Bug 123599 - New wizard for filling bank checks
Summary: New wizard for filling bank checks
Status: RESOLVED NOTOURBUG
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
unspecified
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: accessibility, needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Wizard
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Reported: 2019-02-20 18:22 UTC by cwendling
Modified: 2019-02-27 17:28 UTC (History)
7 users (show)

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Description cwendling 2019-02-20 18:22:35 UTC
Description:
We at Hypra would like to introduce a new wizard (under File -> Wizards) to help filling bank checks and print the contents on actual checks.  This would be handy for everyone that has several checks to write, and especially to visually impaired people that can't easily fill a bank check manually.


There would be support for filling both sides of checks, depending on whether one's emitting or receiving a check.

When filling the check front side for check emission, we'd be able to fill everything: numerical amount, full text amount, recipient, date, place where the check was made, and optionally a signature image.

When filling the back side, we'd be able to write account number, account owner name, date, comments and optionally a signature.

Each field would have a default based on User Data or current date, and things line full-text amount would be automatically generated from the numerical amount.  We'd try and remember previously used values for fields like recipient name or account number and propose them e.g. in an editable listbox to ease reuse.


As checks unfortunately don't have a perfectly standard layout, we think about having templates for every supported bank.  We plan to work mostly on French banks templates because that's what we actually deal with, but we'd make sure it works with international banks and to make it reasonably easy to add support for a new bank's check layout.


This wizard would be fairly similar to e.g. the Letter wizard, but would result in an actual document rather than a template, that can be printed right away. Ideally, it would propose printing from the wizard itself, to save an extra step.


To be able to insert a signature, we'll need the user to provide an image file with his signature on it.  This would ideally be defined in the User Data options pane.
It would also be nice to have currency as User Data, with a sane default depending on the locale/region but that the user can select if he is most commonly preparing checks in another currency.


What do you think about this, would it be an acceptable feature in LibreOffice, and would you have any comment on the proposal?

Steps to Reproduce:
N/A

Actual Results:
N/A

Expected Results:
N/A


Reproducible: Always


User Profile Reset: No



Additional Info:
Comment 1 raal 2019-02-21 05:30:02 UTC
Why not do an extension?
Comment 2 cwendling 2019-02-21 09:55:16 UTC
(In reply to raal from comment #1)
> Why not do an extension?

I'm not familiar with extensions yet, but although I guess indeed the wizard itself could be one, we'd love tight integration for the additional User Data, and I imagine an extension can't simply add fields there, can it?

But in any case, I have nothing against making it an extension if it's how you think it's best, and if it can do what we'd like.
Comment 3 Samuel Thibault 2019-02-21 10:10:56 UTC
The additional user data could be integrated in libreoffice and the wizard be an extension using that additional user data.

My concern with making it an extension is the maintenance in the long run. The maintainers of the extension would have to notice API changes etc. and act accordingly in the long run.
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2019-02-21 11:06:03 UTC
The maintenance issue is the same when the code goes into the core.

But let's talk about the basics first. I doubt all checks are the same. Not only the position of fields but also the sequence. And yes, templates could be a proper solution here. However, those templates would spam the list/start center and should go at least into a separate folder.

Is your focus on a11y or on support? In the first case you may want to go step-by-step through the form by asking for every single value, the second could involve filling the data from a large list similar to mail merge. 

(The a11y "only" scenario would speak for an extension, IMHO)
Comment 5 cwendling 2019-02-21 13:15:38 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #4)
> The maintenance issue is the same when the code goes into the core.

With the slight but significant difference that API change would be picked up earlier and automatically I guess.

> […] However, those templates would spam the
> list/start center and should go at least into a separate folder.

Yes.

> Is your focus on a11y or on support? In the first case you may want to go
> step-by-step through the form by asking for every single value, the second
> could involve filling the data from a large list similar to mail merge. 

We'd focus on the a11y aspect first, but ideally we'd support both.  Being able to emit a series of checks would be very handy, and likely one of the key feature appealing to most users.
However, I'd think first start with a single output, that should be reasonably easy to expand to auto-fill from a linked data source.
Comment 6 Alex ARNAUD 2019-02-26 08:28:43 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #4)
> The maintenance issue is the same when the code goes into the core.

With my little experience in the open-source I'm not sure to share your opinion on this. 
If we make a extension, users need to be aware of it and need to install it manually. Users can't discover it from the menu.
Also in term of maintenance creating an extension would make it less tested and used than it could be if it was shipped directly inside LibreOffice. 
Also a source-code included in LibreOffice is trusted whereas a third-party things is less reliable for a end-user, especially for creating checks.

> But let's talk about the basics first. I doubt all checks are the same. Not
> only the position of fields but also the sequence. And yes, templates could

Keep in mind that for now we need a way for visual-impaired people to fill the checks without using LibreOffice forms that are currently unfortunately not accessible at all. 

> be a proper solution here. However, those templates would spam the
> list/start center and should go at least into a separate folder.

Indeed, thanks for noticing that.
 
> Is your focus on a11y or on support? In the first case you may want to go
> step-by-step through the form by asking for every single value, the second
> could involve filling the data from a large list similar to mail merge. 

Using mail merge could be an expert mode for the feature. Right now, asking the blind version of Benjamin is IMHO a little bit hard to what we expect to create: a simple way to fill checks.

> (The a11y "only" scenario would speak for an extension, IMHO)

A11y means in most head "disabled" people as if was a sort of rare use-case. In practice, all those people could have difficulties to fill checks:
- Visual-impaired
- Blind
- Elderly
- disabled motor
- dyslexic
- People with Parkinson's disease
- etc

Disabled people in the US represent 20% of the US population older than 5, see
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disability_in_the_United_States

Also creating a simple tool could help all Benjamin all over the world to avoid to learn how to use mail merge.

In conclusion, I really see how the LibreOffice world could be better with this feature. We could announce a new feature and open new perspective to users. 

Best regards,
Alex.
Comment 7 Samuel Mehrbrodt (CIB) 2019-02-26 11:23:42 UTC
My take is: This is a very good candidate for an extension, but not for a core feature.
This is a very specific use case and as you say, each bank has different checks. Providing templates for all banks in the world is not LO's responsibility.

Regarding maintenance: The API is *very* stable. If you don't use deprecated interfaces, you can expect your extension to work for many years without changes.

So IMO this (despite being a good idea) is NOTOURBUG :)
Comment 8 sophie 2019-02-27 17:25:44 UTC
I agree with Samuel here and there is also the fact that checks doesn't exist in several countries and tend to disappear in several others. So an extension would be more appropriate for this good idea :) Sophie
Comment 9 Jean-Philippe MENGUAL 2019-02-27 17:28:48 UTC
Hi,

I am at the origin of this idea to have it in LO, because I think it is a feature which can be used by everybody, not only blind people. And beyond the fact it would be more safe to have it maintained properly in the core, I thought it was better as it enabled to have the feature in an existing dialog/command, eg. Wizard.

(In reply to Samuel Mehrbrodt (CIB) from comment #7)
> My take is: This is a very good candidate for an extension, but not for a
> core feature.
> This is a very specific use case and as you say, each bank has different

Specific I dont think, really, everybody needing to fill checks may like this, in particular in companies where payment is by checks for some administrative processes.


> checks. Providing templates for all banks in the world is not LO's
> responsibility.

And here you are right. The problem of our current idea is that just French people can use it safely. I dont know how checks are in other countries. And I understand LO cannot have in the core a so specific feature.

Rgards
> 
> Regarding maintenance: The API is *very* stable. If you don't use deprecated
> interfaces, you can expect your extension to work for many years without
> changes.
> 
> So IMO this (despite being a good idea) is NOTOURBUG :)