[Libreoffice-ux-advise] F4 in spreadsheet

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Wed Sep 7 13:51:40 PDT 2011

Hi Astron!

Am Mittwoch, den 07.09.2011, 21:18 +0200 schrieb Astron:
> Hi,
> I'd love if Olivier would answer... there were so many (wildly
> different) proposals here.

Oops, missed to add Olivier in my last mail - so now added.

> Now,I don't really like the idea of shipping with several different
> key binding tables (we already ship with two, as far as I know -- if
> that hasn't changed in the meantime as Christoph indicated). I also
> don't think we should ape Microsoft Office in all respects (yes, it's
> the big competitor and people will measure LibO by its standards [1]),
> but the thing is we already use that key binding for something else.
> And if we alienate users at all, we shouldn't alienate existing users
> (they have little to gain here, I think).

Fully agreed (and supported).

> Also, even though some may wish Base be gone [2], it's still alive
> today (maybe not exactly kicking, though).
> What we should take away from Olivier's message is that it
> > Seems that when formatting many cells with the same format, "Repeat" on a single key is a must...
> And Ctrl-Shift-Y is both complicated and unintuitive. My point is the
> one from the beginning: why not F3?
> I don't want to bore anyone but here are three advantages:
> * it's close enough that Excel users might discover it by accident and
> might even get it into muscle memory quickly
> * no global key binding has to be reassigned
> * it's quick easy, and though maybe not the most intuitive, it is at
> least fairly memorisable.

My take is that Ctrl+Shift+Y is the "inverted" undo, so it makes some
sense. If we want to add / change that key combination, might it then be
helpful for other modules as well? And why do those users use F4
intensively - do we still lack a sensible approach to offer styles?

> > Kohei (as far as I know) added another "compatibility" pane to the
> > options dialog. This dialog "Excel-fies" some keybindings in a rush. In
> > a company (controlled rollout, stable user settings) this should work
> > very good.
> Is that what is called the "LibreOffice" key bindings table or is
> there a new key bindings table in 3.5? If there already is a new, the
> damage (yes, that depends on point of view) is probably done and
> Repeat/F4 should be added.

The legacy keybindings table is the one referring to OpenOffice.org. The
LibreOffice keybindings table already introduced the changes to be more
compatible with Excel (as far as I understood). So, yes, its a bit
alienating our existing user base.

> >      * optional: move the compatibility functionality to "Tools -
> >        Customize" (basically, I assume it is a "Load..." keyboard
> >        settings) so that other modules benefit as well
> I hadn't thought of this, even though when I started with my Options
> revamp ideas project (in hibernation, not dead!) I thought of maybe
> Tools > Options/General as a good place for a (global) key bindings
> option. Your idea is probably better.

Oh, my idea is just to re-use what's already available. So it might be
discoverable for systadmins or trainers. The options idea should be
considered, for sure.

By the way, did you get my private mail concerning the Options stuff? If
not, then please tell me ... there are some more supporters of this
idea :-)

> > Personally, I think this would keep LibreOffice clean on the one side,
> > but would allow others to quickly tweak the setting if a migration is
> > needed. But we should have in mind that doing something like that causes
> > pain for those who change between LibreOffice installations with
> > different configuration (and sadly, keybindings are something you don't
> > see if you execute it blindly ... surprise, surprise).
> Configurability comes with a price. We should restart the "good
> defaults" project and then we should try to work to make LibreOffice
> less flexible (striking a balance, obviously, so that it still remains
> powerful).

Totally agreed in general - an option usually says that it misses a good
interaction design, since there are doubts. Furthermore, I personally
would like to have a project-wide decision what kind of product we want
to create (being innovate, the first-follower, ...). That'll help us
immensely to make such decisions. But how to get such an answer ...
off-topic: I already thought about involving the SC to provide a
recommendation to have "something".

But especially with regard to migrations this will be an issue (because
people are migrated from different products). So it might still make
sense to adapt keybindings ...

> Regards,
> Astron.
> [1] That is, unless we do something crazy, useful and differentiating
> which is probably the point where LibO as a product would become
> relevant even on its own.
> [2] http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/07/21/developer-interview-tor-lillqvist/

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