Re: The New Styles

Subject: Re: The New Styles
From: James Montgomerie (
Date: Mon Mar 12 2001 - 10:32:55 CST

> I've always seen abiword do this, when was the last time you used
> abiword?

I was writing earlier on a CVS version I checkd out two weeks ago. I'm
now using a version I checked out today.

> Your proposition is much more unnatural on a word processor, as far as
> can see.

Perhaps I'm being unclear.

I understand that pressing enter starts a new 'logical' paragraph. I'm
not complaing about that. I'm not saying we should switch from
inserting paragraph breaks on 'enter' to inserting hard line breaks.

The things I'm describing are not internal word-processor paragraphs
[which I'll call 'logical' paragraphs], but physical, on-paper,
paragraphs [I'll call these 'physical' paragraphs].

I have two complaints. The symptoms of both break users' expectations
in different ways:

1) I always press enter twice to start a new paragraph and leave a blank
line. I'm sure most other people do too. It could be argued that I'm
wrong. Each time I'm pressing enter, I'm starting a new logical
paragraph, so a new physical paragraph should be started too, hence the
trailing line-space in the new Normal style. Nevertheless, it's not
what people expect. They expect no trailing line space on the Normal
style. They expect to press enter once to go onto a new line, and again
to go onto the next line to start their next physical paragraph, leaving
one blank line space between their physical paragraphs. Our old style,
with no trailing line-space on the Normal paragraph style respects
users' assumptions. Our new one [which, yes, is arguably more
typographically and logically correct] does not. It leaves /three/
blank lines if you press enter twice. Hence, people will be frustrated.

2) The new styles will change how documents people have saved on disk
look when they load them in to a new version of AbiWord, and makes them
physically much longer. No-one expects this to happen, and they will be
frustrated when it does.

I propose two potential fixes:

A) Change the styles back to the old versions.

B) Keep the new syles, but remove the trailing line-space from the
'Normal' paragraph style.

Note that proposal A 'fixes' both problems. Proposal B only 'fixes'
problem one.


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