WYSIAWYG Report Designer



  • We've got a new suite of software and one program is used to design reports that can be printed. It has a WYSIWYG designer* and you can drag-and-drop data fields, labels, do some drawing, etc. It's also one of the most frustrating pieces of software I've ever used.

    I was tasked with modifying a couple existing reports. Mostly it involves layout changes, just moving a few things and resizing them to look nice on the new layout. It's a theoretically simple assignment, but I've worked on it for the past hour and a half and essentially accomplished nothing.

    WTFs I've encountered thus far:

    1. You cannot zoom less than 100%. The report is 11 x 17 inches which is too big for my screen, and I cannot zoom out to make it fit.
    2. The mouse scroll wheel does not scroll the document. I constantly have to grab the scrollbars to adjust my position.
    3. Space+click does not allow you to pan the document. I know this isn't a graphics tool, but Paint.NET has trained me to expect this on large documents.
    4. The scrollbars don't always work. Sometimes I'll drag one, release, and nothing happens. Try again and it works.
    5. The designer does not auto-scroll while dragging an object. Drag a bit, release, move scrollbar, repeat.
    6. The background of the report is a selectable object. This interferes with dragging a selection box, which I've only gotten to work once or twice. Otherwise you just drag the background instead of drawing a selection box. This makes moving a collection of related items more difficult since I have to ctrl-click instead.
    7. There is no way to group items and shapes together into a larger object.  
    8. Using the arrow keys to move an item works, except it queues up a ton of keypresses and processes them at about one message per second per selected item. So if I select an item, nudge it down by pressing Down, over the next several minutes it will creep about one snapping unit per second. Because of the way it queues, there's no way to estimate how far it will move. I gave up on this method after I kept losing items because they'd creep off the edge of the screen and there seems to be no way to recover it if that happens since you cannot scroll outside the report area. Also, while this is happening the program refuses to accept any other input. This gets painfully slow if you have more than one item selected.
    9. Dragging an item using the mouse sometimes works. But most of the time, it only moves the item half the requested distance. Moving an item from the top of the report to the bottom takes many many drag operations when this happens, because you can only move the item half the remaining distance. Even though you get a nice ghost-preview-box-thingy showing the new location, that's not where it goes when you finish the drag. You cannot drag it outside the boundaries of the report, if you try the drag is cancelled.
    10. Resizing an item sometimes works. But around half the time, even though you've got a nice ghost-preview-box-thingy showing the new size of the item, it decides to actually drag it instead of resize. And usually it drags the item mostly off the report area, making it difficult to find again.
    11. The resize handles for the various toolboxes are very hard to find. And if you find them and resize the toolbox, even though it previews the new size there's a fair chance it won't actually resize when you finish.

    I've dubbed this What-You-See-Is-Almost-What-You-Get, or perhaps What-You-See-Is-Sometimes-What-You-Get. Or better yet, What-You-See-Has-No-Correlation-To-What-You-Get.

    *Health notes

    Advil recommended. Do not use if you have a history of high blood pressure or blood clots. Do not use if you have issues controlling emotions, especially anger. Do not use if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Do not use if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts. Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to use this report designer.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I don't think I've ever used a WYSIWYG editor that didn't suck shit.
    @mott555 said:

    What-You-See-Has-No-Correlation-To-What-You-Get

    I'm going to start using the term WYSHNCTWYG editor.



  • That sounds shockingly like Delrina Winfax editor.

    Except I encountered that pile of shit back in 1996, and it seems it worked fine under WFW3.11 but failed badly under Win95 (and was unworkable under Win98).

    It wasn't just poor controls as you've described, it had major rendering faults that occasionally caused every object to assemble in the page centre as set of flat jumble, as though someone shouted "Fire! All dive here!". The secretary that struggled with it could reproduce the fault almost at will despite the suppliers dismissing any notion their product contained flaws.



  • Oracle Reports?



  • @mott555 said:

    Advil recommended. Do not use if you have a history of high blood pressure or blood clots. Do not use if you have issues controlling emotions, especially anger. Do not use if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Do not use if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts. Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to use this report designer.

    Happy Fun UI????




    Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.

    Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.

    Happy Fun Ball contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.

    Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.

    Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:

    itching

    vertigo

    dizziness

    tingling in extremities

    loss of balance or coordination

    slurred speech

    temporary blindness

    profuse sweating

    heart palpitations

    If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

    Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

    When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company, Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.

    Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

    Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is also being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

    Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime guarantee.



  • @mott555 said:

    We've got a new suite of software and one program is used to design reports that can be printed. It has a WYSIWYG designer*

    Name and shame! I want to know what this POS is! I just made it past migrating part of our reporting off of Sybase InfoMaker 7 (yes, ver. 7 ... EOL for this was back in 2001, I think). I still have to support a group outside of our own group that is still using ver. 9.

    Now we are mostly a BusinessObjects house. BO has it's own issues but it's not the nightmare InfoMaker was. Now my boss is making noises about leveraging our as yet unused Crystal licenses and get me doing stuff with that. I haven't worked with Crystal since around 2000. I hope it's improved because I didn't think much of it back then.



  • @rudraigh said:

    @mott555 said:

    We've got a new suite of software and one program is used to design reports that can be printed. It has a WYSIWYG designer*

    Name and shame!

    RTFOP:

    *Health notes
    Sheesh.


  • @boomzilla said:

    RTFOP:

    *Health notes
    Sheesh.
    I read that to mean

    *Health notes:

    List of health warnings

    not

    *Name of product: Health notes

    List of health warnings unrelated to the preceeding footnote of which they appear to be a part

     



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    I read that to mean

    *Health notes:

    List of health warnings

    That is correct.

    I don't want to name and shame while I work here, but we are in a somewhat niche industry so there's not much chance any of you have heard of this software or will ever have to deal with it.

     



  • I present to you: The Mother Of All Wysinwyg.


    For those too lazy to click the link, here is a screenshot.






  • @mott555 said:

    Dragging an item using the mouse sometimes works. But most of the time, it only moves the item half the requested distance. Moving an item from the top of the report to the bottom takes many many drag operations when this happens, because you can only move the item half the remaining distance. Even though you get a nice ghost-preview-box-thingy showing the new location, that's not where it goes when you finish the drag. You cannot drag it outside the boundaries of the report, if you try the drag is cancelled.

     

     

    Looks like you've got a case of Zeno's UI.

     



  • @jakjawagon said:

    @mott555 said:

    Dragging an item using the mouse sometimes works. But most of the time, it only moves the item half the requested distance. Moving an item from the top of the report to the bottom takes many many drag operations when this happens, because you can only move the item half the remaining distance. Even though you get a nice ghost-preview-box-thingy showing the new location, that's not where it goes when you finish the drag. You cannot drag it outside the boundaries of the report, if you try the drag is cancelled.

     

     

    Looks like you've got a case of Zeno's UI.

     

    I went and read that Achilles thing and it's stupid. I really hate when philosophers bring up the concept of "paradoxes" when really it's just another evidence that a discrete (digital) scale will never perfectly modelize a continuous (analog) event. It's like saying: you pay half of your Mastercard balance every month so even if you don't use it anymore it will never get paid off. Well yes it will because once the debt is below the threshold of the smallest acceptable unit (1 cent or 1 dollar) it's considered paid off, there is no fucking paradox there.



    This reminds me of college where you always had a smart ass in the coffee shop arguing loudly with a philospophy teacher/freshmen-fucker about where is the tipping point between cold and hot. (And these smartasses wondered why they got a wedgie when they left the coffee shop while their parents had assured them it would not happen anymore once they got into college).



  • @Ronald said:

    I went and read that Achilles thing and it's stupid. I really hate when philosophers bring up the concept of "paradoxes" when really it's just another evidence that a discrete (digital) scale will never perfectly modelize a continuous (analog) event. It's like saying: you pay half of your Mastercard balance every month so even if you don't use it anymore it will never get paid off. Well yes it will because once the debt is below the threshold of the smallest acceptable unit (1 cent or 1 dollar) it's considered paid off, there is no fucking paradox there.

    No. That's now how the "paradox" is resolved, or why it was originally considered a paradox. I'll grant that they didn't have the same view as we do of the continuity of the real numbers, but the problem is that they didn't understand limits, which weren't really introduced until the 19th century. Your example and its resolution is a different thing entirely.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Ronald said:
    I went and read that Achilles thing and it's stupid. I really hate when philosophers bring up the concept of "paradoxes" when really it's just another evidence that a discrete (digital) scale will never perfectly modelize a continuous (analog) event. It's like saying: you pay half of your Mastercard balance every month so even if you don't use it anymore it will never get paid off. Well yes it will because once the debt is below the threshold of the smallest acceptable unit (1 cent or 1 dollar) it's considered paid off, there is no fucking paradox there.

    No. That's now how the "paradox" is resolved, or why it was originally considered a paradox. I'll grant that they didn't have the same view as we do of the continuity of the real numbers, but the problem is that they didn't understand limits, which weren't really introduced until the 19th century. Your example and its resolution is a different thing entirely.

    Just because you contradict me, you get to see those photos of unphotoshopped Ke$ha on a beach.






    If that does not teach you, I will post pictures of Bette Midler and Cindy Lauper in bikini.



  • I see what you did there...

    @Ronald said:

    If that does not teach you, I will post pictures of Bette Midler and Cindy Lauper in bikini.

    You don't scare me.I counter with some Rosie for you.



  • @Ronald said:

    Just because you contradict me, you get to see those photos of unphotoshopped Ke$ha on a beach.

    I counter with a photo of Ke$ha's unphotoshopped ass.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ronald said:
    Just because you contradict me, you get to see those photos of unphotoshopped Ke$ha on a beach.

    I counter with a photo of Ke$ha's unphotoshopped ass.

    I double down with this photo of Kurt Russel looking at Goldie Hawn's ass. I WIN.





  • @Ronald said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Ronald said:
    Just because you contradict me, you get to see those photos of unphotoshopped Ke$ha on a beach.

    I counter with a photo of Ke$ha's unphotoshopped ass.

    I double down with this photo of Kurt Russel looking at Goldie Hawn's ass. I WIN.



    Sadly, Goldie Hawn still appears to have a better ass than Ke$ha..



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Goldie Hawn still appears to have a better ass than Ke$ha..

    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    I had this attraction since I was very young, I was first attracted to grannies and fat ugly white trash women first. I used to often masturbated to pictures or TV shows that contained women or men that no one else would have sex with even for money, I always knew that was weird compared to other boys but I first realized I was ###$ up soon when I was whacking off while fantasizing about fat women giving birth through their asshole or personally impregnating a 100 year old woman I previously saw in a magazine and let her give birth while she was already death (...yeah, Freud would have a field day with me). Later when I had access Internet I searched for disfigured people from failed plastic surgery, severe accidents, handicapped, you name it and usually end up jerking off to it.



  • @Ronald said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Goldie Hawn still appears to have a better ass than Ke$ha..

    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    I had this attraction since I was very young, I was first attracted to grannies and fat ugly white trash women first. I used to often masturbated to pictures or TV shows that contained women or men that no one else would have sex with even for money, I always knew that was weird compared to other boys but I first realized I was ###$ up soon when I was whacking off while fantasizing about fat women giving birth through their asshole or personally impregnating a 100 year old woman I previously saw in a magazine and let her give birth while she was already death (...yeah, Freud would have a field day with me). Later when I had access Internet I searched for disfigured people from failed plastic surgery, severe accidents, handicapped, you name it and usually end up jerking off to it.

    Nooo.....

    (Seriously, though. I'm not saying Hawn isn't gross, but Ke$ha is actually more repulsive, I think.)



  • @Ronald said:

    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    [...]

    Confession time: do you browse mental health forums looking for weird or creepy posts just so you can post them on the TDWTF forums when there's an occasion?



  • @mott555 said:

    WTFs I've encountered thus far:

    1. You cannot zoom less than 100%. The report is 11 x 17 inches which is too big for my screen, and I cannot zoom out to make it fit.
    2. The mouse scroll wheel does not scroll the document. I constantly have to grab the scrollbars to adjust my position.
    3. Space+click does not allow you to pan the document. I know this isn't a graphics tool, but Paint.NET has trained me to expect this on large documents.
    4. The scrollbars don't always work. Sometimes I'll drag one, release, and nothing happens. Try again and it works.
    5. The designer does not auto-scroll while dragging an object. Drag a bit, release, move scrollbar, repeat.

    Just the first 5 points probably mean you're gonna spend 20% of the time scrolling. This alone would would justify spending the $110 (or $10 per month) that MS Office Publisher costs (or some other commercial product).

    But by the sound of it, you could probably use Inkscape and it'd be a great improvement.



  • @spamcourt said:

    @Ronald said:
    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    [...]

    Confession time: do you browse mental health forums looking for weird or creepy posts just so you can post them on the TDWTF forums when there's an occasion?

    Doesn't everyone?



  • @spamcourt said:

    @Ronald said:
    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    [...]

    Confession time: do you browse mental health forums looking for weird or creepy posts just so you can post them on the TDWTF forums when there's an occasion?



  • @Ronald said:

    @spamcourt said:
    @Ronald said:
    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    [...]

    Confession time: do you browse mental health forums looking for weird or creepy posts just so you can post them on the TDWTF forums when there's an occasion?

    Not exaclty someone who should be lecturing others about their behavior.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Ronald said:

    @spamcourt said:
    @Ronald said:
    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    [...]

    Confession time: do you browse mental health forums looking for weird or creepy posts just so you can post them on the TDWTF forums when there's an occasion?

    Not exaclty someone who should be lecturing others about their behavior.

    I prefer this one.






  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Ronald said:

    Not exaclty someone who should be lecturing others about their behavior.

    Dude, for Clinton mental illness is about $200k off the inevitable sexual harassment suit. "She can't prove I did anything. Hell, she can't even say her own name without drooling.."



  • @Ronald said:

    I remember, right after 9/11--when the country was still high on trauma and spectacle and the inevitable partisan back-stabbing hadn't begun yet--people kept saying "President Bush is doing such a great job in response, etc.." And I thought "Really?"

    I mean, I didn't think he did a bad job or anything--he reassured people, said some words, marshaled forces.. but that's just kind of what I'd expect a President to do after a major terrorist attack. Did people think there was a chance he might surrender to bin Laden? Allow a few hundred more planes crash into buildings? Nuke California? But then I remembered how close Al Gore came to being President and thought "Well, yeah, I guess it's possible a President really could fuck up the first two weeks of response to a terrorist attack."



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ronald said:

    I remember, right after 9/11--when the country was still high on trauma and spectacle and the inevitable partisan back-stabbing hadn't begun yet--people kept saying "President Bush is doing such a great job in response, etc.." And I thought "Really?"

    I mean, I didn't think he did a bad job or anything--he reassured people, said some words, marshaled forces.. but that's just kind of what I'd expect a President to do after a major terrorist attack. Did people think there was a chance he might surrender to bin Laden? Allow a few hundred more planes crash into buildings? Nuke California? But then I remembered how close Al Gore came to being President and thought "Well, yeah, I guess it's possible a President really could fuck up the first two weeks of response to a terrorist attack."

    What America needed was the President of 9/11.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @spamcourt said:

    @Ronald said:
    Confession time: are you the one who posted this question on psychoforums.com?



    @morbiuswilters (alleged) said:

    [...]

    Confession time: do you browse mental health forums looking for weird or creepy posts just so you can post them on the TDWTF forums when there's an occasion?

    Doesn't everyone?

    I do.... now.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Did people think there was a chance [Bush] might surrender to bin Laden? […] Nuke California?
    Waitaminute… that was an option?



  • @dkf said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Did people think there was a chance [Bush] might surrender to bin Laden? […] Nuke California?
    Waitaminute… that was an option?

    I wish..


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