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


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.)

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

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?

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

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.

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.

@Cupax1, I can’t reproduce with Win7x64 with 4.2.8 / 4.3.7 / Have you play with the options in Menu/Tools/Options/LibreOffice/Memory - Graphics cache and …/LibreOffice/View/Graphics output.

@mariosv and I can reproduce, though it’s not stable. @Cupax1 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)?

@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.

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.

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.

Quoting @jrussell88: “…none have ever been fixed”
I also use mainly Calc, and
43 bug reports were created by me, also mainly concerning Calc.
18 are still open, 3 of these still unconfirmed.
The oldest relevant comment on a still open bug is of 2018-02-08, and I have to consider the bug is marginal and it is about a suggested enhancement. All the other open bugs are “more vividly” treated.

14 of my bugs are finally FIXED to my complete satisfaction.
5 were erroneous on my behalf.
5 were duplicates of bugs I hadn’t found in advance by my search. All these are also FIXED now.
4 cases of WORKSFORME that I didn’t refute.
2 are marked WONTFIX without my consent, but also without my further objections.
3 are marked NOTABUG and I agree.
2 cases of NOTABUG are unclear to me.

Considering that LibreOffice is a community driven project with mostly volunteer developers I wouldn’t say that’s too bad.
We should stay grounded.

By the way (IMO): A commercial competitor selling licenses can never accept full compatibility with free and opensource software. Incompatibility is the raison d’être of his business.

I must say that I fully agree with @Lupp. Being a simple user initially (moving my organization from MSO to OOo then LO), I also started my communications with community by filing bugs. And unlike those that I filed against OOo, which were ~never resolved, my experience with LO was drastically different from the beginning, with many bugs I filed getting resolved ~instantly, some later, but overall quite reasonably.

Becoming a LibreOffice developer, I can say that it’s the quality of the bug report that makes a difference. If your report is clear enough to allow easy reproduction in development environment, it is very likely to be resolved. If the report is vague and/or specific to some (unknown) setup, then it is more likely to stay untouched indefinitely. If your bug is only reported as a rant on an inappropriate place (like here instead of bug tracker), it isn’t reported at all.

(The quality consideration making the difference is specific to bugs: RFEs are different.)


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. :wink:

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 you don’t like the food, then they are obligated to stand there and listen to your complaints also, right?

This forum is not a complaint box. Get constructive or get out.

—Summer Glau

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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.

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.

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…

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).

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