[Libreoffice-ux-advise] [Bug 83071] UI: User interface for outline numbering is confusing with possibilities offered both at Format >Paragraph ... Outline numbering and at Tools>Outline numbering

bugzilla-daemon at bugs.documentfoundation.org bugzilla-daemon at bugs.documentfoundation.org
Wed Jul 5 18:10:43 UTC 2017


--- Comment #30 from Albrecht Müller <albrecht.mueller at astrail.de> ---
The remarks in this comment are a little bit off topic but I don't know an
appropriate place where I can put these thoughts about how to improve the
quality of LibreOffice.

I see a deeper problem here: If you use a complex system like LibreOffice it is
quite common to use uncommon features. In case you need some functionality you
are not familiar with it is important that the software guides you towards a
solution of your problem. I guess that the actual number of LO developers is
about one or two orders of magnitudes below the level necessary to bring to
LibreOffice to this kind of quality. So I fear I have to live with the fact
that  in these situations I will find material to write half a dozen bug
reports instead of guidance. Of course I have almost given up writing bug
reports. See for example bug 54068 comment 8 "The 'Edit>Compare Documents'
command does not detect changes in tables properly". This bug renders the
"Compare Documents" feature almost useless if your document contains tables. I
tried my birthday gift to this bug with Word97: This software is 20 years old
and is able to locate the table cell that contains the difference. A more
recent version of Word (I think it was 2010) shows you the exact character that
differs. A recent version LibreOffice Writer tells you that the tables are
different and leaves it to your ingenuity to find ways to locate the exact
position of the modification. A common effect of all these problems is that
they distract you. Therefore you need more time than necessary to get your work
done. If somebody has to pay for your time this translates into cost.

Some years ago I mentioned that the city of Munich thought about returning to
Microsoft products after they had tried hard to switch to a "open source
software only" strategy (see end of comment 18). Recently they decided to
return. The argument that it is cheaper to pay licences fees to Microsoft than
to pay for additional working hours is consistent with my own experience. Open
source enthusiasts seem not to like the idea that paying millions to Microsoft
is a way to save taxpayers money. Unfortunately I did not notice that they
brought up any sound arguments against this view.

I think there is a good reason to invest public money in the development of
open source software. The fact that the city of Munich buys MS-Office licenses
will not change the price I have to pay for this software. If, in contrast,
this money is spent for LibreOffice development then any taxpayer using this
software will get something in return. This is like using a road: You benefit
from public money spent on building and maintaining traffic infrastructure.
There is no need to pay a fee each time to walk along some road or to hope that
some volunteers build motorways. I consider LibreOffice (and a lot of other
Open XXX things) as part of an immaterial infrastructure which should be
treated in similar ways as their material counterpart. The general public could
benefit from the fact that distributing immaterial goods is pretty cheap.
Regulations for conventional infrastructure could be adapted to deal with the
investments necessary to bring LibreOffice and other immaterial infrastructure
in good shape. I wonder why I do not see any activities along these lines.

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