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A lap around Windows 7 new Scenic Ribbon

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Windows 7 has a new shiny Ribbon platform developers can leverage to create new user experience for their applications. Using the Windows 7 Ribbon, developers can eliminate much of the drudgery of Win32 UI development and deliver a rich, graphical, animated, and highly familiar user interface by using markup based UI and a small, high-performance, native code runtime.

Join Nicolas Brun and Ryan Demopoulos as they explain what Windows 7 Ribbon is all about, how developers can use it, and why Microsoft investments resources in creating a new Ribbon for Windows 7? Nicolas will also show some code and Mark-up just to show how easy it is to integrate this new technology.


You can also see Nicolas PDC Session here

Follow the Discussion

  • W3bboW3bbo Work hard; increase production; prevent accidents, and be happy.
    It's nice to see a "native" ribbon that sticks to the Windows UI scheme in a conservative, yet aesthetic way.

    I do have a few questions and opinions though:

    I'm not sure that using the Ribbon with Paint was the best of ideas. Painting programs are best suited to pallettes, even if they're docked, than toolbars. Adobe's (and formerly Macromedia's) software demonstrate this. I cannot see Photoshop working with a ribbon (despite having probably more options and features than Word 2007). With the old-style version of Paint pretty much everything was one click away. Whilst with the ribbon some features are now one click away, other tools aren't: consider the Brush options. Now you need to click three times to select the brush tool, and then select a brush type. If you want to change views you need to open the View tab and then fiddle with the tools there, and then click back to the main tools tab.

    Whilst I welcome moving the "File" tools over to a button that's in the tab row (rather than an "Office button"-style widget) I don't believe that programs should be painting to the non-client area at all. What alternatives are there for highlighting context sensitive tabs than painting above them in the titlebar?

    Finally, you mentioned this would be available for Vista, but there was no mention of the still-supported Windows XP (and I might say Windows 2000 too). What would happen if I tried running the ribbonised paint on XP, for example?
  • By the looks of it the Brush is only 3 clicks away when the window is small enough to collapse it. If the window is bigger the pallete becomes inline and it's only 2 clicks again.
  • Who said that the Office RIBBON was a good thing in the first place ???
    It's damn hard to get used to .. I prefer the good old menu system ...
    Even if the ribbon is there , there should be an option for the user to choose a classical menu interface ...
    Clasical menues have : have predefined keyboard shorcuts, and they are faster to use without having to move the mouse and no need to even look at the keyboard ...
    But when it comes to this silly RIBBON interface one tends to waste the time wondering where a command is located ….. which reminds us of the old Start Menu .. where you'd spend an average of 1/2 an hour a day searching for program shortcuts ..
    Now VISTA offers quick search in the start menu .. but Office 2007 would reclaim that wasted 1/2 an hour in searching and locating the UI commands ...
    Please let the RIBBONS in Windows 7 an option .. and make sure that good old menus are available for users who want things done and not waste their time in figuring out where a command is  ...

  • 80% of the usability testers like the ribbon. were they all kindergartners or were some first graders, too? because the ribbon in office, especially in excel, is a nightmare for developers.

  • YggdrasilYggdrasil Pour me a cab, 'cause I can't drink no more.
    Ribbons have keyboard shortcuts, just like menus. I think they even have the same keyboard shortcuts by default. If they don't there's a period of readjusting, just like there was when switching from VS2003 to VS2005 with the new shortcuts. You get used to it, and then you get more productive. Embrace change!
  • i just hope that people who have actually invested in getting to grips with the new ribbon additions to the MFC won't have to throw their code out the window again when the windows 7 ribbon arrives..... i can smell the turmoil already Wink
    *if* this windows 7 ribbon cant be integrated seamlessly into MFC or there will be a co-existance of the mfc ribbon and the windows 7 ribbon, then i would have prefered that microsoft told developers that story before they bought and advertised the mfc ribbon. wouldnt make much sense to develop the mfc ribbon to the same flexibility and design that the windows 7 ribbon offers. we'll see.
    regards,
    martin
  • I agree.
    I honestly tried to use Office2007 with the ribbon for several weeks. I found the old commands eventually. Still, my productivity kept being hampered. Finally, I decided to go back to Office2003, with the small and efficient toolbars. After all, a newer version of any program should enhance my productivity and not reduce my productivity, is it not?
    If I would have the option to use the 2003 toolbars, I wouldn't mind trying 2007 again. If anyone can tell me how to switch to the 2003 toolbars in 2007 ... would be great!
    If Windows is getting the same large toolbars, please provide the older small and efficient toolbars as well!
  • I'm not sure why you guys are talking about loss in productivity with the ribbon unless it's purely because you spent a lot of time learning the menu based version, now you have to learn something new.  The old tool bars were completely disorganized and took for ever for me to find anything.  With the ribbon, everything is right there in front of you with a nice, descriptive picture of the task.  I find the pictorial versions much easier and faster to pick out of a pile of tasks than a textual form.  I'm pretty sure you are just so familiar with the old version that you are annoyed that you have to go through the same learning process as before. However, this time, it should be faster to learn where everything is because it's organized so much better.

    I also don't now what you are talking about with the new paint.  Its "Home" tab on the ribbon exposes all of the tasks that you would do commonly.  The only other tab is "View", which you can access just as fast (or faster) than the old menu driven version.
  • I agree with Kevlar

    in fact those who dislike Ribbon are kindergartens because after learning the menu interface for a long time, they are not ready to learn again a new Ribbon interface. Ribon is easy and fluently accessible but they will accept it because u know they will again have to join a computer class.
  • No advancement shoudl require MORE steps than the system it replaces, and the ribbon in Office 2007 and Windwos 7 Beta both require more steps than the classic menu they replace.  I should never HAVE to left my hands from the keyboard to initialize a command or to view a menu/sub-menu; it's a basic pronciple fo ergonomics, unless MS is re-writing the book on ergonomics?

    An ISP used to say (before they got big and did it themselves) that no one shoudl dumb-down the Internet for all users (and extendind that, no one should dumb-down computing for all users).  The ribbon dumbs-down computing to the point that long-time users and power users find it takes several times longer to do something inherently simple.

    I've been trying Windows 7 Beta for several days and have to admit that if Windows 7 final release relies on the ribbon, without any opportunity to choose a classic menuing system, I'll reject it.  And I say RATS! because in many other ways it is terrific - but the ribbon is as big a deal-breaker as it currently is with Office 2007.

    We don't need things that just because they're cool any more than we need things that are added just because they can be.
     
  • So what's the verdict? The MFC Ribbon was one of the best advantages to actually continue coding in MFC currently.

    Are we now saying that all that work we've put into learning the new Ribbon classes is out the window!!???

    Please someone answer!
  • Be careful what you ask for as far as productivity or you'll lose your QWERTY keyboard next.

  • cclccl

    For those can't, or don't want to, think for themselves but would rather have the new iteration of MS Bob hold their hands while doing basic "baby" tasks while keeping true functionality hidden, consider this, its at your level.

     

    Monitors are virtually all wide screen with significantly less vertical viewing space. Good for movies, useless for much else. (Another statement on the sophistication of the audience that manufacturers and MS are marketing to) With less vertical viewing space, MS is their great wisdom decides to eat up even more of it with a ribbon.

     

    If "pretty" and "toys" are your criteria for evaluating OS usability you might want to go back to crayons.

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