Re: Gnumeric 1.1.90 comments

On Thu, Sep 11, 2003 at 06:56:08PM -0700, Patrick wrote:

I'm just going to type in some comments as I play with it so bear with
the possibly rambling nature of this e-mail.

Holy filibuster Batman.  You're not playing around here.

(1) File > Send To
              "Can't open '/tmp/gnm-sendto/.Vn3eYW/Book3.gnumeric'
              for writing: No such file or directory
fixed.  Minor typo snuck in when adding a fall back for older
systems.  We're trying to create /tmp/.gnm-sendto.RANDOM so that we
can save the tmp file there.

      - Should the error box text message box be the same color
      as the background of the dialog ?
Seems like a nice idea.  bugzilla it so we don't forget.
The error dialog, and its infrastructure will get some polish
during the next development cycle.

(1) Is there a possibility of getting the path and filename as a
header/footer option?
Its pretty simple but will take a bit of tuning.  We're actually
printing the path used to open the document now.  So printing the
full name would take much work.

Presumably on export to XLS this would then need to be reduced to
just the filename or turned into a string + the filename.
We'd probably just map our new magic FULLPATH key back to the
standard FILE.

(1) Selection hilighting is strange?
      d. The selection is only hilighted in the top-editing bar
      and not in the cell itself (although the cursor does
I keep forgetting to add this.  bugzilla.

(2) What is a GENERAL format anyway? Is it really the same thing as
implying that Gnumeric will automatically format it as appropriate?
Not really.  Its actually fairly tricky.  Gnumeric handles this a lot
better than OO.  Its a nop for strings and errors, but for numeric
content it tries to display as much information as possible given
the available space.  eg it will switch to scientific notation when
things shrink.  Things with format General should be a lot more
resistant to the '#######'
(1) Can't make fragmented selections by holding down Control when using
the mouse to select cells for a formula such as =sum()
Neat.  I never realized you could do that.  We support it for
general selection, but not for range selection.  Adding this would
be a fair amount of work.  bugzilla as an enhancement please.

(1) Comments don't automatically show after hovering on a cell
containing them. This reduces their usefulness a great deal.
Known.  We solved it for hyperlinks in 1.1.x.  Hopefully we can get
around to back porting the solution for comments too in 1.3.

(2) I keep assuming the little icon beside cell reference boxes will
scroll up the dialog box to show more of the screen when selecting a
range but it doesn't do anything. But I'm beginning to just ignore it.
Ignore it.  That button is purely informational right now.  Its lets
you know that the content can be selected from a sheet.  We'd like
to support the roll-up, it would be an interesting extension for
someone with some gtk knowledge.

(1) Insert hyperlink icon is unclear and 'unpleasing'. Should "External
link" be called "File link" instead? It seems more straightforward.
Inserting a hyperlink does not display anything in the cell containing
the hyperlink. Only the mouse cursor changes. Is this intended?
- Suggest a better icon and we'll consider it.
- 'External link' is definitely cumbersome, bugzilla and we can
  revisit for 1.3
- yes, that is what its supposed to do for now.  I suppose we could
  change the cell content if its blank.  Hard to say.

(2) The icons and toolbars seem bulky. Particularly the X checkmark
equal, all of the toolbars (extra space above/beneath icons?), the
background colour selector and the text colour selector.
These are gnome standard sizes.

(3) Activating/deactivating of toolbars seems slow and/or too visible. I
find myself looking up to see what happened when its only the toolbars
known issue with gtk.  We're talking with them to improve
performance here, but in the mean time we've put the desensitisation
on a delay to avoid pointless flicker when doing data entry quickly.

(4) The advanced filter dialog is messed up visually (ie. the labels
don't align properly).
fixed. (thanks Andreas)

(5) It seems like the tear off menus on the zoom / font / font size
controls would be too error-prone (ie. people who don't know about it
will do it accidently?) It might be cleaner to tear-off if clicked on
and dragged some distance away?
This is standard gtk.  I'd rather not have Gnumeric changing toolkit
behaviour unless there is a really good reason.

(6) Is the ObjectBar used enough to justify being on by default?
Until we jump to the newer menu/toolbar interface in 1.3 we don't
have a portable way to hide toolbars.  Hence it has to be enabled by

(1) This menu sequence doesn't seem to make sense "Insert : Name :
An Ms Excel-ism.  There are other entries in that menu that we have
not implemented.

(2) Or this one - "Data : Filter : Add Auto Filter" (especially not when
you click on "Add Auto Filter" to turn if off).
It should not say 'Add' when there is a filter there.  The label is
supposed to change.  Please bugzilla this with very explicit steps
on what key/mouse actions you take to create a filter and still have
'Add' in the menu.

(3) "File : Preferences" and "Format : Gnumeric" bring up the same
dialog. Neither seems intuitive for what it is intended for. Almost
every other application has application preferences under "Edit :
Preferences" which while not perfect either at least has consistency on
its side.
We're still experimenting with this.  In the end I suspect the HIG
will have the final word.

(1) There is no "Insert symbol" option. Ideally this should share a
similar widget with AbiWord for consistency which is focused on easily
displaying dingbats, legal symbols, currency symbols, etc. (I've been
looking into this a little already).
Good idea.

(1) What needs to be done to get the function library popup dialog
In what sense ?  The docs are not fantastic, but the poor
translators have sweated blood to translate them.  We need to give
that subsystem more power (image, equations, links) but the task has
lacked someone with the time to drive it forward.
(1) Are there any proposals for scripting anywhere for scripting, shared
Python IDE/GLADE with AbiWord/GIMP/etc... anywhere? I would like to try
to distill out problems with Excel (& more generally Office) VBA before
they become entrenched...
There is an experimental interface offered via the python plugin,
but the api is by no means set in stone.

(1) Is registered?
Yes, and no.   Miguel and Nat registered it long ago.  The Helix
Code became Ximian became Novell and the passwords were lost.  I've
been whining at the the Ximian ops folk for months, and they're
making headway.  Hopefully we'll get control of the domain again
before 2.0.

And are there any plans to cleanup the Gnumeric (and GnomeOffice
webpage)? Are volunteers capable of working on some of these
There are no concrete plans.  Trelane, a new contributor, has
started improving things but none of it has hit cvs yet.  Hopefully
for the 1.2 launch.  We need could use some help there folks.

Thanks for the extensive notes.  One minor request.
Could you break it into smaller chunks next time ?  Its hard to
track this many issues in one message.  bugzilla is ideal for some
of it, and will help ensure that things don't get lost.

Drop by #gnumeric on, there is usually someone there.

Best Wishes

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