LibreOffice is the flagship office suite for Linux. It’s also quite popular with Windows users. As a free, open-source and cross-platform solution, LibreOffice allows people to enjoy the world of writing, spreadsheets, presentations and alike without having to spend hefty sums of money. The only problem till now was that it didn’t quite work as advertised. Microsoft Office support was, for the lack of a better word, lacking.
Version 4.4 is out, and it promises a great deal. A simplified interface, new looks, much improved proprietary file format support. Sounds exciting, and as someone who has lambasted LibreOffice for this very reason in the past, I felt compelled to give this new edition its due rightful try. On top of Plasma 5 no less. So let’s see.
The inquiry from Malawi was passed to our local expert, Esben Aaberg, who after a few hours of work got the dictionary to work. Unfortunately dictionaries can not be registered without the language been known by LibreOffice. Instead, Esben "cheated" by using a language code from another language. Of course we need the language Chichewa registered, but here and now, it works after all.
At the huge FOSDEM conference in Brussels this weekend, the developers of LibreOffice for Android presented their work and road map. LibreOffice for Android is currently available as a file viewer in the Google Play Store, but the team is making rapid progress developing editing capabilities as well.
The project is unusual in that The Document Foundation, which manages LibreOffice's development, is using donated funds to pay professional developers to work on LibreOffice for Android. Those funds appear to be having the desired effect of accelerating development.
Inspired by the pothole identification and alert site and app, fixmystreet.com, OFE, through its fixmydocument.eu, is giving a crowd-sourced voice to public frustration with software interoperability limitations that stand in the way of citizens who are seeking to communicate and interact with government.
It should be noted, however, this is more than a vehicle through which to vent. Many parts of the EU are legitimately working hard to implement ODF, the open document format for office applications. Fixmydocument.eu will help them better identify software and documents that are presenting the most pressing and immediate problems. As an added benefit, it should not go unnoticed that more fully deploying ODF and other open standards will help the EU avoid vendor lock-in.
We are very close to release LibreOffice 4.4 and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the work that has been put into this new branch and what the general idea is about it. LibreOffice 4.4 is unusual; as a major release you may expect some important underlying change in its architecture, or the inclusion of a set of major features. The 4.4 does include several important features and improvements, most notably for Impress and the much forgotten HTML editor (the comprehensive release notes may be found here). But the most important details are not to be found in this area. If you want to understand where the 4.4 branch is headed, I think it is useful to keep two fundamental trends in mind.
huge amount of work. Much of the initial work was done by Tor Lillqvist, while at SUSE (now Collabora), creating a cross-compilation framework which we continue to use for iOS, Android and was originally setup to do cross-compiles to Windows - so that we could have a predictable toolchain, and a reliable/repeatable free-software build environment. Tor also did some amazing bootstrapping work to overcome several debilitating limitations of C++ on Android, get to get the initial startup, and packaging into a good state.