Bug 84146 - EDITING FIELDS: Variable field with format 'Standard" value not set/shown
Summary: EDITING FIELDS: Variable field with format 'Standard" value not set/shown
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: Other All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Fields-Variable
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2014-09-21 21:38 UTC by Chas Belov
Modified: 2020-02-05 15:04 UTC (History)
10 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
Demonstration of issue (8.65 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2014-09-21 21:38 UTC, Chas Belov
Details

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Description Chas Belov 2014-09-21 21:38:19 UTC
Created attachment 106626 [details]
Demonstration of issue

If I insert a variable, it doesn't show even though Invisible is not checked

1. Create new text document
2. Ensure View > Field Names is un-checked
3. Type "Test" (without the quotes)
4. Insert variable varA with value "is" (without the quotes) 
-- a. Insert > Fields > Other > Variables > Set Variable
-- b. Name: varA 
-- c. Value: is
-- d. Leave Invisible un-checked
-- e. Click Insert

Actual result:  field appears with empty value
Expected result: "is" appears as field value

5. Press enter

6. Insert variable show for varA
-- a. Insert > Fields > Other > Variables > Show Variable
-- b. Name: varA
-- c. Click Insert

Actual result:  field appears with empty value
Expected result: "is" appears as field value

Attachment is at this point.

6. View > Field names

Result: See 
Set variable varA = is
Show variable varA

LibreOffice 4.2.6.3 (not available in drop-down)
Intel Core 2 Duo
editing
Comment 1 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-28 16:02:55 UTC
Hello Chas,

Thank you for submitting the bug. I can confirm that the writer isnt saving the set variable value in master on Linux.

Version: 4.4.0.0.alpha0+
Build ID: df73f4115cfe4d07e4159adf087571687eb173ec
TinderBox: Linux-rpm_deb-x86@45-TDF, Branch:master, Time: 2014-09-25_23:36:54
Comment 2 tommy27 2016-04-16 07:22:58 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 3 Eric Christenson 2017-04-30 04:45:14 UTC
Still present on LO Writer 5.2.6.2 under Windows 10/x64
Comment 4 Eric Christenson 2017-05-01 03:45:39 UTC
>Set_Variable VarA is (without the quotes)
seems to set VarA to the value of the variable "is" in Writer 5.3.3.1.  Additionally, it wants a number, in spite of the availability of "Text" formatting.
This might or might not be correct behavior; the documentation isn't at all clear.

IMO, this doesn't seem to be the *BEST* behavior, in that Perl (for example) states that a variable is a named string of characters that might or might not be interpretable as a number.  Yes, C++ proceeds to overload the + operator to mean concatenation, but plenty of BASIC languages since time immemorial have achieved this with operators (MID$) and casts, such as NUM$ and STR$.
Comment 5 QA Administrators 2018-05-02 02:32:40 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 6 Cor Nouws 2018-05-02 12:24:51 UTC
still the same problem in Version: 6.1.0.0.alpha1+
Build ID: 8a2745e1beee722c8c9691c397e493cc1160bedf
CPU threads: 4; OS: Linux 4.13; UI render: default; VCL: gtk2; 
TinderBox: Linux-rpm_deb-x86_64@70-TDF, Branch:master, Time: 2018-04-30_23:34:23
Locale: nl-NL (nl_NL.UTF-8); Calc: group
Comment 7 sdc.blanco 2020-01-05 00:05:15 UTC
I believe this is NAB (or maybe a documentation problem).

"Standard" no longer appears as a format, but I assume it is the same as "General" (where the same results can be obtained using LO 6.3.4.2)

General (and probably Standard) is a number format.  The procedure here is assigning a text string to a numerical variable. So it is understandable that Show Variable does not show anything.

If you right-click and edit field on the inserted variable and change "is" to a number -- then that number will be shown.

If you want to show an alphabetic string, then use the Text format.  It works as expected in LO 6.3.4.2

Given how long this bug has been here, I wonder what I have misunderstood.
Comment 8 Chas Belov 2020-01-05 06:19:07 UTC
sdc.blanco@youmail.dk 

In Microsoft Excel, the General format has the description "no specific format." If you type a number into a cell with that format, it treats it like a number. If you type text into a cell with that format, it treats it like text. So it is reasonable to expect that a field with the format "General" in LibreOffice would similarly adapt to whatever I type into it. It also offers other formats such as dates.

LibreOffice fields offer varying formats also including formats explicitly named as being numbers and formats explicitly named as being dates.

There is nothing in the field format list that initially displays to indicate that LibreOffice considers General to mean numeric. There is General, Text, and several numeric options. It is only when I further click Additional formats... that we see LibreOffice considers General to be a numeric format.

I recognize that LibreOffice is not Microsoft Office. That said, expecting users to realize that something called "General" is a numeric format or that the default for fields is to be a numeric format and that if you want text then you have to explicitly choose Text and not choose General, unlike Excel, then this is a usability issue for people who have to move between Microsoft and LibreOffice. At the very least, you could make it obvious by changing the label from General to General Numeric or, if you want it to be brief, Numeric.
Comment 9 sdc.blanco 2020-01-05 23:39:22 UTC
(In reply to Chas Belov from comment #8)
> In Microsoft Excel, the General format has the description "no specific
> format." 
Ok.  The summary for the bug mentioned "Standard". No other information was given 
about which format was used for the variable.

Maybe the problem here is "documentation" and not a bug in Writer field variables?

> There is nothing in the field format list that initially displays to
> indicate that LibreOffice considers General to mean numeric. 

I agree that it is hard to interpret the meaning of the formats (and I could not find any documentation for "General" in "Help").

I will add needsUXeval.

Maybe a "tooltip" over some items in the Format list could help (a little).
(plus possible documentation improvements).
Comment 10 Heiko Tietze 2020-02-05 15:04:34 UTC
Adding Eike for the General vs. Text format question.

But I'm concerned that LibreOffice silently keeps the previous, correct value. If you set varA to 123 it's shown in the document. And this value remains there after changing the variable to "a456" - intentionally with the typo.