Welcome to The Document Foundation Planet

This is a feed aggregator that collects what LibreOffice and Document Foundation contributors are writing in their respective blogs.

To have your blog added to this aggregator, please mail the website@global.libreoffice.org mailinglist or file a ticket in Redmine.

19 January, 2019


Millions of people around the world use LibreOffice every day – but there are still some people who haven’t heard about our free, powerful, open source, Microsoft-compatible office suite. So here are some ideas for spreading the word – and click the image to learn more about our marketing projects:

18 January, 2019


"And my final test as to whether or not Debian succeeded was: could the founder step away from the project and could the project keep going because that is the only point at which you know that the project has basically taken a life of its own." ~ Ian Murdock

15 January, 2019


Last week, we talked to the design community about their preparations for the upcoming LibreOffice 6.2 release. Today we hear from Sophie Gautier, who helps out with localisation (l10n) – that is, translating the software’s user interface, documentation and website into other languages…

What new feature(s) in LibreOffice 6.2 are you most excited about?

The many improvements and new features added to the online version will push it a step further and speed up its adoption. I think it’s a key asset for our project and its visibility, and I hope it will bring many more people to contribute to development, design or translation of the software.

What has the localisation community been working on in preparation for this release?

New features have a lot of new strings; the Design project has worked on the user interface and the Documentation project has made a lot of updates and completions in the help files. All this is reflected in localization work. Moreover, the l10n community is also maintaining the strings of the en_US version, so whenever a typo exists there, it triggers the localization process again. If you add the preparation needed for the press release, all in all the team has done incredible work!

Looking further ahead, what else are you planning – or want to achieve?

If it’s compatible with our workflow, I would like to give Weblate a try and see if it eases the work of our l10n team. Pootle is a great tool, but we lack some features, one of which is very important for me: an easy way to credit contributors and value their work through the tool.

Finally, how can people get involved with localisation?

If you are a translator, it’s very easy to participate by helping on translating press releases, and videos for marketing purposes. If you are more interesting on producing documentation, either translating into your language or in English would bring a great help to the project. A bit more technical – but still easy – is to translate the software UI and the help in your language, bringing LibreOffice in their language to many many people. For all topics, we have a page to get started, so join us on the mailing list!

Thanks Sophie – and coming up next week, we’ll talk to Xisco Fauli from the QA (quality assurance) community…

14 January, 2019


I finished my migration of a first Plone addon some a week ago sucessfully and started with migration of a further addon, collective.dexteritytextindexer to Python 3 compatibility. I was able to migrate the source code of the addon itself, but run into issues with the behaviors test script. The tests ran successful on Plone 4.3 to 5.2 and Python 2.7, but failed on Plone 5.2 on Python 3.


I did pour volunteer work for LibreOffice and its antecessor for about sixteen years. I worked in different roles for the open source project during this long periode.  The project consumed a lot of my spare time. But then I experienced a ‘nice’ communication experience inside the community (from some ‘core’-members), that showed me a lack of respect for my project work, its value and also for my person. Thus I decided to completely stop my pour volunteer work within the project three month ago. The LibreOffice extensions and templates website (extensions.libreoffice.org) lost its maintainer and project reviewer since that time.

I used my free cycles to improve my fitness. And I was able to do this way something in balance to my day by day payed office work. Seemed it was a smart decision 😉


LibreOffice’s worldwide community is active in many areas: translations, QA, marketing, design, documentation, coding and more. Today we chat to a couple of community members about their experiences in the project…

Mohamed Trabelsi

Where do you live, and what are your interests?

I’ve been living in Kobe, Japan for three years now. I was Master student at Kobe Institute of Computing for two years, then I did internship for six months at iCRAFT Corp, a Japanese IT company in Kobe. And now I work as a Network Engineer at the same company.

Outside of work, I’m usually playing soccer, watching movies, traveling around Japan with some friends and family, and going for some volunteering activities nearby.

In which areas of the LibreOffice project are you active?

My LibreOffice activities are around QA/bug triaging, the translation projects (to Arabic), and LibreOffice promotion by giving presentations at IT-related events in Japan.

How did you get involved with LibreOffice?

A few years ago I was involved in social volunteering activities like charity events, earthquake clean-ups and so on. In the last year during my internship at iCRAFT Corp, which was supporting the project, I was assigned to contribute to LibreOffice development in any area I wanted or found interesting. I liked the idea, and considered it as a new way of volunteering in my life – let’s call it “Digital Volunteering”.

What was your initial experience of contributing to LibreOffice like?

It was my first experience with open source development, so it took me a while to get adapted to the activities. But seeing the progress of my contributions in numbers, like the LibreOffice Arabic translation improvements, motivated me a lot.

What does LibreOffice need most right now?

I think that all what LibreOffice needs is to keep improving support for other formats than Open Document, like docx and xls from Microsoft Office.

Anything else you want to mention?

I’m looking forward to meeting other LibreOffice members and celebrating all new improvements together!

Jim Raykowski

Where do you live, and what are your interests outside of LibreOffice?

I live in beautiful Kodiak, Alaskam USA. Apart from LibreOffice, I mostly deal with laundry stuff in one way or another, and play guitar – not so good, even though some say different. Oh and I try to catch fish with fair success.

In which areas of the LibreOffice project are you active?

User interface bug fixes and enhancements.

How did you get involved with LibreOffice?

Calc cell protection wasn’t working and I needed it for some macros I made using Basic. I thought I might be able to fix it. It got fixed before I could even see day light through the code jungle I had entered. After a while of hacking my way through the jungle I managed to change a old school pointer to a std::unique_ptr for my first commit.

What was your initial experience of contributing to LibreOffice like?

Truly exciting to be contributing with others


The Online Help Editor is getting a shape

I have improved and fixed a bit the XHP editor, and changed the page address:


 The editor is still work in progress, but starts to become interesting for creating and editing Help pages.

What's new

  • Mike Saunders implementation of the autocompletion of XHP tags for Codemirror editor.
  • The left and right panes are now fixed in browser screen and scrollable,
  • The right pane uses 99% of the current Help transformation rendering, plus
  • some visual debug information left intentionally to help Author in adjusting <embed>s, <image>s and <link>s . 
  • You can now open a Help page directly from the interface. 
    • The help page is normally source/text/AAA/BBB/myHelpPage.xhp  
    • Type /AAA/BBB/myHelpPage.xhp in the text box and click Open File to load in the editor. 
    • Press Render page to see it on the right. 
  • A set of buttons with XHP snippets to shorten editing workload: 
    • For <paragraph>s, <note>s, <heading>s, <emph>s, <menuitem>s, etc... select the raw text or contents and click the corresponding button. The raw text will be wrapped with the opening and closing tag. For paragraph-like contents, an unique id will be created automatically, a feture required for translations. 
    • Other snippets builds fragments of XHP tags, such as <table>s, <tablerow>, <list>s, <section>s, and more.
    • Just play with and do not forget to render the page on the right. 


  • The editor works with Firefox only. Issues with Chrome and Edge. Other browsers not yet tested.
  • Saving files not implemented. However you can copy the editor contents and finish the patch in you preferred editor
  • More XHP checking are under development, specially id's unicity and DTD checking
  • If you get a blank page on the right, this is because you hit a bug in the browser transformation. Unfortunately debugging the browser transformation is very hard, support is almost none.

Invitation for developers and testers

  • You are invited to test the editor, report bugs and suggest improvements.  
  • The user interface is simple HTML and Javascript. If you have skills in these technologies you are a potential developer for the editor, but we know that PHP will be the right tech choice in near future.  
  • The source code is in the dev-tool repository. 
    • To clone the dev-tool repository : 
    •  git clone https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/dev-tools dev-tools 
    • The editor is in dev-tools/help3/html/ 
  • If you have a web server working in your computer (Apache, Nginx, etc...) you can run the editor locally: create a link between the web server root and the editor. For example, under Debian-like Linux: 
    • sudo cd /var/www/html 
    • sudo ln -s help-editor /dev-tools/help3/html 
    • and point your browser to http://localhost/help-editor 

Seeking Help and discussion on the editor

Please use the documentation list, the developer list and our IRC channels to get in touch with the development of the editor. 


The Javascript editor used

11 January, 2019


LibreOffice 6.2 is due to be released at the end of this month, and many communities in the project have been working hard on new features. Today we talk to Heiko Tietze, The Document Foundation’s UX designer, about the upcoming release…

What new feature(s) in LibreOffice 6.2 are you most excited about?

Two years ago, The Document Foundation announced the MUFFIN concept, that is supposed to give users the freedom to change the user interface to what they are familiar with, and to adopt to any usage scenarios. Now, with the upcoming LibreOffice 6.2 release, we finally made this feature available for everyone, not only the brave users who enable experimental features.

We present the “Tabbed” and “Groupedbar” variants in the first stage (View > User Interface in the menu). The Tabbed variant aims to provide a familiar interface for users coming from Microsoft Office. It is supposed to be used primarily without the sidebar. Here’s a quick animation of it in action:

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Meanwhile, the Groupedbar design follows the mantra “Simple by default, powerful when needed” with the basic principle to access “first-level” functions with one click, and second-level functions with a maximum of two clicks.

What has the design community been working on in preparation for this release?

We also made massive changes and improvements to icon themes, in particular Elementary and Karasa Jaga. Here’s Elementary:

Plus, the icons are now shipped as SVG vector graphics. If the rendering is stable and accurate we plan to switch completely in one of the upcoming releases. Read more on the technical background on this blog.

Another great step ahead has been made regarding the personalization feature (Tools > Options) that took ages in the past to show results. Now it brings up the Firefox personas within a second or two. Read more about this here.

Looking further ahead, what else are you planning – or want to achieve – in the community?

We will continue the work on the Notebookbar variants. Some concepts are almost ready for publication. Ideally, users load the Notebookbar variants as an extension. And we are aware that a lot of work has to be done in this regards.

Other than that, we discuss the ideas from the community on a daily basis. Some would be great enhancements; others are probably not suited to an office suite. The evaluation of this input takes some resources. And last but not least, we have many “creaking doors” that might benefit from a redesign: bullets and numbering, outlines, bezier curves, bibliography…

So how can people get involved?

Everybody is welcome to join the design group. Most of us are active on Telegram and you can just lurk around there


The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 6.2 RC2 is ready for testing!

LibreOffice 6.2 will be released as final at the beginning of February, 2019, being LibreOffice 6.2 RC2 the forth pre-release since the development of version 6.2 started in mid May, 2018. See the release plan. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

LibreOffice 6.2 RC2 can be downloaded from here, and it’s available for Linux, MacOS and Windows.

In case you find any problem in this pre-release, please report it in Bugzilla ( You just need a legit email account in order to create a new account ) so it can get fixed before LibreOffice 6.2 final is released.and last

For help, you can contact us directly in our IRC channel.

Happy testing!!

The post LibreOffice 6.2 RC2 is ready for testing appeared first on LibreOffice QA Blog.

10 January, 2019


Donations to The Document Foundation help us to support the LibreOffice project and community, in terms of events, infrastructure, knowledge-sharing and more. For instance, this image shows how donations were put to good use in 2017.

We’ve accepted Bitcoin donations for a while, but now, via CoinGate, LibreOffice supporters can donate using many other digital currencies including:

  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum
  • Dash
  • Nano
  • Telcoin
  • Zcash
  • XRP (Ripple)
  • Augur
  • Stellar
  • Decred

…and more. So if you have some cryptocurrency and want to help the LibreOffice project, we appreciate your support!

(Of course, we still have regular ways to donate – including credit/debit card, PayPal, and bank transfer.)

08 January, 2019


This continues, and concludes a series of items on Vendor Neutral FLOSS projects and how they do marketing which you can read here.

TDF / LibreOffice Branding

If we want to grow our community, and to drive this with marketing – we need to position our brands to make this easy and ideally unconscious. Currently we have two brands, taking the descriptions from their websites:

  • LibreOffice is Free and Open Source Software Development is open to new talent and new ideas, and our software is tested and used daily by a large and devoted user community (link).
    • ie. it is pretty clear: 'LibreOffice' is software.
  • The Document Foundation - It is an independent self-governing meritocratic entity, created by a large group of Free Software advocates, in the form of a charitable Foundation under German law (gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts). (link).
    • ie. it is clear this is a Stiftung – and by association / default comes to also mean the handful of employees who comprise the paid team there with some oversight from the board.

Unfortunately – it seems we have two brands, and neither of these means “The community”, or “The people who do most of the hard work”. These are the people we need to be encouraging, recruiting, building up, and talking about. The degree to which TDF’s paid staff represent ‘the community’ is unclear. The board is elected to represent the community, and oversees TDF but is also not itself the community (but the board). When TDF says “our software” - how can we ensure that everyone feels included in that ‘our’ ?

It seems clear that we need to solve this dis-connection with some formulation, strap-line, brand or form of words that we use to highlight and emphasize our contributor’s input – and use this repeatedly.

LibreOffice vs. Commercial branding

Branding is really important as we have seen: shipping identical software, at the same price in the Mac app store with just the LibreOffice vs. Collabora Office brand changed shows – that the LibreOffice brand is simply far better known & sought after gathering the overwhelming majority of interest. This however brings a problem – if development work is funded by leads generated from brands then TDF promoting eg. LibreOffice Online under its own brand can easily radically impair leads, investment and thus code-flows into LibreOffice Online without any offsetting advantage. The picture below compares two branding approaches for the 95%+ of commits that Collabora has put into LibreOffice Online. The 0.05% is the proportion of visitors to LibreOffice that discover that they should fund development buying professional services (from anyone) – as we shall see below.

Which way to brand something such that re-investment and growth is possible ?

TDF marketing in practice

How does LibreOffice get marketed from this perspective ? How do companies get leads from TDF so that they can sell to some fraction of them their products, support & services thus allowing re-investment back into LibreOffice ? Answer: very poorly. Recently we’ve done a better job of telling people about LibreOffice, a recent release announcement says:

"LibreOffice 6.1’s new features

  • Poked at vendor neutral marketing bits and updated some pictures; mail chew, pleased to get a Purchase Order six months after signing a contract, nice.

07 January, 2019


This continues a series of items on Vendor Neutral FLOSS projects and how they do marketing which you can read here.

Marketing in the commercial world

In order for companies to sell products based on LibreOffice, it is vital that they find customers to whom they can sell (or that customers find them). Here is a picture of how the process of an enterprise customer finding a product might work:

Some Marketing approaches, converting to sales

People who have expressed an interest in your product are called leads - there are many ways in today’s world to get people to be aware of your products and register an interest (ie. to generate leads). Leads are the people that are focused on by the sales team to encourage them to enjoy the great results from using a LibreOffice based product. Here are some examples:

  1. You can buy per-click advertising in search engines and on web-pages. This is expensive, and the returns are typically less than the investment for low cost products in a mixed consumer & enterprise market. TDF itself has free advertising donated by Google which makes this possible for us.
  2. You can sponsor conferences, and attend them. Picking the right conference is a real trick, and the costs here are prohibitive. Imagine spending ~€5k attending a conference filled with Open Source interested Government IT decision makers. Imagine presenting your product, and having the friendly & enthusiastic conference moderator personally and explicitly promote buying your products to the entire conference. Imagine the zero leads that result in paid business, and/or any return at all. Repeat until convinced that this is a dead end. TDF itself has free booths at many conferences donated by the organizers, companies do not.
  3. Realize that news driving links and organic search for your brand – along with links from friendly projects, partners and products are the only cost-effective (ie. nearly free) way to get the volume of leads you need into the top of the sales funnel.

Clearly generating as many, relevant high quality leads to feed the sales pipeline is vital for any FLOSS business. If LibreOffice wants to build a successful ecosystem it needs to be deeply interested in the life-blood of sales: leads, how we can gently steer enterprises who visit us towards being interested in support and services, and encourage them towards companies who can serve them, and in doing so significantly improve LibreOffice ? Expecting companies to generate their own leads – particularly without having strong independent brands is extremely difficult, there are few, cost-effective pro-active marketing strategies available in today’s world for small companies.

Marketing & Framing in the FLOSS world

The Marketing / Investment mismatch problem

One of the particular pathologies of the FLOSS world is that where marketing and investment get out of step. This was particularly obvious around the Linux Desktop and contributed to the tragic commercial failure not only of individual desktop Linux distributions (remember Mandriva?), but also to the significant pruning of both SUSE, and ultimately RedHat’s desktop investment – before finally claiming much of

  • Sync call with Kendy; admin, chat with Simon. Clever idea wrt. unit-testing failed, bother.

06 January, 2019

  • All Saints; Marcus & Zoe over for lunch - good to see them. Poked at E's computer in the evening - odd HDMI sound mis-detection; hmm.


I worked on my first migration oft a Plone addon to Python 3 during the last days. There were some instructions available on Github how to procide and I followed them. I was able to run the addon inside my local environment, but I got some issues with the continous integration test on Travis-CI, once I submitted a pull request. I had to fix the scripts inside the addon for building and testing on Travis-CI and was successful with the great support from a member of the Plone community. He merged my pull request and released a new version of the addon cioppino.twothumbs today: https://pypi.org/project/cioppino.twothumbs

05 January, 2019

  • Mail chew; N. out for a swim - and N.B. over for a sleep-over. Tied the house, packed away Xmas decorations, re-organized stowage. Watched The Martian in the evening.

04 January, 2019

  • Calls; plugged away at unit testing. Pair of long calls.


I recently dived into the SmartArt support of LibreOffice, which is the component responsible for displaying complex diagrams from PPTX. I focus on the case when only the document model and the layout constraints are given, not a pre-rendered result.

First, thanks to our partner SUSE for working with Collabora to make this possible.

Continuous Block Process, Accent Process and Organization Chart

In this post I would like to present the progress done last month regarding the above mentioned diagram types — these are used in many documents.

The improvement (as always) come in small incremental steps:

  • Continuous Block Process now reads space width from constraints.

  • Accent Process now has the missing bullets and fixes an incorrect large paragraph-level indent.

  • Organization Chart now has an initial implementation of the hierRoot and hierChild algorithms.

  • Organization Chart now handles multiple employees for a manager.

With all these fixed, we reach a much better state for the mentioned diagram types.

Results so far

The SmartArt test documents from sd/qa/unit/data/pptx/ is what I used for testing this work.

Here is how the baseline, the current and the reference rendering of Accent Process looks like:

smartart-accent-process.pptx, baseline

smartart-accent-process.pptx, current

smartart-accent-process.pptx, reference

And here is how the baseline, the current and the reference rendering of Organization Chart looks like:

smartart-org-chart.pptx, baseline

smartart-org-chart.pptx, current

smartart-org-chart.pptx, reference

This is not not perfect yet, but it’s clearly a large improvement, all text is now readable from the diagrams and bullets are no longer missing!

All this is available in master (towards LibreOffice 6.3), so you can grab a daily build and try it out right now. :-)

03 January, 2019


This continues a series of items on Vendor Neutral FLOSS projects and how they do marketing which you can read here.

The shape of our ecosystem - what is sold ?

In order to understand how we can best shape the ecosystem to drive LibreOffice’s success – it is helpful to understand first what products and services companies currently sell, and then consider how we want to shape the environment that they adapt to to encourage behaviors that we want.

Consultancy / Professional Services

Perhaps the most obvious contribution to LibreOffice is that of consultancy. A user has a problem, a budget, finds someone to fix it for them, contracts with them to address this issue, and then to contribute this back to LibreOffice.

A consultancy model at first glance appears to fit well with FLOSS development, and indeed there are several successful FLOSS consultancies in the market (of which Collabora is one). However there are a number of significant problems with the consultancy business model:

  • Investment & Scaling – the creation and scaling of new consultancies is extremely tricky and risky, which has an impact on investment. Try to find a Venture Capitalist who wants to start a new, risky, low-margin consultancy.
  • Margins – typical margins on consultancy are low with net margins in the region of 15-20% (cf. 2018 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark). This makes re-investment, and future investment problematic. Margins are significantly smaller when tendering – good for the purchaser, but providing less money for LibreOffice.
  • Estimation - the literature on the trials of estimation, project management and so on is extremely extensive. Newspapers are littered with examples of projects overruns and failures by vast blue-chip consultancies. Even an excellent consultancy that delivers on time & to budget, has a challenging task - particularly when considering the previous point on margin. Can you estimate to within 20% how much resource a software project takes ? how about 50% ?
  • Timelines – a typical consultancy timeline is outlined below. Frequently a very small amount of work takes an inordinate amount of sales, business development, and contractual time compared with the amount of work done. This is particularly true for smaller contracts of a few weeks of work.
  • Overruns – Fixed Cost projects even those estimated and managed by extremely experienced consultants have a very significant risk of over-running (costing more than expected to deliver on time), eating into already thin margins.
  • Pipelining – due to the long sales cycle, it is necessary to have a large number of consultancy projects on the go at once to fill gaps. This is familiar to many people who have ever hired a builder.
  • A typical consultancy engagement timeline 9-24 months from finding a problem to deploying a fix
  • Tail maintenance – due to the long cycle time of releases, and community feedback it is normal to find regression bugs long after the work is performed, paid for and the next (of many) projects commenced. Finding time & resource to manage to address these is often a challenge particularly when they do not affect the original customer.
  • Staffing – the consultancy pipeline is highly cyclical moving from feast to famine rapidly. This makes it hard

  • Admin; lots of it. Discovered my Mac Mini 2011 - won't run the latest OSX; poked at XCode autotools to attempt with an older Mac/XCode. Customer feedback / product feature ranking for next round of investment.


General Activities

  • LibreOffice 6.1.4 was announced on December 18
  • LibreOffice 6.2 RC1 was released and it’s ready for testing
  • On December 21, the bug hunting session for LibreOffice 6.2 RC1 took place
  • bibisect repositories for LibreOffice 6.3 were created
  • Katarina Behrens (CIB) fixed some Drag&Drop problems on KDE5
  • Drew Jensen tested the Firebird assistant migration with an assembled group of test files
  • Luboš Luňák (Collabora) did lots of OpenCL fixes
  • New Bugzilla component “iOS”
  • Moggi wrote a blogpost about automated testing in LibreOffice
  • NISZ LibreOffice Team reported many Conditional formatting issues
  • LibreOffice and for macOS have been rebuilt to solve crashes and freezes affecting many users on MacOS Mojave
  • Jens Carl moved dozens of Java tests to C++
  • Balázs Varga fixed a bunch of chart issues
  • Justin Luth fixed an old annoying issue, where clearing direct formatting would damage the document styles
  • Andreas Kainz made dozens of Notebookbar and icon improvements
  • New team member Durgapriyanka continued to do a significant amount of triaging
  • KDE4 support was removed in master
  • Eike Rathke (Red Hat) reworked the Statistics dialog
  • Mike Kaganski (Collabora) added Scan support for LibreOffice x64 on Windows
  • Vasily Melenchuk (CIB) added support for exporting to .xltx and .dotx
  • Michael Stahl (CIB) reimplemented the hiding tracked changes mechanism
  • László Németh (NISZ) added support for native copy&paste of spreadsheet data in Writer tables
  • Many new features and improvements in LibreOffice Online

Reported Bugs

560 bugs have been reported by 347 people.

Top 10 Reporters

  1. NISZ LibreOffice Team ( 22 )
  2. Xisco Faulí ( 21 )
  3. Regina Henschel ( 12 )
  4. Michael Weghorn ( 12 )
  5. Drew Jensen ( 10 )
  6. Vera Blagoveschenskaya ( 10 )
  7. Mike Kaganski ( 9 )
  8. Robert Großkopf ( 8 )
  9. Markus Elfring ( 7 )
  10. Roman Kuznetsov ( 7 )

Triaged Bugs

570 bugs have been triaged by 77 people.

Top 10 Triagers

  1. Xisco Faulí ( 105 )
  2. Dieter Praas ( 51 )
  3. raal ( 36 )
  4. durgapriyanka.arun ( 35 )
  5. Timur ( 35 )
  6. Roman Kuznetsov ( 30 )
  7. Oliver Brinzing ( 22 )
  8. Heiko Tietze ( 22 )
  9. Alex Thurgood ( 21 )
  10. V Stuart Foote ( 20 )

Fixed Bugs

208 bugs have been fixed by 49 people.

Top 10 Fixers

  1. Caolán McNamara ( 37 )
  2. Mike Kaganski ( 29 )
  3. andreas kainz ( 12 )
  4. Xisco Fauli ( 7 )
  5. Eike Rathke ( 6 )
  6. Roman Kuznetsov ( 5 )
  7. Michael Weghorn ( 5 )
  8. Katarina Behrens ( 5 )
  9. László Németh ( 4 )
  10. Balazs Varga ( 4 )

List of critical bugs fixed

  1. tdf#120576 CRASH: Base crash without any notice with the option to migrate the embedded database from HDBSQL to FIREBIRD. ( Thanks to Caolán McNamara )
  2. tdf#122116 LibreOffice 6.1.* crashes by recovering file at start over and over on Linux ( Thanks to Michael Weghorn )
  3. tdf#120454 kde5: Sporadic crash when right-clicking items in toolbar ( Thanks to Katarina Behrens )
  4. tdf#122059 ReportBuilder: GTK3: Crash in: Wallpaper::operator= Format -> Page crashes ( Thanks to Caolán McNamara )
  5. tdf#121935 Cancelling database wizard at step ‘Set up connection to text files’ crashes ( Thanks to Caolán McNamara )
  6. tdf#121810 Crash in: libgobject-2.0.so.0.5600.3 when selecting more on error dialog ( Thanks to

02 January, 2019



Against the backdrop of a number of companies getting ‘cute’ with licensing, to attempt to encourage companies who use their software to re-invest into the product; vendor neutral non-profits that steward the project, trademark and other assets while allowing many parties to invest - seem increasingly attractive to sustain software beyond its (often) VC fuelled birth. LibreOffice is hosted by just such a project The Document Foundation (TDF) – and this is a huge strength.

Unfortunately, there are also very significant impacts on how a commercial ecosystem can be grown and sustained around such vendor neutral projects – particularly as relates to encouraging ongoing corporate investment into such projects. This paper (which I will serialize into several sections and re-aggregate here) – examines this space and I’ll try to keep it somewhat alive by incorporating feedback. This also exists to inform a wider discussion in the LibreOffice community along these lines.

Let me start with a quote from “Open Sources”: from a section by Bob Young (founder of RedHat) entitled “How Do You Make Money in Free Software”:

"No one expects it to be easy to make money in free software. While making money with free software is a challenge, the challenge is not necessarily greater than with proprietary software. In fact you make money in free software exactly the same way you do it in proprietary software: by building a great product, marketing it with skill and imagination, looking after your customers, and thereby building a brand that stands for quality and customer service."

It is hard not to subscribe to this view, seeing RedHat’s extraordinary success over many years. Unfortunately – when this is applied to a vendor neutral project such as LibreOffice – encouraging companies to invest in TDF’s brand and project, if marketed unhelpfully, can achieve the opposite – of obscuring the brand of those investing into the project - damaging everyone involved.

This paper is written from my perspective both from running Collabora Productivity (whereby I have a clear interest in growing our piece of the ecosystem) and also as a long standing Director of The Document Foundation (with an interest in growing the whole ecosystem), and as a long term FLOSS contributor (with an interest in nurturing a sustainable ecosystem around all Free Software). With lots of hats - things can become unclear; I try to talk here with my TDF hat on here; so 'our' means 'TDF & the LibreOffice project'. Of course, I speak only for myself – not for TDF.

While this may have wider application, and is presented in the hope that it will be more generally useful, this paper will argue that the way LibreOffice is positioned by The Document Foundation (TDF) is at times counter-productive to its mission, and that its focus needs to change. A new focus should be to give significantly more emphasis to growing and crediting the community and ecosystem – both volunteer and commercial, and away from product marketing.

Do we really need to make money / get investment ?

One of the exciting

  • L - possible ear infection impacting flights; got an app't for her, mail chew, bid a fond 'bye to dear Brother, Sister-in-law and babes. Lunch. Christmas tear-down, and/or re-configuration of the house variously. More mail & admin.

01 January, 2019

  • Up late, slugging, out to Lackford Lakes with the wider family; nice walk, fun. Becky cooked a nice meal, relaxed together & chatted with R&A too.

31 December, 2018

  • Checked mail quickly; into Cambridge with T&B, S&L for a walking tour - chips at Gardies, back to relax, write a few cards and more.

30 December, 2018

  • All Saints - canned music, and fun. Home for a pizza lunch; slugged, watched a Mission Impossible movie.

29 December, 2018

  • Slugged much of the day; assembled Naomi's dresser, played with new bass guitar. Out for a walk on the heath with the babes in the evening.

28 December, 2018

  • Out to Anglesey Abbey - enjoyed the tree & main house; back for lunch, out to play the Organ - David over - played silly games until late.

27 December, 2018


I created a new clean buildout from the Plone coredev Github repository using a checkout of the 5.2 branch. I added a local.cfg file to my local repo and added some packages to this file. This packages were checked out within the next run of buildout using the new local.cfg buildout file, extending buildout.cfg.

I created the local.cfg using the pointer from this webpage:

I added a further section to the local.cfg for ‘mr.bob’. Thus my local.cfg looks like this:

extends = buildout.cfg

parts += mrbob

always-checkout = true

custom-eggs +=

test-eggs +=
        collective.dexteritytextindexer [test]
auto-checkout +=
recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =
collective.dexteritytextindexer = git git://github.com/andreasma/collective.dexteritytextindexer
bobtemplates.plone = git git://github.com/plone/bobtemplates.plone.git

I created a new branch inside the collective.dexterity local repository with ‘git checkout -b python3’ and did on this branch the steps that are described on this website:

I run sixer and python-modernize on the package and was able to get it running with Plone 5.2 on Python 3.6. I already created a new Plone site from scratch for this.

Then I created a new Plone add-on package using mr.bob and run sixer and python-modernize against the new package. Once this was finished I added the package to the local.cfg buildout script and run buildout again. I was able to start the Plone site with ‘./bin/instance fg’ without issues again. I installed the new addon within the ‘Site Setup’ page of Plone. The new addon had no real content at that time (only the necessary boilerplate / template).

This created the environment to migrate the current state of my Plone addons to the new Plone 5.2 version and Python 3. This migration is necessary because the support for  Python 2, currently used by Plone, ends within a year.

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