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[tdf-discuss] Re: recent LibreOffice survey: missed opporunities


Hello,

Wasn't sure if I could email screenshots, so here are links to them instead.

The shelf tags: http://i.imgur.com/mynbl.png
The order list: http://i.imgur.com/74nJP.png

Kindest regards,
Derrick


On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 11:04 PM, Anthropornis Nordenskjoldi <
anthropornis@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello,

I'm a new subscriber, and if this is not the correct place to post my
thoughts, please forgive and redirect me.

I just completed a LibreOffice survey that was linked to from
omgubuntu.co.uk. The sury vey did not allow me to say as much as I would
have liked due to its format, so I'd like to clarify a point or two.

When the survey asked if I used Base frequently, I responded that I do not.
However, this worried me that developers may interpret this as a reason to
not devote any work to Base. But the thing is, I don't use Base much because
I don't know yet how to use it the way I wan to use it. For example, I'd
like to stop using Navicat Lite as a GUI front end to a local PostgreSQL
server, and ideally replace it with LibreOffice Base if the latter allows me
basic CRUD features such as drop-down select lists. And I'd prefer to use
something off the shelf like LibreOffice so that I don't have to learn how
to write my own web-based CRUD front-end.

So I don't wish for developers to misinterpret the results of the rather
simplistic survey, as some situations have additional meaning that cannot be
expressed in such fairly boolean questions.

Moreover, I went into the survey hoping I would be able to suggest my most
desired feature to have further developed. Since I couldn't do that in the
survey, I hoped I might be able to do it here. And it is on the subject of
mail merges, or more broadly, just merges (I don't actually use this feature
in Microsoft Word for anything mailing related).

In the past (with OpenOffice), I've done basic web searches to find out how
to replace MS Word (2003 edition) for the mail merges I do, but I've never
come across any straightforward way to do this with LibreOffice. My request
would be for the LibreOffice team to make this as painless as it is in MS
Word 2003, in terms of both the design and implementation of the feature in
the software, as well as providing a canonical and straightforward tutorial
on how to use the improved feature. Ideally the latter would become the
FIRST result in searching on any search engine, and be kept UP TO DATE.

Let attach two screenshots to show how I use MS Word mail merge. In both
cases the fields are being populated via an ODBC connection to a remote
MySQL database.

In the first case, Avery labels are populated to become shelf tags in a
retail store. That means one 8x10 sheet of labels is not a full page of the
same label, but each label is different, and if necessary, a second or even
third page of labels is generated until all the rows selected from the
database are rendered into Avery labels.

In the second case, a weekly order list is generated in what looks like a
datasheet view in MS Access or an Excel tabular format. Again, this spills
over into as many pages as needed, but each row of the merged table is
different.

None of this is "address book" type fare, or full sheets of the same thing.
It was very easy for me to do in MS Word, but I haven't a clue how to do
these use cases in LibreOffice Writer. It's been easier to keep MS Word
around, so for the time being I've given up. For all I know it is absurdly
easy to do in LibreOffice, but this is not at all discoverable for me, in
either the software UI, or in documentation.

Kindest regards,
Derrick


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