Windows XP and iPod: A tale of two birthdays


Ribbon; for the love of everything logical, why???

My personal experience with the ribbon is it's a waste of space, doesn't do what you want, requires considerably more effort to find something, is *not* customisable, and generally a barrier to productivity.


The 'heritage' interfaces had a minimal toolbar which was customisable enabling one to easily add commonly used features or even custom macros. They also have a context-sensitive menu on the right-click. The best thing is the multi-level menu which hides away, includes icons for those who don't read, and by its very nature encourages a clear hierarchy of functionality. Oh, and works with modern wide-screen formats which are very low resolution in the vertical.

The ribbon, in contrast, is a homogeneous mass of iconic pictures of fixed size and contrast which seriously slows people down when hunting for the right icon to click. The icons aren't particularly well organised and there's no clear separation of function. Not to mention including all the complete rubbish one never uses (e.g. table styles, etc., etc.).

The great thing about Office 2011 is you can turn the damn ribbon off and get back to some productivity. Praise be for Jobs insisting that all applications have a menu.

This will be a huge barrier to many in "up"grading to Windows 8++ and is a great reason to stick with XP; you know, the OS that "just works" (and doesn't have a whopping great WinSXS directory to clutter up your VM discs).


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