[Libreoffice-ux-advise] Header and Footers separators design

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Sun Aug 21 14:22:48 PDT 2011

Hi Cedric,

unbelievable ... at least for me: after several weeks I've finally
managed to have a running libo-daily :-) So let's get back to work and
have a look on your fine changes.

Am Donnerstag, den 18.08.2011, 14:42 +0200 schrieb Cedric Bosdonnat:
> Hi Christoph,
> On Wed, 2011-07-06 at 09:52 +0200, Cedric Bosdonnat wrote:
> > >       * What color is used for the markup? Is it something borrowed by
> > >         the operating system, or is it somehow hard-coded?
> > 
> > The colors are simply hard-coded ones. I used the "Blue 1" and "Blue 4"
> > colors from the branding marketing page.
> I just moved the color definition to the options in the master branch:
> http://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/commit/?id=d40dce0f0f00b88dd645a0f334e3d7b2d6af6515
> I also changed the way the colors are defined: you define the main color
> (the one of the line) and the background color is that color with the
> luminance multiplied by 2.5. I tested with several colors and it looks
> quite nice in those cases too.
> I hope this helps to make it a nice feature,

Thanks! At the moment, I'm thinking about how to make use of that - we
have several hard-coded elements that would benefit if we could share
those color(s).

For now, let's please talk about the behavior of the feature ... I
worked a bit with the feature and I'm still a bit unsure whether it
really "fits".

So, what was the real intention of the feature - please bear with me if
I didn't get it so far. Here some proposals to choose from (or to add
     1. It should be avoided that people accidentally enter the
        header/footer and "destroy" the given content / formatting (on
        several pages at once).
     2. It should be avoided that people are distracted from headers /
        footers when writing on the document content. Thus, the
        remaining elements get grayed out when not working on them.
     3. It should be avoided that people don't know what kind of
        header/footer they are editing.
     4. 1 ... 3 at once

So, given all the alternatives, the current implementation misses some
bits and pieces. From my POV, #1 could be solved differently, #2
de-WYSIWYGs Writer, #3 could be solved differently. Personally, I really
need to know what was the original requirement ...

Some of the things I've noticed:
      * Enter: It is hard to identify how to enter the header / footer -
        the given visualization (borders) highlight active text areas
        that can be entered via one click. But these areas are
        inactive ... unless the user double-clicks (which is not
        visualized to the user).
      * Abort: It is hard to identify how / and cumbersome to go back to
        the document content. In contrast to MSO, there is no
        visualization / hint how to do that. Examples:
              * Double-click is unusual (in LibO) and there is no visual
              * Although single-click doesn't work to go back to the
                document content, right-clicking once works - why?
              * ESC in header/footer goes back to the last position in
                the document, but: if the user moved to another page in
                the meantime, it jumps to the old location
      * Usability issues:
              * I've noticed (as Cor pointed out) some issues, e.g. it
                doesn't work well with Notes. For example:
                      * Edit the header content
                      * You can change into an existing note with single
                        click (is that different to the document
                      * For exit, press ESC - the cursor is moved back
                        to the document, but the content is shown
                        inactive (although I can edit it) --> users get
              * It also doesn't work well if headers/footers are removed
                when editing them ... all the highlighting stays (the
                banner and the grayed out document). --> users get lost
              * I think the "Edit - Headers&Footers" behavior is a bit
                strange. Its deactivated, if there is no header/footer
                on the page. But, its activated if either header or
                footer is there. Then, the missing item gets highlighted
                anyway ... without providing a clue how to really add
                this missing element. --> could be more supporting
      * Technical issues: In my test environment (Fedora 15,
        VirtualBox), I regularly have ghost cursors showing up - if you
        change the mode when the blinking cursor is shown, it doesn't
        get removed (e.g. entering the header from the document, the
        document keeps a non-blinking cursor).
      * I'm still thinking how it should work in "facing pages" mode ...
        --> the common elements are usually mirrored in such situations
      * The feature could (as already pointed out) be more helpful if we
        actively show options like "exit, add header/footer, remove
        header/footer", ...

Sorry for bothering you, but it would be really cool if you could
comment on that ... some of the issues won't be issues when I would know
a bit more about the requirements. So let's take care to get it
production ready as soon as possible. Especially, since Microsoft Office
does things a bit different.

Argh, just to mention that, beginning on Thursday, we'll have our family
vacation until the Hackfest ... and there won't be any Internet
connection, as far as I know.


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