[Libreoffice] UI disaster on Windows: soffice -h

Stephan Bergmann sbergman at redhat.com
Mon Jan 9 02:42:11 PST 2012

On 01/07/2012 11:56 PM, Andras Timar wrote:
> I've just found this feature, soffice -h displays a dialog box on
> Windows with some help text.
> Problems:
> 1. Dialog is not localisable. Help text comes from const char arrays
> in desktop/source/app/cmdlinehelp.cxx
> 2. Help text is clipped, there is not enough room on the dialog.
> 3. If I resized the dialog, it would not fit on a 1024x768 screen.
> I wonder, if we could fix this before UI freeze on Monday. I need your
> input regarding how to present this information to users.

Not sure we need either this dialog box or any localization at all:

On other platforms, soffice -h outputs to stdout (or maybe stderr). 
Given that adding command line arguments (what soffice -h educates 
about) is presumably done mostly through some terminal, anyway, I'm not 
sure there is any demand to display this help information in a dialog 
instead of on stdout/err.  I don't know what the current status of GUI 
applications like soffice routinely printing to stdout/err is on current 
Windows versions, so I don't know if this hack to use a dialog is still 
needed.  (The unopkg executable used to go to pains to be able to use 
stdin/out/err even though it is a GUI application, wrapping unopkg.exe 
in a unopkg.com that does the necessary console magic.)

Independent of that, I'm always puzzled when programs localize 
information about their technical interfaces that are English-centric, 
anyway.  (Like a C compiler localizing its error messages, where the C++ 
language constructs are English tokens; or soffice localizing 
documentation of its command line arguments, where those arguments are 
English tokens.)  But maybe that is just me.


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