SHCC WYSIWYG Article from April 2022

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the April 2022 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Software Features Organization

by Don VanSyckel

I have noticed with various software packages that the philosophy of the operation of the package can be significantly different than the operation of another package that provides the same functions. For instance the arrangement of the tools or features in MS Word versus the the arrangement of the tools or features in Libre Office Write.

Our brains all think differently and process information differently. I find the organization of Libre Office Write "matches" the way I process information more closely than the arrangement of MS Word so I can move around in Libre Office Write more easily than I can in MS Word.

The other area that differs between software packages is the amount of change in organization of tools and features between versions. Packages such as Firefox, Thunderbird, and Libre Office tend to maintain the tools and features organization more constant (stable) than packages produced by Microsoft. I am much more productive when I can quickly accomplish the tasks I need to do in a document or a spreadsheet. When I need to access features quickly without fuss. I get frustrated when I'm trying to do something and I can't find the tool or feature I need because some programmer thought they had a better idea and moved things around in the version I recently upgrade to. This seems to happen more often when I'm in a hurry to get something done.

For instance, I would be much happier with Microsoft if new versions used the "old" organization of features initially and offered the user a "new" super-duper organization as a user option. I would use the "old" features initially and over time try out the "new" organization. But if I was in a real rush to get something done I would have the "old" configuration to fall back on.

Speaking of versions, I seem to remember that when Microsoft announced Windows 10 they made the statement that 10 was to be the "last" version of windows and Microsoft would simply supply a few patches if needed. Where did that go? Windows 11 is here and no hint of ending.

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