Whenever you have a major UI overhaul, it’s pretty hard to imagine how to get there gradually, without causing any power user to get frustrated and leave.
So I put together this potential roadmap on how LibO could get to Citrus gradually:
Milestone 1: The little things
- Improved splash screen: make the splash screen tiny, undistracting, and put it off at the bottom of the screen.
- Contextual toolbars no longer hide the selection: Make the contextual toolbars that appear when you’re working with an object (tables, pictures, lists, …) appear above the object (so that it doesn’t cover up the object).
- Make slides scrollable: the scroll bar in Impress should scroll through the different slides, much like it can scroll through different pages in Writer.
- Make bundled styles deletable (but restorable if deleted)
Milestone 2: Things to make a new UI painless
- Make customizations saveable: by “customizations”, I mean things from the “Customize…” menu: toolbars, menus, and keyboard shortcuts; these things should also stay when you upgrade to
- Add basic command search to LibO (the Mac OS X version already has one under “Help”)
Milestone 3: Gradual UI changes
- Previews: in the font and styles pickers, preview fonts and styles; also, preview changes live in the document (i.e. “live previews”)
- Color picker: implement a color picker that lets one pick ANY color
- Search Box: Make command search into general search, as described here.
- Menu/toolbar reorganization: the menus and toolbars can now be reorganized, as customizations are saveable and loadable. Disabled items should be hidden by default. It should always be possible to get back the classic interface from “Customize…”
- Styles: give styles a more prominent place in menus, as described at this link. Where such integration into menus is impossible (such as in Mac OS X), add a link to the Style sidebar, which has the same functionality.
- Selectable pages: as described at this link
- Different tab management: see “Citrus tabs“
Milestone 4: LibreOffice Home
I’ll have more on this section later.
- LibreOffice Home: LibreOffice Home will be what comes up when you launch LibreOffice. It’s the successor to the Start center. What’s different about it is that it’s an application separate from the main LibO application. It starts up quickly while LibO’s still loading. This allows it to replace the splash screen.
- Simplified options: Options should be greatly simplified, so that they’re actually usable. That means making some of the rarely used, unnecessary options into extensions and putting the technical, yet very useful options under “Advanced”. ”Customize…” and “Extensions” should be merged into Options.
- Improved theme, template, and wizard manager
- Font manager
- Style manager