[Libreoffice] SvxHyperlinkDlg still used?

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Fri Nov 12 16:15:21 PST 2010

Hi Michael, hi Kohei, all!

Am Freitag, den 12.11.2010, 16:46 +0000 schrieb Michael Meeks: 
> On Fri, 2010-11-12 at 11:12 -0500, Kohei Yoshida wrote:
> > Heh!  The short story is that this dialog code still *is* used, as a
> > Hyperlink *toolbar*.
> 	;->

Yep, it also looks a bit dated ... To me, it isn't even a toolbar,
because it doesn't behave like the other toolbars. Similar to the "color
bar"; e.g one of the tiny usability issues is, that the items in View --
Toolbars are translated, but do not consider the sort order in the menu.


> 	Riight - on the other hand, using that toolbar I'm somewhat appalled by
> it. Christoph - any chance of some quick review of that hyperlink bar ?
> it looks to me as if it is some legacy cruft from the days when
> StarOffice was an HTML editor.
> 	Worse than that, it seems that it provides editable controls that do
> not allow you to edit the hyperlink itself ;-) There is a also this
> top-level 'web link' editor button in the top-level UI. Finally there is
> a tool-tip that provides the target link information in an
> easy-to-get-at way.

Okay, to start with the HTML editor stuff - about two years ago, some
guys in Hamburg and myself sat together and discussed whether the
current HTML editor makes sense at the moment. We all came to the
conclusion that - in the long-term - this module is outdated and may be
removed (or at least not shown). Although nothing thrilling happened
here, it is an indicator how other guys currently rate its "usefulness".

Concerning the hyperlink toolbar: 
      * It seems to be rarely used (that is how I interpret the data) 
      * Some "old" functionality, strange behavior (you noticed that) 
      * But some features are unique (no alternative within LibO/OOo)


I had a look at the User Feedback Data [1] and tried to identify the
elements there (as some of you know, playing Dr. Watson). I tried to use
some features, but they don't seem to be noticed by the system ... so
guesswork. Only enabling/disabling of the toolbar is tracked
(.uno:InsertHyperlink) - most probably the first item here (for all

dispatch   ToolbarsMenuController     .uno:InsertHyperlink      503
dispatch   GenericToolbarController   .uno:InsertHyperlink      17

The last column is the number of "uses" which should be considered a
relative value - just for comparison: "Use of Backspace" = 150025254

Although it is used, it seems rarely used. Although I have to admit that
there might be people/businesses using it - and we know nothing about it
(e.g. because they do not want to share Usage Feedback Data with us).


Some of the functionality seems to suit very experienced users - or is
simply a bit old (e.g. adding "_top" or whatever links).

Besides the fact, that it is possible to (very) quickly add hyperlinks,
the behavior (usability) is a bit strange: 
      * Some of the functionality is confirmed via RETURN, although this
        is "invisible". 
      * It is also easy to mess up some text content by playing around
        with the (unnamed) drop-down field and the combo box. 
      * The "Hyperlink" toolbar element doesn't define a "default"
        action. You have to use the dropdown at the right side. 
      * Strange separator use ... things are shown together that don't
        belong together.


Well, some of the features aren't that bad, so here is what I consider

      * Inserting Hyperlink buttons is simple --> No real alternative 
      * Search functionality (web search) --> No alternative 
      * List of hyperlinks within the document (but, doesn't work well
        if one URL name is used multiple times) --> Alternative:

Well, if people don't really need the hyperlink buttons, then there are
better alternatives within the office suite. Or, with regard to the
search functionality, it is somehow limited. So it might be replaced /
moved, or people won't miss it (too much).

> 	My suggestion is that we rid ourselves of it, and save one menu item,
> and one module of under-used code.

I would second that, but I recommend to ask on one of our mailing lists
whether anybody knows if any large business makes use of it for internal
workflows or such things.

If we see no further problem here, then you may: 
      * remove the hyperlink bar 
      * remove the related search options (Options - Internet - Search)

Concerning some kind of improvement / alternative, we might:
      * come up with some alternative "research functionality" (e.g.
        Wikipedia, improved SmartTags use, ...) 
      * think about Hyperlink handling improvements (e.g. [2])

A first look ... did that help anyhow?


[1] http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/File:OOo31_Usage_Feedback_Data.ods
[2] http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/User_Experience/DirectManipulationSnippets#Mockups

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