The Document Foundation Blog

2015/02/26

LibreOffice 4.4.1 “Fresh” is available for download

Filed under: Announcements, LibreOffice — Tags: — italovignoli @ 11:59

Berlin, February 26, 2015 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.4.1, the first minor release of LibreOffice 4.4 “fresh” family, with over 100 fixes over LibreOffice 4.4.0. The release represents the combined effort of the over 900 developers attracted by the project since September 2010, with at least three new developers joining the project each month for 60 months in a row.

New features introduced by the LibreOffice 4.4 family are listed on this web page: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/4.4.

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: http://www.documentfoundation.org/certification/).

People interested in technical details about the release can access the change log here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.4.1/RC1 (fixed in RC1) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.4.1/RC2 (fixed in RC2).

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 4.4.1 and LibreOffice 4.3.6 are immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org. 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.

2015/02/24

Tender to develop and incorporate usability metrics collection for LibreOffice (#201502-02)

Filed under: Announcements, Development — Florian Effenberger @ 12:03

The Document Foundation (TDF), the charitable entity behind the world’s leading free office suite LibreOffice, seeks for companies or individuals to

develop and incorporate usability metrics collection for LibreOffice

to start work as soon as possible.

In order to improve the user interface, human interaction and usability of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation is looking for an individual or company to, as a turnkey project, implement a usability metrics collection feature to be incorporated into the Windows, Linux and Mac OS X versions of the free office suite. The project consists of:

  1. planning and conception of features and clicks to track in close contact with our UX team, with preselection and prioritization of the features
  2. installation and configuration of a server part within TDF’s infrastructure, which is based on Mozilla’s UITelemetry (see https://people.mozilla.org/~mfinkle/uitelemetry/ and http://bwinton.github.io/d3Experiments/contextmenu.html for further details) and defines the format for the client part
  3. a client part, that not only counts how often features have been used, but also provides further metrics; some samples of items that need tracking are
    1. the location of the click action in the menu, as sometimes duplicates exist
    2. which context menu was used
    3. whether a certain feature was invoked by a single click, by click and hold, by a drop down click or by a multi click
    4. from which application clicking on the close document/window ‘X’ (.CloseDoc) and close application ‘X’ (.Quit) occurs
    5. whether the user used the enter key, mouse click or an accelerator to open a menu item
    6. how the app was opened (via command line, start menu, start center, or by opening a document)
    7. in which toolbar a button was clicked, as some buttons are in multiple toolbars, and users can add buttons to toolbars individually
    8. which slide transitions and object animations are used most in Impress
    9. the concrete action/command sequence: which action was used by the user, and which was the next action used after that (e.g. inserting an image and then adding a caption)
    10. which menu bar keystroke sequences are used (e.g. Alt+F + O)
    11. which icon theme, font list and theme name the user has active

      Work on the client part also involves storing collected metrics data locally in the user profile with transmission to the server part when connectivity is in place.
  4. an opt-in mechanism for the client part, so users have to actively enable the feature before any data is collected and transferred

With this feature, TDF – amongst other improvements – aims to:

  • improve the menus, toolbars and the sidebar
  • show the most popular inserted special characters for use in a future drop down
  • show the most popular bullet/numbering styles for use in a future drop down

Work is to be carried out in the source code of the current master branch of LibreOffice, as available in our git repository at http://anongit.freedesktop.org/git/libreoffice/core.git

Required Skills

Programming Languages

  • C++ for the LibreOffice client part
  • knowledge about Mozilla’s UITelemetry for the server part

Other Skills

TDF welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

We exclusively use free, libre and open source (FLOSS) software for development whereever possible and the resulting work must be licensed under MPLv2.

As always, TDF will give some preference to individuals who have previously shown a commitment to TDF, including but not limited to members of TDF. Not being a member, or never having contributed before, does not exclude any applicants from consideration.

The task offered is a project-based one-off, with no immediate plans to a mid- or long-term contractual relationship. It is offered on a freelance, project basis. Companies and individuals applying can be located anywhere in the world.

Bids on individual work packages (#1-#4) are welcome.

TDF is looking forward to receiving your applications, including your financial expectations (name the final price for the turnkey project), and the earliest date of your availability, via e-mail to Florian Effenberger at floeff@documentfoundation.org no later than April 1, 2015. You can encrypt your message via PGP/GnuPG.

Applicants who have not received feedback by April 30, 2015 should consider that their application, after careful review, could not be considered.

2015/02/20

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.3.6

Filed under: Announcements, LibreOffice — italovignoli @ 09:02

Berlin, February 20, 2015 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.3.6 “Still”, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 4.3 family, which is now the suggested version of the software for large deployments in the enterprise and conservative users. LibreOffice 4.3.6 contains over 110 bug fixes. The Document Foundation suggests to deploy LibreOffice 4.3.6 in enterprises and large organizations when backed by professional support by certified individuals (a list is available at http://www.documentfoundation.org/certification/) capable of providing value added support.

People interested in technical details can find change logs for LibreOffice 4.3.6 here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.3.6/RC1 (fixed in RC1) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.3.6/RC2 (fixed in RC2).

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 4.4 “Fresh” and LibreOffice 4.3.6 “Still” are available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

2015/02/17

The Document Foundation: the third anniversary

Filed under: Foundation — italovignoli @ 00:00

The Document Foundation has been incorporated on February 17, 2012. Today is the third anniversary, and this video is a testimonial of the activity of many members of the fantastic LibreOffice community in representation of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of developers. Thanks everyone for the wonderful journey.

2015/02/10

Tender to develop and incorporate multi-language support for UI and test cases within Moztrap (#201502-01)

Filed under: Announcements — Florian Effenberger @ 14:15

The Document Foundation (TDF), the charitable entity behind the world’s leading free office suite LibreOffice, seeks for companies or individuals to

develop and incorporate multi-language support for UI and test cases within Moztrap

to start work as soon as possible.

TDF currently plans to invest in expanding the capabilities of its test case management system (Moztrap). TDF’s instance of Moztrap, running MySQL as database backend, is currently only available in one language (English). In order to add more use cases and to incorporate more of our international community in testing, TDF is looking for an individual or company to, as a turnkey project, expand the capabilities of Moztrap to allow its international community to:

  1. ability to switch language of the UI (or make the UI localizable)
  2. ability to manage test cases in several languages (including complex scripts and RTL)
  3. ability to create runs in several languages (including complex scripts and RTL)

Note: TDF is not asking for the translation itself, only to add the ability for others to translate and add to native language instances of Moztrap.

Required Skills

Programming Languages

  1. Python
  2. Django

Other Skills

  1. English (Conversationally fluent in order to coordinate and plan with members of TDF)
  2. Experience with the MozTrap source code (https://github.com/mozilla/moztrap) and its dependencies (https://github.com/mozilla/moztrap-vendor-lib/tree/master/lib/python) recommended
  3. Connection to the up-stream MozTrap project, to provide a reasonable assurance that the work will be folded-back into the up-stream project

TDF welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

We exclusively use free, libre and open source (FLOSS) software for development whereever possible and the resulting work must be licensed under MPLv2.

As always, TDF will give some preference to individuals who have previously shown a commitment to TDF, including but not limited to members of TDF. Not being a member, or never having contributed before, does not exclude any applicants from consideration.

For more information about TDF’s Moztrap please visit https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/MozTrap
To visit our current running instance of Moztrap please visit http://manual-test.libreoffice.org/results/runs/
To see our current Moztrap code, plugins and fixes please visit https://github.com/yifanjiang/moztrap

The task offered is a project-based one-off, with no immediate plans to a mid- or long-term contractual relationship. It is offered on a freelance, project basis. Individuals and companies applying can be located anywhere in the world.

TDF is looking forward to receiving your applications, including company presentation, your financial expectations (name the final price for the turnkey project), and the earliest date of your availability, via e-mail to Florian Effenberger at floeff@documentfoundation.org no later than March 15, 2015. You can encrypt your message via PGP/GnuPG.

Applicants who have not received feedback by April 15, 2015 should consider that their application, after careful review, was not accepted.

2015/02/09

TDF welcomes eight new LibreOffice certified professionals

Filed under: Certification, Foundation — italovignoli @ 13:46
Peer-to-peer review session at FOSDEM in Brussels

Peer-to-peer review session at FOSDEM in Brussels

The Document Foundation welcomes the eight new LibreOffice certified professionals who have successfully passed the first peer-to-peer review during FOSDEM in Brussels: Adriano Afonso from Portugal; Osvaldo Gervasi, Gabriele Ponzo, Enio Gemmo, Sonia Montegiove and Alfredo Parisi from Italy; Douglas Vigliazzi and Valdir Barbosa from Brasil. The eight TDF members have been certified for Migrations and Trainings. Their certification will expire on January 31, 2017.

Reviewers for the first peer-to-peer session have been Marina Latini from Italy, who has attended the eight review sessions; Lothar Becker and Thomas Krumbein from Germany, who have attended four sessions on Saturday morning; Cor Nouws from the Netherlands, who has attended two hangout sessions on Monday afternoon; Eliane Domingos, Olivier Hallot and Gustavo Pacheco, who have attended two hangout sessions on Monday afternoon (it was late morning in Brasil).

tdf-infoprofessionals“Peer-to-peer review sessions are the final step of a rather lengthy certification process, where we discuss with candidates – once we have checked their pre-requisites – about their experience, and we ask to provide the relevant documents to attest their migration or training related activity”, explains Italo Vignoli, chairman of the Certification Committee, who has coordinated the sessions. “For different reasons, we rejected more applications than we have accepted. Some of them are on hold, others were missing the pre-requisites. This ‘funnel’ approach allow to bring in front of the review committee only those people who are likely to qualify for certification, and the peer-to-peer review is the final step to discuss face-to-face with the candidates”.

The eight new certified professionals join the 44 certified developers and the 13 certified migrators/trainers who have been appointed by the Board of Directors of The Document Foundation based on their code contributions, or on their experience and their contribution in setting up or improving the certification program.

Until the end of April 2015 the program is open only to TDF Members. From May 2015, certification will be open also to third parties, provided they meet the pre-requisites and follow a two day training course. LibreOffice Certification Program is extensively described at http://www.documentfoundation.org/certification.

2015/01/29

LibreOffice 4.4, the most beautiful LibreOffice ever

Filed under: Announcements, LibreOffice — italovignoli @ 13:01
  • The user interface has been improved in a significant way
  • Interoperability with OOXML file formats has been extended
  • Improved source code quality based on Coverity Scan analysis

Berlin, January 29, 2015 – The Document Foundation is pleased to announce LibreOffice 4.4, the ninth major release of the free office suite, with a significant number of design and user experience improvements.

“LibreOffice 4.4 has got a lot of UX and design love, and in my opinion is the most beautiful ever,” says Jan “Kendy” Holesovsky, a member of the Membership Committee and the leader of the design team. “We have completed the dialog conversion, redesigned menu bars, context menus, toolbars, status bars and rulers to make them much more useful. The Sifr monochrome icon theme is extended and now the default on OS X. We also developed a new Color Selector, improved the Sidebar to integrate more smoothly with menus, and reworked many user interface details to follow today’s UX trends.”

LibreOffice 4.4 offers several significant improvements in other areas, too:

  • Support of OpenGL transitions in Windows, and improved implementation based on the new OpenGL framework;
  • Digital signing of PDF files during the export process;
  • Installation of free fonts Carlito and Caladea to replace proprietary Microsoft C-Fonts Calibri and Cambria, to get rid of font related issues while opening OOXML files;
  • Addition of several new default templates, designed by volunteers;
  • Visual editing of Impress master pages, to remove unwanted elements, adding or hiding a level to the outline numbering, and toggling bullets on or off;
  • Better Track Changes – with new buttons in the Track Changes toolbar – and AutoCorrect features in Writer;
  • Improved import filters for Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Publisher and AbiWord files, and Microsoft Works spreadsheets;
  • New import filters for Adobe Pagemaker, MacDraw, MacDraw II and RagTime for Mac;
  • Greatly expanded support for media capabilities on each platform.

A rather comprehensive description of all LibreOffice 4.4 new features, including developers’ names, is available on the release notes page at the following address: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/4.4. In addition, a summary of the most significant development related details has been published by Michael Meeks: https://people.gnome.org/~michael/.

People interested in technical details can find change logs here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.4.0/Beta1 (fixed in Beta 1), https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.4.0/Beta2 (fixed in Beta 2), https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.4.0/RC1 (fixed in RC1), https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.4.0/RC2 (fixed in RC2) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/4.4.0/RC3 (fixed in RC3).

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 4.4 is immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/ or http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/stable/. LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

About The Document Foundation

The Document Foundation is an independent, self-governing and meritocratic organization, based on Free Software ethos and incorporated in Germany as a not for profit entity. TDF is focused on the development of LibreOffice – the best free office suite ever – chosen by the global community as the legitimate heir of OOo, and as such adopted by a growing number of public administrations, enterprises and SMBs for desktop productivity.

TDF is accessible to individuals and organizations who agree with its core values and contribute to its activities. At the end of December 2014, the foundation has 205 members and over 3,000 volunteer contributors worldwide.

tdf-libreoffice44info

The infographics is also available as a PDF.

2015/01/27

The Document Foundation announces the results of the Android Tender

Filed under: Android, Announcements, LibreOffice — Tags: , — italovignoli @ 09:54

Berlin, January 27, 2015 – Following the successful release of the LibreOffice Viewer (Beta), The Document Foundation announces the results of the Android tender – http://tdf.io/tender – today. The tender aims at developing the technical framework that will ultimately power LibreOffice for Android, including the document editor. This tender is one more step towards a compelling, elegant and full-featured experience of LibreOffice on Android.

“We have received a large number of requests for LibreOffice on Android, but at the same time we have realized that without a solid base framework it would have been extremely difficult for the ecosystem to develop a full fledged application for that platform,” comments Thorsten Behrens, TDF Chairman. “With the other members of the BoD, we have then decided to use a portion of the money coming from donations to fund the development of such a framework. This represents an innovative way to spend donations money, and respects the will of the people who have donated to fund an Android application. We invite our happy users to keep on their support with donations.”

To confirm the interest for LibreOffice on Android, the Viewer – although still a Beta – has already been downloaded by tens of thousands of users in just a week, and reviewed by hundreds of websites.

Three work packages, out of the four included in the tender, have been assigned as follows: (1) infrastructure and (2) selections to Collabora, (4) cloud storage and e-mail to Igalia [details of the work packages are available on the tender page]. Results are expected during the month of March 2015.

“The tender process has been a completely new experience for the Board of Directors and for myself”, says Florian Effenberger, Executive Director of The Document Foundation. “The most challenging part has been to create the format of the tender according to the principles set in our statutes, to set an even ground of competition for all the participants. Once again, we have set a new ground for free software foundations, by investing in the development of a framework, to foster the development of a full fledged LibreOffice for Android. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the companies who have sent their proposals, including those who have not been selected.”

The Document Foundation will be making the work available as a series of Beta builds over time which will incrementally add more powerful editing capabilities. Users are encouraged to download and play with the application, and provide their feedback to help improve the quality of the software.

The Document Foundation is grateful to all donors for their ongoing support of the project, through the donations page at: http://donate.libreoffice.org.

2015/01/21

LibreOffice Viewer (Beta) now available for Android

Filed under: Announcements, Technology — Tags: , — italovignoli @ 12:06

Berlin, January 21, 2015 – The Document Foundation (TDF) is happy to see the LibreOffice Viewer (Beta) for Android released in the Google Play Store, allowing mobile users to access Open Document Format (ODF) files from devices such as tablets and smartphones.

The application, created by Collabora, is available from the following link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.collabora.libreoffice.

The first release of LibreOffice Viewer handles text documents and basic presentations. Support for spreadsheets have been included in an early form, while support for more complex presentations is planned for a future release. Users are invited to download and test the application, although care is advised for production environments.

“Support for Android is the result of cooperation between organizations as well as individual contributors,” said Michael Meeks, VP of Productivity at Collabora, “LibreOffice’s open ecosystem has again proved its ability to bring diverse groups together to produce great software without restrictions”.

The mobile app fulfils the wishes of many users who access ODF files on the go, and is also able to read proprietary document formats from other suites including Microsoft Office.

“This release is the first of a new series of mobile applications,” said Björn Michaelsen, a Director of The Document Foundation. “Individuals, companies and organizations are encouraged to participate in the open development process by joining the LibreOffice community.”

The LibreOffice Viewer (Beta) has been created by Collabora with the support of SMOOSE. It is built on foundational work by the LibreOffice community, SUSE, and the Mozilla Corporation, with additional development by Jacobo Aragunde of Igalia, and Andrzej Hunt and Ian Billet as part of Google Summer of Code.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

2015/01/13

Behind the scenes at TDF: Infrastructure

Filed under: Community, Technology — Florian Effenberger @ 14:10
09.01.15 - 1

LibreOffice admin meeting in Munich, with Alex being the third person from the left

With the beginning of 2015, a new year packed with exciting projects and ideas around LibreOffice and The Document Foundation, we today finish our behind-the-scenes series, to share achievements in 2014 with our community and our generous donours, to whom we’d like to express our sincerest gratitude and thanks for their incredible and wonderful support and their invaluable contributions!

I’m Alexander Werner and I am responsible for the infrastructure of The Document Foundation on a contracted basis since March 2014. I have been with the project since its foundation in 2012, and been a longtime supporter of free and open source software. As a volunteer I helped setting up and maintaining our first server and optimizing it to handle the load of the first days.
The infrastructure is one of the most important things The Document Foundation provides for the community. As long as every part is working as expected, it is basically invisible. It is my job to make sure that this is always the case, mostly by orchestrating the different services on our growing number of virtual machines.

When the LibreOffice fork began, we started with only one server where all services were located – mailing lists, both private and public, website, mirror management, wiki and many more. As time went by, this server survived its first slashdot, but soon it became clear that more power was needed. So our infrastructure started growing organically as more and more servers were added. Our admins specialized on different parts of the infrastructure, while the whole configuration was centrally documented in a single ODT file.

It soon became clear that this was not a viable solution – our quest for infra 2.0, as we internally call it, began. The admin team worked under fast escalating load while looking for ways to optimize resource usage, inclusion of new volunteers, configuration documentation and management. Also high availablility of services became increasingly important. In our sparse free time we started creating concepts, tested HA with DRBD, Pacemaker and Heartbeat, evaluated different solutions for centralized documentation and started using tools for centralized configuration management.

It soon became clear that we needed more flexibility for working HA with the solution described above, so as interim solution we started virtualizing services first in paravirtualized guests with LXC and then switched to fully virtualized guests with KVM. For infrastructure documentation I suggested to use the documentation generator Sphinx. The source files for the documentation – human readable RST text files – are located in a git repository, and the online documentation is automatically updated on every push. For configuration management and deployment, I eventually stumbled upon SaltStack.

My daily work consists of working on various small recurring tasks such as helping people with mailing list troubles, adding and removing mirrors in MirrorBrain, installing updates and doing necessary reboots as well as handling unexpected incidents such as the Heartbleed bug.

In spring I started working on our Salt states, made them more reliable and made sure that all user accounts are now managed by Salt. I have setup a new virtualization host with VMs for Gerrit, Jenkins, Bugzilla and Plone. Apart from that I worked on improving the documentation of our services, looking for undocumented and unused services.

I also worked on our AskBot setup. While having set up the initial AskLibO instance, it was decided to contract Evgeny Fadeev, the primary developer of AskBot, to develop additional features needed by our community, which will then be made available upstream again. Despite that, I also did some changes such as enabling the newly-developed multilanguage support, fixed template bugs and administered the list of moderators.

Except for my ongoing work to improve the Salt states and adding more not yet managed servers to our Salt infrastructure, I also continued to concatenate various documentation sources into our centralized repository.

I also worked on a download counter that will be useful to track all our downloads by language, location, version and operating system.

But the most interesting, time consuming and fascinating part of my work was the planning, testing and setup of our new cluster/cloud infrastructure. As it was decided to virtualize all of our services, I looked for a solution that is easy to manage and maintain but provides powerful tools for easily creating highly available services.

After quite some time of evaluating I decided to go for oVirt – a KVM-based virtualization solution that provides a nice out-of-the-box experience, the simplicity of its setup was worlds apart from other solutions. It is also possible to provide fully high available services with only two nodes by having the management engine run as VM on the platform.

During the time of evaluation I also had contact to hardware suppliers and hosters, and after a good offer from manitu we decided to host our new platform on two large, dedicated servers, each with 256 GB RAM and 64 CPU cores. Until the end of the year, over 20 virtual machines were migrated and a third node was ordered that will be used primarily for crash testing and to increase the stability of the platform even more.

If you are interested in learning more about our infrastructure or helping out, consider subscribing to the website mailing list, where infra calls are announced or write a mail to alex@documentfoundation.org

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