LibreOffice and Google Summer of Code 2021: The results

Google Summer of Code logo

This year, LibreOffice was once again a mentoring organization in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC), a global program focused on bringing more student developers into free and open source software development. Seven projects were finished successfully. Students and mentors enjoyed the time, and here we present some of the achievements, which should make their way into LibreOffice 7.3 in early February 2022!

You can experiment with the new features by using daily builds and report any problems in our bug tracker.

100 Paper Cuts by Bayram Çiçek

Mentors: Muhammet Kara (Collabora), Heiko Tietze (TDF)

100 Paper Cuts aims to improve user interface, implementing enhancement requests and solving the most annoying issues on the user experience (UX) side of LibreOffice.

Bayram fixed six bugs from different topics. Most notable are border preview not showing the diagonal border option, a bug where cropping flipped images occurred at the wrong side, and mouse-over effect for different palettes in the area tab.

Learn more about 100 Paper Cuts in the final report.

Screenshot of diagonal borders

Integrate .ui dialogs with translation tooling/string search webservice to help translators by Sary Nasser

Mentors: Christian Lohmaier, Olivier Hallot (TDF)

Sary automated the adding of screenshots to our translation platform, Weblate, while associating them with translatable words. This will greatly help translators by providing context for their work.

Learn more about the translation tooling in the final report.

Tests for the VCL graphic backends by Akshit Kushwaha

Mentors: Tomaž Vajngerl, Luboš Luňák (Collabora)

LibreOffice adapts its user interface to different operating systems with the help of its graphics toolkit Visual Class Library (VCL). Thanks to Akshit’s work, we have a working suite of automated graphics rendering tests. There is now also the ability for users to run the tests manually, inspect the results and attach them to our bug tracker in case there is a problem.

Learn more about the tests in the final report.

Screenshot of VCL tests

Improving table styles by Balázs Sántha

Mentors: László Németh (independent), Michael Stahl (allotropia)

This project resulted in fixes for the most annoying Writer table style issues. Further work is needed to provide full DOCX compatibility.

Learn more about DOCX tables styles in the final report.

Make SVM (StarView Metafile) format independent of the VCL Metafile + tests of the format by Panos Korovesis

Mentors: Tomaž Vajngerl, Miklos Vajna (Collabora)

Thanks to the work of Panos, the SVM file format is handled independently of internal VCL constructs, which will make important reorganisation of the VCL code possible. Panos also created automated tests for the SVM format.

Learn more about the SVM project in the final report.

Show text styles together in the sidebar by Anshu Khare

Mentors: Mike Kaganski, Tomaž Vajngerl (Collabora), Heiko Tietze (TDF)

Both paragraph as well as character styles are essential means to format text. Many users struggle with this concept and use direct formatting. Also, we don’t show both at once, and the two style families are not obvious to spot for casual users.

In order to improve the handling of styles (and as necessary preparation for the styles highlighter), Anshu started to rework the code. The new code makes it now possible to merge both lists into one view. A first patch was also part of the project – although it is not finished yet.

Implement Interface for external data source import into Calc by Tushar Kumar Rai

Mentors: Markus Mohrhard (independent), Heiko Tietze (TDF)

The data provider allows to import various data such as local CSV files or streams from external sources, and to apply transformations like adding/removing rows or columns, formatting and numerical operations with the data before it is inserted into the sheet. Plus, to update the data by still applying the transformations is just a click.

The project aimed to rework the user interface. Tushar organized the layout according the user workflow and common UI principles and made the workflow of adding/removing transformations easy to understand. He also added a couple of transformations.

Learn more about the data provider project in the final report.

Screenshot of Data Provider

Wrapping up

Many thanks to all students who spent their summer time improving LibreOffice. You are awesome! And special thanks also to the mentors who always put so much love and energy into these tasks. That’s what makes LibreOffice rock.

Now we are looking forward to next year’s GSoC. If you are interested, why not prepare early? Learn more at out wiki page where some ideas are listed.

Participating in GSoC is a great way to build your skills, and show future employers what you’re capable of!