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Ribbon Merge

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Bojan Kuhar
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Bojan Kuhar asked on 24 Apr 2007, 01:09 PM
Hi,

What is the correct approach in using the Ribbon Bar in a MDI style application.
Before we could create menu on each child form and merge it to the MDI Container form menu. That was good before each form is a unit of work and it takes care of menu structure it needs. There is no need to create the whole menu structure in the MDI container form and hide/unhide menu items depending on the Child form selected.
Is something simmilar possible with the Ribbon Bar?

Regards

Bojan

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Peter
Telerik team
answered on 24 Apr 2007, 04:14 PM
Hi Bojan,

The Ribbon UI does not support MDI menu merge.

The restriction comes from Microsoft's concepts for Ribbon UI usage - they render MDI style applications as "not preferable" starting from MS Office 2003 (which is SDI).Thus the Ribbon UI is not designed to support Menu Merge operations.

If you have any ideas on how this functionality can be implemented in our Ribbon UI component, we will be glad to discuss them with you and possibly include them in our TODO list.

 
Sincerely yours,
Peter
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Bojan Kuhar
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answered on 24 Apr 2007, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the replay. This is realy an issue of Contextual tabs that should appear when certain objects are selected. For example an application can deal with various objects and they are best presented in separate windows. 

Here is what competition is doing and it is exactly what I had in mind:

http://devcomponents.com/blog/?p=29


Here is the quote from the Microsoft's site:

Contextual tabs

Certain sets of commands are only relevant when objects of a particular type are being edited. For example, the commands for editing a chart are not relevant until a chart appears in a spreadsheet and the user is focusing on modifying it. In current versions of Microsoft Office applications, these commands can be difficult to find. In Office Excel 2007, clicking on a chart causes a contextual tab to appear with commands used for chart editing. Contextual tabs only appear when they are needed and make it much easier to find and use the commands needed for the operation at hand.

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Peter
Telerik team
answered on 25 Apr 2007, 04:19 PM
Hi Bojan Kuhar,

The Telerik Ribbon UI does support Contextual tabs (but does not support menu merge) and you can see this functionality in the following two examples: RadControls ->TextPad and RadRibbonBar -> First Look. To clarify further, Contextual tabs are not populated/instantiated automatically and you should write additional code to fill them properly. You can see the examples for code samples. The help manual also contains information on Contextual tab support.

 
Greetings,
Peter
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Bojan Kuhar
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answered on 25 Apr 2007, 08:20 PM
Hi Peter,

I still think you should implement some kind of merge capability. Think about making a ribbon bar for Visual Studio. When you are in code editor you want to se editing contextual tab, in form editor formatting functions in database viewer SQL functions in XML viewer.... and so on. If you would to develop such application you would put the code and presentation in the same 'Form'. The VS2005 is a great example. Right now you have all sort of toolbars cluttering the screen and they get grayed out if you can't use them.

Regards

Bojan
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Peter
Telerik team
answered on 26 Apr 2007, 12:28 PM
Hello Bojan,

Thanks for accurate explanation.
Ribbon Bar UI has complex structure which has many UI elements (chunks groups, button groups, contextual tabs etc.) and from that follows ambiguity how to make the merge operations. Thus we decided to provide only non automatic functionality for merging process and each developer have to choose the best way for merge context sensitive commands into Ribbon UI, in the applications. Nevertheless we will investigate a possible approach for providing similar functionality in our future releases.

Regards,
Peter
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Martin Beeby
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answered on 19 Mar 2008, 09:33 AM
To understand more about the cocept of the ribbion bar make sure you check out this excellent Video form Mix 08, you then understand why merge is not recomended:

http://www.thewayithink.co.uk/post/The-story-of-the-ribbon-bar.aspx
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Bojan Kuhar
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Martin Beeby
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