The Document Foundation Planet


July 21, 2017

Official TDF Blog

TDF 2016 Annual Report has been published

The Annual Report of The Document Foundation for the year 2016 is now available as a PDF document, in three different versions: English Low Resolution, English High Resolution, and German.

Documents can be downloaded from the following links:

English Low Resolution (7.4MB):
English High Resolution (22.7MB):

The annual report is also available for print-on-demand on Lulu, at the following address:…

The post TDF 2016 Annual Report has been published appeared first on The Document Foundation Blog.

by Italo Vignoli at July 21, 2017 02:39 PM

>Marius Popa Adrian

Firebird 3.0.3 for MacOSX (Beta)

A beta version of a 64bit Firebird 3.0.3 for MacOSX is now available as a download for those of you who might be interested in trying it.

by Adrian Marius Popa ( at July 21, 2017 12:37 PM

Changing the HASH function (Firebird CORE-4436)

There is an interesting discussion on firebird-devel about changing and extending the hash function in Firebird (related to CORE-4436)

by Adrian Marius Popa ( at July 21, 2017 12:35 PM

Miklos Vajna

Mail merge Writer data source

If you ever used the mail merge wizard with data sources, then you know how it works: it typically needs some kind of data source (e.g. a Calc spreadsheet), a Writer document containing the email or letter (that contains fields), and then mail merge can generate the personalized documents for you.

In case you have an existing document where you already have such data in a Writer table, you had to somehow transfer it to one of the formats for which there was a data source driver, and then you could use it inside mail merge. I’ve now added a dedicated Writer driver in connectivity/, so picking up data directly from Writer tables is now possible.

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

That’s it for now — as usual the commits are in master, so you can try this right now with a 6.0 daily build. :-)

July 21, 2017 07:46 AM

July 19, 2017

Official TDF Blog

Taming the LibreOffice Help System

LibreOffice’s help system needs to evolve and be more effective for users.

LibreOffice’s help system was designed in 2003-2004 and released in 2005. Since then it has not evolved, except for the introduction of an online version hosted in a wiki server (and accessible from LibreOffice when the local help is not installed).

I worked recently to transform our ancient help system into a modern browser-based version. The partial result is available in the (temporary) website at – please be advised that this is still work in progress.

The XML help pages are transformed into pure, almost static and responsive HTML. This approach has some advantages:

  • Works in every browser
  • Provides the current functionality of the help system
  • Preserves the current development, help authoring, release engineering and translation process as it is
  • You can read the help pages in your mobile phone or tablet
  • It’s easy to add extra markup for better search engine indexing

The disadvantage is an increase in disk storage on the server.

Transforming XML into HTML for every browser

The help pages were designed when the minimal standard HTML was version 3.2 and, since then, many developments have brought us HTML5 in all major browsers. There is little advantage now to keep the current XML, and all of its designed functionality can be replaced and improved by HTML, CSS and JavaScript, for example, adding better navigation and multimedia contents.

The new Help page layout benefits of many modern technologies

Help system functionalities preserved

By using cascaded style sheets (CSS) and JavaScript, it was possible to emulate and preserve the functionality for the offline help system.

Mobile use

You may question why desktop software needs a help system that fits in a mobile phone or tablet. Actually, the online help pages can not only be opened by LibreOffice in your desktop browser, but also be a LibreOffice reference for other uses – such as simple web surfing and responses to a web search.

Help system in a mobile phone?

Searching from the web

Many of us are familiar with the fact that pages returned by a search mechanism depends on careful configuration of the HTML pages. That domain of search engine optimization (SEO) is an open avenue for improvements in the way we write help content and use the right configuration. Opinions and advises are welcome from the community. As a start,
the online help contains a set of microdata from under the TechArticle schema.

The road ahead for LibreOffice help

Still, a better solution for the LibreOffice help may be found. The main issue remains in finding a better tool to comfortably edit the XML, and make it easy to add multimedia and other content. Editing XML files is not a fun job for most of us, and is done in text editors or the old Help Authoring extension. Here two approaches are possible to ease the authoring job:

Improve the Help Authoring extension to handle the improvements for LibreOffice help contents (eg multimedia), or progressively move to pure HTML(5), to benefit of the hundreds of WYSIWYG HTML editors available either online and offline…

Help Authoring extension installed in LibreOffice Writer

The Help Authoring extension is installed in LibreOffice to allow page editing in Writer. It has the advantage of performing lots of XML checks, but at the same time it becomes a challenge to modernize its set of BASIC macros, XSLT transformations and styles.

On the other hand, the strategy is to progressively add new pure-HTML tags in the XML DTD (Document Type Definition), slowly and carefully phasing out some of the complex markup of the current XML. As example, the current XML tag

<paragraph id=”hd_id3147331″ role=”heading” level=”1″ xml-lang=”en-US”>

can be replaced by well known HTML

<h1 id=”hd_id3147331″>

tag because we already know that role=”heading” and level=”1” uniquely means <h1> and xml-lang is not used any more. A partial map of XHP tags to HTML5 can be found here.


We want to make our help application more user-friendly, providing modern content and being a reference for LibreOffice on the web. The new online help layout is a step in this direction, but much more is to be done and the LibreOffice community is invited to help us. Get involved today!

The post Taming the LibreOffice Help System appeared first on The Document Foundation Blog.

by Olivier Hallot at July 19, 2017 02:03 PM

July 18, 2017

Michael Meeks

2017-07-18 Tuesday.

  • Mail chew, paperwork, lunch, build slides & projections, commerical call, did some memory profiling; always nice to spot a stray 1Gb of RAM allocated in error.
  • Really pleased to notice that ARM release their v8a machine-readable architecture spec/ - have always been irritated in the past to see gcc/as, valgrind, llvm, mono, etc. write their own hand-coded machine-code parsers / generators - would love those to be auto-generated from some decent descriptions for all of the modern, relevant CPU architectures.

July 18, 2017 09:13 PM

July 17, 2017

Michael Meeks

2017-07-17 Monday.

  • Mail chew; product & consultancy calls, paperwork, board call, partner call. Played a little with Samuel at lunch & dinner.

July 17, 2017 09:00 PM

Official TDF Blog

Month of LibreOffice: Stickers in action!

Back in May we had a Month of LibreOffice, celebrating contributions all across the project, from code and documentation through to translations and bug reports. 304 members of our worldwide community won stickers, and we’ve received some photos of them in action – so here they are!

The first is from Gabriele Ponzo, who is in The Document Foundation’s Membership Committee and already has plenty of LibreOffice stickers:

Next up is Osoitz E who helps to translate and localise LibreOffice into Basque:

Franklin Weng promotes LibreOffice and the Open Document Format in Taiwan, and sent us this photo:

Finally, Buovjaga from our QA community has a novel use for his sticker:

We’ll be repeating the Month of LibreOffice in November, so you’ll have another chance to grab a sticker – but you can get involved with our friendly community at any time.…

The post Month of LibreOffice: Stickers in action! appeared first on The Document Foundation Blog.

by Mike Saunders at July 17, 2017 01:01 PM

July 16, 2017

Michael Meeks

2017-07-16 Sunday.

  • Got babes up, fine cooked breakfast with the wider family & friends, packed the car, bid 'byes, set off home via Sue's with T&B&S. Good to see the other nephews briefly, home - got unpacked, and T&B&S. to sleep.

July 16, 2017 09:00 PM

July 15, 2017

Michael Meeks

2017-07-15 Saturday.

  • Up, enjoyed watching the extraordinary preparations of hair, faces, dresses for a slew of young beauties. Set off for the wedding venue, went rather slowly so as to be on time, arrived. A lovely, moving service. Off to Wyck Hill House for a fine reception - babes played quartet for light music; fine food, speeches, toasts - much dancing & chatting with interesting people until rather late.

July 15, 2017 09:00 PM

July 14, 2017

Michael Meeks

2017-07-14 Friday.

  • Everyone up early, quartet practice, out for a run with J. Mail chew. Set off early to collect babes from All Saints & Soham, drove at length to Swindon to stay at David & Gillian's house before Robert & Amelia's wedding. Fine food, home & company, lots of preparation - bouquet making, and so on. Up late drinking port & enjoying cheese with David.

July 14, 2017 09:00 PM

July 13, 2017

>Marius Popa Adrian

Firebird support for Decfloat will be enabled in Firebird 4.0

Firebird support for Decfloat will be enabled in Firebird 4.0 (Can be tested with latest snapshots)Decfloat is a new SQL:2016 standard type introduced by IBM in DB2

by Adrian Marius Popa ( at July 13, 2017 02:36 PM

Firebird Documentation Funding 2017

Documentation Funding 2017 Reached close to 3500$ of the 5000$ Goal , We need more help to reach the target The Firebird Project's 2017 project is to translate into English the Firebird Developer Guide, a Russian-language work sponsored by IBSurgeon and Moscow Exchange, edit and review it and publish it in the project's documentation library. For

by Adrian Marius Popa ( at July 13, 2017 09:13 AM

July 12, 2017

Official TDF Blog

LibreOffice Conference 2017 in Rome – register now!

This year’s LibreOffice Conference will take place from 11 – 13 October in Rome, Italy. It’s a great opportunity for LibreOffice developers, users, supporters, translators and other members of the community to meet up, share ideas and make plans for future versions of the software.

And you can join us! On our conference website you’ll find a registration form, along with useful practical information.…

The post LibreOffice Conference 2017 in Rome – register now! appeared first on The Document Foundation Blog.

by Mike Saunders at July 12, 2017 02:27 PM

July 09, 2017

Official TDF Blog

Day against DRM

Sunday, July 9, is the Day against DRM. The Document Foundation supports the global campaign led by FSF, to raise the awareness of issues related to the so called Digital Rights Management software. As any other proprietary technology, DRM is killing user freedom of choice, and should always be avoided.

LibreOffice users are fighting a similar battle when they are promoting the ODF standard file format against the OOXML pseudo-standard, and they should be amongst the first to support the Day against DRM on social media or by educating their contacts.…

The post Day against DRM appeared first on The Document Foundation Blog.

by Italo Vignoli at July 09, 2017 11:20 AM

July 06, 2017

Eike Rathke

Hacker Space Rømø

Of the series of precious places to hack on LibreOffice.

Hacking on LibreOffice with dune view.

by erAck (23@ at July 06, 2017 08:47 PM

Andreas Mantke

LibreOffice Templates

There are many user of LibreOffice that contribute their templates to the public under a free software license. The Document Foundation provides a website to host such LibreOffice templates. The site hosts 352 template projects now. You could search for this LibreOffice templates and download them from:

by Andreas Mantke at July 06, 2017 07:30 PM

Naruhiko Ogasawara

openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 Tokyo will be welcoming LibreOffice people also ;)

The photo above is taken by @ftake, openSUSE.Asia Summit Tokyo project manager

Dear Asian LibreOffice folks,

Finally, the official announcement of openSUSE.Asia Summit 2017 Tokyo has been published! It will take place at the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan on October 21 and 22.

I think it is wonderful that openSUSE people have their own annual event in Asia, and I proud to have an opportunity to help them.

LibreOffice is a quite different from linux distro like openSUSE because it is a consumer product; most users aren't tech people nor computer geeks and they use it with their own languages only (yes, it is one of LibreOffice projects' goal to use it with our mother tongue), however, I believe that we, Asian LibreOffice people, might have something to collaborate even we use different languages.

So, please mark October 21 and 22 on your calendar to come, and prepare to submit nice LibreOffice talks. CfP will be published soon, then I will share here.

See you in Tokyo!

NOTE: Just a copy & paste article from Facebook post.  Sorry!

by Naruhiko Ogasawara ( at July 06, 2017 10:40 AM

July 04, 2017

Miklos Vajna

Using LibreOffice with xmlsec from the system

LibreOffice uses a number of external libraries, and most of them can be configured to use a bundled version or a system version. libxmlsec was an exception previously (only the bundled version was usable), but LibreOffice master (towards 6.0) doesn’t have this limitation anymore.

Using a bundled version is a good choice in case:

  • you want to create self-contained binaries

  • you want to bisect a regression, where possibly the regression was introduced by upgrading one of the external libraries

  • the system (e.g. macOS, Windows) doesn’t provide the relevant library

Using a system version is a good thing in case:

  • you want to work with the system, not against it (if a Linux distro already provides libxmlsec, why ship a duplicated copy inside LibreOffice?)

  • being able to use a system version means our bundled version does not have custom patches which affect the functionality of the library

  • not having custom patches also means upstream benefit from our submitted patches, these patches are reviewed by competent maintainers and upgrading the external is easier, as there is no patchset to rebase.

With that in mind, let’s have a look what blocked using system-xmlsec in the past:

  • LibreOffice inherited a large patchset from, commit 694a2c53810dec6d8e069d74baf51e6cdda91faa (2012-11-30) had 16 patches, with this scary diffstat:

 43 files changed, 5888 insertions(+), 1885 deletions(-)
  • I even increased this when I added the SHA256 patches, as back then I wasn’t sure if it’ll be ever possible to upgrade to a newer libxmlsec version.

  • Step by step I got rid of most of these patches, either by upstreaming them or realizing they are no longer necessary. Upstreaming wasn’t always trivial, as for our purposes it was always easy to patch something, but for upstream non-compatible changes always have to be conditional. Today we have 3 build-specific patches, 1 backport and 1 feature patch that is (at least) not necessary when signing / verifying documents with software-based certificates.

  • At the end two more commits were necessary to support building against system-xmlsec, only adding minimal differences when using the system or the bundled xmlsec variants.

If you are a Linux distro packager then --with-system-libs already implies --with-system-xmlsec, so you probably don’t have to do anything. If you build LO for static analysis (e.g. Coverity) then this should be also useful, so not relevant issues in 3rd-party code don’t have to be ignored manually.

July 04, 2017 07:33 PM

Florian Effenberger

Rückblick aufs LibreOffice Community-Treffen

Das LibreOffice-Projekt ist zwar rund um den Globus verteilt, doch was gibt es Schöneres (und Wichtigeres!), als sich auch mal von Angesicht zu Angesicht zu treffen, um die Ereignisse der vergangenen Monate Revue passieren zu lassen und Pläne für die Zukunft zu schmieden? Die modernen Medien ermöglichen zwar Videokonferenzen über alle Kontinente hinweg, doch der persönliche Kontakt ist einfach durch nichts zu ersetzen.

Genau das haben wir vor anderthalb Wochen getan: Beim ersten deutschsprachigen Community-Treffen dieses Jahres in Berlin.

Zu Gast waren wir bei Endocode in Berlin-Mitte, die uns in ihrem Büro nicht nur mit Internet und Strom, sondern auch mit Getränken und Pizza versorgt haben – an dieser Stelle erst einmal ein ganz herzliches Dankeschön an Lisa und Mirko für die Einladung und eure Gastfreundschaft!

Nach einer spannenden Anreise, die uns aufgrund von Stau mal wieder quer durch kleine Dörfer auf halber Strecke nach Berlin geführt hat, ging’s am Freitagabend mit einem Besuch im Biergarten los – schon praktisch, wenn die Gastgeberin auch aus Bayern kommt und weiß, mit was man mich locken kann. 😉 Bei schönstem Wetter ließen wir uns also mit alten und neuen Freunden das Bier schmecken und konnten den lauen Sommerabend genießen. Berlin ist ja ohnehin immer eine Reise wert und mit guten Freunden macht’s gleich doppelt so viel Spaß!

Die Community beim Ausklang eines arbeitsreichen Tages
Die Community beim Ausklang eines arbeitsreichen Tages

Am nächsten Tag ging’s dann direkt ans Eingemachte – auf der Agenda stand neben der Gewinnung neuer Community-Mitglieder auch die Vorstellung von LibreOffice Online, der Version der freien Office-Suite, die direkt im Browser läuft.

LibreOffice läuft übrigens auch im Browser
LibreOffice läuft übrigens auch im Browser

Beim Community-Thema stellten wir schnell fest, dass eine ganze Vielfalt an Fragestellungen auftaucht, die sich gar nicht in einem Wochenende beantworten lassen: Welche Veranstaltungen lohnen sich, und auf welche können wir eher verzichten? Wie geht man am besten an den Bildungsbereich heran, um Schüler und Lehrer für freie Software zu begeistern? Und welche Schnittstellen und Entscheidungswege gibt es eigentlich in einem Open-Source-Projekt samt Stiftung?

Bei uns ist 'ne ganze Menge los...
Bei uns ist ’ne ganze Menge los…

Mit diesen und anderen Fragestellungen im Gepäck bildeten sich schnell verschiedene Arbeitsgruppen, die die Essenz dieser Themen herausarbeiteten. Dank Teilnehmern von anderen Open-Source-Projekten wie Wikipedia stellten wir zudem schnell fest, dass die Fragen und Probleme sich häufig überschneiden und gar nicht so sehr vom konkreten Projekt, dessen Größe oder der Finanzierung abhängt, wie man vielleicht denken mag. Geteiltes Leid ist halbes Leid und man muss das Rad auch nicht ständig neu erfinden – so stand dann schnell fest, dass wir künftig die projektübergreifende Zusammenarbeit noch verstärken sollten, um uns mit unseren Kolleginnen und Kollegen aus anderen Organisationen regelmäßig auszutauschen, denn ein Patentrezept zur Lösung hatte niemand im Gepäck.

Ein Ansatz ist mit Sicherheit, die Mitmachseiten noch zu verbessern und zu vereinfachen, um interessierte Neulinge leichter an die Hand zu nehmen. In eine ähnliche Richtung geht auch die Überlegung, dass wir die internen Tools des Projekts wie Wiki, Dateiablage, Kalender und dergleichen mehr verbessern müssen – für die alten Hasen sind diese zwar verständlich, können gerade für Neulinge jedoch zu einer großen Hürde werden, wenn nicht so recht klar ist, wohin genau beispielsweise Bildungsmaterialien gepackt werden sollen.

Schon auf den Weg gebracht ist eine Umfrage zu LibreOffice, die wir zum einen intern als Referenz benutzen möchten, zum anderen ähnlich anderer bekannter Surveys der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung stellen wollen – durch unsere internationale Community können die Fragen übersetzt und dann an verschiedenen Stellen gestellt werden, beispielsweise nach dem Download.

Festgestellt haben wir ebenfalls, dass im deutschsprachigen Projekt zwar viele Personen aktiv sind und wir auch regelmäßig viele Menschen auf den Community-Wochenenden treffen, die dauerhafte Vernetzung und gemeinsamte Koordination aber ausbaufähig ist. Das ist nicht nur bei uns in Deutschland ein Thema, auch international gibt es unglaublich aktive Communities, beispielsweise in Japan, von denen wir eigentlich viel zu wenig wissen – das sollten wir ändern. Ein Problem dabei ist, dass viele der Aktiven mittlerweile stark im internationalen Projekt gebunden sind und viele bereits zahlreiche Aufgaben und Verpflichtungen haben, die unter einen Hut zu bringen sind. Auch mein Arbeitsalltag dreht sich um viele andere Themen, die nur etwas Luft lassen – doch das geht letztlich jedem so.

Gerade im Hinblick auf die Möglichkeit, bei regelmäßig geleisteten Arbeitsbeiträgen kostenlos Mitglied im Kuratorium der Stiftung zu werden und somit beispielsweise auch bei den in diesem Herbst anstehenden Vorstandswahlen mitwirken und die künftige Strategie mitbestimmen zu können, wollen wir diese Möglichkeiten in Zukunft noch deutlich stärker bewerben – der meritokratische Ansatz ist ja eine der Errungenschaften unserer Satzung schlechthin und ich würde mich freuen, wenn wir auch weiter mit dem ein oder anderen Vertreter der deutschsprachigen Community mit an Bo(a)rd wären.

Ein Thema, das Ansporn sein könnte, ist die Möglichkeit, LibreOffice auch im Browser zum gemeinsamen Bearbeiten von Dokumenten zu nutzen – dem zweiten Teil unserer Agenda. Hier kann ich selbst gar nicht so sehr ins Detail gehen, bin mir aber sicher, dass das in den Blogpostings meiner technisch versierten Kollegen noch tiefgehender abgedeckt wird. Spannend zu sehen war das Ganze allemal. Die Installation ist zwar (noch) nicht trivial, benötigt es doch neben der Online-Instanz auch eine Anbindung an Datei- und Benutzerverwaltung, doch ist alles einmal installiert, lässt sich im Browser durchaus angenehm damit arbeiten. Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie die Entwicklung hier weitergeht – mittelfristig wird die Cloud-Variante meiner Meinung nach die Desktop-Version hervorragend ergänzen.

Was hab‘ ich abgesehen von einem interessanten Einblick in LibreOffice Online aus dem Wochenende für mich persönlich sonst noch mitgenommen? Neben einer guten Zeit mit vielen guten Freunden auch eine ganze Menge für den Arbeitsalltag: In Zukunft wollen wir wieder verstärkt lokale Veranstaltungen organisieren – jeder an den Orten und zu den Themen, die er am besten beherrscht, konkret standen beispielsweise Schulen in NRW zur Diskussion. Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, demnächst etwas im Allgäu oder in München zu organisieren, oder vielleicht ja sogar in Kaufbeuren, meiner Heimatstadt? Über lokale Mitstreiter freu ich mich immer!

Im September beginnt hier in Bayern ein neues Schuljahr, die Vorlesungen an den Unis starten im Oktober – genug Zeit also, um den Sommer über Ideen zu schmieden und diese dann umzusetzen…

Mir hat’s großen Spaß gemacht, ich fand das Treffen sehr konstruktiv und ergiebig und ich freu mich auf ein Wiedersehen beim nächsten Community-Treffen, das wir künftig zwei Mal im Jahr abhalten wollen, jeweils an wechselnden Orten.

Vielen herzlichen Dank nochmal an das Team von Endocode, insbesondere Lisa und Mirko, für die herzliche Einladung und die Gastfreundschaft – es war toll bei euch! Herzlichen Dank auch an alle, die den teils weiten Weg nach Berlin auf sich genommen haben, um sich zu treffen, auszutauschen und ihren Beitrag für die Community zu leisten – nur durch Leute wie euch, die sich einbringen und engagieren, ist LibreOffice zu dem geworden, was es heute ist und es freut mich sehr, so viele engagierte und motivierte Leute zu meinen Freunden und Kollegen zählen zu dürfen. Ich freu mich aufs nächste Mal!

by Florian Effenberger at July 04, 2017 07:47 AM

June 28, 2017

LibreOffice Design Blog

Results from the Survey about LibreOffice Features

Unused features blur the focus of LibreOffice, and maintaining legacy capabilities is difficult and error-prone. The engineering steering committee (ESC) collected some ideas of what features could be flagged as deprecated in the next release – 5.4 – with the plan to remove them later.…

The post Results from the Survey about LibreOffice Features appeared first on LibreOffice Design Team.

by The LibreOffice Design Team at June 28, 2017 03:32 PM

Competition for a LibreOffice Mascot

Java has the Duke, SUSE is known for its Geeko, KDE is going with Konqui, Krita welcomes you with Kiki, and Mozilla frightens the user with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. All major applications are known by a mascot.…

The post Competition for a LibreOffice Mascot appeared first on LibreOffice Design Team.

by The LibreOffice Design Team at June 28, 2017 11:11 AM

Tim Janik

Beast 0.11.0 and onwards…

We have just released Beast version 0.11.0: Beast 0.11.0 Announcement

The announcement gives a high level overview of the changes (Soundfont support, multi threaded signal processing, new packaging, etc) and links to all the details like NEWS, tarballs, the binary package and shortlogs.

In this post, I’d like to extend a bit on where we’re going next. Beast has come a long way from its first lines of code drafted in 1996 and has seen long periods of inactivity due to numerous personal reasons on my part and also Stefan’s. I can’t begin to describe how much the Beast project owes to Stefan’s involvement, development really thrives whenever he manages to put some weight behind the project. He’s initiated major shifts in the project, contributed lots of demos, instruments and of course code.

Lately we were able to devote some time to Beast again, and with that reformulated its future directions. One important change was packaging, which already made it into the 0.11.0 release. This allows us to provide an easily installable binary package that extracts into /opt/. It’s available as a DEB for now, and we hope other package formats will follow.

Another major area of change that I’m working on behind the scenes is the UI technology. The current UI has huge deficits and lacks in workflow optimizations compared to other DAWs. Stefan has several big improvements planned for the workflow as do I, but in the past Gtk+ has not been helping with making those changes easy. Rapicorn was one attempt at fixing that, and while in theory it can provide a lot more flexibility in shaping the UI, based on concise declarations and use of SVG elements, it is still far away from reaching the degree of flexibility needed for our plans.

So far indeed, that I’ve had to seriously reconsider the approach and look for alternatives. Incidentally, the vast majority of feature needs and ideas I’ve had for the toolkit area appear to already be readily accessible through web technologies that have impressively advanced in the last few years.

Though we’re not planning to move Beast into an online application, we can still leverage these technologies through the electron project, which is an open source project providing HTML & CSS rendering plus Javascript on the desktop using libchromiumcontent from Google Chrome.

In my eyes it makes little sense to replicate much of the W3C specified features in desktop toolkits like Gtk+, Qt, Rapicorn which are much lesser staffed than the major browser projects, especially if we have a way to utilize recent browser improvements on the desktop.

So in effect I’ve changed plans for Beast’s future UI technology and started to construct a new interface based on web technologies running in electron. It’s interesting to change desktop UI development like this to say the least, and I’m curious about how long it takes to get up to par with current Gtk+ Beast functionality. I have some ideas how to address real time display of volume and frequency meters, but I’m still unsure how to best tackle large track view / clip view displays with wide scrolling and zooming ranges, given the choice between DOM elements and an HTML5 canvas.

Apart from the UI, we have several sound Library improvements pending integration. Stefan wants to finally complete Jack driver support, and as always there are some interesting plugin implementations in the queue that are awaiting completion.

If you want to help with any of the development steps outlined or just track Beast’s evolution, you can join our mailing list. Although the occasional face to face meeting helps us with setting development directions, we’re doing our best with keeping everything documented and open for discussions on the list.

UPDATE: Stefan just released his first Beast screencast: Walkthrough: making music with BEAST 0.11.0

Flattr this!

by Tim Janik at June 28, 2017 12:42 AM

June 26, 2017

Florian Reisinger

OOXML – Bug to bug compatibility needed to Word

As you know I often publish things how good Microsoft office adheres to it’s own standard.

It should be known that LibreOffice needs to produce non-conform OOXML (docx,xlsx etc.) files to be able to open files created with Microsoft Word.

This time linking to the commit message of one of our developers as a proof 😉

Tagged: Bug-to-bug compatibility, comparability, docx, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office, OOXML strict, open source, Word

by Florian Reisinger at June 26, 2017 07:37 AM

June 24, 2017

Andreas Mantke

LibreOffice Online Homebrew

I compiled and run LibreOffice Online again, the version of LibreOffice that runs inside the browser with the option of collaborative editing.

by Andreas Mantke at June 24, 2017 08:53 PM

June 21, 2017

Markus Mohrhard

Announcing automatically updating Linux LibreOffice builds

I’m finally ready to announce LibreOffice daily builds for Linux that integrate our new automatic updater. The work on the automatic updater has been going on for nearly a year now and is finally in a shape that we produce builds on TDF hardware that will automatically update using delta updates.

The current builds are 64-bit Linux builds created on SLES 12.2 and should run on most Linux distros. These builds are .tar.gz based archives that you can extract and just run. Note that we can’t update builds that are placed into locations that are not writeable by the current user (and due to missing support for signing executables and libraries on Linux there are no plans to change that).

Below you will find a short summary how the updating works and some of my open items until this feature can be shipped in release builds (hopefully already in the next major release). If you are not interested in the technical details, head to the daily builds directory and download the build (currently the only way to see that an update happened is through the version string in About dialog but future builds will open my test wiki page after a successful build).

Technical details

Our updater code is heavily based on the Mozilla updater code and was initially imported into the LibreOffice build system as part of GSoC 2015.

The update files are called mar files and contain bzip2 compressed update files. In addition to the update files (either complete or delta updates) mar files also contain signatures, version info and update channel information. We currently only use the signature support to ensure that the update files are valid LibreOffice update files produced by us and the version info to make sure that nobody can do a downgrade.

The update process is currently a two step process but I might change this to single step process later. The first step currently contacts our update server that knows about all available updater enabled builds and will tell the LibreOffice instance which update files to use and provide some additional information. Based on the response the LibreOffice instance will download the update file, verify that the file is correct (file size and hash), copy the existing installation and apply the update in the update directory. After the update has been applied the first stage is complete and we need to wait until the next start to replace the running LibreOffice instance with the freshly updated one. During the next start the updated build in the update directory replaces the existing installation.

We currently use a two step process to ensure that we are not blocking the user too long as downloading a complete update file can take several minutes (about 200 MB compared to around 2 MB for my current delta files) and ensuring that if one of the steps fails we still have a working build. However, anyone who has ever developed complex code on Windows knows that Windows prohibits access to files that are already open by another process. Therefore this approach does not work on Windows and I think the two step process has some potential for user profile corruption if the user profile is stored in the installation directory (e.g. by default in our archive based builds). The long term plan is currently to switch to an update process that first downloads the update file and during the next start applies the update in-place. This approach would work on Windows and should avoid all potentials for user profile corruptions.

Another huge problem of the automatic updater is how to handle the case that the user can not write to the installation directory (e.g. installed as a normal application on Windows). Mozilla handles this case on Windows through an additional updater service that elevates the privileges of the updater process. Currently my plan is to use the same concept for LibreOffice and the code for the updater service already compiles successfully on Windows. Using such a service requires us to make sure that the service can not be used by any executable that is not produced by the LibreOffice team which requires signatures checks during each step. As I could not find a way to reliably sign executables and libraries on Linux there is currently no supported planned for this feature outside of Windows.

The updater seems to work reliably on Linux already and many of the basic features that I have on my list are already implemented. Currently the one remaining feature that I still need to implement for all platforms is some form of an UI. The larger task is to get the updater working well on Windows, including the updater service and the MSI integration through MSP updates. In addition, I would like to implement some automatic tests that make sure that updates work and that updated builds and freshly installed builds are identical.

If you want to help with the work on improving the automatic updater and making it available in our next major release please talk to me. A good starting point might be tdf#108563, a simple easy hack in the online updater code.

As always I have to thank all developers working on LibreOffice, the TDF infrastructure team which provides all the services that are used to produce the builds and especially the Mozilla team for providing an awesome solution as open source that we can easily integrate.

by Markus Mohrhard at June 21, 2017 09:21 PM

June 20, 2017

>Akshay Deep

Usability of Special Characters: GSoC 2017

Woah, Google Summer of Code with LibreOffice ( x2 ). This time, I’ll be working on improvement and rework of Special Characters feature in LibreOffice and adding some enhancements to it. I will be mentored by Samuel Mehrbrodt, Thorsten Behrens, and Heiko Tietze. I’ll encapsulate all the proposed changes with respect to the project in this blog.

The Idea

  • Create a way to quickly re-use recently-picked special characters, allowing the user to search in the whole character map, which has no filter to narrow down results.
  • Allow users to create their own ‘Special Characters’ subset (Individualization)
  • Sorting by last in, first out; items from the list of recently used characters are sorted to the beginning if selected.
  • Create a toolbar dropdown control to easily access recent symbols and the user-defined custom subset.
  • Have a preview along with the Unicode name.
  • Better UI for search (within font subsets) using Unicode name, hex and decimal code.
  • Different subsets within a font need a separation in the special character SvxShowCharSet custom widget.

Finalized enhancements for the dialog

Proposal for the toolbar dropdown for quick access to favorites and recently used characters.


Design for the toolbar dropdown.

A lot of challenges need to be addressed while working on this project. It’s about time to play with Unicode data and custom-widgets.

For other queries and discussions, please comment or ping me (IRC nick: Akki) on libreoffice-dev / libreoffice-design channel on Freenode.

by akkidevblog at June 20, 2017 06:52 PM

June 17, 2017

LibreOffice Design Blog

Survey on LibreOffice features

Due to its long history, LibreOffice has accumulated a staggering amount of features. Maintaining these features is not free, and having a massive amount of features may blur the focus of the software. In order to steer the development and to focus on the more important aspects we prepared a survey that investigates how often some features are used.…

The post Survey on LibreOffice features appeared first on LibreOffice Design Team.

by The LibreOffice Design Team at June 17, 2017 09:36 AM

June 16, 2017

LibreOffice Design Blog

What motif for the next release do you prefer?

We asked recently for branding proposals for the upcoming release of LibreOffice. The task was also announced on the job board of the Open Source Design group and we got a couple of replies on their discourse forums. Below you we show the motifs embedded in the splash screen.…

The post What motif for the next release do you prefer? appeared first on LibreOffice Design Team.

by The LibreOffice Design Team at June 16, 2017 01:00 PM

June 13, 2017

>Szymon Kłos

Watermark for LibreOffice Writer

Recently I was working on Watermark feature for LibreOffice Writer. In case of TSCP Classification it was possible to add "Confidential" watermark in the document background. I extended that with possibility to add custom text, font family, color, transparency level and angle. Additional dialog was introduced in the menubar under "Insert" > "Watermark...".

I improved also export and import for that kind of shapes from .dotx files. Now font-family is correctly loaded:

RTF import also was improved, before Watermark was visible as a plain text:

by Szymon Kłos ( at June 13, 2017 07:00 AM

June 12, 2017

Andreas Mantke

New Setup Of Website And Blog

I had to setup my website and my blog due to some issues again. I’ll restore the content manually during the next days.

by Andreas Mantke at June 12, 2017 09:09 PM

June 04, 2017

Eike Rathke

Subway Tooter, a Mastodon client for Android

Best Mastodon client that supports multiple accounts I found so far for Android is Subway Tooter (jp.juggler.subwaytooter). If you don't use Google Play but F-Droid it's also available from the IzzyOnDroid F-Droid Repository.

Unlike in the web client you can choose which account to use when you toot, boost, reply, follow, favourite or send a message, where otherwise the web client uses the account on the server you happen to be logged in.

by erAck (23@ at June 04, 2017 06:44 PM

May 31, 2017

Miklos Vajna

LibreOffice Perugia HackFest 2017

(via ogervasi)

Last weekend I attended the LibreOffice Perugia HackFest 2017, with the primary goal of mentoring students (together with Eike and Christian): provided they manage to contribute at least one non-trivial easy hack, they get university credits for their work.

I worked with Arianna, Claudio, Francesco and Gian, all of them managed to achieve something by the end of the third day.

When I was not helping others, I also fixed a few bugs:

  • tdf#107976 sw: let a view handle multiple transferables

  • tdf#107837 DOCX export: fix balanced multi-col section at doc end

  • tdf#107684 DOCX export: fix duplicated <w:outlineLvl> element for styles

  • tdf#106950 sw: support CharShadingValue property on paragraph styles

Some photos I took during the event are available.

Thanks the organizers for the great event, also kudos to Collabora, Red Hat and TDF for allowing mentors to come! :-)

May 31, 2017 08:07 AM

May 30, 2017

Lera Goncharuk

Variables and data types of LibreOffice Basic

I have promised for a very long time to start writing about the scripting language of programming Basic in LibreOffice and creating macros by this language. This article is devoted to the types of data is used in Basic and, to a greater extent, the rules of description and the possibility of using variables. As always, I will try to provide a maximum of information, and for this reason I hope that this simple topic will be useful not only for novice users. Separately, I would like to thank everyone who commented on the Russian article, gave their recommendations, and helped to deal with difficult questions.
Read more »

by Lera Goncharuk ( at May 30, 2017 05:55 PM

May 27, 2017

Tomaž Vajngerl

Pivot charts in LibreOffice: Final part 3

It has been a while when I posted an update on pivot charts. In the mean time I finished what was planned and iterated through cycles of needed fixes and polish. In the mean time we branched off the code for LibreOffice 5.4 and the pivot chart implementation is part of that too. If you want to try it out, you can get the LibreOffice 5.4 pre-release on the download page.

Pivot chart field button actions

Last time I explained about the buttons, but I didn't explain what action is performed when we click on them. The buttons generally have a similar function as in pivot table - to show the pivot table layout and to apply filtering of data. The filtering in the pivot table opens a non-modal windows where you can choose the filtering. For pivot charts I wanted to reuse that, so when clicking on the field button, the request is send from the Chart component back to the Calc, where the same window is shown (shown in Figure 1).

Figure 1: Pivot chart field filter

Improvements to pivot chart buttons

In previous post, the pivot chart field buttons were still very basic. Now I improved them, so they show a down arrow, so they look more like they have a pop-up action attached to them. If there is some filtering applied, then the arrow turns blue (similar to the pivot table), so it is easier to see when a field has any filter applied. 
For page fields we also show what is filtered: when nothing is filtered "- all -" is shown, when some all filtered, then "- multiple -" is shown and when only one value is not filtered, then we show that value.

ODF support and compatibility

A pivot chart is useless if we can't save it to a file and later reopen. For this it was needed to extend the ODF format. Luckily, this was relatively easy to do, as the only thing needed is the name of the pivot table that a chart links to (I added "data-pilot-source" attribute to "chart:chart" element). Everything else is already present in the existing import/export code so no additional elements were needed to recreate the exact state that was present when the document was saved. 

A bit related is also copy and paste, which uses the ODF as an intermediate format (copy saves parts to the ODF format and paste loads the format) so things like copy/paste between documents works. A difference here is that we can copy the pivot chart and paste to a different (empty) document, which doesn't have the pivot table. In this case I had to make sure that a normal chart is pasted, which uses the table internal data and not the pivot table. The table internal data is always written with the chart object even if it is not used, just for situations like this (another one is also when we copy from Calc document and paste in Writer document).


It would be really hard for me to implement this properly without tests, as they cemented the behaviour and, if they failed, I knew that probably I made a mistake or I have took a wrong approach to solve the problem. First I added a import / export tests, which just used an existing document to get the data, pivot table and already existing pivot chart. The purpose of these are to test the ODF import and export code. 
Later, I added tests which programatically add data into a sheet and create a pivot table from scratch as a set-up, then create the pivot chart and test various pivot table layouts, and assert what we expect to see in a pivot chart. This approach is better as a document is not needed, and it demonstrates that a pivot chart can be made from scratch with the available API.

Final demo

Finally, I want to show the complete demo of the pivot chart feature:

You can find the video on YouTube at the following URL:


Many thanks to Nantes Métropole and Ville de Nantes for making this work possible.

Read more about Nantes deployment here.

by Tomaž Vajngerl ( at May 27, 2017 10:48 AM

May 24, 2017

Florian Effenberger

LibreOffice-Projektwochenende im Juni 2017 in Berlin

Im deutschsprachigen LibreOffice-Projekt ist es bewährte Tradition, mindestens ein Projektwochenende im Jahr abzuhalten. Ort und Termin stehen nun fest: Wir treffen uns vom 23. bis 25. Juni in Berlin und eines der Hauptthemen wird LibreOffice online sein.

Ein LibreOffice-Projektwochenende
Ein LibreOffice-Projektwochenende

Dieses Jahr treffen wir uns von Freitagnachmittag, 23. Juni bis Sonntagmittag, 25. Juni in Berlin. Vielen Dank an Endocode für die Unterstützung!

Alle Details und die Anmeldemöglichkeit findest du auf der offiziellen Wiki-Seite und im Blogposting.

Wenn du Lust hast, in eines der großen Open-Source-Projekte hineinzuschnuppern, die „Macher“ hinter dem Programm kennen zu lernen und selbst bei uns mitzumachen, dann ist das die ideale Gelegenheit dazu! Ich freu mich auf dich!

by Florian Effenberger at May 24, 2017 10:07 AM

May 23, 2017

Florian Effenberger

Interview zu meiner Arbeit bei LibreOffice und The Document Foundation

Während der diesjährigen FOSDEM hat mein Kollege Mike Saunders viele Mitwirkende an LibreOffice zu ihren Beiträgen im Projekt interviewt. Ich freue mich sehr, dass ich mit ihm über meine Arbeit als Geschäftsführer der Stiftung The Document Foundation und meine Erlebnisse mit der Community sprechen durfte.

Das Video steht nun auch in deutscher Sprache online.

Ich hatte während der FOSDEM leider mit einer starken Erkältung zu kämpfen, hoffe aber, dass ich trotzdem verständlich bin. 😉

by Florian Effenberger at May 23, 2017 10:22 AM

May 22, 2017

TDF Infrastructure Status

pootle maintenance on Wednesday (2017-05-24)

(17-05-22) Pootle will undergo maintenance on Wednesday and thus will not be available for translators for most of the day.

by The Document Foundation at May 22, 2017 10:00 PM

May 21, 2017

LibreOffice Design Blog

Please participate in a survey about page margins

Margins specify the amount of space to leave between the edges of the page and the document text. You can define it for the left/inner, right/outer, top and bottom side individually. Page margins are defined by default at 0.79″ respectively 2cm on each side in LibreOffice Writer (located under Format > Page).…

The post Please participate in a survey about page margins appeared first on LibreOffice Design Team.

by The LibreOffice Design Team at May 21, 2017 09:37 PM

May 18, 2017

Florian Reisinger

LibreOffice can open XLSX files Excel cannot

Just a quick heads up. I just created and saved an Excel file using Excel 2016, which cannot be opened again with it. Glad our swiss army knife LibreOffice can 😉

It’s funny to see Excel can open the ODS I created using LibreOffice (as source I used the XLSX file) better than it’s “native” format….

Here is a short “proof” video:

Tagged: Excel 2016, file open, fileopen, LibreOffice, problems

by Florian Reisinger at May 18, 2017 07:54 AM