[Libreoffice-ux-advise] GSOC work on Special Character dialog

V Stuart Foote VStuart.Foote at utsa.edu
Wed Jul 19 14:36:14 UTC 2017

Heiko,  *

Sorry if I missed the boat during discussions for dropping an edit buffer
for input but it is the correct workflow for composing and entering strings. 
Unfortunately the impact of replacing it with single character pick/place is
a major loss of function that was not discussed or reviewed. it is not about
the number of key strokes needed to place a character to canvas, rather it
is about the ability to work with multiple fonts and the language scripts
they support.

Discussion and work in tdf#34882 [1] was for adding search, a
favorites/recently used glyph list, and even OCR search. It did  not include
removing the "Characters" edit bar/edit buffer and the whole work flow it
supported. That somehow came out of the design session [2] placing emphasis
on shifting UI to only a recently used pick list. It frankly removes one of
the most useful features of LibreOffice for working with multiple scripts.

For comparison of what is being lost, please have a look at the Windows
utility BabelMap [3], or the BablePad text editor that incorporates it.  The
multi-line "edit buffer" there allows assembling Strings of glyphs, even as
sentences, from multiple fonts.  We should be implementing more features
supporting that Unicode based workflow, not removing them.

For LibreOffice the dialog benefits from the addition of recently used
glyphs, as for tdf#34882, but removing the "Characters" edit bar deletes
useful interface for no reason.  Before this gets too far, please restore
the "Characters" edit bar as a buffer for composing strings as removing it
was ill-considered.  Providing just a pick/place to canvas UI is wrong.


[1] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=34882
[3] http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Software/BabelMap.html

> From: Heiko Tietze
> Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 6:25 AM
> To: V Stuart Foote
> Cc: libreoffice-ux-advise at lists.freedesktop.org
> Subject: Re: [Libreoffice-ux-advise] GSOC work on Special Character dialog
> Hi Stuart,
> this modification is being done intentionally. I don't see the benefit
> from clicking 
> <FOO>
>  (into the edit bar) plus Insert (to actually
> insert the string) compared to double-click 
> <F>
> <O>
> <O>
>  which inserts
> the chars into the document and adds them to the list of recently
> used. One click less (okay, two more if you count double-click twice).
> But more important, we focus on the actual workflow. I doubt the
> usefulness of compiling a string from the special chars, and at least
> 90% users will use only a few special chars but never make a special
> string.
> The workflow/design was introduced in 2015 at
> https://user-prompt.com/de/libreoffice-design-session-special-character/
> without concerns about lost functionality.
> Cheers,
> Heiko

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