The Document Foundation Planet


April 21, 2015

Miklos Vajna

Open IT 2015

On Saturday I gave a talk at the Open IT 2015 conference about the new features of LibreOffice 4.3 and 4.4. My uploaded slides are available here.

Thanks Óbuda University for hosting us, it was a great event! Other than talking to the usual suspects like Tamás Zolnai or Gábor Kelemen, I enjoyed two OpenStreetMap talks: it was extermely cool to hear that finally the community changed their license in February so that all their free maps can be imported to OpenStreetMap — finally one pointless fight ends.

April 21, 2015 12:29 PM

April 17, 2015

Official TDF Blog

First bug hunting session for LibreOffice 5.0

Berlin, April 17, 2015 – The LibreOffice community is getting ready for the next major release – planned for the end of July – with a bug hunting session focused on new features and fixes for bugs and regressions. The session will last 3 full days, from May 22 to May 24, 2015, and check the first beta of LibreOffice 5.0.

On those dates, mentors will be available from 08AM UTC to 10PM UTC to help less experienced volunteers to triage bugs, on the QA IRC channel and via email on the QA mailing list.

Those who cannot join during the bug hunting session are always welcome to help chasing bugs and regressions when they have time. There will be another bug hunting session in June, to test LibreOffice 5.0 Release Candidate 1.
Builds of LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 will be available until early June from this link:

Further information are available here:

The decision to change the naming/numbering scheme of the next LibreOffice major release from LibreOffice 4.5 to LibreOffice 5.0 is based on the following rationale:

  1. The next major release of LibreOffice will be the first available for Windows 64bit, and – during the life of the 5.0 family – on mobile and cloud;
  2. The next major release of LibreOffice will integrate another significant batch of visual and usability improvements, which will complete the activity started with LibreOffice 4.4;
  3. The difference in numbering will make it easier to communicate the gap in features with the previous generation, and convince an increasing number of users to switch to LibreOffice;
  4. Last, but not least, 2015 is the 5th anniversary of the announcement of The Document Foundation and LibreOffice.

by italovignoli at April 17, 2015 02:15 PM

Miklos Vajna

Open Source Budapest 5. meetup

On Tuesday the 5th Open Source Budapest meetup was held, I was one of the invited speakers, and gave a lightning talk about ged2dot, both as a standalone Python script and as a LibreOffice extension.

My uploaded slides are available here.

April 17, 2015 08:39 AM

April 16, 2015

User Prompt

Libreoffice Design Session: Inserting a Chart

Probably everyone working with Libreoffice Calc is using charts. And maybe some wondered why the dialog to insert a chart has a wizard-like workflow for all the less relevant options. But inserting a chart is not only a task in Calc. You can add charts in any other tool. And then things really get messy…

Topic: Inserting a Chart

Big Tickets/Feature Requests:


  • For experienced people the wizard distracts from the workflow
  • Programs need to have a unique access (Writer inserts chart immediately, Calc shows up a wizard…)
  • Current wizard-style dialog is using rather a tabbed setup
  • Steps are not naturally implemented (first, the range is selected and then the type of chart)
  • Dialog appears in a wizard-style which isn’t necessary or easy

Screenshots of current UI


Figure 1: Current dialog to insert a chart in Libreoffice Calc.

Figure 2: Current dialog to add a chart in Libreoffice Writer.

Figure 2: Current dialog to change chart data in Libreoffice Writer.

Features/Functional Requirements

  • Selection of chart type and subtype
  • (Re-)definition of data range
  • Access to user-defined data table in Writer

Heuristics/Nonfunctional Requirements

  • Use of a styleguide (accordion instead of linked list, for instance)

New design/Mockup

Figure 3: Basic layout.

Figure 3: Basic layout.

  • Apply accordion style since users liked it in the last proposals
  • Simplify as much as possible; options that can be tweaked afterwards
    • x and y-axis,
    • wall (chart inside area),
    • area (chart outside area),
    • data series, legend) plus
    • special dialogs like error bars;
    • titles are configured on the respective dialog
  • Data range and chart type are not accessible anymore after creation (one has to recreate the chart from scratch)
  • Have a real preview rather than the preview inside of the document
  • Provide direct access to insert chart from toolbar split/group buttons
  • Special chart customization options (e.g. stack series for Line chart type) previously accessible at creation should be moved into the properties dialog (see illustrations below)
  • Make charts themable by templates that allow to changes all properties at once (e.g. according company branding)

Figure 4: Dialog in Writer.

  • Use the same dialog over all tools/modules
  • Change data range to data table for non-Calc modules for insert values

Figure 5: Axis settings.

  • Properties that formerly were configured on chart creation needs to go into the properties dialog (e.g. sort by x-values)

Figure 6: Access to templates.

  • Provide access to save current style or save under a new name (with a small dialog) with the context menu; option is available with any context
  • In order to allow to delete a self-made template or to switch to another existing have a new tab on the most generic dialog, the chart area
  • Changing a template invokes the new style immediately but makes it effective after Ok, i.e. Cancel revokes the old style

Alternative layout

Since accordions are just one way of interaction we want to show you as well other options how to deal with large lists in future. The alternative layout has a continuous scroll area therefore with section headers. Furthermore the workflow is slightly different as you do not theme the complete chart by a template but have separate access to style and layout.


Figure 7: Alternative Insert chart dialog.

  • Templates might be too generic; users want to have a few options to style the graph and to have a specific layout which are different processing steps that must not aggregated into one template
  • Chart type, data range, data table would be accessible after insertion in a ‘Chart’ dialog which combines other dialogs (chart type, chart area, chart wall, chart floor, data range, data table, 3d view) into one.


We show some mockups how to replace the current Insert Chart dialog with a lot of unnecessary options by a streamlined dialog plus quick access from the toolbar. People asked why we don’t just add the chart and get rid of the dialog at all. Options could be presented in the sidebar. The answer is, dialog functionality is the base level of interaction, while the sidebar gives quick access to modify properties but never replaces dialogs. Additionally the inserted chart is an OLE object which means we do not have access to its properties unless the edit mode is being activated.

About the interaction alternatives: the first option consists of an accordion which would show one section only at once. The alternative layout uses a large scrollarea with section headers to structure the content. Which of the two options do you like best?

And the alternative layout separates the template to theme the complete chart into style and layout. What is your preference here?

by Heiko Tietze at April 16, 2015 10:51 AM

April 15, 2015

Charles Schulz

I like Plasma 5

Yes, you read that well. I’m a hardcore Gnome user since… 2002 and I don’t really to switch to KDE/Plasma just yet. However, I just wanted to share some of my thoughts concerning Plasma, the new name of the KDE desktop. Plasma 5 is the brand new KDE desktop, coming after the KDE 4.x series and only a handful of distributions have picked up on it. As it were, you could already install and run Plasma 5 on Arch Linux since about January 2015 and a bit earlier I think but as I was reporting here, I was busy with my new laptop and getting progressively into emacs; as such I did not pay much attention to it. During FOSDEM however I noticed Plasma 5 at the KDE and OpenSuse booths and I spent a minute standing there: I really liked what I was looking at, but I was thinking that some sort of heavy theming of the KDE desktop had been going on for the event. It wasn’t the case of course.plasma1

When I got the chance to reinstall Arch Linux on my new laptop, I specifically added the Plasma 5 desktop to my existing set of graphical environments; while Arch was one of the first distributions to offer the latest version of Plasma it was still not technically part of the official KDE desktop packages of the distribution. I skipped the KDE 4 stack and went directly for Plasma 5.

The first time I started Plasma, I must admit I had a waow moment; and for the long-time readers of this blog, I usually do not get waow moments with KDE software: I like some KDE software a lot, such as Okular, GwenView and Choqok, but for me the buck stops there; I mostly use Gnome. Plasma 5 has an amazing start and lock screen; the graphical effects are very pretty and the choice of colours and icons are equally very well made (the new versions of LibreOffice also come with the new Breeze icons that are the default ones for the newplasma-5.3-beta-750x422 Plasma desktop) and I must say I’m generally impressed by the whole experience.

The only negative point is one of timing: Plasma 5 is still somewhat in a staging phase; the whole KDE applicative stack has not been ported yet and this is something that is visible (at least on Arch Linux); I am curious to try the next version of Kontact for instance. Now I got you even more confused perhaps; I don’t plan to move my email to Kontact when I’m still partially transitioning to emacs and use Evolution and Claws-Mail otherwise! But the whole, immersive experience of Plasma 5 may well prove to be impeccable and that’s the kind of moments I’ve been looking for years now.

Unless you’re a hardcore Gnomist -and that’s fine with me- do give Plasma 5 a try; you won’t regret it!

photo credits: OMGUbuntu & the KDE project.

by Charles at April 15, 2015 04:10 PM

April 14, 2015

Collabora Community

Good news for Windows Server Administrators: Group Policy template for LibreOffice available

Today we’ve published a new configuration template for Windows Server administrators, making configuration of LibreOffice copies on Windows a snap. By leveraging the flexible configuration back-end built into LibreOffice, thousands of computers can be configured to run LibreOffice in a particular way at once. Any of 25,000 LibreOffice settings can be controlled in this way using Windows Registry keys. Knowing which key does what is a lot less obvious however, which is where the new template comes in.

LibreOffice-from-Collabora Product Development Manager Andras Timar had collected and documented the most important LibreOffice settings into a Group Policy ADMX template file. This can be easily installed into Windows Server to expose those settings in plain English, including language, security, and file format options.

Help make deploying LibreOffice on Windows easier: share your template translations and improvements with

LibreOffice settings management

Internally, LibreOffice-from-Collabora stores its configuration data in XML files, which are organized in hierarchical layers. Each layer can store configuration data for any of 25,000 available settings. Layers stored lower in the stack overrule those above them. In this way the hierarchy shares the model used by the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) style sheet language.

Different configuration layers may have different access rights. It’s possible to lock a setting in a lower layer, so that it can’t be modified by higher layers. This allows administrators to use low-layer settings to overrule high-layer settings desired by users and groups.

The very lowest layer is the application’s own configuration layer, which is pre-defined in its install set. The very highest layer is the user’s layer, where individual user profile settings are stored. Between these two layers many othes may exist, including a layer for software extension configuration.

How Windows Registry keys are used

Group Policy helps to control the work environment of users and computers in Windows’ Active Directory. LibreOffice-from-Collabora features a configuration reader back-end, which can load settings from the Windows registry, and apply those settings to its own configuration when it starts.

Registry key translation and use

LibreOffice-from-Collabora policies are stored in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\LibreOffice. This registry tree corresponds to the structure of XML in the application’s own configuration files. The last element of each Key is its prop. The first part is the path and optionally the nodes (when the node has oor:op attribute).

The following values may be set: Value (string) and Final (dword, optional). Final means that the setting is locked, and cannot be modified by higher layers. In practice this means that the user cannot modify the setting from their LibreOffice-from-Collabora user interface.

Here is a setting from the Windows registry:

"Value"="Example Corp."

And the same setting applied to LibreOffice-from-Collabora’s XML configuration file:

<!-- set the Company name -->
<item oor:path="/org.openoffice.UserProfile/Data">
    <prop oor:name="o" oor:finalized="true">
        <value>Example Corp.</value>

Another Windows registry setting:


And the same setting applied to the application’s own XML configuration file:

<!-- Hide Tools - Options - LibreOffice - Advanced panel -->
<item oor:path="/org.openoffice.Office.OptionsDialog/OptionsDialogGroups">
    <node oor:name="ProductName" oor:op="fuse">
        <node oor:name="Pages">
            <node oor:name="Java" oor:op="fuse">
                <prop oor:name="Hide">

Creditable work

The Windows registry-reading backend which supports these templates was developed by order of the Hungarian E-Governmental Free Software Competence Centre in LibreOffice 4.2. Thanks to those engineers for adding this important feature.

by Sam Tuke at April 14, 2015 05:05 PM

April 13, 2015

Tomaž Vajngerl


On March 12 (wow - that was 1 month ago) I went to FOSSASIA 2015 conference in Singapore. This is my first time visiting Singapore and a conference in Asia. Singapore is located very near the equator so it has quite a constant weather all around the year - which means hot, sometimes humid, and almost daily rainfall. I arrived a day earlier, so I could enjoy one day walking around and exploring Singapore, the very diverse people and food.

I stayed in Chinatown which is the place that is quite attractive for tourists as it has many bars and shops with Chinese merchandise.  Really convenient after a long day to get out for a beer and relax.
Pagoda street, China town in Singapore, early in the morning

The following day the conference started. On the first day there was only one track, with various and very interesting presentations. For me the most interesting were the talks about systemd, mariadb, Firefox OS and others. I also learned that knitting machines are the next big thing after 3D printing. I'm not a hardware guy but after seeing what some people make I wish I learn more about hardware in my youth.
I was quite impressed by the talk of Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan (Singapore’s Environment Minister) about open data and why it is important for a government (transparency). After the conference there was an organised event at Labrador park, where we enjoyed the barbecue while socializing.

On the second day of the conference, there were 3 or 4 specialized tracks. I mostly hanged around the "OpenTech" track which still had very diverse talks like: web development, developing methodologies, community, computer vision, etc. Interesting.

On the last day of the conference I was presenting about LibreOffice on Android (LibreOffice on Android, a development update). I made a quick introduction to the LibreOffice Viewer which is available in Google play, and after that in more detail about editing functionality we are working on currently and is sponsored by TDF.
My presentation, picture by Michael Cannon (CC BY 4.0) 
Slides can be downloaded here.

After I finished my talk I visited other tracks I did not visit before but sadly the conference concluded quite soon. I'm looking forward to next year.

Thanks to FOSSASIA organizers to organize such a wonderful conference and thanks to TDF and Collabora Productivity to make it possible for me to visit the conference.

by Tomaž Vajngerl ( at April 13, 2015 11:35 PM

April 10, 2015

Italo Vignoli

LibreOffice in the Italian primary school



Primary school pupils in Todi proudly showing their LibreItalia certificate of attendance, at the end of the training course organized by Sonia Montegiove. Some of the pupils, aged between 6 and 10, have convinced their parents to switch from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice, explaining the virtues of free software and open standards.

by italovignoli at April 10, 2015 07:51 PM

Official TDF Blog

The Document Liberation, one year after

Berlin, April 9, 2015 – The Document Liberation is a project of The Document Foundation, announced in early April 2014 to host the different libraries handling proprietary and legacy document formats within LibreOffice. The idea was to provide a single repository for other software projects willing to deploy the same libraries, in order to simplify the integration. The project is led by Fridrich Strba and David Tardon, two long time LibreOffice contributors.

During 2014, members of the project released a new framework library, called librevenge, which contains all the document interfaces and helper types, in order to simplify the dependency chain. In addition, they started a new library for importing Adobe PageMaker documents, libpagemaker, written as part of Google Summer of Code 2014 by Anurag Kanungo.

Existing libraries have also been extended with the addition of more formats, like libwps with the addition of Microsoft Works Spreadsheet and Database by Laurent Alonso. He is now working on adding support for Lotus 1-2-3, which is one of the most famous legacy applications for personal computers. Laurent has also added support for more than twenty legacy Mac formats to libmwaw.

Developers have created two export libraries – libepubgen for ePub and librvngabw for Abiword – and are currently working at improving import filters for Adobe Freehand – libfreehand – and Apple Pages – libetonyek.

Document Liberation libraries are available for Corel WordPerfect (including Graphics) and Corel Draw, Microsoft Works, AbiWord, Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Visio, Apple Keynote, Adobe FreeHand, Aldus PageMaker, plus many legacy Mac document formats and many e-book formats.

Each library under the Document Liberation umbrella exists as an independent project, with its own maintainer, release schedule and license, according to the Ethos of Free Software which is championed by The Document Foundation.

For more information:

by italovignoli at April 10, 2015 02:16 PM

April 09, 2015

Collabora Community

LibreOffice-from-Collabora launches in AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps

Collabora Productivity today launched a new edition of its enterprise office suite, LibreOffice-from-Collabora, for Amazon WorkSpaces users, available in AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps. LibreOffice-from-Collabora brings support for more than 100 document formats, including Microsoft Office files, to virtual desktops on a range of operating systems and devices via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) edition. Maintenance and patch updates are included, while international code fix support is available from Collabora’s engineers, with competitive pricing for enterprises.

“We are pleased to welcome Collabora’s solutions to AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps,” said Dave McCann, Vice President, AWS Marketplace, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “By making their software available in AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps, Collabora’s users can take advantage of a streamlined selection and procurement process for high-performance desktop apps.”

The release furthers the expansion of LibreOffice-based products to new platforms, following Collabora’s LibreOffice Viewer for Android, published in January, and RollApp’s web-browser-based LibreOffice applications launched early last year.

“The global footprint of Amazon WorkSpaces virtual desktops in the AWS Cloud along with AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps expands LibreOffice’s reach to an important, rapidly growing market,” said Michael Meeks, Vice President of Collabra Productivity. “Today’s launch means there are few customers LibreOffice cannot reach — whatever the platform, budget, or file-format, LibreOffice provides a competitive solution.”

About Collabora Productivity:
Collabora Productivity delivers LibreOffice products and consulting. With the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice code base and community. LibreOffice-from-Collabora provides a business-hardened office suite with long term multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora Ltd., the global software consultancy specializing in providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specialising in automotive, semiconductors, digital TV and consumer electronics industries.

by Sam Tuke at April 09, 2015 06:30 PM

Charles Schulz

ODF in the age of Big Data

On the 25th of March 2015, my son was born and to me it is by far the most important event of the day. Yet the same day the Document Freedom Day was gathering people across the world to celebrate open standards for documents and spread the word against vendor lock-in. This year, two distinct announcements were made that should pave the way for a continued adoption of ODF across the various markets. The first one was the start of the LibreOffice OnLine project, and the other one was Microsoft announcing the availability of ODF export for Microsoft Office 365. If we add to these two news items the commitment of Google to properly support ODF inside Google Drive, things are getting exciting for ODF. I have attempted to explain the advantages of ODF and open standards in this blog for many years, like several others have done and are still doing. But when it comes to the benefits of ODF in the cloud and with regard to big data, there has not been, as far as I can tell, any real attempt at articulating the relevance of ODF at this level.

Describing the benefits of ODF can be at times rather tricky as many people are just used to the omnipresent MS Office file formats. They do not ask themselves too many questions, and may not readily perceive some key advantages of ODF. In a nutshell, it is important to explain as a backgrounder the difference between interoperability and compatibility and then move on to address issues such as vendor lock-in, public and transparent standardization processes, licensing and copyright of the norm, etc. One may even rely on the theory of network effects to explain how one proprietary, de facto standard can quickly come to impose itself in any given market to justify the coming of age of ODF. How does all this work for the cloud? Not so well, actually.dove-logo-2012

Cloud computing, and more specifically software as a service may not render all the points above moot, but it does change the paradigm. Consuming, editing, sharing documents in the cloud change the basic premise that in order for me to exchange content with someone, I need to have the same software and use the same file format. The basic premise does not go away, but becomes one possible use case among others. What rather happens is that I can create a document that I will share inside a group of peers or inside an organization. The file itself is stored in the cloud (public or private) and I will send a link, not a file with a specific file format, to the people I want to share the document with. They in turn can use the link to simply read, or edit, and share back the document. In this scenario there is no need to have high quality implementations of specific file format. The final output tends to become more and more a PDF as all the editing work has already happened and the document logic and formatting itself resides more on the server side that inside a sophisticated file format. So much for document freedom? Not so fast.

ODF and file formats specifications that are open standards cannot do much for cloud architectures or the policy of data usage for organizations or consumers. One may need other types of open standards, corporate and public policy, use cases, etc. Document file formats are expected to remain what they are. But as such they do convey real benefits even in the age of the cloud and the big data. After all, thousands of documents stored in a cloud and formatted in binary blurbs no one has the key for remain exactly as useless as they were without the cloud: useless docs.

With ODF, benefits exist even in the cloud:

  • Portability: You not only maintain the ability to use, reuse and archive your documents, you ensure that the portability of your existing and future documents across the cloud services and proivders you rely on today and will rely on tomorrow.
  • Reusability/data mining and intelligence: Because its specifications are published and its IPR allowing any kind of modification and implementation, ODF documents are a sound base for what’s often referred to as big data operations, such as data mining, extracting sense and value out f metadata inside and outside organizations.
  • Interoperability: This one may sound obvious, but it is not. There is a number of people out there who will readily tell anyone who cares to listen that office file formats (any of them) are on the verge of extinction, since you can do anything you need to do through software or software as a service that has html and pdf as their output. This is of course true. Oddly enough, I have yet to see a cross platform word processor or, spreadsheet or presentation software, or even a text editor that would offer the same ability foranyoneto edit html files that are complex, such as tables with pivot tables and working formulas or complex looking text documents. This may sound ludicrous, but the only tools doing this to this day are office suites that will have you compose your document first and then export it to html, with more or less integrity as to the formatting. Nothing else exists -and yes I’m aware of LaTeX, but this is about tools foreveryone. My point here is that ODF is essentially a compressed archive of xml files and additional contents (images, fonts), just like several other formats of its generation. Zipping several xml files together and keeping both the integrity of the content and its presentation is something that can be achievable on a server, and as such could enable ODF to become one of the pivot formats for documents and data in the cloud.
  • Auditability /control over your data: Because ODF documents have their specifications published and known, it is always possible to check their integrity and audit them while being stored on the cloud or “offloaded” from it. It is useful if you want to ensure that no one tinkered with your documents and if you want to avoid building a walled garden with the data you own and control but which only one or a handful of vendors own the real key.

ODF-logoOne may notice that the points listed above loosely match the main points usually mentioned when discussing the benefits of ODF in the more standard settings of the desktop. This is not surprising, but it was not necessarily intended; if anything this is a testimony to the value of a standard like ODF and its importance. The key point here is that when it comes to the cloud and big data, ODF is both a factor of transparency and innovation. This is something worth promoting and is a potential path to renewed success of ODF in the future.

by Charles at April 09, 2015 05:29 PM

April 08, 2015

Kohei Yoshida

Ixion 0.9.1 and its move to GitLab

Today I have two announcements to make.

First, the version 0.9.1 of the Ixion library is now available. You can download the 0.9.1 source package from the project’s main page.

This is purely a maintenance release to address portability problems in the python bindings as well as other minor build and packaging issues. Many thanks to David Tardon for single-handedly addressing these issues.

Now, here is the second announcement. We are officially moving the project’s home from the previous Gitorious one to the GitLab’s, following the announcement of the acquisition of Gitorious by GitLab and the imminent shutdown of the Gitorious hosting site resulted from the acquisition. The new official URL for the Ixion project will be If you need to include an URL to the project, please use the new one from this point forward.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

by Kohei Yoshida at April 08, 2015 01:24 AM

April 07, 2015

Collabora Community

New translations of ODF toolkit infographic

For Document Freedom Day on March 25th we worked with Open Forum Europe and Open Source Consortium to produce a new toolkit for Government technology leaders. Now the first translations are in: German and Danish editions of the toolkit’s infographic are available, thanks to Svitlana Pavelko and Leif Lodahl.

ODF Toolkit infographic in English

ODF infographic in English

ODF Toolkit infographic in German

…in German

ODF Toolkit infographic in Danish

…and in Danish

The toolkit aims to help Government technology leaders speed adoption of Open Document Format (ODF), the required standard for sharing Government documents since last July. It includes the newly translated infographic, as well a folder with principles and benefits of ODF, and a comparison of supporting office suites and document file extensions.

We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the project, and the Plugfest which inspired it, and look forward to more resources being added in future.

Comparison table of ODF 1.2 support in applications

Comparison of ODF 1.2 support in applications

As work on LibreOffice for Android and LibreOffice Online progresses, we can expect two more ODF editors to add to the list of options.

by Sam Tuke at April 07, 2015 01:52 PM

April 06, 2015

Naruhiko Ogasawara

Wrapping up Japanese FLOSS events since the new year

Last 2 months (Feburary and March), I had super busy dates because I've just changed my job end of the last March, and I had many job interviews and their preparing, <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="7565e904-1a21-452b-bd4f-7a029ad8f4ca" id="af9ee220-631b-41c0-8a7f-dfa721b6e83c">and had</gs> to finish all <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="7565e904-1a21-452b-bd4f-7a029ad8f4ca" id="3a36d1b6-e13e-4c93-85c1-3b551e60173f">jobs</gs> within the last month.

Anyway, I attended or organized several events related to LibreOffice Japanese community, so I'll introduce you.

Open Source Conference Hamanako 2015

Open Source Conference (shortly, OSC) is most famous event series about free software / open source in Japan (I`ve already described roughly).  OSC Hamanako 2015 was a mostly beginning of OSC 2015, at 11th Feb. 2015.

Lake Hamanako, pic from Wikipedia
Actually "Hamanako" is a lake name in Shizuoka prefecture, which is known with eel (Japanese people thought that eel is luxury food).  Around lake Hamanako, there are two major cities whose are active about open source; Hamamatsu-city and Kosai-city.

Hamamatsu-city has some open source local group; most major one is Japan Android group Hamamatsu #jaghama.  There are some major industrial companies in Hamamtsu, e.g. Yamaha group (in our area, their network equipments are so famous), so here is a nice place to promote the goodness of open source.

<gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="8d4083c3-7125-4e2a-8679-9da5ad95631b" id="c343d105-3165-4158-bc4a-bbbfda194b0c">Kosai</gs>-city (Kosai means LAKE-WEST-side) is a quite smaller than Hamamatsu, and the important thing is the local government of Kosai-city use LibreOffice as their primary office suite.

People who love <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="031b144e-29d7-4c81-93d9-178fab013d37" id="da317d75-4f00-4322-8cb1-43cac0b7d0b1">FLOSS</gs> and live around lake Hamanako host the events named "Lake Hamanako LibreOffice study party," so OSC Hamanako is one of the most important event in the Japanese LibreOffice community.

OSC Hamanako is a quite small event than another OSC (gathered around 130 people), and very friendly.  All things were in the one big hall, with 15-minutes-each talks and booths.  The <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="f1279388-eecd-4ea7-bf7e-babf8c4408c2" id="a492372d-2458-4d63-87e8-d329360749b0">LibreOffice Japanese team</gs> <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="f2029bfb-226a-4083-b862-6288c6aca518" id="177e3fe3-017a-40c5-8133-3bc3b6c3fff6">exhibit</gs> a booth, and had a talk.
Our booth :) (photo by Shinji Enoki, via Facebook)
Mr. <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="c03669e6-b5bb-474a-855e-79cadc05e303" id="7eab8e20-2879-49cd-9b3d-75f9ad000f91">Ohmori</gs> talking about <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="c03669e6-b5bb-474a-855e-79cadc05e303" id="be20d186-7602-4743-9e8f-1cc9b84311e4">the current status</gs> of LibreOffice

Open Source Conference 2015 Tokyo/Spring

Other OSC had been at <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="29b932ff-6838-4249-ab1a-fae546e76149" id="79533f35-fb5d-48df-8a2d-b3ddc8b4c0da">27th and 28th Feb</gs>. 2015.  As you know, Tokyo is really big city, and OSC Tokyo is the biggest one; so we have twice each year; Spring and Fall.  Around 1700 people gathered that weekend.
We had a talk how to translate LibreOffice UI/Help in 27th (the slide in Japanese is below), and also exhibit a booth.
<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="355" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-width: 1px; border: 1px solid #CCC; margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 100%;" width="425"> </iframe>

Our booth again :D (photo by Shinji Enoki, via Facebook)
<gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="1a21c7ed-b6c0-40d3-80e8-173b26349744" id="aba89130-502b-45e6-a8e6-36e8e0896690">Soooo</gs> many people in there! (<gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="b53378a3-96c5-4ccf-8302-2ef0882c1a99" id="7aaf12b3-3a1c-4b6f-8e07-4e5c20ce8a11">photo</gs> by Masataka Kondo, via Facebook)
Many people know LibreOffice name, and several people use it, but some don't; still stacked OOo era...   We need more effort to promote ;).
There is an interesting question about traditional Mongolian language support.

Traditional Mongolian uses left-to-right vertical writing, similar as 90° counter-clockwise turned Arabic script.  It is a tough problem to handle traditional Mongolian well, not only in documents, but also in the user interfaces.   What's a right specification of user interfaces with left-to-right vertical righting language?

LibreOffice HackFest #3

I thought that we need to grow more LibreOffice <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="7e8be5ca-860a-470d-8935-372b7a88fc90" id="edb91c87-1636-494d-9456-52b36e67c88c">committer</gs> in Japan, such as translators, local QA activist and developers.  To provide people opportunities to try something about LibreOffice, I host several Hacking (not only developments, but also some other LibO related tasks) events.

Taking about <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="9b06b74c-325f-4c72-9f83-5cc9bb98afa9" id="c57cef51-5197-49da-bc56-9c293bcb98f9">LibO</gs> Translation (photo by Shinji Enoki, via Facebook)
Day after OSC 2015 Tokyo/Spring, 1st March 2015, we had third LibreOffice HackFest in Tokyo.   At this time I've been so busy and I couldn't prepare development tasks, I myself mainly spent most of time to translate Document Freedom Day site.  And I told some people  very <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="77d0fa6d-0380-4968-8975-ea44d8a0a174" id="17146059-4954-47ed-97a3-162125fa6f2a">basic</gs> of LibreOffice translation work, and they tried to commit some new translations.  Good!
To keep concentrating, we need some sweet (cheese cake :)

Thanks Coworking Space Kayabacho, Co-Edo, to provide us a so nice space :).  If you have an opportunity to come to Japan and you need work with Wi-Fi and power source (and good coffee), I recommend you to ask <gs class="GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark" ginger_software_uiphraseguid="860ebdf4-cee6-4f03-b4fe-040d9b44ad93" id="da6632f2-39e2-4ed4-b1f6-4c89ef3c4c96">Co</gs>-Edo.  Cool!

... I've also prepared DFD 2015 Tokyo event, but this entry is already too long, so I'll write another entry about it.

by Naruhiko Ogasawara ( at April 06, 2015 01:03 PM

Björn Michaelsen

Easterhegg: Vimpressing LibreOffice!

Das ist alles nur geklaut und gestohlen,
nur gezogen und geraubt.
Entschuldigung, das hab ich mir erlaubt.
— die Prinzen, Alles nur geklaut

So, you might have noticed that there was no April Fools post from me this, year unlike previous years. One idea, I had was giving LibreOffice vi-key bindings — except that apparently already exists: vibreoffice. So I went looking for something else and found odpdown by Thorsten, who just started to work on LibreOffice fulltime again, and reading about it I always had the thought that it would be great to be able to run this right from your favourite editor: Vim.

And indeed: That is not hard to do. Here is a very raw video showing how to run presentations right out of vim:

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" frameborder="0" height="322" src=";rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" type="text/html" width="519"></iframe>

Now, this is a quick hack, Linux only, requires you to have Python3 UNO-bindings installed etc. If you want to play with it: Clone the repo from github and get started. Kudos go out to Thorsten for the original odpdown on which this is piggybagging (“das ist alles nur geklaut”). So: Have fun with this — I will have to install vibreoffice now.

by bmichaelsen at April 06, 2015 07:35 AM

April 05, 2015

Thorsten Behrens

Back full-steam on LibreOffice!

After a 1.5 year stint in Linux virtualization and cluster file systems (thanks SUSE for the exciting times – btw, they’re hiring!), I’m most happy to report today a return to fulltime LibreOffice work.

Starting already from last Thursday, I’m now part of a growing team of LibreOffice experts at the German CIB, one more in a set of independent software vendors offering service, support, consulting, as well as migration and trainings around LibreOffice. In my other capacity as chairman of LibreOffice’s The Document Foundation, it is most encouraging to see this thriving ecosystem, providing real choice to anyone deploying LibreOffice professionally.



Did I mention that The Document Foundation really encourages everyone relying on LibreOffice in a business setup, to talk to one of the ecosystem companies for (optional) bugfixing and support? This is not because LibreOffice would not be usable as such, but instead it is my experience that bugs and other problems turn up only with specific documents. A service contract with one of the listed companies gives your specific problems the priority they need, when you need it.

What else to add at this point? I look forward being in Munich most of this month, one of the larger LibreOffice deployments in the public sector, that we’re supporting. I’d like to encourage anyone using, or considering use of LibreOffice professionally, to take a look at Munich as a wonderful example; and of course CIB — and I personally — would be most happy to support you and your company to make your LibreOffice deployment a success!

And lastly, we’re still growing our team. Please check our (German) jobs page for offers, and/or if you’re an experienced LibreOffice hacker, contact me directly. For all of the above, my new work email is Thorsten.Behrens at

Happy hacking, and see you around! :-)

Filed under: LibreOffice, Personal Tagged: ecosystem, libreoffice

by thorstenb at April 05, 2015 02:40 PM

April 03, 2015

Tor Lillqvist

What DAW (or other music software) is the right for me?

Dear lazyweb,

Is Ableton Live the right DAW for me?

I am not a musician or "producer". I don't know how to play any instrument. I don't really know musical notation (and have little desire to learn). But I do have some basic understanding of musical theory, an open mind, and would enjoy making experimental music. The kind I like to listen to. (Or, for the matter, why not more traditional electronic music, even dancey stuff, too.)

(I do listen to more "normal" music, too, not just experimental bleeps and drones;)

Among my favourite composers / artists are the usual suspects like Scelsi, Ligeti, Reich, Glass, Eno, Fripp, Kraftwerk, and contemporary ones like Max Richter, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Nils Frahm, and of course acts like Circlesquare, Monolake, Plastikman etc. My favourite radio show is WNYC's New Sounds .

The software I have been ogling most is Ableton Live. What I like about it is that it is popular, cool, and has a thriving development, apparently, with relatively frequent updates etc. It seems not likely to go away suddenly. I love the total (?) lack of skeuomorphism in the user interface. (I strongly dislike the trend of faux real hardware look and feel in 3rd-party plugins.)

I certainly have no wish to use the "live" aspect of Live. And, as one of the main points, as I understand it, of Live is to make it easy to launch clips that will be automatically properly aligned in live performance scenarios, will Live be suitable for stuff like having multiple loops or patterns playing simultaneously *without* being synchronised? You know, like emulating Frippertronics, or patterns being slightly out of phase in the style of Reich, or Eno.

And what about microtonal aspects?

So, will Live have too many limitations? Should I look somewhere else? Maybe the generative music scene is what I should be looking into, like Intermorphic's Noatikl? Although with that I would definitely be afraid of the proprietary-software-maker-goes-belly-up scenario.

Maybe even some Open Source software? Csound? Pd? Note that I wouldn't want to get lured into hacking (programming) on some Open Source software, for once I want to be "just a user"...

Oh, and I use a Mac as my desktop environment, so that is also a limiting factor.

Or am I silly to even think I could create something interesting (to myself, that is) without starting by learning how to do stuff "by the book" first?


by Tor Lillqvist ( at April 03, 2015 07:51 AM

April 02, 2015

Miklos Vajna

Android editing: from graphic handling to formatting

In from selections to graphic handling, I wrote about how we let the LibreOffice Android app select, resize and move images and shapes. Now that we have all type of selections (at least for Writer) in this TDF-funded project, let’s do some formatting! The example implemented by Jan Holesovsky here is to mark the text bold, but you can imagine that using the same technique a number of other character or paragraph properties could be set the same way with little work.

Here is how it works:

  • When you click on toolbar buttons on the desktop UI, so-called UNO commands are invoked, bold is .uno:Bold.

  • This command is generated by the native Android UI as well, and passed to the lok::Document::postUnoCommand() LOK API.

  • Then the LOK implementation uses the recently introduced comphelper::dispatchCommand() internal API to actually execute it.

  • In all applications (Writer, Calc, Draw and Impress) this command is then evaluated on the current selection: so if you have a cursor position, then from now on the new characters will be bold — or if you have a selection, then that will be adjusted. The point is that this works exactly how it happens with the desktop UI, reusing the same code.

If you are interested how this looks like, here is a demo (click on the image to see the video):

Notice that Calc also gained a number of new features, like cell selection, blinking cursor, text selection with much help from Henry Castro.

Now that Writer is nearly functional for the basic editing features that would be good to see in all four applications, time to look at what’s new in Impress-land!

To bring Impress in line with Writer, we implemented the followings with Tomaž Vajngerl:

  • shape text now has a blinking cursor with a cursor handle that can be dragged

  • long push on a word results in a shape text selection with selection handles that can be dragged

  • it’s now possible to resize shapes

  • Impress table selections can be created in two ways: either by long pushing on an empty Impress table cell, or by long pushing on shape text inside a cell, and then turning that shape text selection into a table one.

  • it’s possible to tap on a selected shape without text to add text to it.

Here is a demo to show this in action:

For many of the above features, the core part was already implemented due to Writer shapes, what was missing is to call the same editeng methods from Impress and/or do missing core coordinates → LOK coordinates conversions. The later is twips for both cases in Writer, but Impress works in 100th millimeters internally, so it was necessary to do a number of conversions here and there so that LOK callbacks always emit coordinates in twips.

We also prepared more in-depth technical documentation about the Android editing work, libreofficekit/README and android/README now has much more details about how exactly the editing works.

That’s it for now — as usual the commits are in master (a few of them is only in feature/tiled-editing for now), so you can try this right now, or wait till the next Tuesday and get the Android daily build. :-)

April 02, 2015 01:44 PM

David Tardon

Happy birthday, Document Liberation Project!


The Document Liberation Project was officially announced at LGM in Leipzig on April 2 2014, a year ago. We (the founding members) gave a talk about the project later on the same day.

The project was planned as an umbrella over autonomous projects that handle various file formats and that use the same framework (I do not like this term, but I do not have any better one). This makes it very easy to integrate a new import library to an application, because it uses the same interface as other already inegrated import libraries. But at the same time it allows the libraries to exist as independent projects, with different maintainers, release schedules, licenses etc. Let me repeat this: we have never wanted to excercise any strict control. We want people to work with us, not for us.

At the occassion of the project’s first birthday, I think it is time for a little reminiscence. I also want to share an outlook for the future.

The past year

We did have high hopes for the future a year ago, however, not all of them have been fulfilled (or not completely).

One of the main highlights was the release of a new framework library called librevenge in May. librevenge contains all the document interfaces and helper types that used to be spread over several of the import libraries, thus simplifying the dependency chain. A part of this release was a switch of all existing import and export libraries to librevenge.

We started a new library for import of Adobe PageMaker documents–libpagemaker. It was written by Anurag Kanungo as part of GSoC 2014 and it supports the format of PageMaker 6.x.

We have also extended existing libraries. Some has gained support for more formats: for example, Laurent Alonso has added support for Microsoft Works Spreadsheet and Database to libwps and he is extending that to Lotus 1-2-3 currently. He has also added support for more than twenty legacy Mac formats to libmwaw. There have been various improvements for most of the other import libraries.

We have created two export libraries: for EPUB and Abiword. The libraries are called libepubgen and librvngabw, respectively.

Unfortunately, we have mostly failed to attract new developers (or contributors in general). We did receive an occassional patch for one library or another, but only one substantial new feature: Miklós Vajna has implemented reading of metadata from Visio and Publisher documents. We also hoped that other people would start new libraries, but that has not happened yet (or we do not know about it).

Another valuable way to contribute is to provide sample documents. We have not attracted many people in this area either. Let me at least mention Steven Zakulec and Derek Kalinosky, who contributed, respectively, Microsoft Publisher and CorelDRAW documents for regression testing.

The bright(?) future

There are some interesting developments coming this year. We should see some progress on Adobe FreeHand and Apple Pages import filters (in libfreehand and libetonyek, respectively). We will also be doing doing at least one new import filter as part of GSoC 2015–we have received proposals for import of Apple Numbers, Xara Xtreme and Zoner Draw formats. I also hope to finally move EPUB import in libe-book forward a bit.

by David Tardon at April 02, 2015 01:22 PM

Official TDF Blog

LibreOffice 4.4.2 “Fresh” is available for download

Berlin, April 2, 2015 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.4.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 4.4 “fresh” family, with over 50 fixes over LibreOffice 4.4.0 and 4.4.1.

New features introduced by the LibreOffice 4.4 family are listed on this web page:

The Document Foundation suggests to deploy LibreOffice in enterprises and large organizations when backed by professional support by certified people (a list is available at:

People interested in technical details about the release can access the change log here: (fixed in RC1) and (fixed in RC2).

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 4.4.2 is immediately available for download from the following link:

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at Money collected will be used to grow the infrastructure, and support marketing activities to increase the awareness of the project, both at global and local level.

by italovignoli at April 02, 2015 10:59 AM

User Prompt

Libreoffice Design Session: Shapes

Libreoffice Draw was treated somewhat novercally in last time. But we didn’t forget it and started to pimp its look and feel. This design session was about moving the stencils from the shapes toolbar into the sidebar. And of course not only Libreoffice Draw benefits from this effort.

Topic: Shapes Sidebar Tab

Big Tickets/Feature Requests:


  • Complex toolbars with menu buttons have in general the issue of missing direct access
  • Addition of shapes are possible not from the sidebar
  • Shapes toolbar has a limited amount of shapes (e.g. predefined shapes for BPMN)
  • No means of easily adding new shapes to toolbar
  • Shapes toolbar is hidden by default in Writer and Calc
  • Not easy to see the full range of shapes at once

Screenshots of current UI


Figure1. Current toolbar in Libreoffice Draw.

Features/Functional Requirements

  • List of recently used shapes
  • Search through shapes by name
  • Have icon view and detail view with names
  • Provide more shapes by default
  • User can extend the current list of shapes

New design/Mockup

Option 1 (Accordion)

Figure 1

Figure 2: Accordion style.

  • Sections for every shape category
  • Expanded by default but collapsible
  • User-defined section for more shapes that can be loaded from repository via add button (button right hand at the section header); file with single shape or compressed list of files
  • Load single files into user-defined section and provide drag ‘n drop to sort items into one of the existing categories
  • Compressed list of items to create new category filled with those items
  • Search (alternative view on right hand) works as a filter and reduces the content; only those accordion sections are shown that contains of icon named according the search
  • Right hand view shows the viewing option to list items with names (detailed view instead of icon view)
  • Recently used items is limited for two rows in default size

We discussed another flavor with fixed section above the user-defined categories.


Figure 3: Accordion with programmably viable style.

  • Contains a default shapes section that provides access to LO hardcoded shapes and more section to additional shapes
  • Search and recently used items are available only in the more section

Option 2 (Linked lists)

Figure 3

Figure 4: Linked lists like folder/file.

  • Similar to the gallery section; upper list contains of shape categories, below the items are listed
  • This style has the same add, search, and recently used functionality as the accordion style
  • Consumes less space
  • Usability drawback of separating controls for one action


We present two and a half mockups on how to integrate shapes into the sidebar. By doing so we not only want to unify the look and feel of Libreoffice tools. We also want to get more space in order to add further categories of shapes. For instance there is an open source repository available from DIA And we want to ask you which of the following categories should be added by default into Libreoffice. Nevertheless, the idea is to implement a mechanism to download and install shapes on demand like templates. But that requires coding and takes some time.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Of course we are interested in your opinion on how to integrate the shapes into the sidebar. What is your preference? Do you have a use case that we didn’t cover yet?

by Heiko Tietze at April 02, 2015 10:17 AM

Collabora Community

LibreOffice online: collected press reactions

Last week Collabora jointly announced LibreOffice Online with IceWarp and The Document Foundation — the response has been amazing: over 170 independent articles and blogs in more than 20 languages.

Social media interest erupted soon after the new hit: one analytics service reports 2,100 tweets in the last week discussing the announcement. Our own publications earned 108 retweets, but hundreds more were spread in a wealth of languages as articles from the likes of Ars Technica, ZDnet, and The Register gained momentum.

We made it to the front of Hacker News, and enjoyed a traffic spike as Y Combinator’s various bots tweeted the press release. On Reddit, the story was posted 15 different times in varying subreddit areas. Collectively they earned over 800 upvotes and 150 comments, as the news took on a life of its own, and was featured in the Reddit Daily Herald (the most interesting stories of the day). followed their LOOL write-up by recognising “the entire LibreOffice community” as their “Geek of the Week“, for the difference we’re making to cloud computing.

With all that activity, we shouldn’t have been suprised when the server went down under a hail of page requests. Some rapid static page caching of WordPress got things going again, with links to externally cached copies of our site being posted in minutes by adroit community members.

The articles we’ve collected so far are all listed below, sorted by language. A list of articles with “unspecified” languages are at the bottom – if these pages belong to you please add meta tags to make this information explicit!

Additions and corrections in your comments are very welcome.


  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. French
  4. German
  5. Italian
  6. Portuguese
  7. Chinese
  8. Finnish
  9. Polish
  10. Russian
  11. Dutch
  12. Indonesian
  13. Greek
  14. Japanese
  15. Bulgarian
  16. Czech
  17. Slovak
  18. Unspecified

English (36)

LibreOffice’s next big version is in the cloud | InfoWorld
Geek of the Week: LibreOffice Community | CloudWedge
LibreOffice Online Is An Open Source Alternative To Office 365 And Google Docs
LibreOffice Online announced []
LibreOffice Heads To The Cloud With LibreOffice Online,28823.html
LibreOffice Online: A Cloud Version Of LibreOffice – Phoronix
2 great Document Freedom Day announcements – Mike Linksvayer
IceWarp dan Collabora Bekerjasama, LibreOffice Online Bisa Diluncurkan
LibreOffice Online Announced, a Free Alternative to Google Docs and Office 365 – Updated – Softpedia
LibreOffice is Now in the Cloud
LibreOffice Online Announced, a Free Alternative to Google Docs and Office 365 – Updated – Softpedia
Icewarp and Collabora are working on Libreoffice Online document editing
Announcing LibreOffice Online | Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
LibreOffice Online will bring open source office suite to the cloud – Liliputing
Upcoming LibreOffice Online wants to compete with Google Docs, Office 365 – FierceCIO
Watch out Microsoft Office, Google Docs, LibreOffice Online is coming | ITworld
LibreOffice moves to the cloud to take on Office Online and Google Docs
Document Foundation pledges Office 365 and Google Docs challenger • The Register
Open source LibreOffice coming soon to a browser near you – SlashGear
LibreOffice takes to the cloud to challenge Google Docs | Applications News | TechRadar
​LibreOffice finally to go online | ZDNet
LibreOffice heads to the cloud in bid to take on Microsoft and Google- The Inquirer
LibreOffice goes Online | OCS-Mag
LibreOffice online announced by Collabora – Fedora Magazine
LibreOffice in the browser, revealed in 2011, finally close to reality | Ars Technica
LibreOffice Online Development Announced
IceWarp and Collabora Are Working on LibreOffice Online Document Editing, an Open Source Alternative to Google Apps, Office 365
4 keys to success for LibreOffice as a service | InfoWorld
How to Switch from Microsoft Office
Open source news for March 21 – 27, 2015 |
LibreOffice Now Toward Cloud Based Package, Get Ready To Welcome LibreOffice Online – LinuxUbuntu Apps Reviews | Tutorials | HowTos | News
The AT&T Mafia, LibraOffice Online & More… | FOSS Force
Taking LibreOffice to the Cloud – Frugal Guidance 2
LibreOffice the Cloud edition | Moved by Freedom Powered by Standards
Working on LibreOffice Online Document Editing, an Open Source Alternative to Google Apps, Office 365
LibreOffice finally to go online « Practical Technology

Spanish (23)

LibreOffice Online: ya está cierca | Pacosite’s Blog
Cuatro año después, LibreOffice Online está más cerca de nunca de ser una realidad | Diario Tecnología
Cuatro año después, LibreOffice Online está más cerca de nunca de ser una realidad
Cuatro año después, LibreOffice Online está más cerca de nunca de ser una realidad | Estación Geek
Cuatro año después, LibreOffice Online está más cerca de nunca de ser una realidad | | Linux, the world’s most popular open source – La alternativa libre a Google Docs y Office 365 se llama LibreOffice Online
LibreOffice Online, más cerca de ser una realidad – Taringa!
LibreOffice Online, alternativa libre a Google Docs y Office 365 | BARNASYSTEM
LibreOffice Online, más cerca de ser una realidad | Coaching Informatico
Centro de Enseñanza y Proyección Social | LibreOffice Online, más cerca de ser una realidad
LibreOffice Online, más cerca de ser una realidad |
LibreOffice OnLine será una alternativa a Google Docs y Office 365 | PortalLinux
LibreOffice Online recibe nuevos apoyos para su desarrollo | Geektopia
LibreOffice OnLine será una alternativa a Google Docs y Office 365
LibreOffice Online, alternativa gratuita y libre a Google Docs y Office 365
LibreOffice Online, más cerca de ser una realidad » MuyLinux
El Blog de Irene Quiñones | Si lo puedes imaginar, lo puedes lograr
LibreOffice apunta sus dardos hacia la nube – Misiongeek
LibreOffice Online y LibreOffice Editor para Android pronto
Llega LibreOffice Online de mano de IceWarp y Collabora | LiGNUx
Cuatro año después, LibreOffice Online está más cerca de nunca de ser una realidad y Tempo, una app para iOS con la que combinar fragmentos a cámara lenta y time-lapse en el mismo vídeo at Tecnologia Emprendedora
Cuatro año después, LibreOffice Online está más cerca de nunca de ser una realidad | el BLOG de FCASTROG
Servidores y servicios en la nube, privacidad y soberanía |

French (17)

Ufficiale LibreOffice Online, l’alternativa libera a Google Docs e Office 365 – iWinuxFeed
Une version Web de LibreOffice attendue cette année
The Document Fondation lance LibreOffice Online
LibreOffice Online devrait atteindre le nuage en 2016 – L’Observeur – Synthèse Informatique
LibreOffice Online pourrait arriver en 2016 ?
LibreOffice sera disponible sur le web en 2016
LibreOffice va contester Google Docs ou Office 365 | BlogNT
LibreOffice va finalement passer en ligne – Beldy
LibreOffice Online est annoncé, Google Docs et Office 365 menacés ? – GinjFo
LibreOffice en ligne va enfin aboutir !
LibreOffice porté sur le Web en 2016
Ofimática: Para el año 2016, la suite LibreOffice será llevada a la Web | Gustavo Pimentel’s GNU/Linux Blog
LibreOffice bientôt sur le Cloud pour rivaliser avec Google Docs et Office 365, la version Android est également en cours de développement
LibreOffice dans le nuage en 2016
Une version en ligne de LibreOffice annoncée pour début 2016 – CNET France
LibreOffice : un concurrent d’Office Online et de Google Docs
LibreOffice arrive en mode cloud en 2016 – JDN
LibreOffice concurrencera Google et Microsoft sur le Web d’ici 2016
Une version en ligne de LibreOffice sera bientôt disponible! | QuebecOS

German (21)

Open-Source- und Linux-Rückblick für KW 13: LibreOffice Online entsteht –,3096564
LibreOffice Online nimmt Fahrt auf » Linux-Magazin
Aktualisiere deinen Browser | Facebook
Office online: LibreOffice für Browser erscheint 2016 – ComputerBase
LibreOffice Online als Alternative zu Office 365 angekündigt |
Redaktionsradar #666: Desktop-Chrome senkt Datenvolumen beim Surfen – Digital Nachrichten –
LibreOffice kommt für den Browser –
LibreOffice Online nimmt Fahrt auf » Linux-Magazin
Libre Office Online kostenlos: Der Konkurrent zu Office 365 kommt – News – CHIP
LibreOffice Online für den Browser angekündigt – com! professional
Cloud-Office: LibreOffice soll online gehen – GIZMODO DE
Open Software: LibreOffice soll als Cloud-Anwendung online kommen – MittelstandsWiki
LibreOffice: Cloud-Version angekündigt –
LibreOffice im Browser: Alternative zu Office 365 angekündigt – NETZWELT
Office-Paket: Libreoffice will Bürosuite in den Browser bringen –
The Document Foundation hat Cloud-Version von LibreOffice angekündigt –
LibreOffice im Browser erhältlich –
Libreoffice kommt in den Browser – IT Magazine
LibreOffice plant virtuelle Nutzung via Browser
LibreOffice soll bald auch über den Browser genutzt werden können
LibreOffice Online für den Browser angekündigt / News / Aktuelles / webundmobile –

Italian (13)

LibreOffice Online, más cerca de ser una realidad | uiolibre
LibreOffice Online! | Monfy-Mate
Collabora e IceWarp portano LibreOffice su Web e mobile | Aggregatore GNU/Linux e dintorni
LibreOffice Online sfida Office 365 e Google Docs | Webnews
LibreOffice Online
LibreOffice Online, la sfida con Office si sposta sul cloud – Tom’s Hardware
LibreOffice Online porta la produttività su cloud
LibreOffice Online, alternativa open a Google Docs e Office 365
LibreOffice Online: l’alternativa libera a Google Docs e Office 365 ‹ Pionero
LibreOffice? Andrà online. Come Office365 – The New Blog Times
PI: LibreOffice, presto anche su cloud
Anche LibreOffice va nel cloud
Anche LibreOffice punta sul Cloud | Mr.Webmaster News
LibreOffice, la versione web arriverà nel 2016 –
Presto LibreOffice Online – LibreItalia

Portuguese (7)

LibreOffice Online: O concorrente do Office 365 e Google Docs | Pplware
Revista Espírito Livre » Blog Archive » Vem aí o LibreOffice OnLine
LibreOffice Online – EDX Brasil
LibreOffice online está no forno | Programador Feirense
LibreOffice lança alternativa gratuita ao Google Docs e Office 365! LibreOffice Online! | Comunidade GNU/Linux SempreUpdate
LibreOffice OnLine define o alicerce da primeira solução global livre de edição de documentos pessoais | LibreOffice Brasil Blog
LibreOffice Online | FGR* Blog

Chinese (1)

是真的!LibreOffice Online 來了!開發計劃加入生力軍! | 晟鑫科技部落格

Finnish (1) uutiset » LibreOffice Online tulossa – ilmainen vaihtoehto Google Docsille ja Office 365:lle

Polish (3)

•• LibreOffice Online, czyli bezpłatny pakiet biurowy wkrótce w chmurze
LibreOffice Online to nowy pakiet biurowy w chmurze – PC World – Testy i Ceny sprzętu PC, RTV, Foto, Porady IT, Download, Aktualności
LibreOffice Online oraz wersja dla Androida znajdują się w fazie produkcji –,723
LibreOffice Online – konkurencja dla Office 365? –

Russian (6)

CNews: LibreOffice анонсировал онлайн-версию с открытым исходным кодом
Анонсирован бесплатный облачный сервис LibreOffice Online –
Бесплатный облачный сервис LibreOffice Online составит конкуренцию Google Docs | Блог Imena.UA | Всё о технологиях в мире и Украине
Фонд The Document Foundation анонсировал запуск облачного сервиса LibreOffice Online — Новости (
LibreOffice получит веб-версию | Новости | Компьютерное Обозрение
Анонсирован LibreOffice Online, выступающий в роли свободной альтернативы таким сервисам, как Google Docs и Office 365
Анонсирован LibreOffice Online, выступающий в роли свободной альтернативы таким сервисам, как Google Docs и Office 365 /

Dutch (4)

LINUX Magazine – Alles over Open Source – linux nieuws – opensource nieuws – LibreOffice krijgt binnenkort online versie
LibreOffice Online gaat strijd aan met Office 365 en Google Docs | Docufacts
LibreOffice komt in cloud-vorm | PCM
Bedrijven willen LibreOffice Online in browser laten draaien – Computer – Nieuws – Tweakers

Indonesian (6)

LibreOffice Online Diperkenalkan, Siap Saing Office 365 & Google Docs
Kini Telah Ada Aplikasi LibreOffice Online
Menantang Google Docs, LibreOffice Luncurkan Aplikasi Online –
LibreOffice Online dan Tantangan Produk OpenSource di Desktop | OSN
LibreOffice Online kini Resmi Diluncurkan | Berita Internet
Aplikasi LibreOffice Siap Hadir Dalam Versi Online – Trenologi – Trenologi

Greek (4)
Έγγραφα στο cloud με το LibreOffice Online ,
tromaktiko: Έγγραφα στο cloud με το LibreOffice Online
Έγγραφα στο cloud με το LibreOffice Online –

Japanese (2)

LibreOfficeがオンライン版の開発を発表 | SourceForge.JP Magazine
「LibreOffice」オンライン版、開発プロジェクトがついに本格化 – ZDNet Japan

Bulgarian (3)

The Document Foundation представи сървърния вариант на LibreOffice, който работи чрез уеб-браузър –Новини/The-Document-Foundation-представи-сървърния-вариант-на-LibreOffice–99280.html
LibreOffice ще излезе и в онлайн версия |
LibreOffice вече е безплатно и в “облака” | Полезни програми | PC World България

Czech (1)

Bezplatný kancelářský balík LibreOffice dostane webovou verzi – Živě.cz

Slovak (1)

Bezplatný kancelársky balík LibreOffice dostane webovú verziu | Živé.sk

Unspecified (31)

LibreOffice Online | Архив за 25 марта 2015 года | Новостной канал | Linuxcenter.Ru
LibreOffice Online bientôt disponible –
Saingi Google Docs dan Office Online, LibreOffice Online Resmi Diluncurkan | DNAberita
LibreOffice: Online-Office soll 2016 erscheinen
LibreOffice Online, la suite per l’ufficio in versione cloud
LibreOffice sbarca su cloud |
Bureautique cloud : LibreOffice Online chatouille Google et Microsoft – Le Monde Informatique
Új lendületet kaphat az online LibreOffice – HWSW
LibreOffice Online tulossa – ilmainen vaihtoehto Google Docsille ja Office 365:lle – AfterDawn
Libreoffice Online befindet sich in der Entwicklung – Office – Online – PC-WELT
LibreOffice Online: Browser-Version des freien Office kommt – Innovationen – › Web
LibreOffice Online, cada vez más cerca – Software Libre
LibreOffice Online bientôt disponible –
LibreOffice tendrá una versión web y una aplicación para Android –
Бесплатный офисный пакет LibreOffice Online готовится потеснить именитых конкурентов / Новости software / 3DNews – Daily Digital Digest
Новый конкурент на рынке офисных программ
Document Foundation präsentiert LibreOffice Online – Pro-Linux
Konkurrenz zu Office 365: LibreOffice soll mit Online-Dienst punkten –,86408.html
LibreOffice terá versão online e aplicativo para Android – Software
LibreOffice krijgt eindelijk privacyvriendelijke online versie |
LibreOffice dogodine i kao online aplikacija :: Vijesti @ Bug Online
LibreOffice将推云服务:叫板Office Online和Google Docs_Apache OpenOffice_cnBeta.COM
LibreOffice、オンライン版提供の取り組みを発表 – BIGLOBEニュース
LibreOffice komt naar de cloud
LibreOffice se chystá do cloudu – Krátké zprávy –
LibreOffice Online : la suite bureautique dans le cloud en 2016
Ειδήσεις – Έγγραφα στο cloud με το… | – Twitter – Έγγραφα στο cloud με το LibreOffice Online
LibreOffice Online: nová konkurence pro Google Docs a Office Online
LibreOffice Online : la suite bureautique dans le cloud en 2016
LibreOffice va arriver sur le web en 2016 | MacGeneration

Newspaper image copyright Daniel R. Blume CC-By-SA via Flickr.

Newspaper image copyright Daniel R. Blume CC-By-SA via Flickr.ewspaper image copyright Daniel R. Blume CC-By-SA via Flickr.

by Sam Tuke at April 02, 2015 09:47 AM

April 01, 2015

Charles Schulz

LibreOffice – the Cloud edition

The announcement that was made jointly a week ago by Collabora and IceWarp as well as the one on the same topic shared by the Document Foundation is deeply important, both for the LibreOffice project and digital freedom in general. The short story goes like this: Key developers of the LibreOffice project found funding by a groupware vendor (IceWarp) to develop the cloud version of LibreOffice. This is something that several people inside the Document Foundation, including yours truly, have been actively looking for since the early days of the LibreOffice project. I am really happy about these news.  lo_collabora

While I do not believe that office suites will disappear, I do believe that the need to be completely integrated into cloud-like environments, whether centralized or distributed, is key to insure potential and an actual future for any desktop software. Because of these trends, the news are of strategic importance to LibreOffice and to software freedom and digital rights in general. At a time when the Internet and cloud services become more and more centralized, the competition diminishes and so do users’rights. “LibreOffice Online” is really good news, and it should make you happy. More specifically, what was announced leads to two distinct outcomes:

  • LibreOffice will be running inside a browser, like Microsoft Office 365 or Google Drive
  • LibreOffice will integrate cloud storage in its desktop and cloud versions (this is already more or less the case, but it will improve as time goes by.

world-wide-webLibreOffice OnLine is not a new concept. It was thought about more or less since the inception of the LibreOffice project; and what it will be like is something that is rather well defined judging by the early works on it. In a nutshell, I believe that what will make this project truly unique is that the “cloud version” is actually not that distinct from the desktop version, at least in its final stable form (not the first previews and betas that will be released). Expect the same interface, and more importantly, the same features (at least 95%) available in the desktop version, the ones you know today. This is indeed unique, because it means that the “cloud version” will really be the most complete cloud office version from the onset. Of course, all this comes at the price of unprecedented complexity and it means that not everything will work downright since the first stable version; but I’m confident that sometime in 2016, we will have a very complete cloud version of LibreOffice available for anyone to download and use.

It is not unlikely that the Document Foundation will operate or provide LibreOffice Online as a public service. The Document Foundation is the expression of the community of its projects’ contributors and as such works like a special kind of software vendor. But what it is not, and won’t be for a long time is a SaaS provider or a cloud services operator. This is also good news: Everybody will be able to run LibreOffice on its servers, increase the safety of its data and innovate in a healthy competitive ecosystem. At least this time,the big winner will be software freedom and true innovators.

by Charles at April 01, 2015 10:49 PM

March 28, 2015

Tamas Zolnai

MS Word compatible text highlighting in LibreOffice 5.0

LibreOffice has an old compatibility issue (inherited from OpenOffice) with Microsoft Office related to text highlighting (character background). During document exchange between the two office suites text highlighting is changed on an unexpected way. The root of the problem is that LibreOffice (LO) and Microsoft Office (MSO) has a different design for character backgrounds and so it's ambiguous how to save LO character background to MSO file formats (ambiguous both to users and to developers). Now this issue is solved by allowing the users to specify the behavior of LO export.

Design differences

Microsoft Word has a two-character-background concept. One attribute is called shading which lives on more levels of the document model: table cells, paragraphs and characters. With it we can add any background color to the selected object and we also can use it in a theme. The other one is called highlighting which offers a more limited color selection and is used on the analogy of highlighter pen to call attention to a portion of the document.

LibreOffice Writer, in the other hand, supports only one kind of character background which is called also as highlighting. This character background is closer to Word shading attribute, since it has a wider color selection and it's also a specialization of the general background attribute on the same way as shading in Word. An other similarity is that automatic font color interacts with character background in Writer and with shading in Word on a way to make text always visible (e.g. when background is dark then text color becomes white, when the background is light then text color changes to black). Word highlighting doesn't have this kind of behavior.

About Microsoft Word's concept

After I decided to fix this issue the first questions were: How useful is this two-character-background concept of Microsoft Office? Is this something which LibreOffice should support?
I've got the answer: It's not something that LibreOffice needs.

First of all I can't see a real difference between the usage of shading and highlighting in Word. I mean both have the purpose to make some parts of the text more visible (highlight them). Highlighting can be also used for reviewing a document (mark parts of a document temporarily), but both office suits have a Comments feature which includes an integrated highlighting function, which can be more useful for this purpose.

Additonally this concept also leads to misunderstandings among the users. At the first sight it can't be decided whether a highlighted text portion in a document is formatted actually with highlighting or with shading. This becomes worth because of that the highlighting feature is more accessible in some versions of Word and so it is more known by the users as shading which can make users confused when they get a document with character shading. As I see this was the main issue also in case of LibreOffice, because it exported character background as shading to MSO formats and so some of the users were not able to remove this shading in Word by using "Highlight" toolbar  button.

Summary, as I see the two-character-background concept does not have a real benefit and also causes problems on the user side so it's not worth to have.

Export as highlighting or as shading 

The second question was: How to export LO character background to MSO formats to make the users happy? MSO shading is closer to LO character background in behavior but at the same time highlighting is more accessible in Word and on Writer's user interface character background is called as highlighting. So both attribute can be a good candidate for export.

That's why it seemed the best to have an option to choose between shading and highlighting. I added this option at Tools -> Options -> Load/Save -> Microsoft Office, with which user can specify the behavior of the export. The default became highlighting mainly because in LO character background is called highlighting and so users can expect they will get highlighting in their MSO document and not shading.

A new section is highlighted with a red rectangle on Options dialog
New Microsoft Office compatibility option

Import of Microsoft Word documents

So far I wrote only about the export of LO character background. The next question is how shading and highlighting are imported from MSO documents and how they saved back. I solved this on the way that both attributes are preserved by import so a Word document will have the same appearance in Writer. If this document is saved without modification, then shading and highlighting will be saved back unchanged.

The difference compared to Word becomes visible by editing. It doesn't matter whether a character background was shading or highlighting in the original document it can be edited by Highlighting toolbar button in Writer. From that point - after a specific text range's background is edited inside LibreOffice - MSO shading and highlighting markers will be removed and will be replaced with LO specific character background. So MSO attributes are preserved until the corresponding text range is edited by LibreOffice.


In the next LibreOffice release users will be able to customize their office suite on one more way by specifying how to export character background to Microsoft Word file formats. I think this is the best we can do here because of the design differences. Well, let's see what users say.


by Zolnai Tamás ( at March 28, 2015 08:43 PM

March 26, 2015

Caolán McNamara

gtk3 vclplug, some more gesture support

Now gtk3 long-press support to go with swipe

With the demo that a long-press in presentation mode will bring up the context menu for switching between using the pointer for draw-on-slide vs normal slide navigation.

by Caolán McNamara ( at March 26, 2015 02:53 PM

Michael Meeks

2015-03-26 Thursday

  • Mihai posted a nice blog with a small video of LibreOffice Online in action - hopefully we'll have a higher-resoluton version that doesn't feature some bearded idiot next time.
  • Out to the Dentist for some drilling action.

March 26, 2015 11:00 AM

User Prompt

Libreoffice Design Session: Special Character

The Libreoffice UX team discussed possible improvements for the dialog to insert special characters, in particular the feature of recently used items. But today we have more than one solution since the current dialog would still be technology-driven instead of user-centric.

Topic: Easing access to recently used special character

Bug Tickets/Feature Requests:

Bug 34882: “Special character favorites”


  • There is no way to quickly re-use recently-picked special characters, forcing the user to search in the whole character map, which has no filter to narrow down results.
  • People writing scientific/legal essays or reports frequently need to insert accented letters and other characters.
  • Technical POV to special characters (alignment 15 by 15) instead of natural organization
  • The subset is limited by presetting a special font (some chars cannot be found when the wrong font is set-up)
  • Search function is missing (should be available for name, id, symbol…)
  • Weird interaction with selection first followed by copy/paste from Characters
  • No individualization like store last subset, or define ‘my own subset’

Screenshots of current UI


Figure 1: Current dialog to add special characters.

Features/Functional Requirements

Basic solution

  • Provide quick access to recently used special character
  • List of recently used items should be easy accessible (limit the number of items)
  • Sorting by last in, first out; items from the list of recently used chars are sorted to the beginning if selected
  • Access to recently used items from the toolbar

Extended solution

  • Natural organization, user-centric according
  • Advanced search (fuzzy unicode name)
  • Draw symbol to find the representation (Google like)
  • Users should be able to “pin” their favorite characters so that they remain in a fixed position within the list.
  • Associate a shortcut to symbol

Constraints for the design

  • Two options:
    • easy hack to realize required features
    • advanced solution for maximal improvement of UX

New design/Mockup

Basic solution


Figure 2: Proposal for a simple solution.

  • Add a grid with recently used items
  • Last used (new) char is added as left most item
  • Search by entering the unicode hex or decimal code (show as well the value of the selected item there)
  • Have a preview along with the unicode name
  • Remove the ‘characters’ field and add the current item directly to the document on double click
  • Provide access to recently used items from toolbar
  • Consider to have a predefined list of recent items to prefill the split button

Extended solution

The extended solution is inspired by Google Docs, with only a few improvements. Check it out to see the awesome OCR like function in action.


Figure 3: Extended solution: Basic layout.

  • Natural organization of unicode characters independent from current font
  • Double click to insert selection into document

Figure 4: Extended solution: Recently used items.

  • Add the item to the (long list of) recently used characters on double click (aka insert)
  • Access recently used characters as a special category
  • Access to the most frequently used via toolbar as shown in the simple solution

Figure 5: Extended solution: Search-by-name feature, detailed information.

  • Provide search by name, label, code with fuzziness
  • Show detailed information in tooltips

Figure 6: Extended solution: Graphical search.

  • Provide awesome OCR search feature


While the first option was designed with a good balance between effort and benefit in mind, the second solution would be really awesome. Of course is a challenge for developers and need further refinement in respect to the workflow, so please take this as a first idea.

As always we are interested in your comments. What do you think?

by Heiko Tietze at March 26, 2015 10:19 AM

Caolán McNamara

gtk3 vclplug, basic gesture support

gtk3's gesture support is the functionality I'm actually interested in, so now that presentations work in full-screen mode, I've added basic GtkGestureSwipe support to LibreOffice (for gtk3 >= 3.14) and hooked it up the slideshow, so now swiping towards the left advances to the next slide, to the right for the the previous slide.

by Caolán McNamara ( at March 26, 2015 09:35 AM

March 25, 2015

Mihai Varga

LibreOffice Online

LibreOffice Online will come as a collaboration between IceWarp and Collabora alongside with hundreds other devoted LibreOffice contributors. The product will be a an awesome cloud based solution which will enhance collaboration over different platforms and document formats, as LibreOffice online will be the first to offer native, full fidelity support for the Open Document Format (odf).
This new product will for sure be a top alternative for other online solutions such as Google Docs or Office 365.
In order to go online, we are going to make use of the Leaflet JavaScript library for tile rendering. Development is still in progress but you can checkout a short demo of smooth scrolling through a document.
<iframe allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" frameborder="0" height="266" src="" width="320"></iframe>

by Mihai Varga ( at March 25, 2015 09:50 PM

Charles Schulz

Introducing a new fork

Today, on the 25th of March 2015, my wife and I have the pleasure to introduce a most beautiful and the most amazing fork to date. And when it comes to forks, you can trust me.

Introducing Vallerand James Gerhard Schulz, our newborn son. May you possess strength, wisdom and beauty.




As a result, expect blog posts and updates to be slightly delayed or chaotic. There are more important things in life, after all. Take care everyone.

by Charles at March 25, 2015 09:14 PM

Michael Meeks

LibreOffice On-Line & IceWarp

Today we announced a collaboration between IceWarp and Collabora to start the creation of LibreOffice On-Line, a scalable, cloud-hostable, full featured version of LibreOffice. My hope is that this has a huge and positive impact for the Free Software community, the business ecosystem, personal privacy, and more. Indeed, this is really one of the last big missing pieces that needs solving (alongside the Android version which is well underway). But wait - this post is supposed to be technical; lets get back to the code.

A prototype - with promise

At the beginning of the LibreOffice project, I created (for our first Paris Conference) a prototype of LibreOffice On-Line using Alex Laarson's (awesome) GTK+ Broadway - you can still see videos of that around the place. Great as the Broadway approach is (it provides essentially a simple Virtual Desktop model into your browser), the prototype taught us several important things which we plan to get right in LibreOffice On-Line:

  • Performance - the Broadway model has the advantage of presenting the full application UI, however every time we want to do anything in the document - such as selecting, panning, or even blinking the cursor; we had to send new image fragments from the server: not ideal.
  • Memory consumption / Scalability - another side effect of this is that, no matter how un-responsive the user is (how many tabs are you long-term-not-looking-at in your browser right now) it was necessary to have a full LibreOffice process running to be responsive & store the document. That memory consumption naturally significantly limits the ability to handle many concurrent clients.
  • Scripting / web-like UI - it would have been possible to extend the gtk javascript to allow tunnelling bespoke commands through to LibreOffice to allow the wrapping of custom UI, but still the work to provide user interface that is expected on the web would be significant.

Having said all this, Broadway was a great basis to prove the feasibility of the concept - and we re-use the underlying concepts; in particular the use of web sockets to provide the low-latency interactions we need. Broadway also worked surprisingly well from eg. a nearby Amazon cloud datacentre. Similarly having full-fidelity rendering - is a very attractive proposition, independent of the fonts, or setup of the client.

An improved approach

Caching document views

One of the key realisations behind LibreOffice On-Line is that much of document editing is not the modification itself; a rather large proportion of time is spent reading, reviewing, and browsing documents. Thus by exposing the workings of document rendering to pixels squares (tiles) via LibreOfficeKit we can cache large chunks of the document content both on the server, and in the client's browser. As the users read though a document, or re-visit it, there is no need to communicate at all with the server, or even (after an initial rendering run) to have a LibreOfficeKit instance around there either.

Thus in this mode, the ability of the browser's Javascript to understand things about the document itself allows us to move much more of the pan/zoom reading goodness into your client. That means after an inital (pre)-fetch that responsiveness can be determined more by your local hardware and it's ability to pre-cache than remote server capacity. Interestingly, this same tiled-rendering approach is used by Fennec (Firefox for Android) and LibreOffice for Android to get smooth mobile-device scrolling and rendering, so LibreOfficeKit is already well adapted for this use-case.

Browser showing hidden tile cache ready to be revealed when panning
Editing live documents

In recent times, The Document Foundation has funded, via the generosity of TDF's donors a chunk of infrastructure work to make it possible to use LibreOfficeKit to create custom document editors. There are several notable pieces of this work that intersect with this; I provide some links to the equivalent work being done for Android from Miklos Vajna:

Cursors & selection

Clearly blinking a cursor is something we can do trivially in the javascript client, rather than on the server; there are however several other interactions that benefit from browser acceleration. Text selection is a big piece of this - re-rendering text on the server simply in order to draw transparent selection rectangles over it makes very little sense - so instead we provide a list of rectangles to render in the browser. Similarly, drawing selection handles and interacting with images is something that can be handled pleasantly in the browser as well.

Keyboard / touch input

Clearly it is necessary to intercept browser keystrokes, gestures and so on, transport these over the websocket and emit them into the LibreOfficeKit core.

Tile invalidation / re-rendering

Clearly when the document changes, it is necessary to re-render and provide new tile data to the client; naturally there is an existing API for this that was put in place right at the start of the Android editing work.

Command invocation

Another piece that is required, is transporting UNO commands, and state (such as 'make it bold', or 'delete it') from the client javascript through into the LibreOfficeKit core. This is a matter again of proxying the required functionality via Javascript. The plan is to make it easy to create custom, bespoke UIs with a bit of CSS / Javascript magic wrapped around and interacting with the remote LibreOfficeKit core.

Serializing selections

Clearly as & when we decide that a user has wandered off, we can save their intermediate document, serialize the cursor location & selection - free up the resources for some other editing process. As/when they return we can then restore that with some small document load delay, as we transparently back their cached view with a live editable LibreOfficeKit instance.

What does that look like roughly ?

Of course, lots of pieces are still moving and subject to change; however here is a perhaps helpful drawing. Naturally integrating with existing storage, orchestration, and security frameworks will be important over time, contributions welcome for your pet framework:

Initial architecture sketch

The case for simple collaboration

A final, rather important part of LibreOffice On-Line; which I've left to last is that of collaborative editing.

The problem of generic, asynchronous, multi-instance / multi-device collaborative document editing is essentially horrendous. Solving even the easy problems (ie. re-ordering non-conflicting edits) is non-trivial for any large set of potentially intersecting operations. However, for this case, there are two very significant simplifying factors.

First there is a single, central instance of LibreOfficeKit rendering and providing document tiles to all clients. This significantly reduces the need to a re-order asynchronous change operation stream, it is also the case that editing conflicts should be seen as they are created.

Secondly, there is a controlled, and reasonably tractable set of extremely high-level operations based on abstract document co-ordinates - initially text selection, editing, deletion, object & shape movement, sizing, etc. which can be incrementally grown over time to extend to the core set of editing functionality.

These two simplifications, combined with managing and opportunistically strobing between users' cursor & selection contexts should allow us to provide the core of the document editing functionality.

Show me the code

The code is available as of now in gerrit's online repository. Clearly it is the Alpha not the Omega; the beginning, and not even the end of the beginning - which is a great time to get involved


LibreOffice On-Line is just beginning, there is a lot that remains to be done, and we appreciate help with that as we execute over the next year for IceWarp. A few words about IceWarp - having spent a rather significant amount of time pitching this work to people, and having listened to many requests for it - it is fantastic to be working with a company that can marry that great strategic sense with the resources and execution to actually start something potentially market-changing here; go IceWarp !

March 25, 2015 09:00 PM

2015-03-25 Wednesday

  • Happy Document Freedom Day - great to see Collabora partner: write some helpful thoughts about it. Of course we have a nice banner / wrap - and a custom LibreOffice theme that looks like this for the event:
    LibreOffice with Document Freedom Day theme

March 25, 2015 09:00 PM

Cor Nouws

your most beautiful work with LibreOffice Writer

What brings more joy then publishing a guide on Document Freedom Day to help scholars making beautiful work with a free open document standard? Therefore today the Dutch Language LibreOffice-community made available the publication "Maak je mooiste werkstuk met LibreOffice Writer" ("Create your most beautiful work with LibreOffice Writer"). The guide is for scholars in the age of 11 and older.
Currently the publication is Dutch only, but will be available in other languages soon thanks to the ODF Authors-community.
There will also be a version for scholars in the age of 9-11 year.
Download here.
And read the full announcement here.

by Cor & OfficeBuzz ( at March 25, 2015 04:23 PM

Collabora Community

LibreOffice Online questions answered: what, who, how, and when


  1. Complete fidelity between LibreOffice desktop and LibreOffice Online
  2. All Writer, Calc, and Impress supported file-types supported
  3. Initially will include a basic HTML5 user interface
  4. Open development process from start to finish
  5. Expected by the end of the year

Questions and answers: all the details

What will the new application be called?
Provisionally it will be called: “LibreOffice Online” (LOOL)
Will it be hosted by The Document Foundation?
Yes: It will be hosted by The Document Foundation, and contributed to the LibreOffice project in the normal way, as was done for the Smoose / Collabora LibreOffice Viewer for Android, in accordance with Collabora’s open-first development policy.
Who will maintain LOOL after launch?
Collabora will maintain it alongside the LibreOffice community, and all are welcome to contribute to development.
How will document support compare to LibreOffice?
LOOL will include complete full document fidelity with LibreOffice desktop versions. All file types supported by Writer, Calc, and Impress will also be supported by LOOL, including OOXML and tens of other formats. No online office suite has achieved complete document fidelity across versions and devices. LOOL Would be the the first. Fidelity is achieved by using the same rendering engine as LibreOffice desktop (via LibreOfficeKit).
How will features compare to LibreOffice?
Editing features will initially be similar to LibreOffice Editor for Android. They will provide a subset of the features available in LibreOffice desktop versions.
What will be released at launch?
A new standalone LOOL server application, capable of serving a basic HTML5 web UI for viewing and editing documents.
When will LOOL be publicly released?
An initial release is expected by the beginning of 2016. Collabora has an open-first philosophy, all development work will be done in public, and can be followed and contributed to it as it develops.
What is the current status of LOOL development?
Work has already started and the results of this initial work will be shared shortly following this announcement.
When will the first public demos be available?
Video demonstrations are expected to coincide with the announcement on the 25th or shortly after.
What components will comprise the LOOL server?
1. LibreOfficeKit – an existing toolkit used by LibreOffice for Android and other LibreOffice projects, which houses the core document tiled rendering, layout, and calculating functionality of existing LibreOffice desktop applications.
2. An all-new tile server which communicates tiled images of documents to the browser, and manages the lifecycle of LibreOffice worker processes and cached image tiles.
What platforms will LOOL server support?
GNU/Linux will be supported at launch.
What languages will these components use?
Both LibreOfficeKit and the new tile server are written in C++.
What components will comprise the web client?
The web client will re-use and build upon the Leaflet JavaScript library for tile management and display, and shall be extended to show cursors and in-document selections. Other aspects of the user interface will be built upon Collabora’s existing Android UI work.
Will the web client require any addons or plugins?
No, the web client will use only JavaScript and HTML5.
What platforms will the web client target?
The web client should run on any device with a modern standards-compliant web browser.
What software license will LOOL use?
We anticipate uniform MPLv2 licensing for entirely new code, inline with The Document Foundation’s licensing model; although we are re-using and building on the Leaflet library which is BSD licensed.

Cloud image Copyright Kate Haskell, Creative Commons BY licensed.

by Sam Tuke at March 25, 2015 01:59 PM

Official TDF Blog

LibreOffice to become the cornerstone of the world’s first universal productivity solution

Berlin, March 25, 2015 – LibreOffice, the best free office suite ever, is set to become the cornerstone of the world’s first global personal productivity solution – LibreOffice Online – following an announcement by IceWarp and Collabora of a joint development effort. LibreOffice is available as a native application for every desktop OS, and is currently under development for Android. In addition, it is available on virtual platforms for Chrome OS, Firefox OS and iOS.

“LibreOffice was born with the objective of leveraging the OpenOffice historic heritage to build a solid ecosystem capable of attracting those investments which are key for the further development of free software,” says Eliane Domingos de Sousa, Director of The Document Foundation. “Thanks to the increasing number of companies which are investing on the development of LibreOffice, we are on track to make it available on every platform, including the cloud. We are grateful to IceWarp for providing the resources for a further development of LibreOffice Online.”

Development of LibreOffice Online started back in 2011, with the availability of a proof of concept of the client front end, based on HTML5 technology. That proof of concept will be developed into a state of the art cloud application, which will become the free alternative to proprietary solutions such as Google Docs and Office 365, and the first to natively support the Open Document Format (ODF) standard.

“It is wonderful to marry IceWarp’s vision and investment with our passion and skills for LibreOffice development. It is always satisfying to work on something that, as a company, we have a need for ourselves,” says Michael Meeks, Vice President of Collabora Productivity, who developed the proof of concept back in 2011 and will oversee the development of LibreOffice Online.

The availability of LibreOffice Online will be communicated at a later stage.

by italovignoli at March 25, 2015 01:12 PM

March 24, 2015

Michael Meeks

2015-03-24 Tuesday

  • Prep for Document Freedom Day tomorrow; chewed a lot of mail; misc. calls. Late customer call.

March 24, 2015 09:00 PM

March 23, 2015

Michael Meeks

2015-03-23 Monday

  • Mail chew, lots of 1:1's. Lunch, team meeting, calls, another team meeting. More calls.

March 23, 2015 09:00 PM

Caolán McNamara

gtk3 vclplug, full-screen presentation canvas mode

Newly added simple support to the gtk3 vclplug for "canvas" support which is the thing we draw onto for presentations. Which means the gtk3 vclplug now supports full screen presentations. Which required a whole massive pile of reorganization of the existing canvas backends to move them from their own per-platform concept in canvas to the per-desktop concept in vcl.

So now rather than having only one cairo canvas backend based on the xlib apis which is for "Linux" we have a cairo canvas for each vcl plug. The old school xlib one is moved from inside its #ifdef LINUX in canvas to the shared base of the gtk2, kde, etc backends in vcl, and there is now a new one for gtk3

Presumably there are lots of performance gains to be made to the new canvas backend seeing as I'm just invalidating the whole slide window when the canvas declares that it's flush time but slides appear to appear instantaneously for me and fly ins and move around a patch effects are smooth even in -O0 debug mode so I'll hold back on any optimizations efforts for now.

by Caolán McNamara ( at March 23, 2015 01:08 PM

March 19, 2015

Miklos Vajna

Android editing: from selections to graphic handling

In from input handling to selections, I wrote about how we let LibreOffice Android app draw the selections around text content natively. A next step in this TDF-funded project is to provide selections around more UI elements: images and shapes.

Here are a number of challenges we (Tomaž Vajngerl and me) faced while we implemented this:

  • On Linux (the desktop), the move and resize operations are really similar: if you click near a resize handle (you "hit it"), then it’ll be a resize, otherwise it’ll be a move. Defining "near" means that you don’t have to click exactly at the center of the handle, but we allow some tolerance. Turns out that the tolerance depended on the pixel size of the handle drawn on the desktop: and because we don’t package the bitmaps of the desktop UI, that tolerance was 0.

  • Writer normally requires a click and a double-click to start editing shape text. One to select the shape and another to actually start the text editing. Instead of literally translating this to a tap and a long push, we wanted to start text editing right away if the user tapped on shape text.

  • Shape text doesn’t use the normal Writer text, but editeng — used by Impress and Calc, too. So we had to instrument the editeng module as well to expose the blinking cursor, so that if you tap inside the editeng text, you have some feedback where you are. Same is true for the cursor handle: once we knew where the cursor is, we could draw the cursor handle, but dragging it did nothing: now the setTextSelection() LOK API handles the case when the cursor is inside editeng text and can adjust the cursor position there, too.

  • On Linux, users got used to the following resize behavior: when images are resized, the aspect ratio is kept, but this is not the case for shapes. We wanted to keep this behavior on Android, too.

If you are interested how this looks like, here is a demo (click on the image to see the video):

Notice how the word selection in a table turns into a table selection, or how a long push inside an empty cell creates a selection containing only the empty cell.

An other direction we’re working towards is to show / hide the soft keyboard of Android as you would expect it. On Linux, it’s easy: the keyboard is always available. However on Android you should track when it makes sense to use the keyboard and when not — and show/hide automatically according to the context. Examples:

  • When you tap inside text, we show the keyboard.

  • When you finish editing, we hide it.

  • When you start scrolling, we hide it.

  • When you select an image, we hide it.

Additionally, we need to handle the situation when this automagic goes wrong. The Android soft keyboard has a button to hide itself, but we added a toolbar button to force-show it, too (click on the image to see the video):

Finally, Siqi Liu added a new callback type, allowing to tap on hyperlinks and handle them according to how you configured URL handling on your Android device. Here is a demo to show this in action:

That’s it for now — as usual the commits are in master (a few of them is only in feature/tiled-editing for now), so you can try this right now, or wait till the next Tuesday and get the Android daily build. :-)

March 19, 2015 11:26 AM

User Prompt

Libreoffice Design Session: CMIS Improvement

Topic of last week’s Libreoffice design session was the integration of content management interoperability services (CMIS). Here is the outcome of this meeting.

Topic: CMIS Improvement

Bug Tickets/Feature Requests:


  • CMIS is only accessible through LibreOffice’s custom file dialogs, which isn’t turned on by default
  • Setting up a new CMIS entry is not always easy/possible (AskLibO)
  • Feature is not visible to the average user
  • No straightforward integration into LO dialog (+/Server…, subtypes at CMIS)
  • No feedback during connection
  • No refresh/sync on changes, at least for Google Drive (LO overrides GD)

Screenshots of current UI


Figure 1: Servers are configured from the internal file dialogs and inserted under places.


Figure 2: A wide variety of services is available.

Features/Functional Requirements

  • Access from start center (to promote this) and toolbar/menu (for fast and easy use)
  • Own dialog since integration into standard dialog is possible but very limited
    • Libreoffice file dialog is removed completely (local files are opened via default dialog) and new dialog for remote files is introduced
  • Types: WebDAV, ftp, ssh, Windows Share, CMIS (with 10 subtypes incl. Google Drive); CMIS types get one level up
  • Synchronization will be most likely not possible

Heuristics/Nonfunctional Requirements

  • Developers should take care about feedback when implementing; that means feedback on access but more relevant when the file that is being saved was changed meanwhile (perfect solution would be a synchronization)

New design/Mockup


Figure 3: Implementation into start center like for ‘Open File’.

  • Access from the start center via additional item below Open File with a similar behavior

Figure 4: Dialog ‘Open Remote File’ (with parts of the toolbar).

  • Toolbar gets another open button; save gets the option to save remotely (alternatively it can be applied as an option in the button menu)
  • Dropdown ‘Service’ to select the predefined service that contains of type plus name
  • Breadcrumb, folder view, and file list for navigation; filter function for ‘unorganized users’
  • File name allows to enter the name when this dialog is used to save a document; otherwise the caption Save is replace by Load

Figure 5: Three layouts of the dialog to add a service: Empty, Google Drive (GD), and WebDAV.

  • Provide a selection for the type first
  • Types are organized and sorted user-centric (apps, connections, protocols)
  • Most simple type is GD with just the email address
  • Every dialog has the option to change the label (later from dropdown ‘Add service > Edit’) that is filled with a default
  • Dialog’s complexity depends on the connection type
  • Password is asked when connecting to the service but might be included here in advance


First discussion with Libreoffice UX experts revealed an issue when the configuration dialog contains the type of service: The amount of information depends on the type which leads to a ‘jumping’ dialog. Solutions might be: a) accept the change of dialog height (as it is right now), b) introduce some kind of wizard where you first have to select the type and configure it on another page, and c) select the types from ‘Add Service’ and move the functions edit and delete (the selected service) to another button. What do you think?

by Heiko Tietze at March 19, 2015 10:45 AM