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The motivations and actual demographic groups the result’s responders recruited themselves from set aside: 53% pro UI-overhaul seems to be pretty low; at least this would make keeping the old UI optionally available a priority for me (and not an afterthought).


  1. for me (and other) all these these “Renaissance tales” are not clear.

    one thing is clear:

    with a ribbonized GUi, Micro$oft have no fear users migrate to OpenOffice. So, Renaissance, is helping Micro$oft (why?)

    anyway I started a little petition, you can sign if you agree, to stop this vane project

  2. a lot of users don’t like this new Ribbon-like GUI…

    that’s why a petition against it ( ) has already collected 563 signatures in just 5 weeks.

    please add your signature to that petition:

  3. Don’t discount all of the demographics. Those that provided feedback were already using OOo and, most likely, were already looking more in depth at the product with a curiosity toward its future. If this had been a presidential approval poll in the US, for example, then it would be a VERY significant matter for a survey of politically active Democrats to reveal that most are of the opinion that Barack Obama should be doing better…

    “53% answered that they agree or agree totally that the current version of need a UI redesign. 32% answered that they disagree or disagree totally…”

    Also, don’t discount the phrasing of the questions or the phrasing of the results. “Need” is subjective to the sampling. If OOo were to end Project Renaissance today, then those in favor of redesign would not just up and leave the fold; in fact, I’m 100% certain that they would continue to use the product exactly the same as they do now – or at least until something better comes along…

    With regard to keeping the current user interface viable, why not simply maintain it in its current OOo 3.X form? Since Project Renaissance is an interface change and, therefore, independent of bug fixes and improvements to the application modules, to further complicate the scope of UI development with retrograde specifications would be an unnecessary drain on resources…

    • Mark, thanks for the thoughful comment. Let me pick this sentence:

      Since Project Renaissance is an interface change and, therefore, independent of bug fixes and improvements to the application modules […]

      I wish this were true. Sadly application modules and UI are kind of tightly coupled; one valuable additional goal of doing major UI rework would thus be to at least lessen this constraint.

        • Mark
        • Posted October 1, 2009 at 13:53
        • Permalink

        I apologize – my intent wasn’t to diminish the complexities of UI integration; rather, that “independent” reference was meant to paraphrase a posting from one of the other blogs (where Renaissance resources were stated to be separate from bug-fixing resources). Regardless, my point is this: Since 32% of those sampled are satisfied with the interface as it is, simply maintaining the current OOo version for them should be the more viable solution (as opposed to burdening development and taxing resources with additional – and conflicting – goals)…

        Concerned about plausibility or just want a second opinion? Ask an XP user…

  4. I do not understand Project Renaissance!
    People need compatibility and new feature.
    Two examples

    1)Indexing tools of OpenOffice are useless.
    no cross-reference (issue 24250 and 94565)
    no multiple-index (6401 and 104734)
    Index Entry skips the footnotes (32392), incredible!
    edit index entry is confused (75385)
    unrecognized characters in concordance file (67649)
    impossible find index entry (23545 and 68647)

    2) The Issue 4914 has a lot of votes but is ignored.

    Where is going Sun Microsystems?
    New UI for small steps:
    One example
    Thumbnail for the window “Styles and Formatting”
    Evolution not revolution.
    Excuse the outburst, am just a user seplice a bit disappointed with openoffice

  5. please guys, keep supporting the online petition against Renaissance.

    put your signature here:

    we have already 613 supporters we look forward to reach the 1000 milestone and need your help.

    spread the voice about the petition

  6. 1 out of 2 users say the UI needs a *complete* (mind the question!) overhaul? If this isn’t a strong vote for a change …

    Also, 50 percent requiring an complete redesign doesn’t tell anything about the other 50 percent. Perhaps they would say, if asked properly, that at least *major parts* need a redesign?

    Thorsten, re your “at least this would make keeping the old UI optionally available a priority for me”: Why? Even if 53% were “pretty low” (which I think it isn’t, given the concrete question asking for *complete* redesign), your argueing would need to start from the other 47 percent, not the 53. And of those, we do not know whether a “completely re-designed” UI would fit their needs better than the current UI (and no, please no Ribbon wars at this point).
    So, your conclusion jumps out from nowhere. More precise, I think it originates in your own desire to keep the current UI, not in a thorough analysis of the data 🙂


    • Well, looking at the charts, we’ll piss off at least one third of our user base (given the poll was representative, which it likely wasn’t, so go figure) with a complete overhaul.

      And no, no ribbon war this side – just a lesson learned from what MS experienced there.

      I have to admit, the suggestion I have a desire to stay with the UI status quo (if you meant that) is insulting, and utterly wrong. What _I_ want is an UI framework that’s flexible enough to display the old UI, the Renaissance UI, and the UI necessary for the next fad in UI design of 2011. Oh, and did I mention small-screen mobile devices? 😉

        • Frank Schoenheit
        • Posted October 9, 2009 at 08:39
        • Permalink


        No, we won’t piss of a third of our user base. At least, I fail to read this from the charts: Just because people disagree to the need of a complete (!) overhaul, or disagree to the “too many steps” statement, doesn’t necessarily imply they would be pissed of by a new UI. IMO, that’s reading too much from the data.

        About the UI framework thingie … well, nice idea. Nothing new :), but nice. As nice as it has been during the last 10 years, and equally illusionary, in my opinion. We don’t even have Dev and QA resources to provide *one* good, consistent, usable UI. How should we ever be able to provide multiple of them?

        If there is a agreement or even only accepted statement that an overhaul of the UI should happen, then we should focus our scarce resources on making this one new UI excellent.

        If we can do this by creating an framework (well, extending the existing, already pretty good, IMO) – fine. But let’s do only one “standard” UI for it, and leave the rest to interested parties.

        • thorstenb
        • Posted October 9, 2009 at 18:41
        • Permalink

        “doesn’t necessarily mean” – well, that’s also interpreting a lot into the data, isn’t it? 😉

        So frankly, seeing that nearly half of the respondents where not positive of the change (and of course the outcries of individuals over the recent weeks, regarding renaissance), made me think that it would be a huge boon to not do the same mistake MS did, in not offering a choice. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Regarding the rest of your answer – if we don’t have resources to do a new UI properly, why are we then doing it in the first place? Making the old one incrementally better would be by far the better approach, from a business perspective (if this assumption would be true). My problem is: UI quite quickly looks outdated. If we now throw everything onto hardcoding a new one, the next fad two years in the future will again make us look old. So if we go & change something, then at least in a way that makes it easy for non-programmers to substantially change UI. Everything else is just a waste of time, in my book.

    • please, sign the petition:

      627 signatures right now.
      we must reach 1000

        • Frank Schönheit
        • Posted October 9, 2009 at 10:53
        • Permalink


        since you posted this in reply to my comment, I cannot refrain from replying, too:

        Requesting to stop the entire project, because of the misinterpretation (of something you saw in the prototypes) as ribbons, and completely ignoring and declining the potential of the project, and the work done by the involved people, is both ridiculous and insolent.

        Spamming this (and probably other) place (3 out of the 10 comments so far are advertisements for your petition) with the request to sign the petition doesn’t add to it’s popularity, either.


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