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

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

@Cupax1 - 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.

@Cupax1 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.

@Cupax1 - 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?

@Cupax1 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…

@Cupax1 - 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!

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/Libreoffice-qa-Looking-for-a-new-approach-in-QA-workflow-tc4052468.html. Please, who can join and let ear their voice about the matter.

@Cupax1, 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.

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.

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.