Re: for people that don't like ribbon in office, new addon: ribbon explorer

David Goldfield

I’m not necessarily disagreeing with the viewpoints of why alternative interfaces to the ribbon can be problematic, particularly for users who only use that alternative skin without learning anything about the menu. However, it’s clear to me that it’s not just visually impaired people who try to come up with alternatives to the standard interface that they happen to not like. A while ago I remember a program that attempted to address the desires of users who disliked the ribbon by adding a ribbon tab that attempted to emulate the menu interface. While I don’t know if UbitMenu may have been that program. At the time it was accessible enough that it was more or less usable but because it only added a menu tab to the existing ribbon it really wasn’t a full ribbon replacement. Just yesterday I stumbled upon an article about a start menu skin for Windows 11 to emulate the Win10 start menu and this wasn’t a blindness-specific site. Again, I’m not necessarily disagreeing with the prevailing point of view about this but my point is that there will always be groups of people, sighted as well as blind, who will continually want their computer to function like it did in “the good old days” and there always seems to be someone who’s willing to code a UI to satisfy that need.


David Goldfield,

Blindness Assistive Technology Specialist

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From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2022 11:18 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] for people that don't like ribbon in office, new addon: ribbon explorer


On Fri, Jan 14, 2022 at 10:49 AM, Gene wrote:

When a sighted person uses an alternate interface to ribbons,

I will again emphasize, I have never seen a single "alternate interface" to the ribbons within programs or within things like File Explorer for the sighted.  It's virtually certain that somewhere, such exists, but these have never gained anything approaching wide acceptance if they are out there.  I've been working with Windows since the very first version, throughout the menu driven period, and now for all the years of the ribbon-driven period.  I have never seen anything that tries to make the ribbons back into menus for sighted users.  Just trying to do the visual overlay would be an absolute nightmare, I'd imagine.

The overarching philosophy in computing is that it is always best to, "Go with the flow of the native interface currently offered."  Many of us, including the sighted, have hated some of the changes as they've come along, but that's always been irrelevant.  At least the vast majority of the sighted have simply bitten the bullet and learned to use "what's happenin' now" and kept doing so as this changes in either evolutionary or revolutionary ways.  The notable exceptions to that rule being things like Classic Shell, Open Shell, Start10, and similar which attempt to make the Windows OS presentation, and specifically the start menu, look and feel like what existed under Windows 7.  But these shells do not extend much beyond that, and certainly do not have anything to do with the ribbons in Windows functions nor application programs.

It's often neither easy, nor pleasant, but it is necessary.  If someone actually knows of a "Ribbon Skinner" for the sighted, please point me to it, as I'd actually love to see what tortured method would be used to make an alternative that still allows access to the full complement of functions in a given program's ribbon.

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The instinctive need to be the member of a closely-knit group fighting for common ideals may grow so strong that it becomes inessential what these ideals are.

       ~ Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989)


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