Bug 105702 - Allow the saving of multiple authors into file meta data
Summary: Allow the saving of multiple authors into file meta data
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: LibreOffice (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: ODF-spec File-Properties
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2017-02-02 14:38 UTC by Marco A.G.Pinto
Modified: 2017-07-05 15:19 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

Screenshot of dissertation from 2012 (MSO 2010 back then) (57.63 KB, image/png)
2017-02-02 14:38 UTC, Marco A.G.Pinto
screenshot of Word 2016 and LO 5.3 explaining how to do it (96.34 KB, image/png)
2017-06-25 23:00 UTC, Marco A.G.Pinto

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Description Marco A.G.Pinto 2017-02-02 14:38:07 UTC
Created attachment 130851 [details]
Screenshot of dissertation from 2012 (MSO 2010 back then)


MSO allows multiauthors in the documents.

See the screenshot of my 2012 masters dissertation.

If I open it in LO 5.3 the authors are all placed in the same line separated with ";" which makes it look ugly.

Even in 2012 MSO already allowed more than one author.

This is a feature I would like to see in LO.
Comment 1 Buovjaga 2017-02-07 13:35:11 UTC
Sounds fair -> NEW
Comment 2 Heiko Tietze 2017-02-18 11:29:55 UTC
From the interoperability POV it might be interesting how MS Word handles multiple authors. From the UI POV it's just another field that you add to File > Properties > Custom, either as one of the defaults like Editor or you just type in Author (only the first entry is taken so better Author1, Author2 etc.) Those fields can be used in the document. 

Another interesting field is Modified that also provides an Author (haven't tried). 

WORKSFORME (despite the question how MS<->LibO works)
Comment 3 Marco A.G.Pinto 2017-02-20 12:04:55 UTC
[11:56] <@buovjaga> marcoagpinto: what do you think about Heiko's response tdf#105702
[11:57] <@IZBot> LibreOffice-LibreOffice enhancement/medium NEW Allow multiauthors just like Microsoft Office does https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=105702
[11:57] <marcoagpinto> buovjaga: let me check
[11:58] <marcoagpinto> buovjaga: I am brain-dead and don't understand what he meant
[11:59] <marcoagpinto> but it is simple: LO shows multiple authors separated with ";"
[11:59] <marcoagpinto> just create string gadgets in LO each for an author name
[11:59] <marcoagpinto> then save as name1;name2;name3;
[11:59] <marcoagpinto> :)
[11:59] <marcoagpinto> this will do it
[12:02] <@buovjaga> marcoagpinto: did you check File - Properties - Custom Properties - Add property - Click dropdown, select Author or input your own custom name, then fill the person's name in Value field
[12:02] <marcoagpinto> no
[12:02] <marcoagpinto> let me check
[12:02] <@buovjaga> that is what Heiko was referring to.. of course it does not look so clean as in MSO
[12:03] <@buovjaga> but then: " Those fields can be used in the document. "
Comment 4 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-06-24 21:23:39 UTC
Regina: Is there already a field in ODF that permits the addition of multiple authors to it?
Comment 5 Regina Henschel 2017-06-25 22:01:44 UTC
There are the "sender" elements in "7.3.6 Subsequent Author Fields".
In UI it is referenced by the field Insert > Field > More Fielss > tab Document > item "sender". Is has a check box to fix the content. So when the next author save the file, the value of the previous author is not overwritten. But that information is only in the content.xml, not in the meta.xml. LibreOffice gets this information from the user data in Tools > Option of the current user, unless you disable it.

The original author is a different information. It is referenced in tab DocInformation > Created. In file format this field is text:initial-creator. And the current author is referenced in DocInformation > Modified. The current author is always updated. In file format this field is the element text:creator. These two information are stored in attribute meta:initial-creator and dc:creator of element office:meta in file meta.xml. You cannot have several "dc:creator" or "meta:initial-creator" attributes, because that in not possible for attributes. 

Besides that you can always create a Custom Property in the Properties dialog of the file and <meta:user-defined> elements in file format, as Heiko already mentioned.

Or you can use arbitrary custom metadate elements inside the <office:meta>. But they are implementation-defined and only allowed in "extended ODF 1.2". Foreign application need not handle those elements at all, besides preserving them. For these elements you need a macro, there is no UI. And I have not tested, whether LibreOffice indeed "preserve" them.
Comment 6 Marco A.G.Pinto 2017-06-25 23:00:51 UTC
Created attachment 134281 [details]
screenshot of Word 2016 and LO 5.3 explaining how to do it

See the screenshot.

One just needs to add stringgadgets, one for each author, and create an "Add author" button that adds a new stringgadget.

Then just save the odt with a ";" separating each author.

Just don't allow users to use the ";" in each author stringgadget.

This is a very simple way of solving the problem.
Comment 7 Heiko Tietze 2017-06-26 07:37:09 UTC
MS Word (2010) allows to add multiple authors (issue: cannot enter "Foo,Bar" as the text is taken as comma-delimited string; pro feature: the names can be taken and checked against the address book) and those are saved [1] and when loaded in LibO (5.4, old master) shown at Document properties as "Tietze, Heiko;Foo;Bar". And the multiple authors are saved correctly [2] with our odt format.

The use case is to insert a field with many authors. That works in Word [3] (the part looks like a field in the document) but is loaded as text in LibO [4]. However, inserting the author field works in LibO like a charm.

So I think we should go ahead and implement a simple way to extend the authors.

[1] core.xml <dc:creator>Tietze, Heiko;Foo;Bar</dc:creator>
[2] meta.xml <meta:initial-creator>Tietze, Heiko;Foo;Bar</meta:initial-creator><dc:creator>Tietze, Heiko</dc:creator>...
[3] document.xml <w:t>Tietze, Heiko;Foo;Bar</w:t>
[4] content.xml <text:span text:style-name="T1">Tietze, Heiko;Foo;Bar</text:span>
Comment 8 Marco A.G.Pinto 2017-06-26 11:09:34 UTC
Anyway, my whole comment can be simplified in one line of IRC text:

[12:04] <marcoagpinto> to have multi-authors, no need for complex stuff, just have a stringgadget for each author and a "add author" button, then save each with a ";" separating
Comment 9 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-07-01 12:02:33 UTC
(In reply to Marco A.G.Pinto from comment #8)
> Anyway, my whole comment can be simplified in one line of IRC text:
> [12:04] <marcoagpinto> to have multi-authors, no need for complex stuff,
> just have a stringgadget for each author and a "add author" button, then
> save each with a ";" separating

Implementing the feature would be very simple, but the ODF specification for <meta:initial-creator>[1] is "The element specifies the name of the initial creator of a document", which doesnt permit the addition of additional authors to the element.

If this is integrated into the file properties dialog, then we would likely need a dedicated line for authors and the ability to modify, add, and delete an author. You should be able to add the current author, as well as an author that can be typed out in a text field.

[1] http://docs.oasis-open.org/office/v1.2/os/OpenDocument-v1.2-os-part1.html#element-meta_initial-creator
Comment 10 Michael Stahl (CIB) 2017-07-05 15:19:42 UTC
i get the impression that multiple <meta:initial-creator> elements
are technically allowed by the schema, so a bigger problem is that the
UNO API for this is just a single "string" attribute.