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Office 2007 Ribbon and decreasing developer productivity. What a palaver!

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  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    Go here to view a "wicked" office ribbon bar developed by Juan Pablo G.C.. With the advent of "Orcas" and developer productivity increasing things like Linq, why then take a u-turn and decrease developer produtivity by not having the ribbon bar in Visual Studio and relying on add-ons, 3rd party suppliers and the time it takes to learn the implementation of the utility?

    I have invested a great amount of time, effort and expense into MS products, why should I not have access to the ribbon to use in my apps?
    Do the head honchos think it great value to lump their developer community with their 2nd choice UI, whilst promoting their latest technologies?

    Honestly you pay (through the teeth here in the UK) for the OS and Office, that they use to develop this ribbon, then you get flim-flam! Do I sound ungrateful here?

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    You can license the Office 2007 UI.

    Next the Ribbon is only intended for applications with deep and large menus, which are hiding most of the functionalities in there. The ribbon replaces the menus. Right now only the editing parts of Office got it. Ever wondered why the Outlook main window didn't get it? It's no editing space, like the text editing space in Word, Powerpoint or Excel!

    Visual Studio doesn't really need the ribbon. It doesn't offer that much functionalities though the menus...

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    Dev Express has an excellent Ribbonbar for sale as well.

    I've used it and I think it's just groovy.

    http://www.devexpress.com/Products/NET/WinForms/XtraBars/index.xml

  • User profile image
    Randolpho

    Meh.

    Although I don't dislike the Ribbon in Word 2007, I think it's overrated as a general purpose GUI widget. People only want it in their software because Microsoft has it in Office. It's overkill for most applicatons.

  • User profile image
    Lloyd_Humph

    rad.ribbon.bar is pretty good... though granted difficult to use in the beginning. powerful once you're used to it anyways. Any ways, all it is is a hyped up tab box.

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  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    EDITED: I was being snarky for no good reason. I apologize.

    I don't think that buying Windows and Office - overpriced though they maybe - automatically entitles you to get all their internal components for reuse. Building a reusable component is different matter than building one for a specific application, and an order of magnitude more complex. If installing Office 2007 gave you a reusable .NET or ActiveX control for use in your apps, the Ribbon coders have to handle many more end-cases and scenarios, and most importantly - they have to SUPPORT that control in your apps.

    Microsoft have a history of releasing their own controls (like Rebars/Coolbars and so forth) with the development suite released AFTER the app where it originally appeared - that usually gives you 1-2 years of relying on 3rd-party controls and gives them time to productize the controls. Keeps a healthy control-vendor ecosystem around, though it sure can be frustrating.

  • User profile image
    Sampy

    I'm not on the Office team. I have no secret knowledge.

    The Office UI team isn't in the business of building a fully reusable and distributable ribbon control. They don't make dev tools: they make productivity software.

    The ribbon is built to work with Office. It probably has dependencies and uses functionality in the Office core libraries. "Just releasing it" would be difficult and time consuming for very little return on value. The component market is full of companies who specialize in making these reusable packages for devs. Let them do what they're good at and we'll do what we're good at.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    littleguru wrote:
    You can license the Office 2007 UI.

    Next the Ribbon is only intended for applications with deep and large menus, which are hiding most of the functionalities in there. The ribbon replaces the menus. Right now only the editing parts of Office got it. Ever wondered why the Outlook main window didn't get it? It's no editing space, like the text editing space in Word, Powerpoint or Excel!

    Visual Studio doesn't really need the ribbon. It doesn't offer that much functionalities though the menus...


    I can think of a dozen Winforms apps I've written that could and would benefit from the menu, just by being better organized. Having a tab that ran all the queries for instance. Another for settings etc. Maybe I need to be more specific and say the Winforms section in Visual Studio

    phreaks wrote:
    Dev Express has an excellent Ribbonbar for sale as well.
    I've used it and I think it's just groovy.


    That's exactly my point. If i've got office 2007 om my pc, why should I have to pay someone else for a similar UI (I don't mind paying though for those lovely tabs thay have on their site)

    Randolpho wrote:
    Meh.

    People only want it in their software because Microsoft has it in Office. It's overkill for most applicatons.


    I though this was why Winforms menu app were sold to us a developers previously. Principally because everyone had it hence familiarity. I'm planning an app dealing with customer orders / shipping and the people in the offices will have office as their main tool. Creating an app for them with a similar hence intuitive UI can't be bad now can it? It also looks better / different to the old file menu system they've been using for the last 6 years!

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    vesuvius wrote:
    
    littleguru wrote: You can license the Office 2007 UI.

    Next the Ribbon is only intended for applications with deep and large menus, which are hiding most of the functionalities in there. The ribbon replaces the menus. Right now only the editing parts of Office got it. Ever wondered why the Outlook main window didn't get it? It's no editing space, like the text editing space in Word, Powerpoint or Excel!

    Visual Studio doesn't really need the ribbon. It doesn't offer that much functionalities though the menus...


    I can think of a dozen Winforms apps I've written that could and would benefit from the menu, just by being better organized. Having a tab that ran all the queries for instance. Another for settings etc. Maybe I need to be more specific and say the Winforms section in Visual Studio


    Ah, you mean as a control? Well I thought you meant Visual Studio using the Ribbon.

  • User profile image
    Rich2k

    vesuvius wrote:
    Go here to view a "wicked" office ribbon bar developed by Juan Pablo G.C.. With the advent of "Orcas" and developer productivity increasing things like Linq, why then take a u-turn and decrease developer produtivity by not having the ribbon bar in Visual Studio and relying on add-ons, 3rd party suppliers and the time it takes to learn the implementation of the utility?

    I have invested a great amount of time, effort and expense into MS products, why should I not have access to the ribbon to use in my apps?
    Do the head honchos think it great value to lump their developer community with their 2nd choice UI, whilst promoting their latest technologies?

    Honestly you pay (through the teeth here in the UK) for the OS and Office, that they use to develop this ribbon, then you get flim-flam! Do I sound ungrateful here?


    The problem with that control is that it doesn't go far enough.  I've read the office 2007 UI license and used the UI myself and basically it isn't enough to implement part of it, you have to implement pretty much all of it, including the application menu and right down to the key tips.

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