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My first impression is, Base doesn't work

 
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Silvercode
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: My first impression is, Base doesn't work Reply with quote

So, I created this database and one table. All went quite well that far. Then I opened the table, but couldn't input any data. That is a usability issue. Then I created a form that also displays data, but couldn't input any data. Now I felt very dissappointed. Then I created a form that is used to input new data, but couldn't. That was the last straw breaking. I don't like this base software.

What went wrong? I couldn't use the software. Nothing much, you might say? Or "read the manual"? Wrong answers. The software should work as I intend, not as someone else intends.


Last edited by Silvercode on Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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hol.sten
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: My first impression is, Base doesn't work Reply with quote

Silvercode wrote:
So, I created this database

OOo version? Operating system?

Silvercode wrote:
and one table.

What type of columns? Did you select a primary key?

Silvercode wrote:
Then I opened the table, but couldn't input any data.

Sounds to me, as if you didn't select a primary key. OOo shows an error message and offers to insert a primary key if you didn't select one by pressing the right mouse button on your primary key column.

Silvercode wrote:
That is a usability issue.

More likely a primary key issue.
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Silvercode
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hah, a primary key issue. Is there a problem me having no primary key?
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hol.sten
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silvercode wrote:
Is there a problem me having no primary key?

If your table has no primary key, you cannot insert any records. So, yes, it sounds like a problem.
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Silvercode
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can insert records in tables that have no primary key. But not with Base. That is a problem.
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Sliderule
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silvercode:

You said, in your first post:
Silvercode wrote:
The software should work as I inted, not as someone else intends.

You were advised, by hol.sten:
hol.sten wrote:
If your table has no primary key, you cannot insert any records. So, yes, it sounds like a problem.

You have responded:
Silvercode wrote:
I can insert records in tables that have no primary key. But not with Base. That is a problem.

Therefore, "if you can insert records in tables that have no primary key", you have no problem. Base, as a 'real' database programme, does require each table that is to be 'edited' by the user to include a Primary Key. That is a principle of a database.

Bottom line, if you wish to use OpenOffice Base to 'input' data in your table, create the Primary Key, OR, use your other method that you have say you can insert records . . . "that have no primary key".

If you do not know how to create a primary key . . . ask. A software programme can only do what a user tells it to do, if and when the user can 'properly' tell it to perform a task.

Sliderule
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Silvercode
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is that principle declared, that there should always be a primary key? Where is the list of database principles? Do you think normal office type software users care a bit about some mysterious principles that sound more like a religion to them?

Anyway, I tried to put a primary key in the first place, but there was no button for it. So, that is an other usability issue, even more serious than not having the primary key. How can I put a primary key, if there is no button to do it? I only saw a button for managing indexes, but that is too laborous to use, which is a usability issue too. Software should be easy to use. Normal people might not even know that a primary key is one kind of an index too.

I admit that Base offered to create a primary key for me. I selected no, because I had my key already though failed to make it a primary one, thanks to the poor usability. Then I started to use my table, but what happened? I just couldn't use the table I managed to create. I didn't notice anything about not being able to use a table if it doesn't have a primary key, but there Base just hit me with this ReadOnly text straight to my face. Do you call that usable?
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Sliderule
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silvercode:

You asked:
Silvercode wrote:
Where is that principle declared, that there should always be a primary key? Where is the list of database principles? Do you think normal office type software users care a bit about some mysterious principles that sound more like a religion to them?


Are you willing to 'educate' yourself on databases and database uses . . . if so . . . please do an internet search. For example, Wikipedia says:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database wrote:
A special case of an index is a primary index, or primary key, which is distinguished in that the primary index must ensure a unique reference to a record. Often, for this purpose one simply uses a running index number (ID number). Primary indexes play a significant role in relational databases, and they can speed up access to data considerably.


"Normal, office type software users" . . . if they want to use a database, just like anything else, need to learn to use the software. If you do not wish to do that, great. If you wish to do that, great. The choice is yours.

Silvercode wrote:
Anyway, I tried to put a primary key in the first place, but there was no button for it. So, that is an other usability issue, even more serious than not having the primary key.

If you can only do things a button . . . so be it. Otherwise, please read what is below.

OpenOffice Base Help - primary key;database tables wrote:
Include a "primary key" data field. Base needs a primary key to be able to edit the table contents. A primary key has unique contents for each data record. For example, insert a numerical field, right-click the first column, and choose Primary Key from the context menu. Set AutoValue to "Yes", so Base can automatically increment the value for each new record.


Silvercode wrote:
I admit that Base offered to create a primary key for me.

Thank you for "admitting" that. Glad I could help.

Sliderule

Thanks to add [Solved] in your first post title (edit button) if your issue has been fixed / resolved.
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Silvercode
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sliderule wrote:
Are you willing to 'educate' yourself on databases and database uses . . . if so . . . please do an internet search. For example, Wikipedia says:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database wrote:
A special case of an index is a primary index, or primary key, which is distinguished in that the primary index must ensure a unique reference to a record. Often, for this purpose one simply uses a running index number (ID number). Primary indexes play a significant role in relational databases, and they can speed up access to data considerably.


Normal, office type software users, don't want to do a Wikipedia search before they start using some software. It would be far more user friendly to add "Primary key"-button to the toolbar and then inform the user on table save that he cannot use the table unless there is a primary key. There could be a checkbox "Don't show this message again" for advanced users. And I don't see that principle saying "You cannot use a table without a primary key."

Also I checked out the index management dialog, but I saw no possibility to a add primary key, even though that Wikipedia citation says that a primary key is one kind of an index. When I finally created the primary key and went back to the index management, there was suddenly a unique index that was not labeled as a primary key. How do you suppose I know what index is a primary key and what is not, if there is no mark for it? This is obviously a usability issue.

sliderule wrote:
"Normal, office type software users" . . . if they want to use a database, just like anything else, need to learn to use the software. If you do not wish to do that, great. If you wish to do that, great. The choice is yours.


No, my choice (at the moment) is whether I use a usable database software or Base. I hope they make Base easier to use in the future.

sliderule wrote:
If you can only do things a button . . . so be it. Otherwise, please read what is below.

OpenOffice Base Help - primary key;database tables wrote:
Include a "primary key" data field. Base needs a primary key to be able to edit the table contents. A primary key has unique contents for each data record. For example, insert a numerical field, right-click the first column, and choose Primary Key from the context menu. Set AutoValue to "Yes", so Base can automatically increment the value for each new record.


Why only right click allows me to add a primary key? I would say that adding primary key -function is really so commonly used and utmostly essential a feature, that it deserves a place in the toolbar. I mean, that is why the toolbar is for - providing quick access to often used functions. This is a very serious usability issue. And I don't want to configure function to the toolbar that should be there by pure logic already.

sliderule wrote:
Thanks to add [Solved] in your first post title (edit button) if your issue has been fixed / resolved.


My issue is not solved, because nothing has changed. Thanks for helping me use Base, but I have wasted time here. Time wasting is one big problem in computers nowadays. They talk about microwaiting where applications and appliances take one minute of your time here and one there and in the end of the week you have lost an hour or more. For example Windows boots up too slowly, your phone starts up too slowly, and so on. But also finding out how stuff works and adjusting settings and reporting bugs is just needless wasting of time.
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helmerj
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For crying out loud stop being such a whiner! Already the tone of your first post is out of line. The longer this thread last the more annoying it got. If you would like to use software that works the way YOU intent it it too, I am afraid you will have to write it yourself.

If you think you have usability issues, great. OpenOffice is an open project and if you fancy yourself being a usability expert, write an enhancement request. I think we are all aware, that OO is not perfect. As I think it is not. no software ever is.

But if I find something I don't like, or don't work, I write a post inquiring in a friendly sort of way if there is something wrong with the software while at the same time offering the possibility that I might not get it or do something wrong.
You all blame it on the software. If you don't like it, don't use it. If you think you are up to the challenge, and I would love you to try as I think you will find this to be a nice and very helpful forum and Oo to be a nice and rather great piece of free software, then you will have to learn a bit about it.

Cheers Juergen

BTW: In order to make your key field the primary key you will have to right click the field and chose make primary key set it to auto increment in the drop down menu below to have it increment automatically. A short glance at the manual would have gotten you there much sooner...
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Silvercode
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

helmerj wrote:
For crying out loud stop being such a whiner! Already the tone of your first post is out of line. The longer this thread last the more annoying it got. If you would like to use software that works the way YOU intent it it too, I am afraid you will have to write it yourself.


Well, I am afraid that the usability issues I listed are so fundamentally elementary mistakes, that I have no choice but to write what I feel about the software. If more people wrote what they felt, the world would be a lot better place. And what do you do if my impression as a user is that the software doesn't work? Blame me a whiner? Or thank me for giving valuable user experience and usability test results for you?

helmerj wrote:
If you think you have usability issues, great. OpenOffice is an open project and if you fancy yourself being a usability expert, write an enhancement request. I think we are all aware, that OO is not perfect. As I think it is not. no software ever is.


Yes, I have noticed that no software is perfect. But that is not an excuse for not being perfect or at least good.

helmerj wrote:
But if I find something I don't like, or don't work, I write a post inquiring in a friendly sort of way if there is something wrong with the software while at the same time offering the possibility that I might not get it or do something wrong.


The software should be usable in the first place, so I am right. What is this talk about friendliness? The software either works nicely or it doesn't. Is OO only for friendly people who subtly hint that there might be something wrong or just forgets about it and writes a piece of software straight away by themselves?

helmerj wrote:
You all blame it on the software. If you don't like it, don't use it. If you think you are up to the challenge, and I would love you to try as I think you will find this to be a nice and very helpful forum and Oo to be a nice and rather great piece of free software, then you will have to learn a bit about it.


You are right and I might be wrong, but if there is not even a primary key -button in the toolbar, I think alert bells needs to be ringed or something. In my opinion.
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hol.sten
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silvercode wrote:
if there is not even a primary key -button in the toolbar, I think alert bells needs to be ringed or something. In my opinion.

At least you are right here. I think that the usability of setting a primary key can be improved, too. Although I wouldn't use the way you did it here. This is a user-to-user forum, so all we do here is help others use the software. This forum is unrelated to OpenOffice.org. You can read exactly this in various post throughout this forum.

If you want to improve OOo, contribute: http://contributing.openoffice.org/
Or file an issue: http://qa.openoffice.org/issue_handling/project_issues.html
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Silvercode
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I filed an issue there for the button.
http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=96824
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