Principle of least surprise

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Principle of least surprise

Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
pretty nasty breach of the principle ...

Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?

Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.

I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
easily removing them!

Okay, I know I can be a moaner but the people who will be bitten by this
are the people who least know how to get out of it. I've probably
damaged my spreadsheet because when I clicked on the cell I wanted to
edit, it's left the highlight on the PREVIOUS cell and I've trashed that
by mistake. NOT nice.

Cheers,
Wol
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Re: Principle of least surprise

Wol's lists <[hidden email]> writes:

> Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
> pretty nasty breach of the principle ...
>
> Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?
>
> Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.
>
> I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
> them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
> hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
> easily removing them!
>
Format > Clear Direct Formatting (Ctrl-M on my Mac).
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Re: Principle of least surprise

On 06/02/19 16:08, Piet van Oostrum wrote:

> Wol's lists <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
>> pretty nasty breach of the principle ...
>>
>> Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?
>>
>> Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.
>>
>> I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
>> them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
>> hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
>> easily removing them!
>>
> Format > Clear Direct Formatting (Ctrl-M on my Mac).
>
But clicking on the cell doesn't select it so <ctrl>M doesn't work! :-)

Sorry I'm being facetious.

But there was a reason I titled my post "principle of least surprise".
It's pretty fundamental to me that clicking in a cell selects that cell.
So *why* is Calc changing that behaviour in a manner that is going to
surprise - painfully - a lot of people?

Plus <ctrl>M doesn't undo all the other stuff like changing the cell
colour. Is there any way to disable all this easily, seeing as I neither
want nor need it? To me this seems like an auto-corrupt disaster along
the lines of the story about the professor entering student grades, and
Excel auto-complete changing all the straight grades to plus or minus
ones. A very nasty surprise if you're not expecting it, and a bugger to
prevent it doing it. And a seriously corrupt spreadsheet if you don't
spot it in time.

Cheers,
Wol
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Re: Principle of least surprise

Wols Lists wrote:

 > On 06/02/19 16:08, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
 > > Wol's lists <[hidden email]> writes:
 > >
 > >> Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
 > >> pretty nasty breach of the principle ...
 > >>
 > >> Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?
 > >>
 > >> Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.
 > >>
 > >> I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
 > >> them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
 > >> hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
 > >> easily removing them!
 > >>
 > > Format > Clear Direct Formatting (Ctrl-M on my Mac).
 > >
 > But clicking on the cell doesn't select it so <ctrl>M doesn't work! :-)
 >

You could click in a nearby cell and move to it with the arrows.

 > Sorry I'm being facetious.
 >
 > But there was a reason I titled my post "principle of least surprise".
 > It's pretty fundamental to me that clicking in a cell selects that cell.
 > So *why* is Calc changing that behaviour in a manner that is going to
 > surprise - painfully - a lot of people?
 >
 > Plus <ctrl>M doesn't undo all the other stuff like changing the cell
 > colour. Is there any way to disable all this easily, seeing as I neither
 > want nor need it? To me this seems like an auto-corrupt disaster along
 > the lines of the story about the professor entering student grades, and
 > Excel auto-complete changing all the straight grades to plus or minus
 > ones. A very nasty surprise if you're not expecting it, and a bugger to
 > prevent it doing it. And a seriously corrupt spreadsheet if you don't
 > spot it in time.
 >
You can better switch off the automatic URL transformation:

Tools > AutoCorrect Options > Options > URL Recognition
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Re: Principle of least surprise

On 06/02/2019 22:33, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
Wols Lists wrote:

 > On 06/02/19 16:08, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
 > > Wol's lists [hidden email] writes:
 > > 
 > >> Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
 > >> pretty nasty breach of the principle ...
 > >>
 > >> Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?
 > >>
 > >> Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.
 > >>
 > >> I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
 > >> them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
 > >> hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
 > >> easily removing them!
 > >>
 > > Format > Clear Direct Formatting (Ctrl-M on my Mac).
 > > 
 > But clicking on the cell doesn't select it so <ctrl>M doesn't work! :-)
 > 

You could click in a nearby cell and move to it with the arrows.

Sorry, I don't know whether it's my poor English or that you aren't a native speaker, but you seem to be completely missing my main point.

THE NEED FOR A WORK-AROUND INDICATES THE EXISTENCE OF A MAJOR UI FUCK-UP!

Clicking in a cell to select it is such a basic piece of spreadsheet functionality, that for it to not work is a major problem. Things like that should work ONE HUNDRED percent of the time, not ninety-nine percent. Any safety guy will tell you that something that nearly always works is actually far more dangerous than something that keeps going wrong.

Oh - and I've just played with the same spreadsheet in Excel. That fucks it up too, just not quite so dangerously. It selects the cell, which is good, but launches the link at the same time. So at least you get a clear visual surprise, unlike Calc which just silently fails to work as expected ...

Cheers,

Wol


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Re: Principle of least surprise

Wol <[hidden email]> writes:

> On 06/02/2019 22:33, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
>
>     Wols Lists wrote:
>    
>      > On 06/02/19 16:08, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
>      > > Wol's lists <[hidden email]> writes:
>      > >
>      > >> Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
>      > >> pretty nasty breach of the principle ...
>      > >>
>      > >> Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?
>      > >>
>      > >> Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.
>      > >>
>      > >> I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
>      > >> them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
>      > >> hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
>      > >> easily removing them!
>      > >>
>      > > Format > Clear Direct Formatting (Ctrl-M on my Mac).
>      > >
>      > But clicking on the cell doesn't select it so <ctrl>M doesn't work! :-)
>      >
>    
>     You could click in a nearby cell and move to it with the arrows.
>    
> Sorry, I don't know whether it's my poor English or that you aren't a native speaker, but you seem
> to be completely missing my main point.
>
> THE NEED FOR A WORK-AROUND INDICATES THE EXISTENCE OF A MAJOR UI FUCK-UP!
>
> Clicking in a cell to select it is such a basic piece of spreadsheet functionality, that for it to
> not work is a major problem. Things like that should work ONE HUNDRED percent of the time, not
> ninety-nine percent. Any safety guy will tell you that something that nearly always works is
> actually far more dangerous than something that keeps going wrong.
>
> Oh - and I've just played with the same spreadsheet in Excel. That fucks it up too, just not quite
> so dangerously. It selects the cell, which is good, but launches the link at the same time. So at
> least you get a clear visual surprise, unlike Calc which just silently fails to work as expected
> ...

No need to SHOUT. I agree that selecting a cell just by clicking is a basic functionality. And so is following a link when you click on it. So now there is a conflict of interests. It would be nice if you had the option to choose which one you prefer, because this is user-dependent. Apparently LO choose to give the link priority. So if you don't like that, switch off the links. See the part of my post that you cut out.
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PGP key: [8DAE142BE17999C4]
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Re: Principle of least surprise

On 08/02/19 09:04, Piet van Oostrum wrote:

> Wol <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> On 06/02/2019 22:33, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
>>
>>     Wols Lists wrote:
>>    
>>      > On 06/02/19 16:08, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
>>      > > Wol's lists <[hidden email]> writes:
>>      > >
>>      > >> Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
>>      > >> pretty nasty breach of the principle ...
>>      > >>
>>      > >> Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?
>>      > >>
>>      > >> Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.
>>      > >>
>>      > >> I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
>>      > >> them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
>>      > >> hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
>>      > >> easily removing them!
>>      > >>
>>      > > Format > Clear Direct Formatting (Ctrl-M on my Mac).
>>      > >
>>      > But clicking on the cell doesn't select it so <ctrl>M doesn't work! :-)
>>      >
>>    
>>     You could click in a nearby cell and move to it with the arrows.
>>    
>> Sorry, I don't know whether it's my poor English or that you aren't a native speaker, but you seem
>> to be completely missing my main point.
>>
>> THE NEED FOR A WORK-AROUND INDICATES THE EXISTENCE OF A MAJOR UI FUCK-UP!
>>
>> Clicking in a cell to select it is such a basic piece of spreadsheet functionality, that for it to
>> not work is a major problem. Things like that should work ONE HUNDRED percent of the time, not
>> ninety-nine percent. Any safety guy will tell you that something that nearly always works is
>> actually far more dangerous than something that keeps going wrong.
>>
>> Oh - and I've just played with the same spreadsheet in Excel. That fucks it up too, just not quite
>> so dangerously. It selects the cell, which is good, but launches the link at the same time. So at
>> least you get a clear visual surprise, unlike Calc which just silently fails to work as expected
>> ...
>
> No need to SHOUT. I agree that selecting a cell just by clicking is a basic functionality. And so is following a link when you click on it. So now there is a conflict of interests. It would be nice if you had the option to choose which one you prefer, because this is user-dependent. Apparently LO choose to give the link priority. So if you don't like that, switch off the links. See the part of my post that you cut out.
>
Sorry. But if that's the case, why does LO do NEITHER?

Point is, if I'm using calc, I'm using a spreadsheet. I expect it to
behave like a spreadsheet, not a browser. And the current functionality
is DANGEROUS. I shouldn't have to go and change the options to make calc
behave like a spreadsheet.

As I said, I only discovered this because I was using calc *as a
spreadsheet* and suddenly discovered that it was (a) making changes
behind my back, and (b) as a result of those changes, I'd damaged my
spreadsheet!

Again, we can probably blame it on Microsoft :-) but really I would
prefer my spreadsheet to behave like a spreadsheet, not a browser. And
that's why I was shouting. You're not addressing my point which is that,
imho, it is a *major* design fail for the *default* behaviour to
suddenly behave in a completely different (*and* *dangerous*) way. If
you're in a car, would you really like a corner case, where, every time,
by default the car swapped the brake and accelerator over if you were
turning right in third gear? The car is being completely deterministic -
all you have to do is remember to use the other foot! Maybe I'm too
naive, but should I really have to mess around with the settings to get
a single-click to work the same way here as it does EVERYWHERE else?

Oh - and this has ramifications elsewhere. Probably the easiest way for
me to try and fix this is that whenever calc converts text to a
hyperlink, is to just <ctrl>Z to undo the hyperlink. Except last time I
hit this in calc, <ctrl>Z didn't work that way, I just could NOT disable
calc's autoformat. Oh - and the standard way of disabling the autoformat
didn't work because it was doing it elsewhere. I think I need to go and
see whether that UI nightmare has been fixed ...

Please. I *don't* want to have to fuck about with the settings, in order
to make calc behave like a spreadsheet!

Cheers,
Wol
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Joao S. O. Bueno Joao S. O. Bueno
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Re: Principle of least surprise

Indeed - 
I just created a 3-cell sheet to check this out, and - it is a behavior
broken beyond any justification attempt.

Moreover, I spent sometimes in the options dialog box (that just the looks the
same ms office did in 1996), searching for a way to disable the "convert e-mail
to hyperlink" behavior applcation wise, and could not find any. (Which does not
mean it is not there, just that it is another broken point in the UI).

Anyway, even with auto-hyperlink creation for e-mails and urls, in the
sheet case it should be a no-brainer that first click: selects cell; second-click: activates link.

best regards,
    
    js
  -><-

On Fri, 8 Feb 2019 at 07:46, Wols Lists <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 08/02/19 09:04, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
> Wol <[hidden email]> writes:
>
>> On 06/02/2019 22:33, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
>>
>>     Wols Lists wrote:
>>     
>>      > On 06/02/19 16:08, Piet van Oostrum wrote:
>>      > > Wol's lists <[hidden email]> writes:
>>      > >
>>      > >> Dunno whether this is a bug or a design decision or what, but it's a
>>      > >> pretty nasty breach of the principle ...
>>      > >>
>>      > >> Why, when I click on a cell, does calc NOT select the clicked cell?
>>      > >>
>>      > >> Okay, I know the answer - it's a hyperlink. BUT.
>>      > >>
>>      > >> I was editing a csv, I've got a column of email addresses, and some of
>>      > >> them have been hyperlinked, some of them haven't. I don't want
>>      > >> hyperlinks, I didn't ask for hyperlinks, and I can't see any way of
>>      > >> easily removing them!
>>      > >>
>>      > > Format > Clear Direct Formatting (Ctrl-M on my Mac).
>>      > >
>>      > But clicking on the cell doesn't select it so <ctrl>M doesn't work! :-)
>>      >
>>     
>>     You could click in a nearby cell and move to it with the arrows.
>>     
>> Sorry, I don't know whether it's my poor English or that you aren't a native speaker, but you seem
>> to be completely missing my main point.
>>
>> THE NEED FOR A WORK-AROUND INDICATES THE EXISTENCE OF A MAJOR UI FUCK-UP!
>>
>> Clicking in a cell to select it is such a basic piece of spreadsheet functionality, that for it to
>> not work is a major problem. Things like that should work ONE HUNDRED percent of the time, not
>> ninety-nine percent. Any safety guy will tell you that something that nearly always works is
>> actually far more dangerous than something that keeps going wrong.
>>
>> Oh - and I've just played with the same spreadsheet in Excel. That fucks it up too, just not quite
>> so dangerously. It selects the cell, which is good, but launches the link at the same time. So at
>> least you get a clear visual surprise, unlike Calc which just silently fails to work as expected
>> ...
>
> No need to SHOUT. I agree that selecting a cell just by clicking is a basic functionality. And so is following a link when you click on it. So now there is a conflict of interests. It would be nice if you had the option to choose which one you prefer, because this is user-dependent. Apparently LO choose to give the link priority. So if you don't like that, switch off the links. See the part of my post that you cut out.
>
Sorry. But if that's the case, why does LO do NEITHER?

Point is, if I'm using calc, I'm using a spreadsheet. I expect it to
behave like a spreadsheet, not a browser. And the current functionality
is DANGEROUS. I shouldn't have to go and change the options to make calc
behave like a spreadsheet.

As I said, I only discovered this because I was using calc *as a
spreadsheet* and suddenly discovered that it was (a) making changes
behind my back, and (b) as a result of those changes, I'd damaged my
spreadsheet!

Again, we can probably blame it on Microsoft :-) but really I would
prefer my spreadsheet to behave like a spreadsheet, not a browser. And
that's why I was shouting. You're not addressing my point which is that,
imho, it is a *major* design fail for the *default* behaviour to
suddenly behave in a completely different (*and* *dangerous*) way. If
you're in a car, would you really like a corner case, where, every time,
by default the car swapped the brake and accelerator over if you were
turning right in third gear? The car is being completely deterministic -
all you have to do is remember to use the other foot! Maybe I'm too
naive, but should I really have to mess around with the settings to get
a single-click to work the same way here as it does EVERYWHERE else?

Oh - and this has ramifications elsewhere. Probably the easiest way for
me to try and fix this is that whenever calc converts text to a
hyperlink, is to just <ctrl>Z to undo the hyperlink. Except last time I
hit this in calc, <ctrl>Z didn't work that way, I just could NOT disable
calc's autoformat. Oh - and the standard way of disabling the autoformat
didn't work because it was doing it elsewhere. I think I need to go and
see whether that UI nightmare has been fixed ...

Please. I *don't* want to have to fuck about with the settings, in order
to make calc behave like a spreadsheet!

Cheers,
Wol
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Re: Principle of least surprise

Hi!

Well - I tend to agree that having the hyperlinks malfunctional is not
nice. *Possibly* the idea behind showing "hand" cursor over such URLs
even without holding CTRL required for their activation could be to
allow user an easy way to identify the links... but even then, showing
cursor does not necessarily imply that clicking should give both no
following the hyperlink, and no cell selection.

On 09.02.2019 6:23, Joao S. O. Bueno wrote:
> Moreover, I spent sometimes in the options dialog box (that just the
> looks the
> same ms office did in 1996), searching for a way to disable the "convert
> e-mail
> to hyperlink" behavior applcation wise, and could not find any. (Which
> does not
> mean it is not there, just that it is another broken point in the UI).

Heh, it looks like placing all controls for what changes input in one
"AutoCorrect" dialog is indeed just another broken UI. We need better
put it in many different places all over the application instead.

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Jonathan Aquilina-2 Jonathan Aquilina-2
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RE: Principle of least surprise

Hi All,

Is it possible to hit ctrl+K to open the hyperlink window so you can clear the hyperlinks? If I am not mistaken that is how excel does it to allow you to add or remove hyperlinks.

-----Original Message-----
From: LibreOffice <[hidden email]> On Behalf Of Kaganski Mike
Sent: 09 February 2019 08:31
To: [hidden email]; Wols Lists <[hidden email]>
Cc: Piet van Oostrum <[hidden email]>; [hidden email]
Subject: Re: Principle of least surprise

Hi!

Well - I tend to agree that having the hyperlinks malfunctional is not nice. *Possibly* the idea behind showing "hand" cursor over such URLs even without holding CTRL required for their activation could be to allow user an easy way to identify the links... but even then, showing cursor does not necessarily imply that clicking should give both no following the hyperlink, and no cell selection.

On 09.02.2019 6:23, Joao S. O. Bueno wrote:
> Moreover, I spent sometimes in the options dialog box (that just the
> looks the same ms office did in 1996), searching for a way to disable
> the "convert e-mail to hyperlink" behavior applcation wise, and could
> not find any. (Which does not mean it is not there, just that it is
> another broken point in the UI).

Heh, it looks like placing all controls for what changes input in one "AutoCorrect" dialog is indeed just another broken UI. We need better put it in many different places all over the application instead.

--
Best regards,
Mike Kaganski
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Re: Principle of least surprise

In reply to this post by Joao S. O. Bueno
"Joao S. O. Bueno" <[hidden email]> writes:

> Indeed - 
> I just created a 3-cell sheet to check this out, and - it is a behavior
> broken beyond any justification attempt.
>
> Moreover, I spent sometimes in the options dialog box (that just the looks the
> same ms office did in 1996), searching for a way to disable the "convert e-mail
> to hyperlink" behavior applcation wise, and could not find any. (Which does not
> mean it is not there, just that it is another broken point in the UI).
>
That was in one of my earlier posts:

You can better switch off the automatic URL transformation:

Tools > AutoCorrect Options > Options > URL Recognition

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PGP key: [8DAE142BE17999C4]
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