Did you try 2012b already? What do you like, what has still potential for further improvements, what makes working with Matlab harder than with earlier releases?
How large is the overlap between the new features and the list of wished changes: Answers: what-is-missing-from-matlab?
No products are associated with this question.
Why has the menu system survived for so long in so many software packages? Because it is a triumph of design and function. File->Open, Edit->Paste were ubiquitous. When I downloaded a trial of a software package I had not used before, I knew immediately how to get started.
Ribbons are a retrograde step. They leave both new and "veteran" users of software struggling to find the right button. They are triumphs of style over substance.
I must say that I expected more from ML8 than a Desktop facelift. Yes, I know it's anything but "simple", and I am aware of the few incremented upgrades (a few of which I like, particularly the static Java classpath/librarypath thingy that I wrote about in my latest post). Still, I would have liked a major version upgrade to include major changes to the figure window and GUI controls (anyone mention HG2?), upgraded JIT engine, better memory management and monitoring tools, improved start-up speed, and better use of modern multi-core and GPU capabilities. Please don't try to sell me stories that the small set of incremental improvements are worthy of a major release.
When MTW last added a major engine upgrade (JIT), they called the new release 6.5, not even a full major version mind you. Calling this new version 8.0 is perhaps only a marketing ploy, but I think many ardent Matlabers, who eagerly await a serious upgrade for many years now, might even be offended. I for one was disappointed.
I know it's not the same engineering skill-set and I understand the business tradeoffs and the different TTM for engine upgrades vs. facelift upgrades. Still, I thought I'd share my personal 0.02.
(cross-posting a comment I just submitted on Loren's blog)
Hey everybody – it’s Scott here. I’m the head of the MATLAB product management team, responsible for steering the overall direction for MATLAB. Many of you know me from my more active days on the file exchange, blogs, or personally from my years of traveling to meet with MATLAB users around the US and the world. (I also happen to be the dorky looking guy in the What’s new in MATLAB video, with a voice not nearly as charming as the legendary Scottish voice of MATLAB …)
I wanted to let you know that we are listening. We really appreciate all of your feedback, and particularly the passion that all of you bring to MATLAB.
I believe that we all have the same goals – we want MATLAB to be great, to continue to be adopted by more and more users around the world, everyone from experienced programmers to engineers who are limping by analyzing data with spreadsheets.
To this end, we have a large development team working on many different fronts. We are working on graphics, performance, language, libraries, GUI building, etc. Each of these moves forward on its own timeline, with capabilities released as soon as they are ready. It just so happens that our updates to the desktop and help system happened to be ready at 12b, while much of the work in other areas is still in progress.
I’ve seen some comments here and elsewhere on expectations for “version 8.” We decided to rev the version number to 8, mainly because we were tired of 7.1x … It doesn’t mean that you have to wait 8 more years for a “9″ to see some of the other features you are hoping for. You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been de-emphasizing version numbers of the past several years as we’ve switched to releasing features as they are ready every 6 months instead of bundling up all big changes into a single major release. We are continuing with this approach.
I really hope that you will give the new release a real try before dismissing it. It’s been said before, but we tested this release a ton with users, including ones with lots of experience who use MATLAB very heavily. Keep in mind that the new version had to pass the muster of our own development organization, which is likely one of the largest groups of professional software developers using MATLAB in the world. There are a lot of features (which we will cover in subsequent blogs) that we put in specifically to ensure that power users could continue to have highly productive workflows in the MATLAB desktop.
We look forward to hearing your continued feedback, particularly from those of you who can find the time to invest energy in really trying out the new release. As you learn your way around, let us know what’s working (“hey, I never knew you could jump the debugger to the current line”) and what’s not (“I really want to be able to separate the items in my quick access toolbar”).
Thanks again. As always, I’m happy to communicate via the community, or privately if you prefer. My email address is listed on my File Exchange page.
I already let TMW know but I'll be posting here as well:
Thinking whether to feedback this as well:
I personally DO NOT like the ribbon, it takes way too much space. Nowadays wide screens are the standard format and giving so much space to a ribbon is inefficient. Hiding the ribbon on the other hand forces me to remember all the shortcuts by heart. One single line toolbar was perfect. Maybe I am just averse to significant changes.
As usual, a lot of disappointment. I'm sure the UI refactoring is useful to some people, but the ribbon is a conceptual reassignment of function locations, which at best offers greater discoverability for new users, and at worst a disorienting experience for those used to a menu paradigm (in which case, keyboard shortcuts are your friend). As an OS X user, the ribbon adds nothing of value. Nevertheless overall this really is a minor change (do people really twiddle with the UI for most of the time in Matlab, are they really saving substantial time clicking through ribbon tabs than a menu?). Matlab has a number of core features used daily that are in desperate need of updating:
So another 6 month wait and we can only dream we will get a release that is more than tweaks to the UI.
My biggest gripe with the ribbon interface is the enormous amount of screen space it wastes. But the ability to hide it and put my favorite buttons in the quick access toolbar and the ability to put the quick access toolbar and current folder toolbar on the same line helps considerably. I do miss the "Execute entire file" button since it doesn't force you to change the current directory the way the Run button does.
Also, it would be nice if the Mathworks would admit this is a ribbon and use the Ctrl+F1 keyboard shortcut to allow hiding it. If you're going to copy Office's interface, you might as well copy their keyboard shortcuts as well.
A bigger concern for me is that this is where the Mathworks is choosing to apply its resources. They are clearly more concerned about bringing in new users than adding functionality.
This reminds me a lot of what happened to Mathcad when it was bought by PTC. PTC's first full release of Mathcad, Mathcad Prime, actually had reduced functionality compared to Mathcad 15. Many of my documents from Mathcad 14 actually would not work with Mathcad Prime because of this. Mathcad Prime introduced the ribbon interface as well. Maybe Mathcad Prime 2.0 has restored all of the functionality that had previously been lost, but I wouldn't know as I no longer use the program.
That's not to say this is necessarily a bad decision by the Mathworks. They're just optimizing to a different metric. Maybe alienating a few advanced users and allowing the functionality to stagnate is worth it if you can bring in a significant number of new users.
Not less importantly than the documentation layout, many online doc pages have changed URLs, and the old URLs no longer work. I see this as a serious regression problem. I strongly urge MathWorks to redirect all the previous URLs to the new ones (server side redirect - http "301 Permanently Moved") so that old links, of which there are tons across the net, are not broken. I fail to see how this has gotten past the QA phase.
I agree with the majority here that the Ribbon is a very disappoint UI change.
At the very best the UI wastes screen real estate, at worst it requires more clicks without adding functionality.
Why are the icons trip height taking up more valuable room in the vertical direction while half the strip is gray empty space in the horizontal direction?
Previously, the icons for various actions were in the window they pertained to (i.e. step, step into, continue, etc. were in the editor window), now one must to go to the top of the screen, click a tab, then click the button.
Poorly conceived. Time would have been better spent on real enhancements to the language.
In addition to the Shortcut porting problem IA noted, I find ‘Help’ to be significantly less helpful than in previous releases. (I use Help often because of all the complexities in the various functions and function changes between versions.) In addition to Kevin's comments about Help for the Editor having disappeared, the toolbox ‘tree’ in the left panel of Help that I always found so useful no longer exists. That makes browsing — and discovering new ways to do things — more difficult.
It is also more difficult to actually read the Help entries. The various topic titles within each Help entry seem to be the same size and font as their descriptions, making it a challenge to find the various topics. The titles blend in with the descriptions.
Please bring back the 2012a version of Help!
EDITOR NOTE: In the interest of putting these comments in the right place (answers to the question where they can be voted on) I am moving the comments (positive and negative) into the answers section, just like I do for other questions.
This new release is HORRIBLE.... All MatLab textbooks are now broken...Is there a way to use the old workspace ???
At the monent I am having to backup a release so we can use it...
BAD and a horrible roll-out
Also because of this horrible new interface I am cancelling orders for 5 new systems.....
To add perhaps a few further views on the R2012b discussion:
1. Well I am also not in favor of ribbons, however when I invest some time in getting my shortcuts on the fastlaunch bar, it does not bother me to much (like MS Office - do a ribbon which suits you and fine).
2. When you adapt ribbons, please do not only copy - go further!
a) allow users to choose icon sizes, fontsize etc. in the ribbons
b) allow users to define ribbons height - not only minimizing/maximizing
c) do not only allow shortcuts but also to allow individual icons (if you now think of apps - please see below)
3. Completely packaged apps are nice, however there is quite some use for preference files or user individual application extensions. (e. g. I use a "macro" system for one of my internal company applications, which allow users to add active buttons by placing a m-file in a certain folder) Afaik this is not possible with apps.
4. Biggest issure in my eyes is however the new help:
It started already years ago with the omission of the index tab - MATLAB and all its toolboxes are a large coding environment with an exceptional function envelope. However you can only make use of it, if you have the idea, that the function in question exists. While searching the help via the index, it was always a good occation to learn about so far unknown functions. No index, no chance to step over completely different functions.
Another opportunity to learn more MATLAB "vocabulary" was the content browser. "was" - with the new help system. With the new "table of contents" open topics do not stay open when I go to one item, the performance is lausy and even cross-browsing of different tollboxes is not possible.
After years of training new colleagues with MATLAB, where the first sentence was "MATLAB has the best help system ever!", this has now come to an end. Sad days...
________ /me sticks with the R2009a help...
I will preface my answer with I haven't tried 2012b yet, but I have read the release notes and some reviews. The disappointment in the major version release not including much new functionality and "only" a major interface overhaul, makes me want to express why I "buy" MATLAB. I should point out that technically I have never paid for MATLAB out of my own pocket, but I have paid for it from my grants and advocated my university to buy a TAH license.
I "buy" software maintenance for MATLAB because of the IDE. I believe the MATLAB IDE is miles ahead of any IDE, especially of any FOSS IDEs, for Python and Octave (languages that I think are comparable to MATLAB). The MATLAB IDE is so good, that I rarely use Emacs anymore when writing MATLAB code (which is not the case for any other language that I write in). The last feature addition to the MATLAB language that I have really benefited from is the overhaul to OO system that occurred 5+ years ago and before that it was the ability to use JAVA (my guess is the MEX interface was also huge, but MEX was already/always there by the time I needed it). I can imagine the move to HG2, when and if it happens, might be of similar importance. I would happily pay for they upgrades. The improvements to the JIT, memory management, multi-core processing and the additional functions are nice, but none would make me upgrade. The IDE seems to be continuously getting better and every release in the 7.x series seemed to make the IDE just a little bit slicker.
So while I wish TMW would improve the MATLAB language (or ideally make it open source), I appreciate there efforts to improve the IDE. I can only hope that the ribbon is not a step back.
I can't figure out how to get my shortcuts transferred over. I did right click and tell it to display the shortcut ribbon, but my shortcuts from R2011b are not there. I tried the trick I gave in http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/44254-how-can-i-save-my-matlab-shortcuts about copying over the shortcuts.xml file from C:\Users\ImageAnalyst\AppData\Roaming\MathWorks\MATLAB\R2012a to C:\Users\ImageAnalyst\AppData\Roaming\MathWorks\MATLAB\R2012b, but it didn't work this time. I have 6 or 7 shortcuts and I'd rather not recreate them by copying and pasting. Any ideas?
It took me a while to figure out how to do "Paste to Workspace" in the new version. No menu, no good help about it.
I could do it with
and finally found that Ctrl-V is just focus dependent.
Another twist was when I tried to paste a column of strings with IDs, like 'ID6', 'ID15', 'ID23' etc. (copied to clipboard from an Excel file), to get a cell array. To my surprise I got the output as a cell array of doubles with ID prefix cut away. There is no option to eliminate such behavior. A good example of over-smart system, isn't it?
I know I can code to read the file with xlsread to control it better. But sometime you need a quick and dirty way just to get data in. Worked perfectly fine in older versions. (Well, I've updated from 2011a.)
I'll be happy to learn if I miss something obvious.
I have been using the Office ribbons for several years. I remember hearing when they came out that "It sucks at first, but you'll get used to it, and learn to like it". Five years later and I still hate it. i won't repeat all the points made in previous posts here but I have a question. Do software engineers ever do an analysis of how many clicks are required to complete a given action (with and wothout ribbon)? It just seems to me that with the Office ribbon, I'm generally finding myself making one or two more clicks (and more mouse movement around the screen) for each task than I did before. That might not sound like much but it is a real annoyance when you are trying to go fast. I personally dont like the idea of being a software tester for Mathworks to "see if it is better". I'll be sticking with the old version or possibly switching to a Matlab clone rather than use the ribbon
Quite honestly folks, I feel a bit insulted that Mathworks thinks I need a pretty icon to help me find a menu command. I can read, plus I know where they are (were). It just adds visual distraction, which there is enough already.
I would love to see Mathworks listen to their customer base, and ASK them if they want an Office ribbon. How about a poll, guys???
I am going to return to R2012a. I have told people for years that Matlab is the best software invented by man, and that the Help system in Matlab was one of the best features of the code. I have to eat my words, because the new system stinks. Sorry, but that's the way I see it.
I've had quite a while to play with it. There was a little reorientation time, but I really like it now. I admit that I have a nice big screen at work, so the real estate issue Oleg mentioned isn't a problem for me.
I like the default location -- at the top -- of the filenames in the Editor (when you have multiple files open). I don't like the default location of the Quick Access Toolbar; I moved it to "Below Toolstrip", and that makes me happier.
There are still a few actions that I'm getting used to. Saving a file, for some reason, still messes with me! I guess I just got so used to the save button at the top of the Editor.
OK, I'll say it: I like Apps. Having a way to share GUIs with a single file and run with a single click is nice. Even nicer is that you don't have to monkey with paths or changing directory.
But the biggest plus for me is the new Import Tool. I may forget how to use textscan. And I won't be sad. I'll use those neurons for something more fun, like memorizing the entire Peruvian tax code.
I've done my share of complaining, so here are a few things I do like:
1. The new "Go to" dialog is great. I used to use the "Show functions" button with class definition files. I never noticed before that with a script file you could hit Ctrl+G and get a list of cell titles. Of course somebody who knows to hit Ctrl+G to bring up the list of cell titles will now be disappointed that the new Ctrl+G dialog box only brings up an option for line numbers. I'm not sure why that dialog box needed to change. TMW giveth and TMW taketh away, I guess.
2. I can see using Apps if it works well. I've got a couple exceptionally-large, general purpose GUIs that I distribute. Currently I compile them for distribution. Creating Apps seems like a good distribution method as well. I'll have to test this out and make sure I can also distribute the ancillary files easily and without changing my code. I'm concerned that the directory structure I assume for compiled files will not be maintained with Apps.
3. I generally don't use the canned GUIs from the toolboxes, but perhaps I'm more likely to now after seeing them all in one place in the Apps toolstrip.
4. I generally don't use the Publish tool, either. I have my own class definition files for generating reports in Word and PowerPoint. However, I'm perhaps more inclined to use the Publish functionality with the ribbon. Since I didn't use Publish much, I wasn't aware of the markup options.
My favorite two new features that I really love
Now accepts multiple arguments. I can't say how many times I've typed:
doc something somethingelse
And gotten the: Error using doc Too many input arguments.
Only to have to go back and fill in docsearch.
Undefined function 'doic' for input arguments of type 'char'.
Did you mean: >> doc fmincon
Why yes! I did! Thank you. It did take some getting used to though as my instinct is to press the up arrow ruining all of typo correction's hard work.
For those that want it, here's a quick way to add custom functions to the tool strip using a JToolbar. Improvements welcome (and probably needed)
then add buttons using
customToolbar.add(mylabel, callback) customToolbar.add(mylabel, callback, tooltip) customToolbar.add(pathtoMyIcon, callback) customToolbar.add(pathtoMyIcon, callback, tooltip)
properties (Constant) toolbar=javax.swing.JToolBar(); end
function setup() panel=javaObjectEDT(javax.swing.JPanel(java.awt.BorderLayout())); customToolbar.toolbar.setPreferredSize(java.awt.Dimension(300,20)); panel.add(customToolbar.toolbar, java.awt.BorderLayout.NORTH); com.mathworks.mde.desk.MLDesktop.getInstance.getMainFrame().getToolstrip().addActionsPanel(customToolbar.toolbar); end
function button=add(imageFile, callback, toolTip) if isempty(dir(imageFile)) icon=imageFile; else icon=javax.swing.ImageIcon(imageFile); end button=javax.swing.JButton(icon); button.setSize(java.awt.Dimension(20,20)); customToolbar.toolbar.add(button); button=handle(button,'callbackproperties'); set(button, 'MouseClickedCallback', callback); if nargin==4 button.setToolTipText(toolTip); end end
It seems like the ribbons do not satisfy the participants of this forum. I remember that the MS-Office users did not like them also in 2007. Some users in my institute still install software to simulate the old-style menu bar.
While all others discuss about another version 8 which uses tiles, Matlab users have to struggle with the old ribbons. Therefore I dream of a Matlab 2013b, which comes with tiles instead of the old fashioned command window. This would improve the usability on iPhones and Android tablets substantially.
Fortunately we have at least "Apps". We could open a Matlab store to sell our FEX submissions for some cent.
[EDITED, minor typo]
The two features I like the most in the new interface
1. From Editor tab, Run and Time button.
2. The entire Publish tab, I no longer need to remember all the markups
I am going to suggest an informal poll to be conducted here. Ultimately TMW will make its decisions based upon how it impacts revenue. That being said, I'm going to suggest we start laying out the potential impact on revenue for TMW that R2012b represents. Here are my questions (with my answers):
How long have you been a Matlab user? 8 years
How many licenses of Matlab (and how many toolboxes) are you responsible for? 5 (4)
Are you a software maintenance subscriber? Yes
Does R2012b make you: A-certain to renew your maintenance; B- more likely to renew your maintenance; C- no impact at all; D- less likely to renew; E-Certain not to renew? My answer: D
Does R2012b change the likelihood that you will recommend Matlab to new users? A- more likely to recommend; B- No change; C- Less likely to recommend? My answer: C
If you can answer it: How much revenue would loss of your business represent for TMW? My answer: ~$2500/year
If as many people are upset as this discussion is indicating, we need to express it in the terms which are actually motivating to TMW: $ I look forward to and appreciate anybody who is willing to respond.
Has there been any sort of response from TWM concerning revamping the ribbon interface and going back to something more usable, or are we stuck with this horrible thing until the next trendy "feature" in GUI / interface design supersedes it? I was contacted by a leader for the Matlab help system and agreed to test out any new features that came along. I am willing to help make the product better and/or fix that which is broken.
To answer some peoples' questions concerning GUI design and efficiency, there are definitely people who study and perform research regarding the human-computer interface (HCI). We have several here in our company and have had various focus groups and information gathering groups on the subject in our research labs, and in particular in my own lab. I have participated in these groups hence my familiarity with the subject. Mobile HCI is a hot topic and the annual ACM conference is one of the most exclusive technical conferences in existence in terms of fraction of submitted research papers that are rejected. The subject is fascinating to me as it blends technology with physiology and psychology.
I am not aware if there is any research at all regarding ribbon interfaces in the hands of expert or long-time users versus new users. The interface is all about grouping similar functions and simplifying the front end rather than enhancing efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately for TMW, they have made the mistake of adopting such an interface for a product that is supposed to enhance efficiency and productivity.
I think it might be misconstrued that I am anti-TMW or anti-Matlab which is definitely not true. I have been using Matlab with great success for over 2 decades now and would like to see it become better and not worse. My responses have been more due to the fact that I am very much into the product and feel disappointed and upset about the changes.
*Ribbon: hid it. (ugly & used WAY TOO MUCH space, even with my widescreen in portrait) Added the buttons I want to the bar-thingy, runs into the GIANT TABS.
*Printing: broken - annoying (Web will not print, edit prints in stupid ways to other paper sizes)
*Printing - cut from editor, paste into MsWord keeps highlighting - Good as a plan B, thanks.
*^C still doesn't work reliably & does not always restore to a workable point.
*Keyboard ALT.... sequences missing - ANNOYING !!! - forced to use the ribbon
*APS? - plots? They are of no use to me. I am long in the tooth. Waste of space for me. Let me chop them out.
*Ribbon in command window = ribbon in editor???? I never dock anything. Editing & cell execution from the editor. Makes NO sense in my world to have each have the same menu, when so much space is wasted by HUGE ribbon icons & so little space is available for smaller useful icons.
*Java - java errors on the command window are still easy to come by.
*Path - migration of user path from previous versions - still missing
*Path - tools need improving. Failing to save to the default system pathdef is a messy way of getting each user to sort out a way round it.
*Path - add subfolder incompatible with default publish html directory being below the code source. I am really sick of removing html directories from the path.
*Home ... click on other things is workable - after hiding the ribbon, but a menu without the space wasted by Plots & APS would well, work even better.
*Newer documentation: I found it ok.
User: a long time (I remember matlab on DOS)
Licenses: 12 or so - 1/2 of one small group of about 20-odd licences maintenance: yes
R2012b: E more interested to look for alternatives
R2012b: B- No change - same discussion of merits & demerits + Plus comments about all recent changes appear to be making the barrier to entry lower - not so focused on serving the incumbent community
Maintenance on 12 - 20 licences
I think the new help browser shows potential, but the data that used to be there doesn't seem to be there. If it is, it's not organized the same, and it's not organized in a way that exposes the information. I have been reduced to downloading the pdf manual a couple of times. I thought those manuals were an anachronism, but not in 2012b. Have a couple open on my desktop right now
The user interface, specifically the ribbon, is a huge step backwards for the Mathworks. I do not understand why you chose to make the user interface more complicated. The menu bar user interface paradigm that has been part of every successful windowing system is useful because common tasks can be performed the same way across applications. With your ribbon system, it has become incredibly annoying to figure out how to perform very common tasks. For instance, how does one revert to the saved version of a file? Clicking on 'open' reveals no such option, and there is none under save either. I find myself clicking around through your multiple panes, struggling to find buttons that did not need to be moved. At the very least you ought to make it possible to disable the ribbon and I think that you ought to reconsider this terrible design decision.
While there are some things about the new Matlab 2012B interface that I do like, there are also some very odd and frustrating aspects to it.
From the main Matlab window I have found no way to open an existing GUI .fig file for editing without going to the "New" pulldown menu - which makes no sense.
The location of the "undo", "redo", and other commands in the upper right hand corner makes no sense to me.
There is no way to access the Breakpoints commands (clear all, etc) from the main Matlab window.
My understanding is that the original post was asking for feedback about the new interface on the 2012B release. I noticed some problems with 2012B - at least I thought they were problems early on - but delayed posting on this thread till I had more experience with the new release. I wonder if I should have bothered.
1) I see what your saying about opening from the current folder. I don't ever work with the current folder window open so I couldn't see what you were talking about. Thanks for the pictures. In my layout the only way to edit a preexisting GUI *.fig file was from the "new" pull down.
2) I now see what you are saying about adding a GUIDE tool to QAT but IMHO you've removed key functionality from the default layout.
3) I just pulled up 2012A on another machine. In the main Matlab window there is a "debug" pull down that lets you have access to the breakpoint commands. You don't need to go to the editor window to access these commands.
Now I just noticed that if I add breakpoints to QAT from the editor window it automatically shows up in the QAT of the main window also. All of this requires a great deal of fiddling - all of which is very counterintuitive. Previously I noticed that if I move the QAT in the main window it does NOT move it in the editor window
I'm late to the kvetching party, as I've only just installed 2013a last night. But I am compelled to echo many of the criticisms made in this thread (particularly the comments of Thomas Hoffend).
The ribbon UI style in general takes a lot of criticism, but ultimately I don't really care whether things are in drop-down menus or icon toolstrips. Unfamiliarity is fleeting; I can adapt. And in many cases (save, open, etc), sure, I'd rather click an icon than click through drop-down menus. But here is what I do care about in a MATLAB UI:
(1) Efficiency of screen real estate
I dock everything into one window (command history, current folder, command line, editor, figure -- all in separate tiles). That is by far the most effective layout for me. So space is at a premium, even on a large monitor. It is utterly unacceptable for the toolstrip to take up 1/10 of the screen. I see suggestions from MathWorks folks that it can be hidden, but hiding the toolstrip merely doubles my clicks and mouse strokes. That sounds like nitpicking unless, like me, you spend entire days/weeks/months clicking and mousing in MATLAB.
At minimum there should be an option for small tool icons, spread horizontally; I don't need the Open icon to take up 3 times more space than the Print icon. I don't need a group label telling me that New/Open/Save are "File" commands. A disk icon means "Save" in every piece of software, I don't need it to be labeled, use hover-text if you must. The toolstrip should be customizable. I have never once, in 15 years of heavy use, used New>Variable; I certainly don't need a dedicated icon for it now. You've basically locked the toolstrip into 'novice mode'. How could you not foresee experienced users being irritated by that?
(2) Efficiency of navigation
During my typical usage of MATLAB, I am alternately coding and using the debug tools in the Editor tile or generating plots and using the figure tools in the Figure tile. In doing so, there are prolonged repetitions of mouse movements between the tile and its accompanying toolbar. Relocating all toolbars away from their respective tiles results in a significant and incredibly frustrating delay. Similarly, a customizable toolbar (Quick Access) is a fine idea -- unless it's permanently anchored to the upper right corner. At minimum, the toolstrips should be dockable to their associated tiles. Each being customizable would be gravy.
Window controls (max,min,dock) are now relegated to drop down arrow icons. The tiny individual icons of the prior design took up the same real estate that the new drop down icon now inhabits. Clicks and mouse strokes to use these controls have simply been doubled.
For many many releases now, everything in the UI has been dockable and tileable and resizable however the user wishes. This continues to be a great strength of the MATLAB UI. Your implementation of the new ribbon toolstrip is completely inconsistent with that approach. It cannot be moved, it cannot be resized, it cannot be docked to the appropriate tile. The only flexibility of the new toolstrip design is the Quick Access toolstrip, which itself cannot be moved, resized, or docked.
Similarly, the benefit of an icon toolstrip -- identifiability and accessibility in a single click -- is not reflected in other UI changes. The individual sub-window controls (formerly very reminiscent of an icon toolstrip) have been relegated to drop-down menus beneath a nondescript down triangle. So, you got rid of drop-down menus in favor of icon toolstrips in one place, but replaced an existing icon toolstrip with a new drop-down menu in another place. What?
I will be reverting to 2012a, which is vastly more effective for the way I use MATLAB. Ironically, I was auto-emailed a "MathWorks Software Maintenance Service Renewal Quote" shortly after installing 2013a. Seeing that I will be rolling back to 2012a, it makes my maintenance renewal decision an easy (and cheap) one.
Please add me as another datapoint for the dissatisfaction with the move to the "Ribbon UI". I have previously studied UI during my computer science degree.
Having been an MS Office user for a few years, I still find Ribbon interfaces neither intuitive nor productive. Research has shown that often only complete beginners get much benefit from the ribbon interface.
Not Intuitive: icons are rarely good indications of actions. What should "create a new variable" look like as an icon? Even the new file icon is a large '+', which to me suggests "Add", rather than new. Words in menus are pretty good at describing the action
Not Productive: The Ribbon takes up a lot of space with its aforementioned deficient icons. Being able to minimize the ribbon with a control at top right, then have to re-open the ribbon and move all the way to the top left to access most of the commands is inefficient as well, compared to the pull-down menu of old.
It sucks. I'm frustrated. I hate the ribbon. I cannot find anything in the documentation. The simulink scope y axis is unreadable i cannot see if it is 3 or 8, leave alone plus or minus. i cannot acces any system call. we are treated like babies that may not acces any hardware. any file i wrote is ten times slower than it was while the computer is faster. is that because the dumb?' if i write down all frustrations i collect during one week of working i would be able to write a book that no one reads because either you are not interested or you allready knew this situation. Software sucks in general.
Users of Matlab are mostly programmers who don't give a damn about GUI, they just want to bash in codes as fast as possible.
So TMW should get their priority right, don't copy MS as they have slightly different audience, time spent on building glossy gui and ribbons would be useful in implementing cool features! e.g more matlab function in matlab function block of simulink.
I personally have a fear of ribbons and therefore stuck with 12a
I'm hit by the ribbon, i.e. Matlab Toolstrip. I updated the other week because of a fixed bug. (R2012a was uninstalled.) Now, I need help to add code to the green triangle, RUN.
Is there any way to get rid of the ribbon and go back to the menu bar in R2013a/b?
Two things I have been waiting years for for:
(1) Ability to "Find and replace" within a selection of text (note, not the entire .m file, just within the selected lines). I am copying pasting to Word to do this. Every serious editor (e.g. Notepad ++) has this function.
(2) Ability to set the interval of the minor ticks on a plot.
Ribbons are of no use to me, they just take up screen space. I don't hate them, but I have no use for them and would like the ability to disable them and choose menus instead. Until then, I will be using 2012a.
Experiences so far
I primarily use MATLAB as a gateway to Simulink so I may not have the dedication to workflows heavy MATLAB only users may have. As such, I personally like the toolstrip because it helps me find functions and capabilities I'm not to familiar with like certain controls guis, classes and the profiler (run and time in the Editor tab).
From this perspective I find the toolstrip better than the previous UI. In fact, after reading through these discussions, I realized there is only 1 main tab for base MATLAB (Home) and 1 main tab for the editor (Editor). The others, apps/plots in MATLAB and Publish/View in the editor, are either new or were rarely used by me.
Here's one more vote for getting rid of the ribbon/toolstrip and going back to regular menus done with standard system UI widgets, at least as an option. As a "power user", menus work better for me, and the toolstrip has issues with Retina/Hi-DPI displays.