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Report From LibreOffice Asia Conference and More Reasons to Move to LibreOffice

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Microsoft
OSS
  • LibreOffice Asia Conference Report: Part 2

    Foreword: the LibreOffice Asia Conference was successfully held in May 2019 in Tokyo. Kuan-Ting Lin, a university student and civic tech reporter also attended this conference and gives his observations here. In Part II, Kuan-Ting starts with the Open Document Format, and expounds on how to form an open government and better autonomy of Taiwan.

    The “Taiwanese Language channel” (tâi-gí-tâi) of the Public Television Service (PTS) in Taiwan started its broadcasting service in July 2019. This channel became possible only because the National Languages Act was approved in parliament. This policy was rooted by many in the decision to improve expression, alleviation of limits on speeches, and the consolidation of autonomy following the new law.

    After a long-time struggle, the state also sees a silver lining regarding another autonomy issue: document liberation.

  • Let's see what the sweet, kind, new Microsoft that everyone loves is up to. Ah yes, forcing more Office home users into annual subscriptions

    Microsoft is continuing its campaign to drive Office users onto a subscription plan by killing off its discounted Home Use program.

    The program covers individuals whose employer already has an Office subscription and allowed them to download standalone software on a separate home machine for a greatly reduced price of just $15. But no more.

    Eligible users will still get a discount – but only on an Office subscription package. No more standalone software. Microsoft is keen that everyone recognizes this change for the wonderful opportunity it is.

    "Microsoft is updating the Home Use Program to offer discounts on the latest and most up to date products such as Office 365, which is always up to date with premium versions of Office apps across all your devices," it chirpily announced in a new FAQ question this week, before noting that "Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers."

    Why the change? You won't believe this but it seems money is at the root of it. Rather than pay $15 for a piece of software that you can then use for years, Microsoft's "update" will require home users (whose employers already have a subscription with Microsoft) to pay either $49 or $70 for the Personal and Home Office 365 services respectively. Every year.

LibreOffice 6.2.6 is ready, all users should update for enhanced security

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Security

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 6.2.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 6.2 family, targeted at users in production environments. All users of LibreOffice 6.1.x and LibreOffice 6.2.x versions should upgrade immediately for enhanced security, as the software includes both security fixes and some months of back-ported fixes.

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With Microsoft dumping MS Office, consider LibreOffice for your next PC office suite

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Microsoft

LibreOffice's Export as PDF has improved. It now fully supports PDF/A-2 document format. This is required by several organizations for long-term file storage. It also simplified its editable PDF forms by incorporating the Form menu into LibreOffice Writer.

A new feature, which security-minded businesses may find interesting, is that you can now "redact" information in documents. With this, you can remove or hide sensitive information such as personal data before exporting or sharing the file.

You can run LibreOffice on Linux, MacOS, and Windows. You can also use as a cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application, LibreOffice Online, by deploying it on a cloud you control.

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LibreOffice 6.3 Open-Source Office Suite Officially Released, Here's What's New

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The third major, feature-full update to the latest LibreOffice 6 office suite series, LibreOffice 6.3, comes exactly six months after the LibreOffice 6.2 release to add better performance, enhanced interoperability with proprietary document formats, as well as a set of new features and other improvements.

The LibreOffice 6.3 office suite will be supported for the next ten months with smaller maintenance updates until May 29, 2020. The Document Foundation has planned a total of six point releases for LibreOffice 6.3, but currently recommends users the LibreOffice 6.2 series for extra stability in production environments.

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LibreOffice or FreeOffice? Manjaro Gives You the Right to Choose

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GNU
LibO
Linux

In the last week of July, Manjaro Linux suddenly decided to drop the popular open source productivity suite LibreOffice in favor of Softmaker’s FreeOffice. The decision faced heavy criticism from people who prefer using open source software.

The Manjaro team listened to the community feedback and modified its decision of including FreeOffice as the default office suite. From next release, users will get the option to choose between FreeOffice and LibreOffice while installing Manjaro Linux.

[...]

Personally, I am glad that Manjaro Linux changed its earlier decision and took a more balanced approach about including the proprietary software.

There are a few Linux distributions that are determined to include only open source software (like Trisquel) but Manjaro is not one of them. Manjaro Linux is more mainstream and it (seems to) cater to the need of a regular user who would be happy to get his/her work done without going into details of whether or not the software is open source.

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Manjaro Linux Team Responds To LibreOffice Versus FreeOffice In Upcoming Version 18.1

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GNU
LibO
Linux

The announcement first dropped quietly -- and without any explanation -- on the Manjaro Linux forum. An outpouring of criticism followed, mainly triggered by disappointment that a distribution perceived as mostly embracing free and open source software would replace LibreOffice (which is largely considered the go-to, pre-installed office suite on Linux) with a proprietary competitor.

To hear the reasoning behind this decision directly from Manjaro lead Philip Müller, you can listen to Linux Unplugged beginning at 13:42. The main takeaway is that the team believes FreeOffice delivers the best overall compatibility with Microsoft Office, and Müller emphasized that no money had been exchanged (yet) as a result of the partnership.

For the time being, I'm going to bypass my own commentary on this and jump straight to the good news, but feel free to listen to the upcoming episode of my podcast Linux For Everyone to hear this discussed in depth.

Originally, Manjaro announced that FreeOffice would ship by default with new installations of the Arch-based distribution. But the team obviously absorbed and took to heart all the feedback, coming up with a solution that we can all appreciate: choice.

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Events: KDE Connect, LibreOffice Asia Conference, USENIX ATC 2019

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KDE
LibO
  • KDE Connect SMS: Nuremberg Megasprint Part 3

    When interacting with other users of KDE Connect, I often notice something funny. People will often talk about how nice it is that they can control their computer from their phone (using the media controls, the mousepad plugin, or several of the others). For me, this has always been a secondary benefit. I use KDE Connect’s presentation plugin for all of my presentations but my primary goal has always been to be able to control my phone from my computer. I hate the phone keyboard, I hate the tiny screen, and I hate having to pull the thing out of my pocket.

    On a daily basis, the number 1 thing I need to do with my phone is send or read SMS. In the United States, SMS is the de facto default communication system. In Europe, I basically assume that anyone I want to communicate with uses WhatsApp. In the US, with one friend I use WhatsApp, with another one friend I use Telegram, and with my family and other friends I use SMS. (Many people use Facebook Messenger but that is still not as widespread).

    Those who have been very carefully following the KDE Connect channels might already know that we have been working on a desktop application which uses KDE Connect to load SMS conversation history and send SMS using the phone. (I have been keeping this under wraps because I know it is our #1 requested feature and I don’t want to tease anyone with a stream of “Oh yes, it’s almost there” half-promises)

    The SMS app started March 2018 at the previous KDE Connect sprint. I arrived in Barcelona with a half-written contacts synchronization plugin and the goal to never touch my phone again. In only a few days, we had the contacts plugin in its current form and the skeleton of an SMS app (based on Qt’s QML chat app tutorial). It could read the display names and avatars from the synchronized contacts and you could use the compose message box to send SMS. There was no message history yet, just some statically-created items in the QML, but everything starts somewhere!

  • LibreOffice Asia Conference Report: Part 1

    On June 18, 2019, almost all of the government agencies in Taiwan’s cabinet received an official document from the National Development Council (NDC). “When exchanging digital documents between government agencies, the file format used shall be the Open Document Format (ODF) if the transferred files are editable… Do not use proprietary editors to directly save as ODF files… It is highly recommended to use the NDC ODF Application Tools or LibreOffice to generate standard ODF files.”

    “This is the most exciting and cheering official document in recent years!” said Dr. Chao-Kuei Hung, a Science and Technology Studies (STS) researcher and inveterate FOSS promoter. In the document, users in Taiwan government agencies are asked to not use proprietary office suites like Microsoft Office to generate documents, and therefore not save and spread “.doc” or “.docx” format files, which people are quite familiar with.

    Instead, they are asked to use free and open source software – which lets people to download, research, improve and redistribute it – like LibreOffice. They need to save and transfer documents in ODF format, which is an ISO standard (see the upcoming part II of the report for details). For most people, this seems to be a confusing policy; however, it will surely affect our lives in the future. For us, it is even as important as metric units like kilograms or meters.

  • USENIX ATC 2019: A retargetable system-level DBT hypervisor, an I/O scheduler for LSM KVs, and more

    The USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC) is considered to be one of the most prestigious systems research conferences. It covers all practical facets of systems software and aims to improve and further the knowledge of computing systems of all scales. Along with providing a platform to showcase cutting-edge systems research, it also allows researchers to gain insight into fields like virtualization, system management and troubleshooting, cloud and edge computing, security, and more.

A better LibreOffice than LibreOffice and ODF Gains

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LibO
  • A better LibreOffice than LibreOffice

    After readings and advises from other IT directors, one of my customers and strong supporter of LibreOffice, noticed that just switching programs and teaching user to avoid pitfalls in interoperability is not enough for a smooth migration, and something more than following the migration best practices has to be done for a successful switch. He then asked me to deliver a better LibreOffice than LibreOffice.

    Challenge accepted. Together we started to investigate the needs of his organization, a civil company with strong military ties and with significant part of the workforce serving the military. We discovered a set of employees with repetitive tasks, usually performed by reusing old documents and updating them. The straightforward solution was to define a set of document templates and deploy it in the user computers.

    But that was not enough. LibreOffice templates are accessed by a bunch of clicks with dialogs navigation, a sequence that needs to be memorized. Besides, templates dialog covers all kind of documents types and more clicks to narrow the selection. There had to be some easier way to get a brand new document from a corporate controlled template. Also, my customer also wanted to let a fingerprint in the solution and he wanted the solution to bear the company logo when user access it, including the high ranked military.

  • LibreOffice monthly recap: July 2019

    ODF (the Open Document Format) is the native file format of LibreOffice, and is a fully open and standardised format, ideal for long-term document storage. At the start of the month, we announced COSM – the Community of ODF Specification Maintainers, to hold funds and to retain editors to work at the ODF Technical Committee. The goal is to accelerate development of the standard, and build up experienced editors.

The First LibreOffice Latin America Conference is a success and achieved important community milestones.

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LibO

The Conference opened to public on Friday 19 in a ceremony that gathered the Minister of the Secretariat of Linguistic Policies (SPL), Ladislaa Alcaraz de Silvero, Prof. Limpia Ferreira Ortiz, FP-UNA Vice-Dean, members of the Guaraní Culture Atheneum, Prof. Mag. Alcides Torres Gutt, Coordinator of the Translation Team together with Italo Vignoli and Gustavo Pacheco representing The Document Foundation and the LibreOffice Community.

“The LibreOffice Latin American Conference is an event not only of technology, it is also a space for the study of new forms of productive organization. It will deal with technical topics such as development and quality control, but also with successful cases of migration and, with special attention, the translation into Guaraní, native of the American continent and official in Paraguay,” said the Vice-dean in her inaugural speech.

The conference initiative was declared of “Scientific and Technological Interest” by the Honorable Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay.

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UK Government Digital Service joins The Document Foundation Advisory Board

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OSS
OOo

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is part of the UK Cabinet Office [1]. It leads the digital transformation of Government in the UK, helping people interact with government more easily and supporting government to operate more effectively and efficiently.

In July 2014, the UK Cabinet Office announced the selection of the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing and viewing government documents.

The Open Standards Team within GDS support and encourage the use of open standards in government. Their aim is to help identify and contribute to open standards for software interoperability and to promote data formats that will help to meet user needs across the UK government and support the delivery of common components.

“GDS has been a long-term supporter of the adoption of Open Document Format, and their participation in the TDF Advisory Board represents a strong endorsement of the project’s commitment to the advancement of open standards and ODF”, says Simon Phipps, TDF Director.

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More in Tux Machines

FOSS From Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)

  • Australian Signals Directorate open sources data analysis tool

    The security agency described Constellation as a NetBeans Java application that can be “used to inform decision making and advance data-driven innovation”. The source code has been released under the Apache License 2.0.

  • ASD makes in-house data analysis app open source

    The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has released an open source version of its in-house data visualisation and analysis tool, Constellation, connecting the security agency with the outer world.

    The tool — which is available via GitHub — was designed to help “inform decision-making and advance data-driven innovation” and can be used to “solve large and complex problems in a simple and intuitive way”, according to the agency.

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers: OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, Fedora Program Management, Security and More

  • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/33

    Week 2019/33 ‘only’ saw three snapshots being published (3 more were given to openQA but discarded).

  • FPgM report: 2019-33

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. (Just not this week because I will be traveling)

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (freetype, libreoffice, and openjdk-7), Fedora (edk2, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, mariadb-connector-odbc, python-django, and squirrelmail), Gentoo (chromium, cups, firefox, glibc, kconfig, libarchive, libreoffice, oracle-jdk-bin, polkit, proftpd, sqlite, wget, zeromq, and znc), openSUSE (bzip2, chromium, dosbox, evince, gpg2, icedtea-web, java-11-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kconfig, kdelibs4, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, nodejs8, pdns, polkit, python, subversion, and vlc), Oracle (ghostscript and kernel), Red Hat (mysql:8.0 and subversion:1.10), SUSE (389-ds, libvirt and libvirt-python, and openjpeg2), and Ubuntu (nginx).

  • A compendium of container escapes

    My name is Brandon Edwards, I’m Chief Scientist at Capsule8. Today we’ll be talking about a compendium of container escapes in the podcast. We’ve previously talked about escaping containers and the sorts of vulnerabilities people should be concerned with a while back. In particular we’re discussing how the RunC vulnerability had engendered all this interest, or concern, or almost shock, the trust the people are placing in containers was broken. Oh wow, an escape could happen! I think it’s really valuable to be able to communicate and show all the other ways that that sort of thing can happen, either from misconfiguration, or over granting privileges, or providing host mounts into the container, or having kernel vulnerabilities that could somehow compromise any of the elements of the security model of container, which is both fragile and complex.

  • Apollo data graph brings managed federation to enterprises

    Data graph vendor Apollo is aiming to help overcome several obstacles to enterprises using graph databases with its latest Apollo Data Graph Platform update, which became generally available on July 16. Among the key new features in the platform are federated management capabilities that enable more scalability across different GraphQL data graph instances. GraphQL is an open source query language for APIs, originally created by Facebook that is used to enable data graph capabilities.

Videos: Pardus and Linux Action News