[Libreoffice-ux-advise] The "no border text" feature in Writer 3.5 is not complete

Cedric Bosdonnat cbosdonnat at suse.com
Fri Feb 17 00:39:45 PST 2012

Hi NoOp,

I didn't want to reply to this thread as I would turn pretty angry at it
and say bad things... too late, I'm answering.

On Thu, 2012-02-16 at 20:31 -0800, NoOp wrote:
> On 02/15/2012 02:44 AM, Jan Holesovsky wrote:
> > NoOp píše v Út 14. 02. 2012 v 20:16 -0800:
> I sincerely appreciate your reponse. However:
> Perhaps... such a dramatic change should have also been discussed on the
> discuss and/or user list before implementation?

Discussing a single UI change on the users mailing list is a pure no-go
for me (and other devs will back me up for sure). That is only the start
of a troll that never come to a satisfying solution as there is always
someone disagreeing with the others.

Discussing with UI experts is OK as they know that area more than us
developers and they are sensible persons who avoid trolls and endless

> That thread doesn't focus on the 'no border'/modified
> Edit|View|Text Boundries (margin and column) issue(s), but instead
> primarily discuses/focuses (as it's subject implies) "Header and Footers
> separators design").

If you read the whole thread you'll see that what triggered the text
boundaries changes was the display of something conflicting in the
boundaries area. Note that the same reason also motivated the change of
the page break display.

> > Basically it comes from the design that was proposed already in the
> > OOo times, see
> > http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/DocumentBorder .
> That page was last modified in 2009:
> [This page was last modified on 18 November 2009, at 19:02]
> So you've/we've implemented a change that was suggested on OOo over 2
> years ago for the sake of 'modernization' that has never been
> implemented in OOo, including OOo-dev 3.4.0? Well done.

Wasn't implemented by lazyness / lack of interested developer by that
time. Not being implemented in the OOo times doesn't necessarily means
it wasn't a good idea (there are years-old bugs in the bugzilla and they
are interesting ones).

> There will be much "you should have tested", "you should have pointed it
> out earlier"; unfortunately, the primary users will not have discovered
> the "improvement"/"feature" was released in the 'new & improved version'
> and would not have noticed until they upgraded from 3.4 to 3.5.

I consider that people able to post to the dev / ux-advise / design
mailing lists are also able to download daily builds and have a look at
them before the release. And if they can't do that they can also
participate in the RC testing cycle: they aren't "primary users" as you
mention: the "primary users" never shout on these mailing lists.

> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46073
> [Bug 46073 - Page Layout Guides (margins, headers, footers) No Longer
> Visible (regression bug) ]

Sorry, that's not a even a bug... but a feature request.

> Great! Then is shouldn't be difficult for those that made the change to:
> 1) modify the code to replace the original code to change it back,
> and/or 2) create an extension to allow users the option to switch
> between the two... right?

1) is a no-go: I simply don't want to revert a code change only because
of a vocal minority claiming for some feature to come back. It's evil to
say, but 3.4 still have the old display.

2) An extension to sw display is simply not possible ATM.

The only possible solution here is to find a solution that fits both
kinds users: the ones wanting big rectangles everywhere and the ones
wanting something smooth but still showing the area.

> If you need user feedback, please visit users at global.libreoffice.org for
> added user experiences/remarks.

As mentioned earlier, asking for feedback on the users lists is a black

> Thank you for that information/advise. Given the:
> >> Easily - somebody creates a patch, sends info about that to this
> >> list, and then it is is discussed here.  If it does not fit as it
> >> is, then it is tweaked until both the original developer + the UX
> >> people are all
> resonse (below), it would seem to me that LO should relook at their policy.

/// autocensored really harsh remark!

> >> If the latter is the case, then it appears that this request from
> >> January has been ignored: 
> >> <http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/design/msg03578.html> 
> >> [libreoffice-design] Text boundaries like 3.4.x
> > 
> > We have too many switches already, sorry, adding more options is not 
> > what we want.  Even with the 'borders' feature we were able to find
> > a solution that fits all involved, I am sure we will succeed here
> > too.
> Please explain 'we were able to find a solution that fits all involved'.
> Who is "we" and what exactly was the solved.

Please read the mailing lists archives: they are full of details to
answer those questions.

> So let's review:
> 1. "Somebody creates a patch that affects the entire
> look/feel/GUI/workfolow et al of LO and "sends info about that to this
> list" and then it is is discussed here."
> 2. "If it does not fit as it is, then it is tweaked until both the
> original developer + the UX people are all happy :-)"
> And then, apparently, the change is incorportated in the next LO
> release... regardless of user feedback/tests? Amazing. Of course LO
> developers/testers et al will complain that 3.5 has been available for
> testing for several months. But LO need to expect and understand that LO
> have a similar/migrated OOo user base, so to react with "That was a
> design choice that was started long ago in the OpenOffice.org
> times, discussed at least lively with Christoph Noack (and most probably
> on the ux-advise list) a few months ago...

We surely want the users to hack their own features and produce their
own office suite... but it seems we need to do it for them.

> I don't really like being asked to get some different feature back right
> after the release when people have plenty of times to report the
> (not-really-a) bug months before."
> <http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.comp.documentfoundation.libreoffice.devel/24300>
> is nonsense.
> It appears that Cedric is unwilling to make any changes:
> <http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.comp.documentfoundation.libreoffice.devel/24267>
> [No page and Columns boundaries in 3.5]

No I'm not willing to waste my time on something that could have been
improved months earlier. I'll be happy to integrate patches that don't
destroy the new feature's main idea... but I won't spend a single minute
hacking on it.

> So who determines who these "ux-adivse" determiners who apparently have
> the power to make these 'changes' are?

Nobody really has power here: it usually is only a constructive
discussion between sensible persons (one or more UI designer and a

Remember that in a meritocracy the ones who do the work have the power
in the end.

> Bottom line is that LO decided to implement Cedrics header/footer

You're repeating yourself... I already spent too much of my hacking time
to reply to your email. Consider me as a dead body from now in that


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