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Firefox To Replace Menus With Office Ribbon

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the what-about-in-gnome? dept.

GUI 1124

Barence writes "Mozilla has announced that its plans to bring Office 2007's Ribbon interface to Firefox, as it looks to tidy up its 'dated' browser. 'Starting with Vista, and continuing with Windows 7, the menu bar is going away,' notes Mozilla in its plans for revamping the Firefox user interface. '[It will] be replaced with things like the Windows Explorer contextual strip, or the Office Ribbon, [which is] now in Paint and WordPad, too.' The change will also bring Windows' Aero Glass effects to the browser." Update: 09/24 05:01 GMT by T : It's not quite so simple, says Alexander Limi, who works on the Firefox user experience. "We are not putting the Ribbon UI on Firefox. The article PCpro quotes talks about Windows applications in general, not Firefox." So while the currently proposed direction for Firefox 3.7 involves some substantial visual updates for Windows users (including a menu bar hidden by default, and integration of Aero-styled visual elements), it's not actually a ribbon interface. Limi notes, too, that Linux and Mac versions are unaffected by the change.

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Eyecandy in cost of usability (5, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29519823)

In my opinion this is a really, really dumb move. While its all eye-candy and nice, it brings down the usability a lot. If you want to get to the menu, you have to find some button from somewhere obscure location and then the menu will be vertical to begin with, like right-clicking. On top of that its one extra mouse click. I hate the same thing with Office. Another good example is MSN Messenger. I can never find the menu button, and when I do the menu looks just retarted.

The ironic thing is that a menubar is the least intrusive UI object on the screen. It's small, it doesn't get in the way and it goes nicely along with title bar. And you still find everything easily and fast from it.

This doesn't "tidy up" 'dated' browser. There a lot more issues to look at, like UI responsiveness, fast drawing of loading websites and better & smoother scrolling, in which Firefox is actually lacking behind (still wins IE tho, but thats not much)

Another sad thing about this is that it forges Windows UI style to Linux and other OS, and stops being consistent with the rest of the system.

Gladly I'm not Firefox user, and even less so with this. It seems Firefox is going more and more to the way of grandma-understands-too. While I myself more and more like the approach Opera takes; feels like a complete suite for browsing. Maybe it'll gain more marketshare for Opera in power users, who still value usability and the simple efficient things like menu bars.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29519891)

I agree.  Thankfully, I'm sure there will be a theme or add-on to fix this GUI abortion.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 years ago | (#29519955)

Let's hope so. Sadly there never was one for Office 2007.

Sopssa is a closet Republican. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29519909)

Sopssa is a closet Republican.
I love Michael Moore!

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (4, Interesting)

COMON$ (806135) | about 5 years ago | (#29519931)

Actually the ribbon style is not built for eye candy but rather for usability. The problem with menu style systems is that it is not intuitive. There is resistance to the change because of 'menus are the way we are used to doing things' not necessarily the way things should be done. Putting features in front of the user rather than 3 to 4 deep in a menu system is far more intuitive. In fact I think the office ribbon layout is due to a massive amount of consumer research on Microsoft's Behalf. (I cant find a reference for that right now).

However, I will believe this change when I see it.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#29519997)

You know what you are?

You're a ribbon bully!

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520229)

You know what you are?
You're a ribbon bully!

I guess we are just going to have to teach him to use the ribbon!

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | about 5 years ago | (#29520023)

Good point. However, Microsoft Bob was also the result of advanced research into user interface design. So was Clippy. Microsoft has a way of taking very innovative ideas and stripping them of all sanity and usefulness.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (-1, Flamebait)

fataugie (89032) | about 5 years ago | (#29520207)

No...the problem is the focus group is composed of people who's forehead sticks out far enough that they don't have to worry about getting their face wet when it's raining. If they can figure it out.....SHIP IT!

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29520051)

However Ribbon's "contextual" system is horrible to user too. People get used to where things are, even more so with computers. That is why static, normal menus and buttons are good. When the system is trying to contextually offer the "best" options to user, in seemingly random places it thinks are most relevant, they just get confused.

I use browser and I I've learned where things are. I know better myself what I'm looking for than some algorithm that will just mix things up.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (4, Insightful)

avandesande (143899) | about 5 years ago | (#29520211)

Not to mention that once you have learned menus in one app you can apply much of that to the next.

Computers are complicated because they are complicated.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (3, Interesting)

gobbligook (465653) | about 5 years ago | (#29520137)

if i were firefox I would check to make sure Microsoft hasn't pattented this.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (5, Insightful)

raju1kabir (251972) | about 5 years ago | (#29520149)

The problem I have with the ribbon, and the reason I'll download an add-on to replace the menus in Firefox or just switch to Safari, is that it's a disorganized mess, with everything getting roughly the same amount of visual play. Worse still, some things get more play just because they take more space to show.

With the menu, some things may be buried a few levels deep, but at least it's highly organised and I can quickly figure out where to find things using common sense. In the long run this works out much better for me. Maybe it's different for users who are just encountering a computer for the first time or something.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520163)

"The problem with menu style systems is that it is not intuitive. "
There is no such thing as intuition across the board. There is simply what different people like, and what different people are used to.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (5, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | about 5 years ago | (#29520221)

Actually the ribbon style is not built for eye candy but rather for usability. The problem with menu style systems is that it is not intuitive. There is resistance to the change because of 'menus are the way we are used to doing things' not necessarily the way things should be done.

The way things "should be done" is the way people want them to be done and are used to them being done.

All this "intuitive" BS is nonsense. What is "intuitive" about looking at a screen and picking something off a "ribbon" at the top of a bar over a bunch of text and images? There's nothing in human instinctual behavior that would guide that. We know to do something like that because we have learned how to do it.

And there is just no reason to have to learn a new system when we have all already learned how to use menus. I still can't get anything done beyond the most basic tasks in Word because of the stupid ribbon, and I've basically given up on the whole app because of it. I used to use it for everything, now I use it as a last resort - I use Wordpad for most other things that I can't use Notepad for. (My version of Wordpad still has menus; I didn't realize there was a version with the ribbon. Now I know to avoid it.)

You know what I wish people would stop doing? Assuming I'm too dumb to use menus, but smart enough to learn a whole new system that I've never seen before. And I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same way.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (1)

guppysap13 (1225926) | about 5 years ago | (#29519973)

Remember, Firefox has a different UI based on the OS you are using it on or it was compiled for. The article only mentions changing the interface on Windows platforms, so I'd assume they only change it for the Windows build, and keep Mac and Linux on their current system.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (0, Flamebait)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 years ago | (#29520139)

Great, I already have enough trouble remembering where a feature I only use on rare occasions is when I switch from Ubuntu to Windows and back, now they are going to make the disconnect greater. Maybe it is time to start looking for another that works and looks the same no matter what OS I am running.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 5 years ago | (#29520019)

OH HELL NO! The thing I absolutely hate about office 2007 is the god damn ribbon. Its the most assinine user-unfriendly POS I have seen since vi. I will stop using firefox if they implement a ribbon.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (3, Interesting)

Reason58 (775044) | about 5 years ago | (#29520031)

I know I probably hold a minority opinion here, but I disagree with your points on usability compared to the traditional menu. The ribbon system allows for the logical grouping of actions by function. This allows for a more intuitive interface for the standard user. They also have context-aware ribbons, such as picture and table editing which appear and hide themselves only when you are working on that specific object. In addition, every common action can be performed in two mouse clicks or less: one to select the ribbon governing what you would like, and one more to select the specific action. The ribbons also make certain actions, such as style sets and themes much easier through the use of previews. Gone are the menus that go halfway down the screen. Gone are the submenus nested three layers deep.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 years ago | (#29520037)

It really isn't about the elements that they use but how they implement it.

Ribbons for some apps can greatly improve the UI.
Menus for other apps can do the same.

Bad Ribbons can make things really bad.
So can bad Menus.

I like to compare Ubuntu vs. OS X.
Ubuntu has all the GUI tricks and a lot more then OS X. However OS X still gets praises for being an excellent UI outside the Linux Zealot range even outside the Mac Fanboy range. Why because Apple spent a lot of time, much more the most Open Source Projects dedicate to. For using the right element to portrait the right job.
Now Firefox is going to use Ribbons. Ill wait until I see if before I pass judgement.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 5 years ago | (#29520081)

I'm guessing some Microsofties tried to push this under firefox. I sincerely hope they don't do this either, as this seems pretty stupid and the arguments seem kinda MS-ish. I also don't want this and anxiously wait for a theme to get rid of it, if this change even occurs.

Examples: there are already aero [] addons []

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520089)

This really hurts my soul. I find it frustration enough to use the almighty ribbon interface when forced too, save the users where I work who had the misfortune of being upgraded. Why take something which has been an effective standards for years and pollute it with new user interface that looks like a dingo ate my baby and then puked it up all over my word document??

Okay, you're's okay. You're the frat boy @ every party whose prone to social faux pa's but everybody likes you because you're the star QB.

But firefox, why man?! You've always been versatile. If someone really wanted that ribbon they can download a skin for it...sheesh. I'm hurt.

At least chrome is coming out for mac and linux soon, I guess. MEH.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520093)

Looks the same as Chrome to me. If they had said "Mozilla to do away with menubar and emulate Chrome interface" would the reaction have been different?

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (1)

Threni (635302) | about 5 years ago | (#29520161)

Making stuff look less shit is a good idea. A lot of work is done to make sites look good on browsers, phones etc, but the browsers themselves don't do much to let you change how sites appear. It would be nice if Firefox let you create your own appearance for sites, either with a UI, or with people submitting how they like the BBC site, Slashdot etc to look, so you can hide away crap you don't want (ads, video news articles etc) without having to have an account on that site, or to provide options which sites (such as Slashdot) don't provide.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (1)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29520279)

There is user css for it in Opera, and some addon in firefox too. Maybe some firefox user can give a name.

Its possible to do almost full restyle of a site with custom css files. Maybe not the functionality so, but the look atleast.

Re:Eyecandy in cost of usability (1)

chord.wav (599850) | about 5 years ago | (#29520173)

Make parent president of the Mozilla Foundation

Please don't (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29519847)


Speaking of crappy interfaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520201)

Reason: To distract Slashdot readers from the fact that their crappy /. CSS breaks the Page-Up key. (Sorry, had to vent.)

Re:Please don't (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 5 years ago | (#29520259)

So, um, which side of the debate are you on, anyway?

How time flies (5, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 5 years ago | (#29519849)

I had no idea it was April already.

Re:How time flies (1)

i'm lost (1247580) | about 5 years ago | (#29519977)

That was my first thought too.

Re:How time flies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29519987)

mod this up. it's way too early for april fools

Re:How time flies (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 5 years ago | (#29520013)

this is not off-topic, this is the exact same first thought I had.

Re:How time flies (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 years ago | (#29520035)

Indeed! I checked the date to make sure it wasn't April 1.

Re:How time flies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520087)

Don't know who modded parent 'offtopic', but I think it's Funny to suggest this was a April Fool's Day post.

Re:How time flies (2, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | about 5 years ago | (#29520273)

For real. My first thought when I read this was "Do we have some April Fool style holiday in September now?"

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29519855)

It works just fine how it is now.

Please, don't do it. (4, Insightful)

alain_delon (1361705) | about 5 years ago | (#29519897)

Please, don't.

Dear god, no (3, Insightful)

RollingThunder (88952) | about 5 years ago | (#29519917)

Why take away a perfectly good, easy to use menu and replace it with that shit-tastic ribbon concept?

Re:Dear god, no (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 5 years ago | (#29519991)

For the love of God please either:
1) Don't ship this for Linux, or;
2) Use Qt instead.

Repeat after me, (3, Insightful)

darkonc (47285) | about 5 years ago | (#29519919)


I can understand having it as an option for those few people who actually like the ribbon (which, IMHO reduces usability, while taking up way more space), but forcing that garbage on the general public seems like a waste of both energy and goodwill.

Re:Repeat after me, (4, Informative)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 5 years ago | (#29520269)

It is an option.

"Though it will be turned on by default for Windows 7 and Vista users, they will be able to toggle between the old and new interface by holding the Alt key."

Windows-only? (2, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | about 5 years ago | (#29519923)

There's some argument to be made that Firefox should fit in to Windows, if that's where it's running.

My question is, will this abomination also be applied to other OSes?

Re:Windows-only? (1, Redundant)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 5 years ago | (#29520247)

From TFA:
"Though it will be turned on by default for Windows 7 and Vista users, they will be able to toggle between the old and new interface by holding the Alt key."

Re:Windows-only? (1)

doctormetal (62102) | about 5 years ago | (#29520251)

But how many things in the windows OS actually use a ribbon interface? Almost none.

Ribbon sucks (3, Insightful)

mmarlett (520340) | about 5 years ago | (#29519927)

Menus exist for a reason (they are useful and organized), and the "Ribbon" takes up more space than the menus. The Ribbon's "Contextual" interface just means that things aren't in the same place all the time. It means that action A is not always in action A's spot, and sometimes action B is in action A's spot. It's just terrible. I guess that's the last I'll be using of Firefox.

How about an original thought? (1)

beefnog (718146) | about 5 years ago | (#29519935)

Rather than picking the ribbon interface, why not do something new and different? If not new, at least different? In an application that I'm currently building, I use a tree structure for menu navigation where the nodes are circles with text inside them. It works perfectly for the Sims, and it works equally well for menus in my business app. There's no reason to use all of that screen real estate at the top with a dorky ribbon when you could simply have a Firefox button that expanded to different options as you drilled down.

Re:How about an original thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520003)

Oooooor just use Chrome. They pulled it off there, and works phenomenally.

Re:How about an original thought? (1)

beefnog (718146) | about 5 years ago | (#29520057)

How's that stable and seamless linux port of Chrome coming?

Re:How about an original thought? (1)

fmobus (831767) | about 5 years ago | (#29520277)

I have been using chromium-browser (installed as a ubuntu package) for two months already without crashes.

Ecchhh... (2, Interesting)

dtmos (447842) | about 5 years ago | (#29519939)

I despise the ribbon more than MS itself. What is it in the human psyche that insists on breaking things that work? There are so many other issues to address -- why screw up a perfectly usable user interface, by replacing it with an illogical hodge-podge that, if nothing else, requires user retraining? What problem is being solved? And is it really being solved?

If you don't believe me, ask a collection of users to perform a task with the existing UI, then change to the ribbon and repeat the process. If not convinced, give the users a week to adjust to the ribbon, and repeat the test. I think you'll find that users burdened by the ribbon will perform their tasks significantly slower than those using the more efficient menu system.

Re:Ecchhh... (1)

COMON$ (806135) | about 5 years ago | (#29520143)

Ya because drilling down and doing guesswork to find one option is really easy to do...was that option under tools, accounts, mail or was it under edit preferences, wait maybe it was in the help menu...dammit....

Menus are only good for people who spent the time to memorize the layout. Contextual layouts are much much more efficient. The problem is, it is change...and people have to deal with that. The Ribbon style of thinking is provably easier to use. Hell why do you think people run multple desktops in linux? It is the same idea, Have one ribbon for editing all features in front of you, have one desktop with editing tools up. Not one environment that looks like a friggin spiderweb and needs a PHD to navigate.

Having taught people in Office 2000, 2003, and 2007, I can say for certain, 2007 was a much smoother transitional process than the other two incarnations. To this day I still get more calls from individuals hunting for things in 2003 and 2007.

Re:Ecchhh... (1)

COMON$ (806135) | about 5 years ago | (#29520225)

oops that is supposed to read "To this day I still get more calls from individuals hunting for things in 2003 THAN 2007."

why??? (4, Interesting)

revlayle (964221) | about 5 years ago | (#29519941)

The point of the ribbon was to consolidate many complicated context sensitive (in this case i mean, menu items disable and enable based on current document context) menu items/tasks into a more readily available context sensitive toolbar (making a menu bar obsolete).

However, a web browser doesn't need that many context sensitive too bar elements. Chrome, Safari and even IE 8 already has a very simplified and usable tool bar (with one or two drop down menus for more detailed options - hardly requiring a ribbon).

i just don't really get this...

Re:why??? (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 5 years ago | (#29520131)

See, I get it for Microsoft Office. Its alot user intuitive for users to find the save and print and formating buttons with the ribbon system they've got set up. Good for that.

But seriously, when was the last time I used the menu bar in any browser? I enter a URL... I browse... I close it when I'm done...

I hate clutter at the top of the sceen, eating up valuable viewing space for bigger pictures and such. I was upset when IE snuck a Search Toolbar in there without me really asking - since its automatically set to search if the URL doesn't resolve to anything... But whatever, removed it and got over it.

Now they want to take that less than an inch menu bar and make it take up 2 inches of my screen so that I can NEVER use it. Besides the fact that I never find a need to go in there, everything will be relayed out and I probably won't be able to find what I'm looking for when I do need to.

Fork, or switch to Ice Weasel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29519943)

If Firefox starts sporting RetardedMenu's (tm), I'm switching to IceWeasel, or I'll fork it myself. Somebody has to draw the line. Consider it drawn.

Neat! (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 5 years ago | (#29519947)

No, wait, I mean that other thing -- lame!

NOOOO!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29519949)


Clever. (3, Interesting)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | about 5 years ago | (#29519957)

That's really clever. The Ribbon is fully available to any application that doesn't compete with Office... I would have never thought about a web browser as being within that fold, but it most certainly is. IE is not part of the office ecosystem. This is smart move towards integration and a clever way to utilize the platform. However, there likely will be some backlash from purists. Might I suggest a branch of Firefox not unlike Camino for Mac? Perhaps a Windows-centric version of the Mozilla browser would be in order to better provide for the range of needs and interests in the community.

The Office 2007 ribbon is very effective for exposing contextual functionality, but it's also capable of being a lightweight interface. I am curious to see how Firefox implements this. I wouldn't anticipate it being nearly as wide open as Office's ribbon, with much of its functionality likely hidden in the globe.

Alongside some Windows 7 integration, these features could go far towards making Firefox more of a native browser and less of a competing visual element in Windows.

Re:Clever. (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 5 years ago | (#29520095)

Interesting. My only experience with a ribbon-style interface is in a technical program that just upgraded to it (I'm still in XP and office 03). So far, it's been utterly confusing and ridiculously unproductive. Commands which were second nature now require direct attention to find. I've resorted, in some cases, to looking up the keyboard shortcuts in the manual so that I can avoid having to hunt through the ever-shifting menus.

I can see how the interface might be useful to someone who has never run the program before - it limits your selections to the immediate, common tasks. For the experienced user, though, it slows down the process. If time is money, it's a very costly interface.

Re:Clever. (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | about 5 years ago | (#29520191)

Usability research showed that the ribbon interface cost productivity for about a month, then improved it thereafter. Anyone who was not very familiar with office before the Ribbon was more productive afterwards.

It's definitely a trade-off-- it's actually a more accessible interface, but very different.

Firefox will provide a simple means to disable it, in any case. Firefox doesn't hide that much functionality in its menus, so I wouldn't be surprised if it were used to expose contextual functionality you would usually get from selecting screen elements.

That's where Ribbon was successful was in exposing useful but rarely used functionality.

Re:Clever. (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 5 years ago | (#29520179)

From the article: "Though it will be turned on by default for Windows 7 and Vista users, they will be able to toggle between the old and new interface by holding the Alt key." No need for a separate branch.

Re:Clever. (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | about 5 years ago | (#29520275)

I suppose a Windows "Camino" would be more of a fully integrated Gecko browser with an interface written in modern WPF that adheres to the Windows 7 UX Guide. The only browser I can think of that meets any of these criteria is K-meleon, which is at least Windows-specific.

Can they actually do that? (2, Interesting)

brennanw (5761) | about 5 years ago | (#29519965)

It was my understanding that the ridiculous license Microsoft chose for the "Office Ribbon" prevented competitors from using the office ribbon concept unless they paid a hell of a lot of money up front. Does that apply only to competitors of Office? That seems remarkably narrow-sighted for Microsoft's contract lawyers.

I assume the Linux versions of Firefox will continue to use the "messy" menus.

Re:Can they actually do that? (1)

Knara (9377) | about 5 years ago | (#29520159)

The post that appeared right above yours [] seems to imply that it's only Office competitors that are restricted from using the ribbon interface.

Additional Context... (1)

CTalkobt (81900) | about 5 years ago | (#29519969)

Just as more context as I couldn't believe it myself : [] However this is a dumb move ... For me, the ribbon bar is a non-intuitive piece of eye-candy which does not serve any purpose other than to assist in confusion. Then again - I'm old school.

every platform (1)

markringen (1501853) | about 5 years ago | (#29519975)

every platform should have their own native user interface, windows is no exception to linux/osx and possible others. why people get their panties in a knot about something as insignificant as this, is beyond me.

that change might actually motivate me to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29519993)

try out chrome.

Wrong date? (1)

in4mer (181985) | about 5 years ago | (#29519995)

April first already?

Confusion (0, Redundant)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 years ago | (#29520007)

Don't we normally reserve these stories for April 1st?

Stress (1)

Under_score+1 (1610199) | about 5 years ago | (#29520009)

Anything and everything that can be done to reduce user stress and increase user experience should be done. Old School menu bars and the xerox way of thinking is outdated and underachieved. New ways to navigate controls without disrupting your work flow should be implemented. Than advanced functionality should be build on that.

anyone for a fork? (1)

cwike (1481913) | about 5 years ago | (#29520055)

how long do you estimate a fork with a "normal" interface will take to appear?

Looks like Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520059)

The gallery in the original announcement [] makes it look like they're taking a page out of Chrome's playbook, especially for their 4.0 proposal.

Mac. (-1, Offtopic)

TheMCP (121589) | about 5 years ago | (#29520061)

Dear Timothy,

I use a Mac. Menu bars are built into the system. It also has "Aqua" rendering, not the knockoff "Aero".


Re:Mac. (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#29520255)

Dear Timothy,

I use a Mac. Menu bars are built into the system. It also has "Aqua" rendering, not the knockoff "Aero".


Dear TheMCP,

I use a PET2001. There are no menus. It has no graphical rendering. I can't even get Lynx to run on it.

This letter has as much to do with the discussion as yours does. Please take your fellatious Mac worship elsewhere.

Red Flayer

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520287)

Dear Timothy,

I use Linux. WTF is IE, WTF is a "ribbon" and why should I care?

In Related News... (5, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 5 years ago | (#29520073)

Firefox To Replace Menus With Office Ribbon

Many To Replace Firefox With Opera

While we're at it... (0, Troll)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 years ago | (#29520075) about a random BSOD option for Firefox also.

Let me customize it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520077)

I don't mind the ribbon design. I don't think it is perfect, but I don't see a reason to hang onto to the old nested menu system that never really worked that well anyway (we just got used to it).

But please let me customize this system. I can come up with an arrangement that is far better at predicting which tools I will use most often or together than a static design can.

You need to get a license from Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520083)

According to, Office 2007 UI/Ribbons is patented and one needs to get a license from Microsoft to implement Office 2007/Ribbons look-and-feel in their apps.
Microsoft can deny license if they feel the product is a threat. Does this mean they don't see Firefox as a threat to their business ?

Puhleeze... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520113)

Way to annoy the world there, Mozilla...

Time to switch (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#29520117)

If they force that upon me, I'll switch browsers. Or at least not upgrade.

ok, I am done. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 5 years ago | (#29520125)

The day they do this, it's the day I stop supporting my extensions and I stop using this stupid browser. It just crashed on me 3 times today (I am looking at some financial sites and obviously the problem is Flash, but whatever). Instead of working on making the application more stable by separating tabs and plugins into processes and instead of working on innovative things, like maybe allowing javascript to start separate threads we'll get the ribbon? Way to brown-nose MS. By the way, I do not like ribbon, I tried using it and it blows chunks.

April Fools? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 5 years ago | (#29520133)

Is there a different prankster day in England?

What The? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520141)

Is this a Joke??? I guess it's time to start using Opera.

Re:What The? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520267)

Joke's on have a tiny pecker! Ha-ha, tiny cock!!

READ TFA! (2, Informative)

supersloshy (1273442) | about 5 years ago | (#29520165)

Am I the only one that's not mad at them for doing this? In the article, it clearly states that this is entirely optional. Just hold down the alt key and it'll change for you.

People like what they are used to. (1, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#29520183)

I wonder how much out-cry there was when Apple introduced the dock bar or whatever it's called. Not even being a mac user, I have no idea.

It seems that people like what they are used to and are thus more efficient, right now, with what they are used to. People can argue theoretically all they want, but until you get used to it and THEN compare efficiency/usability, it's really not much of a comparison.

Chrome, IMO, has the best browser UI so far. I actually really don't like Firefox's. After you started getting multiple toolbars going across the entire top of the browser window (or Office window, or whatever), with tons and tons and tons of buttons ... eh...

IMO, tons-of-buttons seems to be an "open source" sort of thing. Throw more features at it and make it a button or menu. Example: KDE. Gnome is way better at that than KDE... but seriously, this is NOT just a Microsoft thing, and Microsoft isn't the only one that produces poor UI's. Most "geeks" seem to not care about UI that much, because they're used to complex interfaces. Most normal users aren't and probably use only what, four buttons: back, forward, refresh, and print...

Designing a UI for the geek is not what firefox, ms, apple, etc., are trying to do. They're trying to design it for the typical user. Slashdot user != typical user.

Don't panic... (1)

jacks smirking reven (909048) | about 5 years ago | (#29520187)

Article: "Though it will be turned on by default for Windows 7 and Vista users, they will be able to toggle between the old and new interface by holding the Alt key."

With the option to revert i don't see the big deal. Firefox if it's anything is the most configurable of the big 4 browsers so i welcome interface updates. Ribbon or no ribbon having Aero Glass is a nice touch though.

A bigger deal would be enabling Aero Peek for tabs in Windows 7.

Re:Don't panic... (1)

hey (83763) | about 5 years ago | (#29520301)

But do you have to revert each time you use it!?

Chrome Me Yumm (1)

smartyculottes (1190069) | about 5 years ago | (#29520189)

No shark-jumping references yet?

Just rate the article "Troll" and move on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520205)

This article, true or not, has the exact prefect headline to get the slashdot crowds grabbing their pitchforks and torches. The only headline that could possibly be better for that would be Linux Torvalds either praising windows or maybe telling us why linux sucks.

Somedays I weep for the intarwebs!

How many more MS inovations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29520217)

How many more MS inovations is Firefox going to plagerize? I vastly prefered the privacy options before the "Private Browsing" thing was added, and in general I wish they'd stop copying MS UI elements. If I wanted to use IE, I'd use IE...

What's that sound? (1)

nhytefall (1415959) | about 5 years ago | (#29520235)

Hear that strange noise?

That is the sound of the Horsemen coming from the west....

How to avoid this change (1)

roubles (716740) | about 5 years ago | (#29520245)

1) Get a mac
2) Switch to Chrome
3) Do not upgrade firefox ever again

Oh god no... (1)

bamf (212) | about 5 years ago | (#29520257)

...anything but the ribbon.

I still can't find anything I need in Office 2007, IMO the ribbon is the biggest backwards step in usability ever.

Why not just use Tiny Menu? (1)

janwedekind (778872) | about 5 years ago | (#29520283)

What about just using Tiny Menu [] ? I can really recommend it if you have a laptop screen with a height of 800 pixel. I've removed the "Navigation Bar" and the "Bookmarks Toolbar" as well.

Differentiate, dont follow. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | about 5 years ago | (#29520285)

Here we have Firefox taking marketshare from IE by being just that, NOT Internet Explorer.

To follow IE or Microsofts whims makes Firefox second fiddle just like OpenOffice.

Add ontop that ribbon must be the silliest menu interface known to man. Contextual menues doesnt work because 90% of all users use their placement memory instead of really reading what the menus say. Thats why people gets all confused if you move a couple of icons on their desktop, their icon isnt that red ball, its that icon next to some other icon. Its stupid, works very badly on normal users and potentially an infringement problem begging for a real good footdown from Microsoft.

I goddamn hate ribbon, especially supporting it is a nightmare.

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