[Libreoffice-ux-advise] Input bar UX

Noel Power nopower at suse.com
Mon Dec 12 07:24:34 PST 2011

I cc Kohei here too who knows more ( or probably has more calc related 
opinions at least ) than me

On 12/12/11 14:00, Jan Holesovsky wrote:
> Hi Noel,
> I really love the new input line feature :-)  I found few things I'd try
> to fix if I had time - these are the things I like to do - but
> impossible ATM, sorry :-(  Can you please have a look at them?  CCing
> the UX guys in case they disagree; but hopefully these shouldn't be
> controversial:
> - http://artax.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~kendy/for_noel/input-bar.png
>    - scroll bar size
>    - the button position
true, there is room here for some pixel offset manipulation ;-)  I 
always thought there was something odd about the button and the scroll 
bar but I never magniifed it to look further
>    - jumping "Name Box" (and actually the icons too, but not that much)
>      when you switch from and to large input bar
This annoys me too, there is a hack in the toolbar code to prevent it 
from doing what toolbars want to do which is display items in the middle 
of the bar, the behaviour you see is the side-affect of this hack. I can 
try and do it better, then again myself an Kohei discussed maybe 
subverting the toolbar layout ( or lackof ) in a future implementation 
step, I mean to return to this in anycase but probably this is not my #1 
to fix at the moment
> - behavior of Ctrl-Enter
>    - when in single line mode, and you hit that, it should automatically
>      switch to the large input bar - now it just lets you with an empty
>      line, and you see the entire picture only in the sheet
personally I think it is reasonable behaviour, after you hit cntrl-enter 
the inputbar still displays your current edit. Also, you can scroll 
through the lines with the mouse. Plus the user does decide to display 
one or (more) lines ( via the collapsed/expand button ). Even if you 
expand the toolbar via switching to multiline mode you can also easily 
exceed the display space again. Worth noting too that switching between 
multiline and single line mode will resize the bar to the last expanded 
size which could be as little as 2 lines wide so you could exceed that 
vertical limit very quickly. So.. expanding might only give you very 
temporary relief before you need to expand the bar even more ( via 
dragging with the mouse ). This doesn't make auto switching that 
sensible ( unless there is some extra heuristics there, then of course 
probably people will be confused as to why sometimes it autoexpands and 
sometimes not ;-) )
> - loosing cursor when switching to the large input bar
>    - when you use mouse to switch between one line and multiline input
>      bar, the focus is left at the button switching that; it should
>      return immediately to the input line so that you can continue
>      writing where you were before the switch
agreed, I suspect the cursor gets clobbered by calcs input handler ( but 
we should be able to get around that I guess ) Anyway the cursor 
position is preserved so I regard this as a bug
> - behavior of the Bold / Italics / etc. buttons
>    - when entering text in the large input bar, and hit the Bold etc.
>      buttons (that are just above that), the formatting is shown only in
>      the sheet, but not in the input bar (is that actually expected due
>      to some implementation limitations?)
again this is afaiks intentional and matches excel behaviour, there is 
most likely some real reason why we don't support that ( probably 
because inputbar is mostly for formulae and not writing prose ) Maybe 
Kohei might know better

anyway, thanks for the feedback, really useful.


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