UX for data transformations for Calc

Vikas Mahato vikasmahato0 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 27 04:20:32 UTC 2021

Hi Heiko,

Let me give you more context.

Data transformations were primarily designed to be used with Data > Data
Provider. It is currently not visible as an option because the UI is not
production ready yet.

So there are a couple of things I am hoping to work on.

1. Create a more usable UI for Data Providers so that the feature can be
shipped to production. However, that would be a big task and I am hoping
someone would pick up the task as part of this year's Gsoc. I think a
discussion with the UX team would be necessary to come up with a decent
design proposal that is also implementable.

2. The areas you mentioned *Data > Streams, Data > XML Source, Sheet > Link
to External Data* also seem good areas where we can make use of data
transformations. However, if I'm not wrong, we can maybe merge them into a
single Data > Data Provider once the UI is ready as it was designed to
import and refresh data from html, csv, xml, sql, etc.

My mentor, Markus pointed out that maybe instead of waiting for the UI to
complete, we can ship the data transformations to the users. He gave me an
example as follows:

*Take already the issue of removing a common prefix or suffix from a column
and converting the data to numbers after importing some data. This is a
surprisingly common issue when you have to deal with external data and yet
unless you add additional columns with complex formulas it is surprisingly

I tried doing it myself and indeed it is complex.

So, we were thinking if we can give the user an option to apply
transformations to existing data once they are imported (be it *Data >
Streams, Data > XML Source or Sheet > Link to External Data*).

We can then reuse this code when full Data > Data Provider is ready.

I hope this clarifies things.

@Markus Mohrhard <markus.mohrhard at googlemail.com>  Please correct me if I'm
wrong or if you have additional inputs.

Vikas Mahato

On Wed, Mar 24, 2021 at 3:05 PM Heiko Tietze <
heiko.tietze at documentfoundation.org> wrote:

> Hi Vikas,
> sorry for the late answer, was hoping for a smarter reply. Thing is, it's
> unclear to me when and where these transformations can be applied. Rough
> guess:
> Data > Streams... (and in this dialog you want to allow transformations to
> the
> data), or Data > XML Source..., or Sheet > Link to External Data... So
> please
> give us more details about the supposed workflow, the scenario, and the
> users.
> In other words who, when, where.
> Cheers,
> Heiko
> PS: X-Post to the design ML, which would be the better choice for
> design/UX
> questions.
> On 18.03.21 12:56, Vikas Mahato wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I had implemented a bunch of Data transformations for Calc as part of
> Gsoc 2018
> > a complete list of which can be found in this blog post along with the
> gerrit links.
> >
> >
> http://gettingstartedwithlibreoffice.blogspot.com/2018/08/added-data-tranformations.html
> > <
> http://gettingstartedwithlibreoffice.blogspot.com/2018/08/added-data-tranformations.html
> >
> >
> > I had a discussion with Markus about trying to make it available to
> users of
> > Libreoffice and so we want to make all transformations accessible from
> the UI
> > through a shared menu entry.
> >
> > Any input from the UX team on how this can be done would be greatly
> helpful.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Vikas Mahato
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > LibreOffice mailing list
> > LibreOffice at lists.freedesktop.org
> > https://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/libreoffice
> >
> --
> Dr. Heiko Tietze, UX-Designer and UX-Mentor
> Tel: +49 30 5557992-63 | Mail: heiko.tietze at documentfoundation.org
> The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
> Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
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