Randomly lost sheet

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Andrea Venturoli Andrea Venturoli
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Randomly lost sheet

Hello.

A customer of mine reported this problem to me on Windows 7/64b with LO
4.4.3.

When she opens some XLSX file (which contains from a few to a lot of
sheets), sometimes one of the sheet is blank (i.e. all the cells are
empty as if it was a new sheet).
This is very critical, since if she does not realize this, that data is
lost forever when she saves.

Closing the document and reopening it usually does not show the problem
again.

I searched bug tracking but found no issue which seems to be like this
(but perhaps I don't know what to look for exactly).

Any suggestion?

  bye & Thanks
        av.

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Italo Vignoli-6 Italo Vignoli-6
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

On 12/06/15 09:51, Andrea Venturoli wrote:

> When she opens some XLSX file (which contains from a few to a lot of
> sheets), sometimes one of the sheet is blank (i.e. all the cells are
> empty as if it was a new sheet).

XLSX files are always tricky, as they change for every version of MS
Office. Which version of MS Office was used to generate the files? You
have a choice between the following formats: ECMA OOXML for MS Office
2007, Transitional OOXML for MS Office 2010, Transitional OOXML for MS
Office 2013, and Strict OOXML for MS Office 2010. Each file format has
peculiarities.

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Andreas Säger Andreas Säger
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Andrea Venturoli
Am 12.06.2015 um 09:51 schrieb Andrea Venturoli:

> Hello.
>
> A customer of mine reported this problem to me on Windows 7/64b with LO
> 4.4.3.
>
> When she opens some XLSX file (which contains from a few to a lot of
> sheets), sometimes one of the sheet is blank (i.e. all the cells are
> empty as if it was a new sheet).
> This is very critical, since if she does not realize this, that data is
> lost forever when she saves.
>
> Closing the document and reopening it usually does not show the problem
> again.
>
> I searched bug tracking but found no issue which seems to be like this
> (but perhaps I don't know what to look for exactly).
>
> Any suggestion?
>
>  bye & Thanks
>     av.
>


4 possible solutions:

1) Send a PDF if the receipient is supposed to read and print the
document. PDF can be displayed and printed true to the original on all
devices including cell phones, ebook readers, all PC platforms.

2) Send LibreOffice's native file format if the receipient has MS Office
10 or later. Recent version of MS Office can read and edit our files.
And there is no reason why one should not install an ODF suite in
parallel to MS Office.

3) Send the old xls file format which still provides the best possible
(though not perfect) interoperability when editing documents with both
MS Office and LibreOffice.

4) OOXML (docx, pptx, xlsx) is by far the worst choice as outlined by
Sig. Vignoli.

5) Sometimes a text file (csv) is all it takes to transfer some raw data
to someone.


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Andrea Venturoli Andrea Venturoli
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Italo Vignoli-6
On 06/12/15 09:59, Italo Vignoli wrote:

> XLSX files are always tricky, as they change for every version of MS
> Office.

I know (and already suggested they switch to ODS).



> Which version of MS Office was used to generate the files?

Hard to tell... I'd have to ask my customer and I'm not sure she knows.
It's even possible in some cases [Libre|Open|Neo]Office was used.
In any case I believe they've been working for some time with
LibreOffice 4.3 only, and I'm sure some of the files were last saved by
LO 4.3 (Mac or Windows).



> You
> have a choice between the following formats: ECMA OOXML for MS Office
> 2007, Transitional OOXML for MS Office 2010, Transitional OOXML for MS
> Office 2013, and Strict OOXML for MS Office 2010. Each file format has
> peculiarities.

Is there any way to tell by opening/unzipping/looking at the files?



  bye & Thanks
        av.

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Italo Vignoli-6 Italo Vignoli-6
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

On 14/06/15 10:38, Andrea Venturoli wrote:

>> Which version of MS Office was used to generate the files?

> Hard to tell... I'd have to ask my customer and I'm not sure she knows.
> It's even possible in some cases [Libre|Open|Neo]Office was used.
> In any case I believe they've been working for some time with
> LibreOffice 4.3 only, and I'm sure some of the files were last saved by
> LO 4.3 (Mac or Windows).

You should never generate XLSX files with LibreOffice, unless you need
to exchange them with MS Office users. In this case, you must save the
file in ODS format (more stable), and use XLSX only for
interoperability. With MS Office 2013 users, you can use ODS files.

>> You
>> have a choice between the following formats: ECMA OOXML for MS Office
>> 2007, Transitional OOXML for MS Office 2010, Transitional OOXML for MS
>> Office 2013, and Strict OOXML for MS Office 2010. Each file format has
>> peculiarities.

> Is there any way to tell by opening/unzipping/looking at the files?

Of course not, this is part of the lock in strategy applied to pseudo
standard formats. You can possibly understand it from the namespaces
(which are different, but undocumented, for every version).

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Andreas Säger Andreas Säger
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

Am 14.06.2015 um 12:40 schrieb Italo Vignoli:
> On 14/06/15 10:38, Andrea Venturoli wrote:
>
>
> You should never generate XLSX files with LibreOffice, unless you need
> to exchange them with MS Office users. In this case, you must save the
> file in ODS format (more stable), and use XLSX only for
> interoperability. With MS Office 2013 users, you can use ODS files.
>

In fact LibreOffice should not offer to store OOXML for 2 reasons:

1) LO is not ready yet. It may produce very disappointing results or
even lose data (although I don't believe in this subject line).
2) Every single OOXML file strengthens the position of the enemy who
introduced OOXML for the only reason to fight our ODF standard.

Microsoft Office fully supports the old doc/xls/ppt format. LibreOffice
supports these file formats very well. So this is _the_ exchange format
if (and only if) collaboration with MS Office users is required.
Otherwise PDF is the way to go.

Since rescent versions of MS Office do support our ODF formats, we
should confront their customers as often as possible with our format to
turn the tables on them.




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Andrea Venturoli Andrea Venturoli
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Italo Vignoli-6
On 06/14/15 12:40, Italo Vignoli wrote:

> You should never generate XLSX files with LibreOffice, unless you need
> to exchange them with MS Office users.

*I* know (and never use anyhing else but OpenDocument).
My customers know (if they listen to me and trust me).
Then again, whether this knowledge has any practical effect or they
still use XLS[X] is another matter...

Still, besides format wars, we have a serious bug here.
If XLSX is supported, it should work; losing data because it doesn't
work properly is not a good thing :-(





> With MS Office 2013 users, you can use ODS files.

MSO2013's support of ODS is still far from optimal (this of course falls
again in their lock in strategy).
Besides there are still many 2010s, 2007s and even some 2003 around.






>> Is there any way to tell by opening/unzipping/looking at the files?
>
> Of course not, this is part of the lock in strategy applied to pseudo
> standard formats. You can possibly understand it from the namespaces
> (which are different, but undocumented, for every version).

Thanks anyway.





If I understand it correctly 4.4 is about to be published: I'll try
whether this bug is gone.

Still, I'm open to reports from other people who might have seen the
same problem, suggestions where to look and what for, tests to do, etc...



  bye
        av.

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Italo Vignoli-6 Italo Vignoli-6
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

On 14/06/15 19:25, Andrea Venturoli wrote:

> Still, besides format wars, we have a serious bug here.
> If XLSX is supported, it should work; losing data because it doesn't
> work properly is not a good thing :-(

Of course, this should not happen, and developers are working hard at
looking after these problems. Unfortunately, trying to improve support
of OOXML files can create side effects, generated by the complexity of
the file format. Looking at the file would definitely help. Is there any
chance of getting a clean copy of the file?

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James E. Lang James E. Lang
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Andrea Venturoli
So this is an intermittent problem that is not even reliably reproducible using the same file?

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-----Original Message-----
From: Andrea Venturoli <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]
Sent: Fri, 12 Jun 2015 0:53
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Randomly lost sheet

Hello.

A customer of mine reported this problem to me on Windows 7/64b with LO
4.4.3.

When she opens some XLSX file (which contains from a few to a lot of
sheets), sometimes one of the sheet is blank (i.e. all the cells are
empty as if it was a new sheet).
This is very critical, since if she does not realize this, that data is
lost forever when she saves.

Closing the document and reopening it usually does not show the problem
again.

I searched bug tracking but found no issue which seems to be like this
(but perhaps I don't know what to look for exactly).

Any suggestion?

  bye & Thanks
av.

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Andrea Venturoli Andrea Venturoli
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

On 06/15/15 03:54, James E Lang wrote:
> So this is an intermittent problem that is not even reliably reproducible using the same file?

Unfortunately yes.
Otherwise it would have been easy to create a bug report.

  bye & Thanks
        av.


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Andrea Venturoli Andrea Venturoli
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Andrea Venturoli
On 06/14/15 19:25, Andrea Venturoli wrote:

> If I understand it correctly 4.4 is about to be published: I'll try
> whether this bug is gone.

Of course I wrote 4.3 and 4.4 but meant 4.4.3 and 4.4.4...
Sorry.

  bye
        av.


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Andrea Venturoli Andrea Venturoli
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Italo Vignoli-6
On 06/14/15 21:17, Italo Vignoli wrote:
> Looking at the file would definitely help. Is there any
> chance of getting a clean copy of the file?

I'll try and convince my customer to allow me to get the file, obsuscate
as much data as possible but still get the problem and report it.

  bye & Thanks
        av.

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Andreas Säger Andreas Säger
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Andrea Venturoli
Am 14.06.2015 um 19:25 schrieb Andrea Venturoli:
> On 06/14/15 12:40, Italo Vignoli wrote:
>
> Still, besides format wars, we have a serious bug here.
> If XLSX is supported, it should work; losing data because it doesn't
> work properly is not a good thing :-(
>
>


Yes, this is exactly what I mean. If a product offers to write some
foreign file format, it should do it fairly well or not at all. On this
tiny mailing list there are too many reports about faulty OOXML export.
This is one thing where Apache OpenOffice does it right. That program
does not export OOXML. It tries to read OOXML while always exporting the
old but very well supported Microsoft documents which is just fine for
all users of Microsoft Office.



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Italo Vignoli-6 Italo Vignoli-6
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

On 15/06/15 12:47, Andreas Säger wrote:

> Yes, this is exactly what I mean. If a product offers to write some
> foreign file format, it should do it fairly well or not at all. On this
> tiny mailing list there are too many reports about faulty OOXML export.

LibreOffice exports OOXML for interoperability purposes, to serve users
(who are not knowledgeable about file formats).

It does not export OOXML to store data, and warns users about the risks
of using the format for storage purposes.

Unfortunately, although OOXML is a broken file format it is also an ISO
standard, and for enterprise level adoptions you must offer it to be
compliant with migration requisites.

> This is one thing where Apache OpenOffice does it right. That program
> does not export OOXML. It tries to read OOXML while always exporting the
> old but very well supported Microsoft documents which is just fine for
> all users of Microsoft Office.

Legacy Microsoft formats have the same problems of OOXML, and they are
supported exactly in the same way. LibreOffice supports them as well as
OOXML, and users have the option of choosing the one they prefer.

Bringing Apache OpenOffice - a software without developers affected by a
serious security bug (which has not been solved, even if the software is
still distributed, for lack of developers) - as an example of proper
behaviour is just hilarious (because, if the developers were there, the
feature would have been enabled as well, and you should know, because of
some old discussions on the AOO mailing list).

Anyway, if you feel that AOO does it properly, you are free to use it.
Villeroy, you are known because of your activity against LibreOffice on
the AOO forum, but you should avoid spreading FUD on this mailing list.

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Andreas Säger Andreas Säger
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

Am 15.06.2015 um 13:45 schrieb Italo Vignoli:
> On 15/06/15 12:47, Andreas Säger wrote:
>
>
> LibreOffice exports OOXML for interoperability purposes, to serve users
> (who are not knowledgeable about file formats).
>

Those "users" want nothing but a free OOXML suite.

> It does not export OOXML to store data, and warns users about the risks
> of using the format for storage purposes.
>
> Unfortunately, although OOXML is a broken file format it is also an ISO
> standard, and for enterprise level adoptions you must offer it to be
> compliant with migration requisites.
>

Which never requires writing out this shit.

>
> Legacy Microsoft formats have the same problems of OOXML, and they are
> supported exactly in the same way. LibreOffice supports them as well as
> OOXML, and users have the option of choosing the one they prefer.
>
Legacy formats are very well supported since many years. On topic: No
sheets get lost.
LibreOffice does a very good job reading all kinds of foreign file
formats. However, writing out OOXML has too many flaws so it does not
serve anybody because even if it looks right in your LO window, you can
never know how it looks on a Windows box running MS Office only.

> Bringing Apache OpenOffice - a software without developers affected by a
> serious security bug (which has not been solved, even if the software is
> still distributed, for lack of developers) - as an example of proper
> behaviour is just hilarious (because, if the developers were there, the
> feature would have been enabled as well, and you should know, because of
> some old discussions on the AOO mailing list).
>

Calm down. I know that you are the politician of this project. As a
politician you are not interested in facts.

Contary to you, I offered several alternative ways how one can deal with
OOXML without installing MS Office.

> Anyway, if you feel that AOO does it properly, you are free to use it.
> Villeroy, you are known because of your activity against LibreOffice on
> the AOO forum, but you should avoid spreading FUD on this mailing list.
>

Waiting for your command to remove LibreOffice from my machines ...




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Andrea Venturoli Andrea Venturoli
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Italo Vignoli-6
On 06/15/15 13:45, Italo Vignoli wrote:
> On 15/06/15 12:47, Andreas Säger wrote:
>
>> Yes, this is exactly what I mean. If a product offers to write some
>> foreign file format, it should do it fairly well or not at all. On this
>> tiny mailing list there are too many reports about faulty OOXML export.
>
> LibreOffice exports OOXML for interoperability purposes, to serve users
> (who are not knowledgeable about file formats).

Hello.
Just trying to cut down the flame and bring the discussion back to its
root: I think we are talking about *reading* (not writing) OOXML.

The fact that the same file, when imported wrong, can be closed and
reopened fine should confirm this.

  bye & Thanks
        av.


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Italo Vignoli-6 Italo Vignoli-6
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

On 15/06/15 20:54, Andrea Venturoli wrote:

> Just trying to cut down the flame and bring the discussion back to its
> root: I think we are talking about *reading* (not writing) OOXML.

Of course. This was clear for everyone but AOO advocates. OOXML is very
difficult to read properly, because the very same version of MS Office
might save - for instance - a XLSX file in three different flavours,
with different tags for the very same contents.

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jonathon-6 jonathon-6
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

In reply to this post by Andreas Säger


On 06/15/2015 04:12 PM, Andreas Säger wrote:

> Legacy formats are very well supported since many years. On topic: No
> sheets get lost.
> LibreOffice does a very good job reading all kinds of foreign file
> formats. However, writing out OOXML has too many flaws so it does not

OOXML is an ISO file format for legacy documents.
It is not an ISO file format for current/contemporary documents.

I realize that 99.9999% of the people out there don't understand the
difference, but that difference is precisely why a clean round trip
from/to any file format and OOXML is not doable.

jonathon


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Andreas Säger Andreas Säger
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Re: Randomly lost sheet

Am 16.06.2015 um 03:34 schrieb toki:

>
>
> On 06/15/2015 04:12 PM, Andreas Säger wrote:
>
>> Legacy formats are very well supported since many years. On topic: No
>> sheets get lost.
>> LibreOffice does a very good job reading all kinds of foreign file
>> formats. However, writing out OOXML has too many flaws so it does not
>
> OOXML is an ISO file format for legacy documents.
> It is not an ISO file format for current/contemporary documents.
>
> I realize that 99.9999% of the people out there don't understand the
> difference, but that difference is precisely why a clean round trip
> from/to any file format and OOXML is not doable.
>
> jonathon
>
>

Me too. I don't quite understand. Do you mean that the "dirty hidden
secret" about OOXML is that OOXML is an XML transformation of the memory
dumps that used to be the old file formats? (plus new features
introduced in 2007)



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