[Libreoffice] UX opportunity ... / Easy Hacks
michel.renon at free.fr
Wed Nov 10 01:27:13 PST 2010
Just a short intro for my first post in this list :
I'm a Mac OpenOffice user for several years.
I've been coding with C++ years ago, now i code mostly in PHP and Python
I'm also interested in UX and ergonomics, and i've made a (not so
complete) proposal for Renaissance project
Le 28/10/10 11:37, Michael Meeks a écrit :
> Hi Christoph,
> ( and any other UX gurus out there :-)
> Hi guys; I'd -love- to get a number of "easy hacks" - ie. small fixes -
> that can be made to our ergonomics into the page here:
> These are entry level tasks for people - but IMHO an accumulation of
> small failings creates an overall bad experience. The problem is that
> much of StarDiv's work (due to the process penalty for small changes)
> tends to be of the form "totally re-write the slides side-bar" rather
> than "fix slide side-bar-multi-select glitches" :-)
> I was wondering - do you have a list of small pet peeves, you know the
> stuff: extra clicks, broken keyboard/mouse grabs, bad keyboard
> navigation, over-complicated interactions in specific areas that we can
> turn into easy hacks ? It would be great to get some volunteer
> developers working on these things - and we are (so far) burning through
> our most easy hacks rather quickly.
Here are some requests.
Some are enhancements, others are bugs.
I don't know if they can be considered as "easy hacks" or if i should
enter them in the bugtracker.
Please let me know.
And in which category of "easy hacks" should I insert them ?
(FYI, I already sent some of them in openoffice mailing list months ago,
but they had few or no response)
* MacOS : cursor visibility :
when I type some text, mouse pointer should be hidden (the arrow or the
It's a standard behaviour on Mac since... 1984 !
- today, when you paste an image in writer, the anchor mode is always
"to paragrah". This is very annoying when you paste several images :
it would be usefull to define the anchor
- in preference
- and/or during pasting
- add a menu "Save a copy as..."
I really miss that for Calc : it would allow me to save the current
spreadsheet in csv, while not changing the current ods file.
It should be usefull for writer, draw and impress too.
- today, when you want to insert a spreadsheet or draw object in writer,
you have to do :
select menu "Insert" > "Object" > "OLE object", then choose a line in a
It should be much simpler ! most people don't know what "OLE" means.
Provide a more direct acces to "insert LibreOffice
Write/Calc/Draw/Impress object" function.
Maybe show the "OLE Object" menu line only on windows ?
- writer :
be able to search text with format "hilight color" or "background color"
- when you open 2 windows of the same document, there is a problem with
the zoom : if you reduce zoom in one window, it may change rendering in
the other window.
Maybe the problem also appears whith scrolling.
- draw : create a hand tool that would allow easy and fast scrolling. It
would be activated/desactivated with a keybord shortcut
In Inkscape, it seems to be CTRL + ALT
- draw : change the object selection
exmple : create a big rect 'rectangle1'. create a smaller rect
'rectangle2', inside 'rectangle1'. For the user, 'rectangle2' is above
'rectangle1'. Select 'rectangle1' : his handles are shown. Click inside
'rectangle2' : nothing changes.
With Inkscape (and others drawing software), 'rectangle2' is selected.
- have only one type of floating windows for tools
for example, the tools "border", "color" show a standard window.
But most others tools (specialy drawing tools) use the openoffice
implementation of floating windows.
Why not use only the openoffice implementation ?
(I don't know if it's technically possible or if it'll create UX problems)
writer, mac : small freeze at startup
After a cold start of writer, il you start to type some text, openoffice
freezes for some seconds (loading some code ?) and then shows the text.
It's not a bug, but it gives the impression that openoffice is *slow* or
* mouse position problem
The problem appears when you select (single-clic) an object (drawing or
OLE) in writer, Impress or Draw.
We have several steps :
step 1 : user clicks on an object (mousedown + mouseup)
step 2 : OpenOffice handle the click : draw handles on the object,
update toolbars and side panels, other stuff...
step 3 : the user move the mouse in order to change properties of
object (through toolbars or panels)
The problem in Mac OS is :
- the step 2 takes a noticeable amount of time (> 0,5 second with OOo 3.1)
- at the end of step 2, Openoffice has lost the 'mouseup' event (bug ?)
: if the user starts to moves the mouse before the end of step 2,
OpenOffice starts a 'move object' command !!
The only workaround (for me) is to wait at least 1 second every time i
click on an object, till OpenOffice finishes the toolbars updates.
The time taken is step 2 seems to be related to the size of the object :
if you insert a big jpg file in Draw (hundreds Kb), it become obvious.
I tested on Ubuntu and it doesn't appear : step 2 is quite instant.
This problem was horrible with OOo 3.1 and is reduced with OOo 3.2 (but
still present I presume), due to performance enhancements.
I don't know if it's mac-only.
The problem also appears when you select a slide in the left column of
Impress. If you perform others clicks in the list (before the end of
openoffice's update), you may have strange behavior (slide moves,
I created a screencast of this pb under Impress 3.2 :
http://michel.renon.free.fr/OpenOffice/click_impress.mov (6.8 Mb)
I just clicked on slides 1, 2, 3, 2, 1....and repeat until OOo moves one
slide (the third becomes the second)
FYI, I have a MacBookPro 2,16 Ghz 3Gb RAM.
Writer MacOS : problem with text rendering
OOo draws he text cursor (the blinking "|" in the text, not the mouse)
at some wrong positions in full justification.
It's very obvious when there are few words on the line and when OOo is
obliged to extend a lot the spaces.
I created an example that explains the problem
the first text line is the text the user has entered.
the last line is a simulation of what OOo compute to draw the text
cursor : i manually extended spaces.
But when we compare with Ubuntu, we can see that the problem is reversed
: the line used for simulation is ok ! the first line drawn in mac os is
And if we export in pdf, we have the same answer :
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