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Mas, Jay:

Thanks for the responses; I'll add info to have the drives mounted at boot
time for the time being.

After further experiments, however, I believe more strongly that the
behavior I describe qualifies as a Bug. Here's why:

A) If one attempts the exact same sequence of file loading with Calc, the
behavior is exactly what anyone would reasonably expect. Specifically, if
after confirming in Nautilus that a specfic partition is NOT mounted, you
open Calc and then go through the File|Open sequence on the unmounted
partition, the file is loaded with no problem. If you then return to
Nautilus, you will see that the partition is now mounted. So, at the very
least, there is an inconsistency between the operation of Calc and Writer.

B) To further illustrate why the behavior I describe is "user-hostile," load
Writer normally, and then (by any means) load a few documents that reside on
a normally-mounted partition. If you then choose to open a file that resides
on an unmounted partition, Writer still disappears as I described, as do the
other documents that were open. When restarting Writer, the documents are
all waiting for recovery, of course, but you can see where an unsuspecting
user's stress level might rise.

C) Last, but not least, presenting a "File not found" or similar message
would seem much more appropriate than simply shutting down the application.
But, the helpful approach would be to mount the drive and load the file -
just as Calc does.

So, being new to Ubuntu and the world of open source, I'm not sure how to go
about reporting this "officially" and would appreciate a quick tutorial.

Thanks again ...

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