How TDF uses its tendering process to improve LibreOffice and share knowledge with the community

In 2017, The Document Foundation (TDF) launched four tenders aimed at improving LibreOffice in several strategic areas, where the tasks are beyond the capabilities of independent volunteer developers. Proposals from several companies have been carefully evaluated by the Foundation with the help of competent and independent volunteers. Development activity is going to start soon and we want to share some details with you upfront.

All proposals include sharing knowledge via blog posts and other documentation. The source code will be available in the public Git repository, while the development process will be discussed during public ESC calls and in our open mailing lists. This will make it easier for volunteer developers to further contribute to the source code and to implement additional features based on the tendered items.

Development results will be evaluated by TDF jointly with the volunteers who helped to assess the proposals.

These are the four tenders:

(1) Tender to Implement Accessibility Improvements

Hypra will develop a tool to find and flag new Glade widgets that are added without accessibility (a11y) markup, which will catch all the common cases and blacklist all the existing dialog and/or widgets without these. The goal is to avoid future a11y regressions.

TDF will invest € 18,000.00

(2) Tender to improve image handling in LibreOffice

Collabora will develop a mechanism, which will be propagated through filters and UNO APIs, to better manage (compressed) image streams out of document storage into an on-disk cache. This should avoid any chance of data loss, while improving image detail reading performance and storage

TDF will invest € 39,750.00.

(3) Tender to deprecate LibreOffice’s SVG filter in favor of SVGIO

CIB will remove the old SVG import filter code (used for importing documents) and switch all SVG handling to the SVGIO filter (used when inserting images into a file).

TDF will invest € 9,520.00.

(4) Tender to implement HSQLDB binary format import in LibreOffice

Collabora will develop a mechanism to import database files with high fidelity from the HSQLDB binary file format, which has been used inside many existing ODB files, by reading the Java serialization code, and writing a filter to import all data into LibreOffice Base. The objective is to remove the legacy Java/HSQLDB database and move to Firebird.

TDF will invest € 29,750.00.


  1. By gerson brito

  2. By claude

  3. By Lamar Russell