[Libreoffice-ux-advise] to duplicate an existing style

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Sun Sep 11 12:07:07 PDT 2011

Hi Eike, all!

Nice to have you here as well :-)

Am Samstag, den 10.09.2011, 20:44 +0200 schrieb Eike Rathke:
> Hi Astron,
> On Saturday, 2011-09-10 12:59:17 +0200, Astron wrote:
> > Yet, the problem for most people is that they have never extensively
> > worked with styles and might not understand intricacies like
> > inheritances.
> I think much of the user's confusion can be avoided if the Stylist
> didn't show the flat All Styles view initially, but the Hierarchical
> view instead. This immediately gives a hint that styles depend on other
> styles, even if the user has no idea of inheritance concepts.

Yes and no at the same time - using a hierarchical view usually groups
information (only), so people might still be unaware that definitions
get derived from the upper entries.

Furthermore, this concept would conflict with the (so often requested)
preview of all styles in the Stylist ...

Consequently, I think we have to aim for another solution.

> If the Organizer tab for derived styles then instead of the simple
> "Contains" would say "Contains not in parent style" or "Items different
> from parent style" or some such, things would be much clearer.


By the way, I'm also a fan of Astron's proposal [1] - referring to "this
style defines"). To address the problem of understandability, the order
of elements should be something like:
      * Name: [My Headline]
      * Defaults based on: [Headline]
      * Definitions in this style:
              * Font Style: Bold
              * ...
      * Behavior (or something like that as a group name)
              * [x] Update automatically when editing the document
              * Style class: [Custom Styles]
              * For next paragraph switch to: [My Text]

In this case, "Defaults" from the inherited style gets explained as well
for this context (defaults is used for different things in Writer...).

Concerning the style (context menu) actions, I'm thinking about:

[New based on...]
# inherit from the upper style (like today)

# copy all definitions from the original style, open the style dialog
# the new style gets the same hierarchy level



Final menu:
      * New based on...
      * Duplicate...
      * ---
      * Modify...
      * Delete

I haven't found a totally clean solution for the naming proposal when
using new vs. duplicate. Three approaches:
      * dead simple: every new style gets an "Unnamed n" (n = number)
        like today)
      * more advanced: Having "My Style" ...
              * New based on ...: "New (based on My Style) (n)"
              * Duplicate: "My Style (Duplicate) (n)"
      * mixed:
              * New based on ...: "Unnamed (n)" 
              * Duplicate: "My Style (Duplicate) (n)" 

Personally, I don't like the advanced version, since we can/should not
make sure that the string "(based on My Style)" is updated. If people
change the style the settings are inherited from, then we may "flood"
LibO with wrong information. Using the "mixed version" is a bit
inconsistent ... but might work for most cases.

Plus, a few improvements for the "from selection menu" would be helpful.
So far, no larger changes to the stylist - should be doable, or?


[1] http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Organizer-rdsgn.png

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