After all these years ... still buggy implementations ... do users still tolerate it?

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After all these years ... still buggy implementations ... do users still tolerate it?

Olle Olsson
 I find it amazing that after so many years, and so much effort spent on
implementations, the oo tools are still in what I would call "pre-release
testing stage".

The main concern I have is that images cannot be handled reliably in oo
Writer.

Modern documents are image heavy. Rarely we see text-only documents. And
often images are photographic. And sometimes many of them. Do take a look
at the main information dissemination medium of our time: the web. The web
has become a "multi media" medium, where it is so easy to create
image-heavy web objects (and where the behavior actually is predictable!)

So what happens if you create an image-heavy oo Writer  document? Well, the
images you painstakingly inserted , have later disappeared from your
document.! What is left there in the document, in front of your eyes, is a
placeholder that signals something like "read error" of "graphic cannot be
displayed".

And there is no way to get information from the document about what that
inserted graphical object was, or where it came from.

So in many respects, you have to create your document again, populating it
with the illustrations you want it to contain. And a day later, again
insert images ... ad nauseam.

When this is the case, it is astonishing that people want to use oo Writer
for mission-critical tasks.

I was nearly saying that one should avoid using oo Writer, because it is so
unreliable. But that would be incorrect. In my experience it *reliably*
loses most images you inserted.

I guess that the official response to this complaint is that one should use
the tool in accordance with recommendations that are offered, like:
[Tutorial] Some useful hints on using images
<https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=86682>
<https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=86682>

Well, if you read that text, it is obvious that there is no *guaranteed*
way to use the tool so that bad things do not happen. Rather, its tone is
rather something like "you might try this...", "If that does not work, try
that..." "disable automatic backup might improve the tool behavior..." etc.

Judging from user comments in these forums, "lost image problems" are
wide-spread, and people are desperate to find a solution.

Being a software implementer myself, my evaluation (at least of the Writer
tool; but if to some extent implementation is shared by other oo tools,
then they might be impacted too) is that the tool does not have a high
quality implementation. It cannot keep track of its own data
representations, and it cannot detect situations that might cause problems.

If reliability and predictable behavior is something that should
characterize oo tools, then more effort should be spent on preventing bad
situations from occurring. Perhaps:
* If certain image formats should not be used, then do not allow such
objects to be inserted
* if certain sizes of objects should not be exceeded, then prevent such
objects from being inserted
* If one should not have auto backup enabled when using images, then force
the user to disable auto backup.

As this is a forum for users, it would be interesting to hear from other
users if they feel that the way ooWriter (mis-)handles images is OK.

Would they accept that behavior is they had to pay some monthly fee for
using ooWriter? Or is it the case that just because it is software free to
use (gratis), then nobody is allowed to have critical opinions about it?


/olle
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Re: After all these years ... still buggy implementations ... do users still tolerate it?

Wade Smart-2
Change to LibreOffice
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Registered Linux User: #480675
Registered Linux Machine: #408606
Linux since June 2005

On Sat, Oct 24, 2020 at 5:29 AM Olle Olsson <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>  I find it amazing that after so many years, and so much effort spent on
> implementations, the oo tools are still in what I would call "pre-release
> testing stage".
>
> The main concern I have is that images cannot be handled reliably in oo
> Writer.
>
> Modern documents are image heavy. Rarely we see text-only documents. And
> often images are photographic. And sometimes many of them. Do take a look
> at the main information dissemination medium of our time: the web. The web
> has become a "multi media" medium, where it is so easy to create
> image-heavy web objects (and where the behavior actually is predictable!)
>
> So what happens if you create an image-heavy oo Writer  document? Well, the
> images you painstakingly inserted , have later disappeared from your
> document.! What is left there in the document, in front of your eyes, is a
> placeholder that signals something like "read error" of "graphic cannot be
> displayed".
>
> And there is no way to get information from the document about what that
> inserted graphical object was, or where it came from.
>
> So in many respects, you have to create your document again, populating it
> with the illustrations you want it to contain. And a day later, again
> insert images ... ad nauseam.
>
> When this is the case, it is astonishing that people want to use oo Writer
> for mission-critical tasks.
>
> I was nearly saying that one should avoid using oo Writer, because it is so
> unreliable. But that would be incorrect. In my experience it *reliably*
> loses most images you inserted.
>
> I guess that the official response to this complaint is that one should use
> the tool in accordance with recommendations that are offered, like:
> [Tutorial] Some useful hints on using images
> <https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=86682>
> <https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=86682>
>
> Well, if you read that text, it is obvious that there is no *guaranteed*
> way to use the tool so that bad things do not happen. Rather, its tone is
> rather something like "you might try this...", "If that does not work, try
> that..." "disable automatic backup might improve the tool behavior..." etc.
>
> Judging from user comments in these forums, "lost image problems" are
> wide-spread, and people are desperate to find a solution.
>
> Being a software implementer myself, my evaluation (at least of the Writer
> tool; but if to some extent implementation is shared by other oo tools,
> then they might be impacted too) is that the tool does not have a high
> quality implementation. It cannot keep track of its own data
> representations, and it cannot detect situations that might cause problems.
>
> If reliability and predictable behavior is something that should
> characterize oo tools, then more effort should be spent on preventing bad
> situations from occurring. Perhaps:
> * If certain image formats should not be used, then do not allow such
> objects to be inserted
> * if certain sizes of objects should not be exceeded, then prevent such
> objects from being inserted
> * If one should not have auto backup enabled when using images, then force
> the user to disable auto backup.
>
> As this is a forum for users, it would be interesting to hear from other
> users if they feel that the way ooWriter (mis-)handles images is OK.
>
> Would they accept that behavior is they had to pay some monthly fee for
> using ooWriter? Or is it the case that just because it is software free to
> use (gratis), then nobody is allowed to have critical opinions about it?
>
>
> /olle

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Re: After all these years ... still buggy implementations ... do users still tolerate it?

Martin Groenescheij
In reply to this post by Olle Olsson

On 24/10/2020 12:29, Olle Olsson wrote:

>   I find it amazing that after so many years, and so much effort spent on
> implementations, the oo tools are still in what I would call "pre-release
> testing stage".
>
> The main concern I have is that images cannot be handled reliably in oo
> Writer.
>
> Modern documents are image heavy. Rarely we see text-only documents. And
> often images are photographic. And sometimes many of them. Do take a look
> at the main information dissemination medium of our time: the web. The web
> has become a "multi media" medium, where it is so easy to create
> image-heavy web objects (and where the behavior actually is predictable!)
>
> So what happens if you create an image-heavy oo Writer  document? Well, the
> images you painstakingly inserted , have later disappeared from your
> document.! What is left there in the document, in front of your eyes, is a
> placeholder that signals something like "read error" of "graphic cannot be
> displayed".
A lot depend on how you insert images, the most reliable way is to
insert them in
a frame. Then there is the option to link a picture or to insert it. The
link option
implies that you don't move the image otherwise it could not be found.
>
> And there is no way to get information from the document about what that
> inserted graphical object was, or where it came from.
Of course you can't get information from the document if it is not added
first.
>
> So in many respects, you have to create your document again, populating it
> with the illustrations you want it to contain. And a day later, again
> insert images ... ad nauseam.
>
> When this is the case, it is astonishing that people want to use oo Writer
> for mission-critical tasks.
Not all mission-critical tasks requires a lot of images.
>
> I was nearly saying that one should avoid using oo Writer, because it is so
> unreliable. But that would be incorrect. In my experience it *reliably*
> loses most images you inserted.
In my opinion the most *reliably* fact is that you always have users that
complain about something they don't understand and they refuse to file a
Bug report.

>
> I guess that the official response to this complaint is that one should use
> the tool in accordance with recommendations that are offered, like:
> [Tutorial] Some useful hints on using images
> <https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=86682>
> <https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=86682>
>
> Well, if you read that text, it is obvious that there is no *guaranteed*
> way to use the tool so that bad things do not happen. Rather, its tone is
> rather something like "you might try this...", "If that does not work, try
> that..." "disable automatic backup might improve the tool behavior..." etc.
Keep in mind that the recommendation is just from an other user like us.
>
> Judging from user comments in these forums, "lost image problems" are
> wide-spread, and people are desperate to find a solution.
And so are user errors widespread.
>
> Being a software implementer myself, my evaluation (at least of the Writer
> tool; but if to some extent implementation is shared by other oo tools,
> then they might be impacted too) is that the tool does not have a high
> quality implementation. It cannot keep track of its own data
> representations, and it cannot detect situations that might cause problems.
If you have examples file a Bug report.

>
> If reliability and predictable behavior is something that should
> characterize oo tools, then more effort should be spent on preventing bad
> situations from occurring. Perhaps:
> * If certain image formats should not be used, then do not allow such
> objects to be inserted
> * if certain sizes of objects should not be exceeded, then prevent such
> objects from being inserted
> * If one should not have auto backup enabled when using images, then force
> the user to disable auto backup.
>
> As this is a forum for users, it would be interesting to hear from other
> users if they feel that the way ooWriter (mis-)handles images is OK.
Whatever other user think about ooWriter their opinion doesn't help if they
don't file a Bug report.
>
> Would they accept that behavior is they had to pay some monthly fee for
> using ooWriter? Or is it the case that just because it is software free to
> use (gratis), then nobody is allowed to have critical opinions about it?
I use it (for free) and yes there are issues, but the way I use it
differs from
other users. I'm able to get things done, sometimes using workarounds.
>
>
> /olle
>

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Re: After all these years ... still buggy implementations ... do users still tolerate it?

Johnny Rosenberg
In reply to this post by Olle Olsson
Den lör 24 okt. 2020 kl 12:29 skrev Olle Olsson <[hidden email]>:

>  I find it amazing that after so many years, and so much effort spent on
> implementations, the oo tools are still in what I would call "pre-release
> testing stage".
>

I don't know, I didn't use Apache OpenOffice for a while, since it crashed
at startup, and I didn't have the energy to send a bug report at the time,
so I just continued using LibreOffice instead.


> The main concern I have is that images cannot be handled reliably in oo
> Writer.
>

Ah, that old problem that I had in Word many years ago, which made me
switch to OpenOffice.org in the first place! I still use Word at work and I
still have big issues with images. I change something and suddenly all the
pictures are all over the place. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, so I
guess that Word is just not for me.

Modern documents are image heavy.


Mine aren't, but I guess you're right.


> Rarely we see text-only documents.


I have a lot of them, but I'm really more a spreadsheet kind of guy, so I
rarely write text documents at all.


> And
> often images are photographic. And sometimes many of them. Do take a look
> at the main information dissemination medium of our time: the web. The web
> has become a "multi media" medium, where it is so easy to create
> image-heavy web objects (and where the behavior actually is predictable!)
>

So what do you need Writer for?

>
> So what happens if you create an image-heavy oo Writer  document? Well, the
> images you painstakingly inserted , have later disappeared from your
> document.!

 From your document maybe, not from mine. I actually searched for odt files
a minute ago and I found one that I made in 2007, 29 pages with a lot of
images in it (which, as I said, is very rare for me, but rare doesn't mean
it never happens). As far as I can see, all images are still there and they
are still aligned exactly as I remember them.

Not saying that I don't believe you, but maybe you just have a workflow
better suitable for whatever you prefer to use instead of Apache OpenOffice
Writer?


> What is left there in the document, in front of your eyes, is a
> placeholder that signals something like "read error" of "graphic cannot be
> displayed".
>

Maybe you inserted your images as links rather than images?


>
> And there is no way to get information from the document about what that
> inserted graphical object was, or where it came from.
>

As I said, I don't have Apache OpenOffice anymore, but I tested this now in
LibreOffice. I inserted an image, then changed its link to something
non-existant, and now, in the place holder, the whole path can be seen. Is
this not true for Apache OpenOffice?


>
> So in many respects, you have to create your document again, populating it
> with the illustrations you want it to contain. And a day later, again
> insert images ... ad nauseam.
>

Well, when I finish a document, at least if it's important, I always export
it to PDF. Especially if I'm going to send it to people. That takes care of
many problems, such as the receiver doesn't use the same software etc.
Sometimes I get Word documents in my email (at work), and that annoys me a
lot. If I'm not supposed to make changes in the document, send it as PDF,
that's my opinion about that… 😁


>
> When this is the case, it is astonishing that people want to use oo Writer
> for mission-critical tasks.
>

And to me it's astonishing that people want to use Word, and that's for
approximately the same reasons. So you had problems with Writer, I had
problems with Word. We are different people with different workflows, so
maybe it's not that astonishing after all.
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Re: After all these years ... still buggy implementations ... do users still tolerate it?

Lucetta
People who can’t use OO, like myself move on.
The tech help here at all volunteers & I greatly admire their enthusiasm, talents & energy!

 Still get get digests as I can’t be bothered working out how to remove my email from the list. Also any info can turnout to be useful & reused in a slightly context. Actually I’m nostalgic about the whole concept & very much admire & appreciate the volunteers who work on others behalf.

At tax time last year our accountant, under lockdown couldn’t get into my OO spreadsheets. Long after we worked out that it was her problem but made it mine. I had to buy a new laptop & Excel. Then learn how to use them and rewrite my spreadsheets from scratch as I could not import the originals in any way the accountant could read.

I posted a question & was sent some seriously nasty messages that disappeared after reading. (Now I print anything important immediately)

Good luck
Lucetta

 



> On Oct 24, 2020, at 7:57 AM, Johnny Rosenberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Den lör 24 okt. 2020 kl 12:29 skrev Olle Olsson <[hidden email]>:
>
>> I find it amazing that after so many years, and so much effort spent on
>> implementations, the oo tools are still in what I would call "pre-release
>> testing stage".
>>
>
> I don't know, I didn't use Apache OpenOffice for a while, since it crashed
> at startup, and I didn't have the energy to send a bug report at the time,
> so I just continued using LibreOffice instead.
>
>
>> The main concern I have is that images cannot be handled reliably in oo
>> Writer.
>>
>
> Ah, that old problem that I had in Word many years ago, which made me
> switch to OpenOffice.org in the first place! I still use Word at work and I
> still have big issues with images. I change something and suddenly all the
> pictures are all over the place. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, so I
> guess that Word is just not for me.
>
> Modern documents are image heavy.
>
>
> Mine aren't, but I guess you're right.
>
>
>> Rarely we see text-only documents.
>
>
> I have a lot of them, but I'm really more a spreadsheet kind of guy, so I
> rarely write text documents at all.
>
>
>> And
>> often images are photographic. And sometimes many of them. Do take a look
>> at the main information dissemination medium of our time: the web. The web
>> has become a "multi media" medium, where it is so easy to create
>> image-heavy web objects (and where the behavior actually is predictable!)
>>
>
> So what do you need Writer for?
>
>>
>> So what happens if you create an image-heavy oo Writer  document? Well, the
>> images you painstakingly inserted , have later disappeared from your
>> document.!
>
> From your document maybe, not from mine. I actually searched for odt files
> a minute ago and I found one that I made in 2007, 29 pages with a lot of
> images in it (which, as I said, is very rare for me, but rare doesn't mean
> it never happens). As far as I can see, all images are still there and they
> are still aligned exactly as I remember them.
>
> Not saying that I don't believe you, but maybe you just have a workflow
> better suitable for whatever you prefer to use instead of Apache OpenOffice
> Writer?
>
>
>> What is left there in the document, in front of your eyes, is a
>> placeholder that signals something like "read error" of "graphic cannot be
>> displayed".
>>
>
> Maybe you inserted your images as links rather than images?
>
>
>>
>> And there is no way to get information from the document about what that
>> inserted graphical object was, or where it came from.
>>
>
> As I said, I don't have Apache OpenOffice anymore, but I tested this now in
> LibreOffice. I inserted an image, then changed its link to something
> non-existant, and now, in the place holder, the whole path can be seen. Is
> this not true for Apache OpenOffice?
>
>
>>
>> So in many respects, you have to create your document again, populating it
>> with the illustrations you want it to contain. And a day later, again
>> insert images ... ad nauseam.
>>
>
> Well, when I finish a document, at least if it's important, I always export
> it to PDF. Especially if I'm going to send it to people. That takes care of
> many problems, such as the receiver doesn't use the same software etc.
> Sometimes I get Word documents in my email (at work), and that annoys me a
> lot. If I'm not supposed to make changes in the document, send it as PDF,
> that's my opinion about that… 😁
>
>
>>
>> When this is the case, it is astonishing that people want to use oo Writer
>> for mission-critical tasks.
>>
>
> And to me it's astonishing that people want to use Word, and that's for
> approximately the same reasons. So you had problems with Writer, I had
> problems with Word. We are different people with different workflows, so
> maybe it's not that astonishing after all.


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