Design for the split controls and tabs

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Jan Holesovsky Jan Holesovsky
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Design for the split controls and tabs

Hi Mirek, Astron, all,

In my quest for nicer LO, I noticed that we should probably improve the
look of the split controls and tabs in Calc:

http://artax.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~kendy/design-list/calc-needed-improvements.png

By 'split controls' I mean the black bars on the right, tabs are on the
left.  At the moment I think the split controls are those that need the
improvements more prominently, as at the moment, they look like a
rendering mistake, and not something that you can click and drag :-)

Ideally if you can give me a mockup (made from a screenshot) showing how
it would look in use + a separate picture of the control itself.
Currently the split controls are 3 pixels thick, but I think it
shouldn't be a problem to do them eg. 5 pixels if you think it would be
better from the usability point of view

Thank you a lot!

All the best,
Kendy


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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

Hi Kendy,

2012/5/29 Jan Holesovsky <[hidden email]>

> Hi Mirek, Astron, all,
>
> In my quest for nicer LO, I noticed that we should probably improve the
> look of the split controls and tabs in Calc:
>
>
> http://artax.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~kendy/design-list/calc-needed-improvements.png
>
> By 'split controls' I mean the black bars on the right, tabs are on the
> left.  At the moment I think the split controls are those that need the
> improvements more prominently, as at the moment, they look like a
> rendering mistake, and not something that you can click and drag :-)
>
> Ideally if you can give me a mockup (made from a screenshot) showing how
> it would look in use + a separate picture of the control itself.
> Currently the split controls are 3 pixels thick, but I think it
> shouldn't be a problem to do them eg. 5 pixels if you think it would be
> better from the usability point of view
>

Screenshot of Calc with both a new scrubber and new tabs:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_RBf0YVtxzkZFJTRWFZREN3TWs
Picture of scrubber alone:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_RBf0YVtxzkMF9vVXpoQ3I4bm8

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Alexander Wilms Alexander Wilms
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

Hi Jan,

thanks for your efforts :)

Do you think you could make the tabs look like normal gtk+ tabs and let
them adapt to the theme?

Additionally, I'm wondering whether you could remove the indicator in
the status bar that shows whether a document has been changed since the
last time it was saved. Why not just use an asterisk (*) in the window
border, like gedit, glade etc?

Example for a changed document:                 *ShakespeareEssay.odt -
LibreOffice
if there are no changes to be saved:                
ShakespeareEssay.odt - LibreOffice

Kind Regards

Alex



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Andrew Pullins Andrew Pullins
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

Hello,

When moving the bottom split control it is possible to messes up the tabs,
or at least it may seem to some users that they have messed up the tabs.
 if you drag it all the way to the left the tabs shrink till there is
nothing but a slider. could the tabs be moved to the top like in a browser?
perhaps blow the tool bar and above the formula bar?

Cheers,
Andrew

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Jan Holesovsky Jan Holesovsky
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

In reply to this post by mirek2
Hi Mirek,

On 2012-05-29 at 15:36 +0200, Mirek M. wrote:

> > Ideally if you can give me a mockup (made from a screenshot) showing how
> > it would look in use + a separate picture of the control itself.
> > Currently the split controls are 3 pixels thick, but I think it
> > shouldn't be a problem to do them eg. 5 pixels if you think it would be
> > better from the usability point of view
>
> Screenshot of Calc with both a new scrubber and new tabs:
> https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_RBf0YVtxzkZFJTRWFZREN3TWs
> Picture of scrubber alone:
> https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_RBf0YVtxzkMF9vVXpoQ3I4bm8

Thank you!  It looks a bit invisible to me in this form, do you think
you could come up with something that is more visible?  Maybe just
giving it more space will fix it, though?  (I mean, do the control 5
pixels wide, with the 2 lines in the middle, in the 2nd and 4th column.)

Thank you,
Kendy


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Jan Holesovsky Jan Holesovsky
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

In reply to this post by Alexander Wilms
Hi Alex,

On 2012-05-29 at 16:28 +0200, Alexander Wilms wrote:

> Do you think you could make the tabs look like normal gtk+ tabs and let
> them adapt to the theme?

I think I tried it at some stage, but it did not look too well, because
the tabs can have colors, and that would be hard to fit the native tabs.

But - can you please create a mockup with such tabs gimped-in there,
with a proposal how to handle colored tabs?  Maybe I am just wrong, and
it will be OK :-)

> Additionally, I'm wondering whether you could remove the indicator in
> the status bar that shows whether a document has been changed since the
> last time it was saved. Why not just use an asterisk (*) in the window
> border, like gedit, glade etc?

Apps used to do this years ago, but the trend was to abandon this, I
guess; ie. not my preferred, sorry.

All the best,
Kendy


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Jan Holesovsky Jan Holesovsky
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

In reply to this post by Andrew Pullins
Hi Andrew,

On 2012-05-29 at 18:29 -0400, Andrew Pullins wrote:

> When moving the bottom split control it is possible to messes up the tabs,
> or at least it may seem to some users that they have messed up the tabs.
>  if you drag it all the way to the left the tabs shrink till there is
> nothing but a slider. could the tabs be moved to the top like in a browser?
> perhaps blow the tool bar and above the formula bar?

Many things are possible :-) - so best if you can create a mockup, that
way it is easier for people to decide.  Can you do that, please?

Thank you,
Kendy


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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

In reply to this post by Jan Holesovsky
2012/5/30 Jan Holesovsky <[hidden email]>

> Hi Mirek,
>
> On 2012-05-29 at 15:36 +0200, Mirek M. wrote:
>
> > > Ideally if you can give me a mockup (made from a screenshot) showing
> how
> > > it would look in use + a separate picture of the control itself.
> > > Currently the split controls are 3 pixels thick, but I think it
> > > shouldn't be a problem to do them eg. 5 pixels if you think it would be
> > > better from the usability point of view
> >
> > Screenshot of Calc with both a new scrubber and new tabs:
> > https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_RBf0YVtxzkZFJTRWFZREN3TWs
>

Whoops -- I meant to send
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_RBf0YVtxzkS2Rnd3g0T2lNR00

>
> > Picture of scrubber alone:
> > https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_RBf0YVtxzkMF9vVXpoQ3I4bm8
>
> Thank you!  It looks a bit invisible to me in this form, do you think
> you could come up with something that is more visible?  Maybe just
> giving it more space will fix it, though?  (I mean, do the control 5
> pixels wide, with the 2 lines in the middle, in the 2nd and 4th column.)
>

Done (same link)

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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

In reply to this post by Jan Holesovsky
2012/5/30 Jan Holesovsky <[hidden email]>

> > Additionally, I'm wondering whether you could remove the indicator in
> > the status bar that shows whether a document has been changed since the
> > last time it was saved. Why not just use an asterisk (*) in the window
> > border, like gedit, glade etc?
>
> Apps used to do this years ago, but the trend was to abandon this, I
> guess; ie. not my preferred, sorry.
>

The trend was to abandon this, but in favor of using the "Save" icon as an
indicator -- other than LibreOffice, basically no app put it in the status
bar instead.

While I also don't like the asterisk, I really don't like the status bar
icon.
So how about this:
Since the only people that need the "saved status" indicator are ones that
opt to "allow to save document even when the document is not modified",
what if we only used the asterisk to indicate saved status if this option
was enabled, and got rid of the status bar icon altogether?

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Andrew Pullins Andrew Pullins
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

Hello,

Here you go https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Spreadsheet_Tabs.png

Andrew

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Alexander Wilms Alexander Wilms
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Re: Design for the split controls and tabs

Hi,

actually, the save icon in the top toolbar should be enough, don't you
think? It's greyed out if there's nothing to save and makes the
indicator superfluous.

Here's the mock-up for the tabs:
http://ubuntuone.com/17sc4d1D91HWnZUaQdqMSF

Regards

Alex



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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

Hi Alex, all!

Am Mittwoch, den 30.05.2012, 16:42 +0200 schrieb Alexander Wilms:
> actually, the save icon in the top toolbar should be enough, don't you
> think? It's greyed out if there's nothing to save and makes the
> indicator superfluous.

Well, that was the case some versions ago - then the current behavior
(save icon is always active) has been introduced. Reason: There has been
customer feedback targeted at the Sun OOo UX Team that people wish to
press that button at any time - just to be sure that the document is
really saved. So here its not about real logic, but about people to feel
"safe".

Concerning using of the asterisk in the title bar - also that issue has
been discussed from time to time. From my (personal) point-of-view, this
indicator does not reveal its meaning clearly. Almost the same is true
for the current status bar indicator - but of course it's just there
because of the cool TDF symbolism ;-)

So, finally, if there is a need to further cleanup the status bar, then
I'd propose to go with "(unsaved)" instead of the asterisk for the title
bar. Example for unsaved changes:
        Strategy Document (unsaved) - LibreOffice Writer

Of course there are plenty of alternatives - introducing stuff like a
proxy icons (similar to Mac OS X), or extending the "Save Icon" by an
own indicator. Or ...

Cheers,
Christoph


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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

Hi Christoph,

2012/5/31 Christoph Noack <[hidden email]>

> Hi Alex, all!
>
> Am Mittwoch, den 30.05.2012, 16:42 +0200 schrieb Alexander Wilms:
> > actually, the save icon in the top toolbar should be enough, don't you
> > think? It's greyed out if there's nothing to save and makes the
> > indicator superfluous.
>
> Well, that was the case some versions ago - then the current behavior
> (save icon is always active) has been introduced. Reason: There has been
> customer feedback targeted at the Sun OOo UX Team that people wish to
> press that button at any time - just to be sure that the document is
> really saved. So here its not about real logic, but about people to feel
> "safe".
>

This is only a setting, and it's disabled by default (at least on my
machine).
Out of interest, could you point me to the feedback you mentioned?

>
> Concerning using of the asterisk in the title bar - also that issue has
> been discussed from time to time. From my (personal) point-of-view, this
> indicator does not reveal its meaning clearly. Almost the same is true
> for the current status bar indicator - but of course it's just there
> because of the cool TDF symbolism ;-)


> So, finally, if there is a need to further cleanup the status bar, then
> I'd propose to go with "(unsaved)" instead of the asterisk for the title
> bar. Example for unsaved changes:
> Strategy Document (unsaved) - LibreOffice Writer
>

Fine with me, as long as it only happens if the "allow to save document
even when the document is not modified" setting is on.

>
> Of course there are plenty of alternatives - introducing stuff like a
> proxy icons (similar to Mac OS X), or extending the "Save Icon" by an
> own indicator. Or ...
>

To be honest, I feel like this is too much complication to satisfy a very
small fraction of the userbase, at a cost to the general userbase. Every
other application I know disables "Save" when the file is saved, and
there's not any consumer backlash there.

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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

Hi Mirek, all!

Am Donnerstag, den 31.05.2012, 20:29 +0200 schrieb Mirek M.:

> 2012/5/31 Christoph Noack <[hidden email]>
> > Am Mittwoch, den 30.05.2012, 16:42 +0200 schrieb Alexander Wilms:
> > > actually, the save icon in the top toolbar should be enough, don't you
> > > think? It's greyed out if there's nothing to save and makes the
> > > indicator superfluous.
> >
> > Well, that was the case some versions ago - then the current behavior
> > (save icon is always active) has been introduced. Reason: There has been
> > customer feedback targeted at the Sun OOo UX Team that people wish to
> > press that button at any time - just to be sure that the document is
> > really saved. So here its not about real logic, but about people to feel
> > "safe".
>
> This is only a setting, and it's disabled by default (at least on my
> machine).

Ah, didn't know that. Thanks!

Do you know why this is a setting at all? Do we alter the behavior
dependent on the platform?

> Out of interest, could you point me to the feedback you mentioned?

Nope, sorry. It was directly targeted at the OOo UX team (maybe even
part of their usability studies). I had some private conversations where
they mentioned it (if I remember well enough).

> > So, finally, if there is a need to further cleanup the status bar, then
> > I'd propose to go with "(unsaved)" instead of the asterisk for the title
> > bar. Example for unsaved changes:
> > Strategy Document (unsaved) - LibreOffice Writer
>
> Fine with me, as long as it only happens if the "allow to save document
> even when the document is not modified" setting is on.

Here I don't fully understand your rationale - I'd go for consistency
similar to the document symbol in the status bar (always there).

> > Of course there are plenty of alternatives - introducing stuff like a
> > proxy icons (similar to Mac OS X), or extending the "Save Icon" by an
> > own indicator. Or ...
>
> To be honest, I feel like this is too much complication to satisfy a very
> small fraction of the userbase, at a cost to the general userbase. Every
> other application I know disables "Save" when the file is saved, and
> there's not any consumer backlash there.

Well, I have no strong opinion here - especially if anybody comes up
with a decent solution ;-) The point is: adding an asterisk doesn't mean
much, the string "(unsaved)" eats some space and also misses the locus
of attention of the user, ...

Cheers,
Christoph


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Kohei Yoshida Kohei Yoshida
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

Hi there,

Let me chime in since I'm the one who put that setting there.

On Thu, 2012-05-31 at 21:04 +0200, Christoph Noack wrote:

> Hi Mirek, all!
>
> Am Donnerstag, den 31.05.2012, 20:29 +0200 schrieb Mirek M.:
> > 2012/5/31 Christoph Noack <[hidden email]>
> > > Am Mittwoch, den 30.05.2012, 16:42 +0200 schrieb Alexander Wilms:
> > > > actually, the save icon in the top toolbar should be enough, don't you
> > > > think? It's greyed out if there's nothing to save and makes the
> > > > indicator superfluous.
> > >
> > > Well, that was the case some versions ago - then the current behavior
> > > (save icon is always active) has been introduced. Reason: There has been
> > > customer feedback targeted at the Sun OOo UX Team that people wish to
> > > press that button at any time - just to be sure that the document is
> > > really saved. So here its not about real logic, but about people to feel
> > > "safe".

There is another reason for that.  Document not only store its content
but also view properties, but a change in the view properties doesn't
trigger a document modified status.  Here, view properties include
things like (in case of spreadsheet) active sheet, cursor position, zoom
level etc.

But quite often you want to store the view properties after they've
changed, and always enabling the save action allows this.  Disabling the
save action when the document content is unchanged even though the view
has changed is IMO quite unfriendly in this regard.

Also, it's IMO wrong to trigger a document modified status on view
change.

> >
> > This is only a setting, and it's disabled by default (at least on my
> > machine).
>
> Ah, didn't know that. Thanks!
>
> Do you know why this is a setting at all? Do we alter the behavior
> dependent on the platform?

This is a setting because of the presence of those users who wish to use
the save icon as an indication of document modified status.  To me
that's a mis-use of the icon but this practice is widespread in some
circles.

It's disabled by default only because we wanted to preserve the old OOo
behavior.  But I have been asked about enabling this by default several
times in the past.

>
> > Out of interest, could you point me to the feedback you mentioned?
>
> Nope, sorry. It was directly targeted at the OOo UX team (maybe even
> part of their usability studies). I had some private conversations where
> they mentioned it (if I remember well enough).

I also had private conversations with folks who asked me about enabling
the save at all times.  In fact, I myself depend on this very
functionality, in order to save the precise state of the view properties
with a document.

> > > So, finally, if there is a need to further cleanup the status bar, then
> > > I'd propose to go with "(unsaved)" instead of the asterisk for the title
> > > bar. Example for unsaved changes:
> > > Strategy Document (unsaved) - LibreOffice Writer
> >
> > Fine with me, as long as it only happens if the "allow to save document
> > even when the document is not modified" setting is on.
>
> Here I don't fully understand your rationale - I'd go for consistency
> similar to the document symbol in the status bar (always there).
>
> > > Of course there are plenty of alternatives - introducing stuff like a
> > > proxy icons (similar to Mac OS X), or extending the "Save Icon" by an
> > > own indicator. Or ...
> >
> > To be honest, I feel like this is too much complication to satisfy a very
> > small fraction of the userbase, at a cost to the general userbase. Every
> > other application I know disables "Save" when the file is saved, and
> > there's not any consumer backlash there.

IMO it's dangerous to assume that only a "fraction of the user base"
needs this functionality.  Again, I myself depend on this functionality,
and I've got in touch with several other users who needed this as well.
Given that I don't go out interacting with gazillions of users (I only
interact with perhaps a dozen), this is quite significant.

Also, the majority of applications that *I* personally touch always
enable the save icon.  Obviously there are some personal variations with
experiences here.

Kohei

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nick rundy nick rundy
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RE: "Document Saved" indicator

In reply to this post by Christoph Noack

A grayed out Save Indicator is not superfluous!

I find this EXTRAORDINARILY useful to know whether I have added new material to a document or whether I'm dealing with the previously saved version. The grayed out Indicator communicates this in a very simple manner. It's perfect.

The grayed out Save Indicator is one of the best features of Writer!



> Subject: Re: [libreoffice-design] "Document Saved" indicator
> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> CC: [hidden email]; [hidden email]
> Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 20:14:18 +0200
>
> Hi Alex, all!
>
> Am Mittwoch, den 30.05.2012, 16:42 +0200 schrieb Alexander Wilms:
> > actually, the save icon in the top toolbar should be enough, don't you
> > think? It's greyed out if there's nothing to save and makes the
> > indicator superfluous.

     
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Kohei Yoshida Kohei Yoshida
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM, nick rundy <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> A grayed out Save Indicator is not superfluous!
>
> I find this EXTRAORDINARILY useful to know whether I have added new material to a document or whether I'm dealing with the previously saved version. The grayed out Indicator communicates this in a very simple manner. It's perfect.

You can achieve the same thing with the status indicator in the status
bar.  You just have to point your eye to a different spot.

> The grayed out Save Indicator is one of the best features of Writer!

A grayed out icon is no feature other than to convey the fact that the
action associated with that particular icon is disabled.  A save icon
being disabled does NOT equal a document is modified; it simply means
that the save action is disabled.  No more, no less.

Kohei

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Jay Lozier Jay Lozier
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

On 05/31/2012 10:29 PM, Coheir Yoshi wrote:

> On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM, nick rundy <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> A grayed out Save Indicator is not superfluous!
>>
>> I find this EXTRAORDINARILY useful to know whether I have added new material to a document or whether I'm dealing with the previously saved version. The grayed out Indicator communicates this in a very simple manner. It's perfect.
> You can achieve the same thing with the status indicator in the status
> bar.  You just have to point your eye to a different spot.
>
>> The grayed out Save Indicator is one of the best features of Writer!
> A grayed out icon is no feature other than to convey the fact that the
> action associated with that particular icon is disabled.  A save icon
> being disabled does NOT equal a document is modified; it simply means
> that the save action is disabled.  No more, no less.
The grayed out Save button in LO also indicates that the document in
unchanged since the last change. This is a very handy at a glance
feature to know the save status.
>
> Kohei
>


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Kohei Yoshida Kohei Yoshida
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

On Thu, 2012-05-31 at 22:54 -0400, Jay Lozier wrote:
> The grayed out Save button in LO also indicates that the document in
> unchanged since the last change. This is a very handy at a glance
> feature to know the save status.

*sigh*  I guess the mis-use is very much prevalent.

Since we are now going in circles, I'll resign myself from further
discussion.

Have a nice day.

Kohei

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Kohei Yoshida, LibreOffice hacker, Calc


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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: "Document Saved" indicator

In reply to this post by Kohei Yoshida
Hi Kendy, hi all!

Back at the computer ...

Am Donnerstag, den 31.05.2012, 15:29 -0400 schrieb Kohei Yoshida:
[...]

> There is another reason for that.  Document not only store its content
> but also view properties, but a change in the view properties doesn't
> trigger a document modified status.  Here, view properties include
> things like (in case of spreadsheet) active sheet, cursor position, zoom
> level etc.
>
> But quite often you want to store the view properties after they've
> changed, and always enabling the save action allows this.  Disabling the
> save action when the document content is unchanged even though the view
> has changed is IMO quite unfriendly in this regard.
>
> Also, it's IMO wrong to trigger a document modified status on view
> change.

Thanks for the explanation - I got (especially) aware of the problem
when I worked on the new (well, already two years old) print dialog.
There we also had the question whether changes of the print settings
should trigger the document modified status. (I'll omit the details,
since these settings are close to a mess ...).

> > > This is only a setting, and it's disabled by default (at least on my
> > > machine).
> >
> > Ah, didn't know that. Thanks!
> >
> > Do you know why this is a setting at all? Do we alter the behavior
> > dependent on the platform?
>
> This is a setting because of the presence of those users who wish to use
> the save icon as an indication of document modified status.  To me
> that's a mis-use of the icon but this practice is widespread in some
> circles.

;-)

[...]

Without stressing this topic further (without getting closer to a final
solution), I just want to say thank you for your thoughts and
explanations. Highly appreciated!

Cheers,
Christoph


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