[Libreoffice-ux-advise] [Libreoffice] Suggestion and patch for "Confirmation of save format" dialog

Josh Heidenreich josh.sickmate at gmail.com
Mon Aug 15 06:11:49 PDT 2011

Hi all,

> @Josh: Just saw the export_format_v3.png --> great!

It's in master now - Thanks Caolán!

> I see this different - although the internal representation of the data
> model might match (closely) the ODF formath, it is different from the
> user's point-of-view:
>      * the document might be unsaved yet, so there is no "ODF"
>      * when the dialog pops up, then the user explicitly chose to use
>        WhateverFormat (non-ODF)
> So it is a "Switch to..." although we might debate about the
> understandability of the "Switch".

I agree - the user doesn't think about data structures or file
formats, to them it's just some writing, and if they originally opened
a word doc - it's a word doc in their mind.

> ... Without a good reason, it is not much fun to break the
> user's his workflow. So my proposal is to go ahead as soon as
> possible ... and discuss such non-modal dialogs we need (and miss) quite
> frequently. In our case, it could be saving to WhatEver format and then
> telling him afterwards (for a few seconds) that ODF might have been the
> better format.

We have to be careful to not be condescending to the user though, or
make them feel bad or guilty that they chose the "wrong" format. There
is plenty of reasons to choose a non-odf format.

Really, I think we should all remember two things:

1. The best way to "fix" this dialog is to have the filters do a
better job of saving in other formats. If it only came up for formats
which actually destroyed formatting, like TXT, wouldn't that be great?
We should always keep that as a primary goal rather than this dialog.

2. This shouldn't be seen as an attack on developers of other
projects, but there have been recent large changes in the Open
Source/Free Software world, in regards to UI design (and also in
propriety software), which have brought a lot of complaints for no
reason. Lets not make changes for the sake of making changes. I'm not
going to point the finger or anything, but I have noticed a lot of
outcry about Gnome 3, KDE 4, Office ribbon, Ubuntu, Firefox, etc.
It seems to be popular at the moment to just make changes for the sake
of it, and it really confuses and often annoys users. I'm not saying
these projects are bad or we are going in the wrong direction, but we
all need to vigilant to ensure we don't make fatal UI mistakes, and
while non-modal may seem like the best thing from a UI design
perspective, if it's not what users are expecting, it's still no good.


More information about the Libreoffice-ux-advise mailing list