bleep]

Re:Oh no... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626803)

Except there really wasn't anything interesting in the Firefly curses. They weren't real curses a la shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits or even fart, turd, or twat (and yes, I stole the list from George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words sketch from Wikipedia).

It would've been really sweet if they actually used curses, but no, the worst was something like, "your mom's a dirty pig" or something along those lines.

They also used Mandarin, which doesn't quite have the colorful and often amusing phrasing that Cantonese does. Mandarin curses tend to emulate Cantonese ones anyway (the use of "mother" in Chinese curses, probably borrowed from the British, is of Cantonese origin which the northerners recently picked up in the past twenty years).

It would've been really amusing if Jayne actually said something like "Fuck their mom's smelly cunts" or something more colorful in Chinese, but alas, it was not to be... It probably wouldn't've been censored either, as their Chinese was so butchered anyway only a native Chinese speaker really familiar with poorly spoken Chinese would've been able to decipher it. And the amount of those who'd actually watch Firefly probably number in the low hundreds, if not tens, across the US.

Language Confusion? (5, Funny)

Aehgts (972561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625963)

An article written in English showing a Chinese program being installed on a French OS.
I'm sure the new UI is fantastic, based on the eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs
with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was.

Makes me want to install RedOffice and blog about it.
And then three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people installing RedOffice and blogging about it.
They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,
I said fifty people a day installing RedOffice and blogging about it.
And friends they may thinks it's a movement.


(Apologies to Arlo)

Re:Language Confusion? (1)

tecker (793737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626135)

And on Spanish Ubuntu!

Re:Language Confusion? (5, Informative)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626143)

An article written in English showing a Chinese program being installed on a French OS.
No. It's an article written in English showing a Chinese program being installed on a French virtual machine running in a Spanish OS.

Fuck.

Just More Language Confusion? (2, Insightful)

Andor666 (659649) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626157)

You forgot something...

That Windows is running on a virtual machine (Virtual BoX) over a Linux OS configured on spanish... so...

English article about a Chinese RedOffice installed on a french Windows XP running on a VM on a spanish Linux...

Now THAT'S difficult...

Re:Language Confusion? (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626227)

Aehgts, they have a special bench for people like you... :-)

To avoid being totally off-topic, let me say that copying Office 2007 is not the swiftest move in the universe. I don't hate Microsoft the way MOST people around here do, but for the life of me I can't explain why they changed the UI so much for Office 2007. Stuff I've known how to do since the 1980s in Word and Excel are suddenly difficult to do. I assume the functions are still there, I just can't bloody find them.

And now there is a version of Open Office that copies THAT?

To badly paraphrase Qui Gon or Calgon or Obi Wan or Obadiah or whatever, "Who's the bigger fool? The Fool or the fool that follows the fool. How about the fool that follows that fool? Or the dude who just follows along not really knowing who he's following? No foolin. Who's up for foos ball?"

Re:Language Confusion? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626323)

To be fair, the Office 2007 UI is actually one of the more impressive things MS has done recently. They put a lot of effort, thought, and UI research (user studies) into that design, and while the outcome is a bit polarizing, the feedback I've heard has been largely very positive, even from within Slashdot.

I can't speak to it personally though, as I don't have a copy. I'd like to though.

Re:Language Confusion? (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626895)

You're not missing much, the Ribbon interface feels mostly like using a website in which the tools were organized in tabs.

The 2007 interface is not that revolutionary as much as it's using a well-studied paradigm (web browsing) in a context (complex desktop applications) where it's traditionally not seen due to inertia, even if it would make sense.

Re:Language Confusion? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626445)

"Who's the bigger fool? The Fool or the fool that follows the fool.

Reading that I can't decide whether I feel better about having abandoned word processors when Word killed WordPerfect years ago, or smug that I've been happily using LaTeX ever since.

I'd settle for smug, but then I'd be the fool if I didn't recognise that it's what happens in the corporate world (at least in the area of office software) that sets the rules and standards the rest of us are obliged to follow.

Re:Language Confusion? (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627219)

Well, you seem to think that LaTeX is a word processor... so one has to take everything you say on the subject with a block of salt.

Re:Language Confusion? (2, Insightful)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626817)

I can't explain why they changed the UI so much for Office 2007.Stuff I've known how to do since the 1980s in Word and Excel are suddenly difficult to do. I assume the functions are still there, I just can't bloody find them.


The interface has been changed so that the people who couldn't find all the options that where hidden in a 2nd-level tab under the 3rd-level menus, now can bloody find them more easily. For the first time and against all MS tradition, they have boldly broken backwards compatibility in introducing this new interface layout, with the rationale that most of those hidden functions were not used by many people to begin with.

MS Office or KOffice? (2, Interesting)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625981)

Really, I seem to remember some of these GUI changes from the KOffice GUI design contest a year or two ago. So who exactly are they copying?

That's Odd (1)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 6 years ago | (#23625989)

In communist china....oh wait...

Re:That's Odd (1)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626155)

In communist china...
... the office software puts the ribbon on you.

Probably a good idea... (2, Interesting)

corpsmoderne (1007311) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626027)

Seeing the screenshots, I realize that displaying the tools vertically on each side of the screen is the only good way to smartly use your screen space, as long as your document is in "portrait" mode and that most of the screen these days are more large than high...

Re:Probably a good idea... (0, Offtopic)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626165)

...and that most of the screen these days are more large than high...
Dude, when I'm high, ..., I'm large as well.

Re:Probably a good idea... (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626201)

Don't know... I can fit two windows of Writer, Firefox and putty side by side on my 1680x1050 screen, but will I still be able to do that if every application starts using vertical side menus? I'd rather use other programs than having to buy a laptop with a wider snowboard-sized screen and carry it with me. Menus at the top of the window are just fine for me.

Do we make it configurable and let each user choose the preferred layout?

Its not gonna make it.... (3, Informative)

tecker (793737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626079)

The server is bleeding bad. Less then 20 Posts and its already down. Be Kind and use the cache [nyud.net]

All your documents are belonging to us... (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626097)

Given China's propensity to spy on its own citizens and foreigners as well, one wonders what back-door document stealing code snips are buried deep within this OO fork...

Re:All your documents are belonging to us... (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626691)

Seriously? This China related alarmism on Slashdot is really saddening

Re:All your documents are belonging to us... (1)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627213)

The NSA didn't touch it, did they?

count me out (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626101)

I prefer the nice hiding menus in earlier versions of office, after you've been using them for a while you only see the functions you use not a whole mess of stuff you don't want taking up loads of real estate.

Re:count me out (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626253)

Taking up screen space is my biggest complaint about the UI for MSOffice 2007. I prefer the layout and such, but the inability to customize icon sizes and empty space and such is annoying. A lot like the Sidebar in Vista, from the little I've used it it seems to be fixed to a certain spot on the screen with fixed widget sizes.

I do prefer ribbonish UIs over menu bars though. I'd like to see more apps get on the bandwagon so some refinement can happen. Something as simple as making all of the panels quick to hide/unhide, like Adobe Lightroom, would be a big step forward. Once I get into the body of some report I'm writing in a word processor I'd like to be able to get all of the tools out of my way and concentrate on what I'm typing. The menu bar UI has less visual clutter than a ribbon UI in this situation, but a few small improvement could fix that.

And a less cartoonish icon set would be nice too.

And Ubuntu: why is the app named "OpenOffice Spreadsheet" in the Applications menu, but "OpenOffice Calc" when it opens? If all the OO apps weren't that way I'd think my launchers were screwed up.

Vertical toolbars FTW! (2, Interesting)

bazorg (911295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626119)

I for one welcome... using less toolbars at the top and bottom edges of the screen. I've been trying to find an add-on for Firefox to allow just that, as there is plenty of empty space on the sides of my "wide screen" when I'm not watching films.

Arranging all toolbars as "vertical ribbons" with the current OOo is possible and I kind of like it.

Likely Hidden Feature: (0, Troll)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626197)

When activated, the ribbon also enables your webcam, so the RedOffice interface crew can monitor your "user experience." The goal, of course, is to improve useability. This begs the questions "of what?" and "for whom?"

OOo menus are very popular (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626203)

So many people have thanked me for installing OpenOffice.org to replace the totally unusable MS Office 2007, that I really hope this remains a Chinese feature.

MS Office 2007 ribbons is the best thing MS could have done to promote OOo adoption. We should all send 'thank you' letters to uncle Steve for that.

Re:OOo menus are very popular (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626727)

This is either bullshit, or the people you installed OOo for are idiots, unable to adjust to a far better UI.

But let's have some clarity: How many is "so many"? I've read so many stories where the teller says "so many", "lots of", etc, only to mean "my spouse (down whose throat I shoved my own opinion) and two friends".

That your post got modded "5, Insightful" is an embarrassment to slashdot.

Re:OOo menus are very popular (1)

Falstius (963333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626759)

My chinese is pretty poor, but I do think this implementation of a 'ribbon' looks more appealing than that in Office 2007. And as much as the new UI annoys me, the quick formatting buttons in the new Powerpoint are a nice way to add simple visual appeal to my presentation slides. There is a happy compromise to be had in there somewhere.

Re:OOo menus are very popular (4, Interesting)

RootWind (993172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626891)

To tell you the truth, I think it is dependent on how willing the person is to learn new things. Here's what I found out with a small sample (probably not representative). I was tasked with rolling out Office 2007 as a trial to a group of 185 college students and ~70 faculty. From our informal survey, approval over 2003 after initial 1 hour exposure: Students: 62.1%; Faculty: 42.8%. After 1 month, Students: 82.1%; Faculty: 54.3%. From the students and faculty that said they were not familiar with Office, the majority preferred 2007. And as expected, those who considered themselves experts, mostly preferred 2003.

Re:OOo menus are very popular (1)

twistah (194990) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626999)

I am not saying Office 2007 is great (i.e it takes about 5 clicks to find the current running version) but OOo is pretty atrocious as well. It reminds of me using WordPerfect, or MS Works, on an old Mac. Clunky, outdated GUI and only half-supports certain features. Many people who are not open source/free software types use it and judge all such software by it, which is unfortunate.

Big Red (2, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626251)

Does it automatically inform the authorities when you commit thoughtcrime ?

Odd omissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626317)

Just trying it out and for some reason it doesn't recognize Tibet?

"is this the future?" I hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626347)

The ribbon is one of the suckiest features of the sucktastic Orifice 2007. (OOXML comes in second.) It makes finding everything difficult.

Now, the little toolbar that appears above text right after you highlight it, that is pretty useful, because I want to change something about the text, and I'd prefer not to drag the mouse all the way across the screen. But that's about the only thing they did right in Office 2007.

The trouble with Chinese OpenOffice (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626515)

The trouble with Chinese OpenOffice: thirty minutes after I'm done writing a document, I want to write it again.

What ribbon? (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626521)

From the screenshots, it looks more like they stole the UI from Gimp or Photoshop. I see nothing even remotely similar to Office 2007's ribbon in there.

Re:What ribbon? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626707)

Gimp's UI is completely different from that screenshot, and completely different from Photoshop.

step in right direction (1)

codename.matrix (889422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626575)

With more and more widescreen displays it makes sense to move from the menubar to a sidebar-like approach. I think RedOffice might be on to something here. It still has some quirks in the interface but maybe OpenOffice.org 3 will move more functionality in a stylish sidebar. When you look at Impress there is already some stuff moved to a sidebar. The way RedOffice currently has it implemented is a bit crude and doesn't look that well but I like the idea ...

Hope the future of OOo is better than it's past (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626671)

new UI inspired from Microsoft Office 2007 [...] Is this the future of OpenOffice.org?

When OOo came, I was thrilled to hear there was an alternative to MS-Word. It turned out to be a bloated MS-Word clone, just orders of magnitude slower, and filled with bugs.

For somoeone who hated Word, it was the same but worse.

I sure hope the future of OOo is NOT to continue (badly) cloning MS-word. I have not tried Office 2007 yet, but I still hope that some day OOo can offer a real alternative and be different.

(In the meantime I use TextMaker)

Word processors are dead, I fear. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627125)

When OOo came, I was thrilled to hear there was an alternative to MS-Word. It turned out to be a bloated MS-Word clone, just orders of magnitude slower, and filled with bugs.

Indeed. EVERYONE seems to be cloning the worst features of Word, because that's apparently by far the easiest way to create a program that can roundtrip to Word and back without losing formatting. And that's apparently the only critical feature.

So I've given up. By preference I write documents in HTML+CSS now. I'd use Docbook or something similar, if there were good tools available.

Don't even talk to me about TeX. Been there, done that, got the incomprehensible error messages.

No, no it doesn't (0, Redundant)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626699)

http://begthequestion.info/ [begthequestion.info]

"Begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. When one begs the question, the initial assumption of a statement is treated as already proven without any logic to show why the statement is true in the first place.

It does NOT mean to raise the question like you have used it.

If your children grow up to be philosophers they will thank me one day...

Courier, we missed you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23626799)

What is it with chinese people and that crappy Courier font!

It's not a UI update, infact thats a UI-downgrade, infact it's almost as bad as installing Vista...

UI (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 6 years ago | (#23626951)

From the article: "RedOffice shows a possible way OOo could develop in the future. However, the chinese writing is extremely compact and allows RedOffice's exceptional menu structure. It remains doubtfoul that the user interface could be translated in other languages without major changes in its layout." First, I very much disliked MS Office 2007's UI layout (based on Beta 2) however if OO decided to make this an option (OO3 remix?) I would certainly be interested in trying it out. It may convert me. Second, maybe it was me but I DROOLED over the icons. They look so much cleaner then 2.4's icon set. I'm sorry, but they look like they were lifted from Office 97.

Lotus Symphony (3, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627001)

Back when I tried the Alpha version of Lotus Symphony, I really liked the UI and the fact that I could import WordPro documents (as we're standardized on *shudder* Lotus WordPro here at work). What I didn't like was that Symphony would change all OpenOffice.org file associations to itself when it was installed and every time it was run. There was no option to leave the file associations alone. (Much less an opt-in to change them in the first place.)

Since then, I've kept a wary eye on Symphony. Their latest release notes state: "It is now supported to change the file types to be associated with IBM Lotus Symphony during installation." In addition, the notes talk about a "File Type Associations panel." Hopefully, this means that they realized the error in the Alpha version and have made the file associations opt-in both on install and on program launch.

(If anyone knows for sure, I'd be happy to hear what the latest version does with file type associations.)

Microsoft may hunt those down (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627051)

Developing software with the "Fluent UI" (ribbon interface in common mouth) is permitted by Microsoft, except when the software directly competes with the Microsoft Office 2007 line of products. This license was most likely written with OOo and the likes in mind. It can be debated whether this interface is similar enough or not though, but there you have it anyway.

Office UI licensing site [microsoft.com]

Ribbon (0)

folstaff (853243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23627191)

I started using Office applications before there was an office and I have used Office 2007 for over a year. The combination of the ribbon interface while excluding backward compatibility is the stupidest decision I have ever seen Microsoft make. I am including Windows ME, Microsoft Bob, and that annoying Clippy.
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