[Libreoffice] [PATCH] conditional formatting with an unlimited number of rules

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Fri Apr 8 02:38:18 PDT 2011

Hi Bob, hi Katarina, all!

Bob, thanks for this patch ... absolutely appreciated :-) Since Katarina
already mentioned some usability related stuff, I'd like to add some
initial thoughts as well.

I'm sorry that my knowledge about the feature might be incomplete, but
the feature hasn't been in the daily builds I've tried so far. So I rely
on what I know about the feature today, your descriptions, and your
screenshot (thanks!!!). 

Let's state that the feature itself might work very well - I'm sure. But
in our case, the history collides a bit with the newly added
functionality. That will cause trouble for users who want to use that

Unfortunately, I cannot provide too many suggestions how to improve the
situation - this is extremely dependent on "we want a quick solution"
vs. "we want a really good solution". So, Bob I need some hints from
your side ... nevertheless, I will provide "quick-fix" proposals as a
first step.

Am Donnerstag, den 07.04.2011, 01:47 +0200 schrieb Robert Dargaud:
> Hi Katarina,
> Thank for your evaluation work and your detailed feedback. I insert my
> answers in your text.
> Le 06/04/11 17:56, Katarina Machalkova a écrit : 
> > Hey Bob (& all)
> > Now for sc/calc part:
> > 
> > 2) I find "Insert" button (newly added to the dialog) a bit redundant. All it 
> > does is that it appends an empty condition rule at the end of the list 
> > (position N+1) -- the same thing can be achieved by enabling/selecting 
> > checkbox by Nth rule in the list -- the scrollbar then moves, so the users see 
> > they can add more rules.

Here starts a bit trouble for the users: The original feature provided
checkmarks to enable/disable rules, but now we have "available /
non-available" rules that work similar. Both features interfere with
each other.

Quick-fix: Don't use the checkboxes to add / remove items. The only way
to add them should be to use "Insert/Add".

And this leads to the question how to "remove" an added rule - one of
the principles for UX is to provide an opportunity to remove stuff /
restore the original state (on demand). Still thinking about that ...


> The "insert fonctionality" make _realy an insert_ ! But the visual
> result is not really evident for user ...
> A new entry is inserted on the first position in the dialog box (It's
> not correctly visible because I've directly selected aCbxCond1).
> I think then insert an unchecked entry, will better see new entry.
> What do you think about that ?

Do you really mean at the beginning? So the entry names (numbers) are
changing and the list is "randomized" in comparison to the sequence of
added conditions by the user. Mmh ...

Quick fix:
      * Please add new entries always at the end of the list
      * Scroll down to this item automatically (after the button has
        been pressed and the new entry has been added)
      * Add new items without being checked in the check-box (good
        proposal from your side!)

Furthermore, the name "Insert" might be confusing - it doesn't tell
where the item will get added. Furthermore, the "1990s dialog
layout" (vertical buttons) conflicts with the new functionality. So ...

Quick fix:
      * Rename the "Insert" button to "Add"
      * Move the "Add" button below the "Help" button. --> New order:
        OK, Cancel, Help, Add (a bit distance between Help and Add would
        be good)

This would be similar to other dialogs which also try to deal with that

> (I hope my googled-english is readable ;-)
Yep. And hehe, I hope my Christoph-English is readable as well ;-)))


> > Again, thanks a lot for the patch and keep up good work. Should you have any 
> > questions, please don't hesitate to poke any of Calc hackers (me, kohei, 
> > muthusuba etc.) on IRC
> Ok, thank you. In first times, I will send questions on this dev list
> because I'm not regular IRC user.

I really hope this helped a bit ... and makes the feature really great
for users. So if you have any comments, questions, ... please tell me. 

And - of course - I also have some ideas how to really improve the
dialog and bring it to the "2010s" :-) But this may require a bit more
work for all of us :-)

LibreOffice Design Team. Make it just work, and look great, too!

More information about the LibreOffice mailing list