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Tie an MS RIBBON round that old app tree ?

 
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 598

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Tie an MS RIBBON round that old app tree ? Reply with quote

... or any other style 'ribbon' for that matter.

Someone mentioned on a post a few weeks ago that they were dabbling with implementing a ribbon style interface.

2 questions arise to me:-

A) is it worth it (i.e. what do users prefer).
I'ýd be interested to here what FTN95 users preferences are and why.

B) is it legal !
After the post I mentioned above I remember doing a quick google and came across an article about a spat between MS and Corel ont the suýbject. At the time I just let it drop but recenty did a birýt more in-depth research and find that back at end 2006 MS offered a clear FREE license to anyone (but Corel, Apple, etc... i.e. the big little boys who throw their toys out of the pram every few months ) to implement a 'ribbon' toolbar provided that:-

i) it wasn't for a type of application which appears in the Office suite

ii) a pretty strict and long (and sometimes amusing) list of design guidelines were adhered to .

However since then a few more articles appeared up to around 2010 saying similar things (but obviously geared to 2010 design).

But the MS page to apply for a licence has been redundant (i.e. contains nothing except the words that it is redundant) for some time ! (since 2012 one source said)

I've been able to track down a copy of the 2007 licence agreement and required design guidelines (both make interesting, and oft amusing reading) but nowhere have I found any recent info about if a licence is still needed / available nor where 2010 (or 2013 ? or 2016 ?) specific required guidelines are available.

Has anyone any link to the latest situation regarding this, either on MS site or elsewhere ?
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1670
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Wikipedia page contains some helpful information (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribbon_(computing)), but as Clearwin+ doesn't allow you to create a moveable toolbar, then don't expect Paul to say that he has so little on his plate at the moment, he'll drop even that to develop it!

MS put a lot of effort into their ribbons, which are basically tabbed toolbars, and if you were ever experienced with the previous (traditional?) paradigm of drop-down menus, the ribbons took some getting used to. I set great store by the appearance of a Windows program, but if the user interface is designed well, the complexities of a ribbon may be unnecessary. For example, the Windows calculator neither needs nor uses a ribbon, nor does it even have menus.
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 598

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no inclination to dabble with ribbon (a mis-nomer imo) I/fs really.
I'm an Office 2003 man myself and it does far more than anny fancy whistls and bells could offer me.
The problem of course is that most people, even if they detest Office 2007 onwards will have to eventually come round to it when it appears at their workplace.
It' sjust that I wanted to read up more about it and what it would entail to include one (sorry, replace menus&toolbars with one, becasue according to the MS guidelines you CAN NOT have both !!!! (amngst other restrictions).
Hopefully someone will come up with the answer(s) to my enquiry.

As for Paul dabbling in the quagmire, I don't expect that at all, he's got far more important stuff to get up to date, like plotting for example Wink

I'm pretty sure a floating toolbar would be a walk in the park by comparison Wink
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1670
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did dabble with a floating toolbar of my own design, based on sensing where the cursor was, and importing bitmaps to suit. This enabled me to get 'mouse-over' functionality that Paul hasn't implemented for %tb - %ib supposedly being the 'replacement' for %ib now has it, but %ib is actually the blind alley, and only %tb lets you achieve windows 8 to 10 look and feel.

Having got the thing to work, more or less, it seemed to me to be an over-complication of the user interface, and actually, a fixed toolbar was best.

I also discovered how to change toolbar styles while a program was running. A bit complicated, but definitely possible.

Word 2003 formats are not compatible with later Word versions, OK if you exchange documents in print, but not electronically, especially if they contain pictures.
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 598

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Word 2003 formats are not compatible with later Word versions


That's news to me, surely you mean the other way around ? ... or that Word 2003 can't cope with WordX (X=2007,10,13) docs ?
In any case we have the trusty, and free, Open Office varieties now , or just the free MS file readers (and concýverters) for Word 2003.

I also don't see the relevance of floating toolbars to ribbon menus.
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JohnCampbell



Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 1807
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

There was a big leap in capacity for Excel 2007. 2003 and earlier had sheet sizes were just too small to use. The ribbon was just collateral damage.

My use of clearwin+ is not as advanced as some/most. I am pleased that I can have a menu system that provides the functionality that I require. Every now an then I try to review the menu options and layout, but that is typically a long way behind the new features I am tying to achieve.
Creating a structured menu via multiple subroutines does help with development by isolating the new code that may not work.

John
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 598

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just looking into whether ribbon IFs were feasible(/legal) to implement at a non-corporate level.
It seems that ever yprogram I open these days has a ribbon IF, due to the 'lets follow M$' sheep mentality .
As you say, functionality is much more important than visual attractiveness, or perceived 'productivity gains' which in fact imo have no sound practical basis, just 'feeling' and is just a psycho-lofýgical game played to dupe punters out of hard earned dosh when they buy th 'new-improved' updated version.
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 598

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some of the specific requirements which were obligatory under th 2007 free licence agreement.
Interesting reading. Basically it was , if you want to use the ribbon concept then it has to be EXACTLY the MS Office Ribbon (in terms of layout-design, with only the content (controls) cvarying)

Quote:

RIBBON (REQUIRED)

The Ribbon is the primary replacement for menus and toolbars in the 2007 Microsoft Office UI. The Ribbon MUST
contain the following three elements:

1. Tabs. Tabs are used to organize controls in the Ribbon around the core scenarios and tasks that users
perform with the application.

2. Groups. Each tab contains one or more groups which show related controls together.

3. Controls. Different types of controls can be hosted in the Ribbon. Examples of controls are menus, split
buttons, combo boxes, and spinner controls.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE RIBBON

1. The Ribbon MUST replace all top-level menus and toolbars (e.g. File, Edit, View, Insert, Window, etc.).

2. The Ribbon MUST NOT coexist with top-level menus and toolbars. The Ribbon is a replacement for menus
and toolbars. The Ribbon is not an additional component that can be added onto an existing menu-and
toolbar-based user interface.

3. The Ribbon MUST contain all three of the following elements: tabs, groups, and controls.

4. The Ribbon MUST be positioned at the top of the application window in a space that is dedicated to
displaying the Ribbon.

5. The Ribbon MUST NOT be displayed on either side of the application window or at the bottom of the
application window.

6. The Ribbon MUST NOT be able to float over the document workspace so that users can drag the Ribbon
and position it wherever they want.

7. Users MUST NOT be able to dock the Ribbon on either side of the application window or at the bottom of
the application window.

8. The Ribbon MUST NOT be displayed over the top of the document by default. (See Minimizing the Ribbon
for more information.)

9. The Ribbon MUST NOT auto-hide/appear when the mouse pointer moves away from/towards the top
edge of the application window.

10. The Ribbon MUST NOT display any application logos or images that cannot be clicked or that are not part
of a control.

11. The Ribbon MUST extend the full width of the application window at all times. The Ribbon MUST resize in
the horizontal direction when the application window is resized. The Ribbon MUST NOT resize in the
vertical direction when the application window resizes. (See Ribbon Resizing for more information.)

12. Users MUST NOT be able to resize the Ribbon.

13. Resize handles MUST NOT appear anywhere on the Ribbon. The Ribbon MUST only resize in the
horizontal direction when the application window is resized.

14. The Ribbon MUST be exactly tall enough to display three vertically stacked controls that use 16x16 pixel
icons at 96 dpi. (Note the height of the Ribbon in the Figure below.)

15. The Ribbon MUST NOT be any taller than the height required to display three vertically stacked controls
that use 16x16 pixel icons at 96 dpi



... and of course there are also lots of other specifics for groups, etc ......

I've no idea what restrictions there are today nor what the specific reqts are, hende the origin of my post
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 1670
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

First of all, anything is possible if your main window is just one huge graphics region, and perhaps I didn't spell it out correctly, but you can create just about any look and feel - and that probably includes a 'ribbon' - if you are prepared to program the whole shebang yourself. It does make the graphics callback about the longest, most complicated, thing you'll ever program, however. My own attempts, through the medium of trying to simulate dockable toolbars, convinced me it was possible, but not worth the effort.

A little known foible of MS Word version-variation is not that 2003 can't read .DOCX files, as there is or was a file converter. The subtle differences in file formats mean that opening one version file in a different version program stores up some nasty surprises, for example, you write a paper with illustrations in a template prepared for one version of Word, and if you open the file in a different version, those carefully placed illustrations lose their anchors and spring to a different position, and one ends up screaming with frustration as they won't be put back. Part of this appears to be in the minutiae of font spacing calculations that differ from one Word version to another. Then again, some even earlier versions aren't readable at all. MS isn't alone in this, and even my favourite CorelDRAW recently stopped supporting many early file versions. If you want to irritate a long term user, this is one very effective way.

Some of the free software doesn't understand these issues, and is just as bad.

The latest versions of Word have removed some facilities that are allegedly rarely used (I never used them, so don't miss them) in the interests of loading speed, but Word still crawls into action.

The undockable nature of the ribbon means that the screen height is effectively reduced, and this has a deleterious effect on things that are taller than wide, for example text documents. Ribbons are collapsible (i.e. you can make them disappear), but clicking a tab makes them drop down. It just goes to show that the development team must be a right bunch of clever kids, fully able to program rather useless 'improvements' despite a regular intake of canabinoids 'for medical purposes'.
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