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

Astron heinzlesspam at googlemail.com
Mon Sep 12 08:57:47 PDT 2011

Hello everyone,

On 12 September 2011 00:51, Rafael Rocha Daud <rrdaud at gmail.com> wrote:
> As for the naming scheme, Christoph, is it really that important? People
> usually change the default names: granted they know what they're doing, any
> name would fit.

I think the naming scheme has a certain importance; then again, you're
right, people will want to change the name and we should offer that
immediately after duplicating/creating a style (much like any file
manager I ever used does) -- that is: create the new entry and
immediately set a cursor there to edit its name [1].
That said, the mixed scheme looks good to me, although it might be too
technical if we put the "n" in parentheses, so I'd leave those away.

> The thing is:
> inheritance is permanent, so if you say "based on" one might think the
> parent style don't influence the child style anymore after creation.

It is not permanent: you can manually change it. Christoph's naming
scheme was an attempt to make implementation easier by not having to
track inheritances if the user doesn't change the name.

> Maybe
> "New (Child of My Style) (n)" would be an even better aproach.
> That's what I think, but I didn't get quite well your rejection of "New
> (based on My Style) (n)" and what you meant by "flooding LibO with wrong
> information". Could you explain this a little further?

See my comment above (if you don't track inheritance changes, titles
might contain wrong information eventually), I think that's what
Christoph meant.

> And about the style preview: do you think we need a preview of all styles at
> the same time? In MSOffice it is like that, but they can only show a handful
> of styles at once. I'm not sure if it's useful to preview all styles like
> that. We could though still have our list, and only preview the style that
> is selected on that list. It would still allow to compare to the current
> applied style -- which is already visible in the text itself.

Absolutely agree, but want to add two things [2]:

# We need to cut down the number of styles that come by default to at
most 10 (!!) for any given type of style. My count suggest that there
are about 60 paragraph styles today, most of which look the same (if
there are technical reasons, we need to overcome those).

# I don't think presenting the preview inside the list is a good idea,
it might be better to either have a special tooltip or something that
looks like a tooltip but always appears at a specified position next
to the styles list (think Abiword font preview [3]).

Em 10-09-2011 12:49, Regina Henschel escreveu:
>> How to make a chain? For example "text body" -> "list" -> "numbering 1" ->
>> "numbering 1 End". I know how to make it, but how should the UI look, to
>> make it easy and understandable to normal users? Your proposal does not
>> solve the problem "I want a list, but the last list item needs a larger
>> spacing to the next paragraph." Perhaps a third entry [child] is needed.

Anyone who puts this much thought into the layout will figure it out.
I am pretty sure this is not the most common of cases (although I
assume making this easy would render LibO more suitable for
professional users). As you already noticed, you yourself are not the
epitome of an end user.
Maybe you are right. Labelling it "child" should be clea(r/n)er than
the current "New from...". If everyone agrees, I will prepare a patch
for such a string change (but because of building issues, I won't be
able to test it, I think).

And, finally: Eike wrote:
> 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.

You are, of course right about one thing: the tree view can give a
good overview. On the other hand it also looks more complicated. This
is an impression we might want to avoid, so I would not go for it as
the default view.
Most users know tree views only from the Windows Explorer (or worse,
"regedit") and they know that Windows Explorer always scared them (it
is easy to bury something somewhere in the structure and to be unable
to find it again). I am pretty sure Microsoft know why they buried the
Explorer view under "Accessories" (possibly even "System tools"..? not
sure.) since XP.
Note that in 7, Microsoft introduced "Libraries" that mesh several
folders and individual files, and can make navigating your disk quite
the pain (I mention this only as a negative example for Microsoft
introducing half-baked features where the user experience just isn't
right [at least for me, as a non-permanent Windows user]).


[1] By the way: there are many places where LibO could profit from
editing labels in-place/on double click, such as changing the
worksheet name or changing the slide name ... 1993 called to say it
wants its dialogue boxes back.

[2] If you are for a list of styles, with each style name previewing
the style itself: consider the case where a style uses a symbol font
like Wingdings (pardon me, OpenSymbol). That would look odd and be
plenty uninformative. Next, consider the case of style that uses a 4
pt font. Also odd.

[3] http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Abiw-fontselector.png .
Incredibly useful preview, something to copy, basically.

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