[Libreoffice-ux-advise] drawing toolbar interactions

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Tue Aug 2 08:10:24 PDT 2011

Hi Astron, all!

Am Dienstag, den 02.08.2011, 11:22 +0200 schrieb Astron:
> Hi everyone (this time)
> So, Michael and I had this private conversation... accidentally,
> because I didn't find the reply to all button.

... which I sometimes miss to click as well :-)

> Anyway, here was my proposal:
> > On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM, Michael Meeks <michael.meeks at novell.com> wrote:
> >> On Fri, 2011-07-29 at 22:07 +0200, Christoph Noack wrote:
> >>> Furthermore, I'd like to ask whether the user is aware what mode is
> >>> currently activated - the drawing toolbar is _not_ sufficient to do that
> >>
> >>        Presumably by seeing which button is depressed on the toolbar we can
> >> see that. Currently that state just flickers / magically changes when
> >> you've finished drawing your shape. I suppose we propose keeping that to
> >> show which item is selected, and hence what mode we're in. Or did I
> >> mis-understand the question :-)
> >
> > I think what Christoph meant was that this is good, but not enough.


> > For instance, as a proposal, LibO could put a hatching on the window
> > background when it is in any mode except selection mode (that wouldn't
> > help when the document is zoomed in very far and the background isn't
> > visible, but most of the time it would be useful).
> > Now, I am unsure if this is within the scope of this bug or if we
> > should let Federico do his thing and in the meantime the design team
> > could come up with some ideas for later implementation (if it is as
> > simple (?) as a hatching, it could even target 3.5).
> Now one of Christoph's earlier mails:
> > In this case, Inkscape is different, because it is a real advanced
> > drawing application, they don't have that much toolbars flying around,
> > they provide excellent feedback via the statusbar.
> I'd be wary of starting to rely too much on status bars, when everyone
> (Microsoft, Apple, GNOME, Mozilla, Google, probably others) is
> currently removing them.

The question is: What are the reasons to remove them?

Do they have less complex applications? --> Yes, even MS Office
preserved the status bar but removed a lot of cruft (which is what I've
said before).

Don't they avoid to have modes? --> Yes, but this patch introduces
modes. And that makes this discussion less funny, since we introduce
modes but remove one (amongst others) sane way to provide feedback.

Don't they need to educate the users? --> Maybe. But, Inkscape (also
provides a status bar) provide _excellent_ feedback on how modifier keys
are used. So people can learn advanced drawing capabilities without
reading the manual.

So, what do we gain when removing the status bar? Sorry for the strong
message, but I'm against avoiding the status bar for "removing the
status bar" reasons. LibreOffice is simply a complex piece of software
(of course, it doesn't need to be complicated).

However, back to the initial question of this patch ... which I still
consider undesirable without a) discussion which applications will be
targeted, and b) how to provide clues to the user how to manage the

> So, now some replies to the last mail
> >>       Ah - ok; well - we could turn the grid on while in this mode to provide
> >> some visual indication ;-) presumably it is most useful when drawing.
> That would be a good idea, if some people didn't keep it turned on all
> the time. Probably not an option, also for the reason Christoph
> mentioned.
> > Again, I still don't know whether we affect the behavior for Impress as
> > well.
> Yes, it would. Impress basically adds animations and slideshows (maybe
> more, but so much's apparent from the code's folder structure) to the
> core of Draw.

Well, I'm aware of the technical basis ... but my question targeted the
question whether we want to affect Impress? So far I've heard the
reasoning similar to "Draw is no serious drawing application" - if we
change that behavior for Impress, then Impress is no serious
presentation application (a bit simplified, but I hope my message comes
through). Given the surveys we did for OOo, Impress is still the far
more application and, thus, such changes affect more users than we might
currently think of.

So far, I haven't heard goal statement what we want to achieve for
Impress and Draw. Also a bit simplified: Impress for less advanced users
focusing on presentations, Draw for advanced use like technical
drawings? (That's not the answer, but an example.)

> (Reply to all - check.)

Done as well ;-)


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