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

Heiko Tietze tietze.heiko at googlemail.com
Thu Jul 20 12:46:53 UTC 2017

Hi Stuart,

I'm definitely against a line edit to combine characters. There is no good use case, at least I cannot see it, and you could do this very special task with external tools. If we add such a feature, the nice and clean dialog becomes overloaded by rarely used features. Usability is to focus on the task (find and insert _one_ special character) and to ignore the 5% corner cases.

But I'm not the product owner. So my recommendation is that you write a ticket and bring your concerns to discussion there (please block tdf#109207). Hope my POV will be supported ;-).


On 10.07.2017 15:27, V Stuart Foote wrote:
> 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.
> Stuart
> =-ref-=
> [1] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=34882
> [2] https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PxkIpkzgWF1cX9oQmBhjiTBhUXvUEqbz06Bn4hzbF54/edit
> [3] http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Software/BabelMap.html
> ________________________________________
> From: Heiko Tietze <tietze.heiko at googlemail.com>
> 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
> 2017-07-08 21:13 GMT+02:00 V Stuart Foote <VStuart.Foote at utsa.edu>:
>> @Samuel, Heiko, Akshay, *
>> Looks like Akshay is making progress on his GSOC special character dialog
>> work. But I am concerned that the "Characters" edit bar of the dialog has
>> been dropped from the UI. And  now only have the new "Recent Characters"
>> glyph boxes available.
>> Functionally the Characters/edit bar allows one to assemble a string for
>> insertion into a document by picking multiple glyphs from the selected
>> active font with a shaped/rendered preview, and then to insert the entire
>> string to document canvas. This is VERY necessary for efficient input of
>> content from different language/scripts than current text body where the
>> "preview" of the Characters/edit bar lets one review the string prior to
>> insertion.
>> The double-click Pick/Place behavior as we seem to be shifting to is simply
>> not as efficient and actually slows down string input making it a single
>> character at a time process.   Not clear there is a valid justification for
>> dropping the "Characters"  edit bar, please have another look and add back
>> that function.
>> Stuart
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Dr. Heiko Tietze
UX designer
Tel. +49 (0)179/1268509

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