Open Office Losing Its Mind (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Mon, 27 Jun 2005

Open Office Losing Its Mind

I needed to use OpenOffice today, and got a nasty surprise: it no longer remembered any of my settings, key bindings, or any of those painfully-installed templates I'm required to use for this project.

It turns the version of I pulled in with the last Sid upgrade, 1.1.4, has a nifty new feature: it has no knowledge of the ~/.openoffice/1.1.1 directory its predecessor used for its configuration, and instead wants to use ~/.openoffice/1.1.0. Does it notice that there's an existing config directory there, and offer to migrate it? No! Instead, it silently makes a new 1.1.0 directory, with all-default settings, and uses that. The effect to the user is that all your settings and templates have suddenly disappeared for no obvious reason.

The fact that the new version uses a seemingly older version number for its configurations is a nice twist. Perhaps they were worried that otherwise some enterprising user might figure out what had happened, and actually recover their settings, rather than wasting hours painfully resetting them one by one.

Aside: it's impressively hard to read OOo's settings to figure out which ones might be yours. For example, here's a sample line which binds Ctrl-H to delete-backward-char:

 <accel:item accel:code="KEY_H" accel:mod1="true" xlink:href="slot:20926"/>
(You can still tell it involves the "h" key somehow. But I bet they're working on purging that shameful bit of human readable information.) That adds a touch of extra spice to the challenge of figuring out which set of files is the right one.

Anyway, if this happens to you, move the 1.1.0 directory somewhere else, then rename or cp -a 1.1.1 to 1.1.0. That seems to bring back the lost settings.

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[ 22:22 Jun 27, 2005    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

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