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Why does the issue of on-screen rendering corruption persist (after so long)?

asked 2015-01-23 22:16:08 +0200

Cupax gravatar image

updated 2019-07-30 17:37:16 +0200

Lupp gravatar image

Hello,

I've been following OpenOffice and then later LibreOffice for a decade now. With each new version I'm hoping to find a product worth replacing MS Office but no luck. Not because LO lacks any features but because the most basic and annoying bugs are never fixed. The worst one is actually the one thing a text editor should do best in the first place - show you the text! If you do a lot of drag-drop selection or fast scrolling the text always gets distorted, the fonts get weird, the spacing is broken, some lines are crossed with white lines or spots, they are doubled, text is missing... is so bad that it makes it unusuable. I've tested this on many computers over the years (Windows based). I believe the screen render engine is probably very old and noone touched it for a very long time.

So I'm asking a question: Why the developers don't fix the most basic and annoying bugs in LO instead of spending time adding new features very few people actually need?

(Bump: Since tere was a recent comment on the question which I answered by another comment, I wantede to get the question on top again for a while.)

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Have you try resetting user profile? https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/U...

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2015-01-24 17:18:51 +0200 )edit

Hello. Actually I'm not asking for help, I'm opening a debate why the basic and most annoying bugs are never fixed. For the bug I mention there is no fix yet, it has been present for a decade now, still from OO and I believe it won't be fixed soon. So the question is why LO is developed in such wrong direction? Why not make a simple stable user friendly program instead of an overwhelming bug ridden obsolete monster?

Cupax gravatar imageCupax ( 2015-01-24 19:10:40 +0200 )edit

Please which is exactly the bug you have mention?, what is the bug report number?

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2015-01-24 21:50:11 +0200 )edit

Why should someone want to depreciate such a post? Ok, the forum is mainly made for posting questions and requests - and the help then, too, of course. But a general discontent with our software is widely spread, and judging from my experience it seems justified. There is a lack of reliability and dependable correctness. Ignoring this might be a main danger for the project. There are objections against preferring the faulty MS programs, however. A big deal of the evil coming from there.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2015-01-24 22:50:41 +0200 )edit

The bug I'm reffering to is number 56932 but also 58358. These date back to 2012, but I remember the exact same bugs from way before, still from OpenOffice. I'm just saying that there is so much work, time and positive energy from all the people involved in the LibreOffice project and I'm just sad to see that because there is no vision of "where the project should be going" it gets quickly burried by time and consequently less and less people are willing to use it including me.

Cupax gravatar imageCupax ( 2015-01-24 23:10:56 +0200 )edit

@Cupax, I can't reproduce with Win7x64 with 4.2.8 / 4.3.7 / 4.4.0.3. Have you play with the options in Menu/Tools/Options/LibreOffice/Memory - Graphics cache and ../LibreOffice/View/Graphics output.

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2015-01-25 02:04:06 +0200 )edit

@mariosv and I can reproduce, though it's not stable. @Cupax answer to your question: because it's hard to fix. Yes, the code is old, and it works (though has cosmetic problems). Why should someone completely rewrite something that works (as in: doesn't crash), especially when there are more critical problems (crashes, actual data losses)?

LogicDaemon gravatar imageLogicDaemon ( 2015-01-25 09:55:59 +0200 )edit

@mariosv - Your thinking is exactly what's wrong with LO. First, the display engine is probably the most important thing in a WYSIWYG editor, so if it has bugs it doesn't work! Period. And these most basic features should be fixed in the very first place. And why LO has so many other bugs? Because people are adding all the features bells and wistles as they please without any control or overview of the program as whole.

Cupax gravatar imageCupax ( 2015-01-25 10:40:54 +0200 )edit

I really wish LO or maybe even a new reincarnation of LO would throw away like 70% of all the unneeded and buggy features, keep the basic 30% but make them 100% functional, contemporary and user friendly. It would make my day and days of many other users. To compare: if Google Docs would be a desktop suite it would be the PERFECT office suite, with the GUI and just enough functionality. I'm not a programmer but a heavy user and a graphics designer. If I can help in this idea I would be glad.

Cupax gravatar imageCupax ( 2015-01-25 10:46:37 +0200 )edit

Got to agree. I'm a heavy user of Calc. I've reported numerous 'glitchy' bugs of things which don't work, but none have ever been fixed. Although I have been requested to confirm that they still exist. It seems that if there's a workaround it won't get fixed.

For example, edit a cell, hit return, and often it jumps to another window. Press Shift+up or down or right or left, and it will highlight from the current cell to the R1C1 / A1 cell. Enter a link to a cell in another tab, and it won't switch between relative and absolute references. Etc... Some of these bugs are why imports of Excel spreadsheets don't work properly.

I don't bother to report them any more as it's a waste of everybody's time.

jrussell88 gravatar imagejrussell88 ( 2019-07-30 15:42:22 +0200 )edit

9 Answers

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answered 2015-01-31 07:56:40 +0200

Wildcard gravatar image

updated 2015-01-31 10:58:09 +0200

Cupax—

The exact question you asked is, "Why the developers don't fix the most basic and annoying bugs in LO instead of spending time adding new features very few people actually need?"

Firstly, I believe your premise is false. But leaving that aside for a moment, there is a very simple answer (if your premises were true): because they want to.

The developers aren't paid. They are volunteers. They program LibreOffice because they want to.

If you don't like it, you don't have to use it. No one is forcing you to. No one is getting paid because you use LibreOffice. You can go on using MS Office forever and no one who programs LibreOffice will lose any fraction of a cent because of it.

Not only are you free to use it or not use it, you are even free to work to improve it. Pick up a book on programming and dive in.

If it makes you feel special, you should know that even without any experience in coding at all, you can get a starting pay exactly as high as the very best, most expert programmers get for their work in developing LibreOffice. ;)

Now I want to address your premises: 1. That "the developers don't fix the most basic and annoying bugs in LO." 2. That they "spend time adding new features that very few people actually need."

First I'll address premise 2. LibreOffice has been around for years. MS Office has been around for years. People have been successfully using them all that time. They have a LOT of features. Most people who use MS Office or LibreOffice need very few of the features available. Many of the features already present are needed by very few people.

I am familiar with the issue you refer to on the screen display. In actual fact, it is not that big of an issue for me, or for anyone else I know. In my experience, the vast majority of users of LO and MS Office are so basic and simple in their requirements that they just want something to write words on a page that they can print, and to put words in a grid when they want to. I know plenty of power users also and not one of them would care about the occasional glitch in display, as long as it doesn't corrupt the file data or mess up the printing appearance.

Everyone here answering your question is just a user. I won't say a user "like you", because most users of this fully functional, professional level software that is provided free, with no obligations, are not so hypercritical of the developers who are offering assistance with no return expected.

Possibly you are one of those people who feels that the world owes them a living, and that if you don't feel like working then other people must make sure that you have food to eat. And if ... (mehr)

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1

Decent response. Small additions: The core devs are paid but they are paid to work on corporate client requirements not end-user requirements. In their free time they often work on varied and diverse issues. Also the summaries provided by M. Meeks (LO Dev) each release, particularly that for v4.4, provide a clear indication that many of the basic issues are being addressed.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2015-01-31 11:50:10 +0200 )edit

Aha. I didn't know that but it makes sense.

I just realized Cupax already stated in his initial post that LibreOffice isn't missing any features.

I suppose there's one addition to my answer, then, given the data about corporate client requirements: Any features they spend time on that are unneeded by a majority of users, are likely needed by the only users who pay anything: corporate clients. But I stand by my initial answer as I believe the question was "over-snarky" in the first place.

Wildcard gravatar imageWildcard ( 2015-01-31 12:27:06 +0200 )edit

I may not be a coder but I "work" for the project too in a different way: I spend my time testing it, I did it frequently over the last 10 years and I ocasionaly write to forums about what I as an user think of the software and what I would like to see enhanced in the future. My point is that everyone always speaks about CODERS when talking about LO. What nobody never mentions are other "jobs" which are required for a successful software such as GUI designers, concept developers, managers...

Cupax gravatar imageCupax ( 2015-02-01 22:34:25 +0200 )edit
1

answered 2015-01-24 07:00:49 +0200

ROSt52 gravatar image

I also share your thoughts that bug fixes are slow, sometimes very slow.

However, please keep in mind that all is done by volunteers. I also recommend to follow up your bug reports closely by getting mails whenever there is a change or comment at the bug your reported (or you are interested in the bug fix).

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1

answered 2015-02-01 03:40:14 +0200

LouS39 gravatar image

One answer is that "basic and annoying" is in the eye of the beholder. What you or I consider basic and annoying may seem trivial and ignorable to another person. Perhaps a way to phrase your complaint that is more likely to have a good effect is

  1. Acknowledge the hard work and good intent of the folks who have done the implementation we have
  2. Explain that you want to share with them a perspective from other (potential?) users: as much as I appreciate LO, the following bugs (which do not seem to be getting fixed) make it hard/impossible for me to use.
  3. Give two or three specific example bugs
  4. Offer to help with LO
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I much appreciate this answer. We should also regard that many of these 'folks' working on the program are actually high ranking experts. LibreOffice is surely not just a playground for amateurs. Lots of highly professional work (including the results of good management) provided by StarDivision, SUN (StarOffice times) and now some cocorporations committed to the project is present in the result. Not to speak of the working on the odf specifications!

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2015-02-01 16:03:02 +0200 )edit
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answered 2015-03-15 04:03:02 +0200

oweng gravatar image

The worst one is actually the one thing a text editor should do best in the first place - show you the text! If you do a lot of drag-drop selection or fast scrolling the text always gets distorted, the fonts get weird, the spacing is broken, some lines are crossed with white lines or spots, they are doubled, text is missing... is so bad that it makes it unusuable. I've tested this on many computers over the years (Windows based). I believe the screen render engine is probably very old and noone touched it for a very long time.

This does indeed seem to be the case. The particular issue of on-screen rendering corruption in the Visual Components Library (VCL) has now been addressed (or at least a substantial improvement made) for v4.5. The related developer blog post can be found here. It appears this was an especially difficult problem to fix, even for an experienced developer.

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answered 2015-01-27 11:15:22 +0200

Timur gravatar image

@Cupax, I can only partially agree. For waht you asked, you got very good "answer to your question: because it's hard to fix. Yes, the code is old, and it works (though has cosmetic problems). Why should someone completely rewrite something that works (as in: doesn't crash), especially when there are more critical problems (crashes, actual data losses)? LogicDaemon (Jan 25 '15)" It shouldn't have been a comment because it's a proper answer.

But, here is exactly the problem: there are problems/bugs, some critical, some regressions, some long time ago backtraced and bibisected, that stay open for years. Just take a look how 2-3 oldest bugs repeate on MABs (now it's 4.3 - well, you can't do it easily because they are MOVED instead of COPIED if not solved), and some very old enhancements that don't belong to MAB. So, yes, each new version is an improvement, which is fine (now it's 4.4 Release Notes). Although due to bugs I wait x.y.6 to use it. But, just some more solving of those long-standing bugs would be really fine.

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answered 2015-01-25 16:38:02 +0200

Lupp gravatar image

updated 2015-01-25 17:03:39 +0200

@Cupax - Basically I agree! And I also often sighed about the many features I judge useless or even distorting completely what the software should be and should do. That's my opinion. How can we get other users to forego that softjunk, too? How many (often discontent) users of commercial alternatives will give LibreOffice a second try if the first one showed it "was not compatible" what, more precisely, may mean, it didn't support all the antiprofessional direct formatting?

The developers surely aren't a gang waywardly playing their game with our software.

Nonetheless: Correctness and reliability first!

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It's sure that we need more voices in the project pushing for first the reliability. I am dealing with this matter from time ago but not much luck for now, although a lot of things have been done, e.g. http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/... . Please, who can join and let ear their voice about the matter.

m.a.riosv gravatar imagem.a.riosv ( 2015-01-25 23:50:52 +0200 )edit
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answered 2016-10-19 22:03:07 +0200

Actually Cupax has a point. Word processor - font rendering is essential and actually the most important part.

Let me tell you - I am reading legal texts 10 hours a day. Weird, badly rendered text kills the flow, makes you read much slower, etc. It's bad. It's totally useless. This is the reason why I want to quit the Microsoft world. Free of charge or not, bug or not (LOL), it's not the point! It is about swimming or dying. Do it properly or don't even bother at all (the competition will leave you behind).

So, how can we go forward from here? I think Apple has the best and Mozilla has a decent font rendering system. I also see Mozilla, Debian 9 & Ubuntu has very nice font rendering systems too. The free technology is already out there. Can we use it?

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answered 2016-08-29 19:33:22 +0200

CMan gravatar image

I know this is a very old thread - but the OP expresses frustration at fundamental bugs that remain unaddressed after very long periods. I too have run into rendering failures, so often I found a workaround. Save the file and reopen it. Yes that works but after years, it is time rendering gets more attention. Maybe I'm wrong, but a smaller set of features that work better would be the sort of professionalism that I think I the LO project aspires to.

I don't want to sound negative. I see the endless work involved and the too thankless nature of it. I am grateful to the devs and hope not to sound like what they do is not appreciated. I hope only to urge they focus more on core functions even at the cost of removing little used feature clutter.

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-4

answered 2015-01-24 16:33:29 +0200

Cupax gravatar image

This is an example why in general open source will never be good enough for professional use. The programmers may be equaly good, but there is no leading "head" who knows the business and defines what and when should be implemented and more importantly fixed. In the case of office suites, LO is a decade old obsolete software by it's feel and functionality. Even the most basic Google Docs Writer is way way a better software. it may lack some hidden functionality, but what is there actually works as it is supposed to!

Sadly, in my opinion, there is still no alternative to MS Office in the desktop world. In the cloud Google and Zoho have excellent products, but if you want a true desktop office suite MS is still the way to go.

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Objection! Distinguish, please! Linux is open source e.g. and free and the world would no longer run without it. Nor would MS. Important database software is open (and partly free). Linux as well as other open source projects led to highly reliable results. Why is Free Office software not succesful and reliable on the same level? Well, I'm not the big expert and a comment in this forum won't cover the topic. But dont forget that commercial competitors are fighting for their biz.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2015-01-24 23:10:02 +0200 )edit

Yes Linux, especially the server editions, which require you to have a Ph.D. in IT to make it work. Forgive my sarcasm, but it is not too far from the truth. And keep in mind that it is used by heavy-duty professionals only. The very concept of open source is to be developed by volounteers. This is OK, but what it's not OK is how you organize these people and more important, they are probably 99% IT programmers. You need many more other professions to make the software work.

Cupax gravatar imageCupax ( 2015-01-26 08:41:39 +0200 )edit

@Cupax - I'll have to keep in mind a lot not finding enough space in a comment here nor, by time, in my schedule. Examples for OpenSource development are many and surely MySQL in its basics is one while it should be deveoped and maintained mainly by professionals. With LibreOffice, which is free in a wider sense there are also some paid-for full-time developers I think. The problem may lie in "the market" mainly in this case.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2015-01-26 14:19:26 +0200 )edit

@Cupax again: Linux was initiated and developed to a degree by Torvalds as something like a UNIX clone under porting it to a microprocessor family. Still coordinating the now mainly professional but still open development of Linux he is surley a high-ranked IT specialist. The box under my desk I have to use for connecting into "the net" and also for my phone calls works based on a small Linux. So might yours. .. And, as I'm told, most routers in the internet depend on it.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2015-01-26 14:30:57 +0200 )edit

@Cupax - As much as I shared your understanding why some bugs don't get fixed, I need to object your statements about there is no alternative for MSO. I tested MSO and LibO for about 6 month on one machine back at LibO 3.3 or 3.4 and decided to for LibO and support LIbO to the best I can. And I found a very annoyng bug in 4.2 but different to MSO, LibO offers me to change to 4.3... Does MSO offer you that?

ROSt52 gravatar imageROSt52 ( 2015-02-02 02:10:29 +0200 )edit

@Cupax part2 - My new machine runs Linux OS and I don't have a PhD in IT. But what I have in LibO and the Linux world is a great support by mostly volunteers who work free of charge.

I know I am very limited in making commitments for work more for LIbO but I will take the chance @mariosv offered with his link ... nabble.documentfoundation... and see if can contribute in a constructive way.

Last I want to point to my profile, last paragraph "For me the free-of-charge usage is not the reason...

ROSt52 gravatar imageROSt52 ( 2015-02-02 02:16:50 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-01-23 22:16:08 +0200

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Last updated: Jul 30