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LibreOffice 6.2 Office Suite Gets First Point Release with More Than 150 Fixes

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Security

The LibreOffice 6.2 office suite was released in early February with a lot of new features and improvements, including an optional NotebookBar UI and many enhancements for the Writer, Calc, Draw, Impress, Base, Math, and LibreOffice Online. Today, the first point release, LibreOffice 6.2.1, is here to address no less than 150 bugs and issues reported since the LibreOffice 6.2 release.

"LibreOffice 6.2.1 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites, and as such is not optimized for enterprise class deployments, where features are less important than robustness. Users wanting a more mature version can download LibreOffice 6.1.5, which includes some months of back-ported fixes," said Italo Vignoli, Co Founder, Marketing & PR, The Document Foundation.

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LibreOffice: LibOCon Almeria Call for Papers and GSOC Programme's Call for Students

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  • LibOCon Almeria Call for Papers

    The Document Foundation invites all members and contributors to submit talks, lectures and workshops for this year’s conference in Almeria (Spain). The event is scheduled for early September, from Wednesday 11 to Friday 13. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or have never spoken in public before, if you have something interesting to share about LibreOffice or the Document Liberation Project, we want to hear from you!

  • GSOC

    It’s time to register to the GSOC programm for the different LibreOffice tasks.

    As the notebookbar is available for the regular users I hope to get students how are interested in Improve the LibreOffice notebookbar.

LibreOffice 6.2 – de oppresso liber officium

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If we look at LibreOffice in isolation, and ignore the Microsoft side of the story, it’s a pretty solid suite, with lots of great things. It’s also free, and that’s not a negligible element. But then, there are also things that need to be improved and fixed – and fast. I believe that momentum is slowly ebbing across the entire open-source space, especially products that have a strong Linux presence. It could be the usual wear-‘n’-tear, it could be some sort of inspirational crisis, or just the harsh reality of things in early 2019. While LibreOffice is making progress, it’s not doing that fast enough. Now, cue competition, and things are ever worse.

LibreOffice needs a more consistent UI, with fewer but better designed layouts that will always render nicely, without having to worry about fonts or DPI or anything of that sort. The editing of images and charts is slow and inefficient. The styles can be streamlined a whole order of magnitude. Finally, we do have to contend with Microsoft Office and the file format compatibility. This remains a big issue. Unless LibreOffice users can create files and send them knowing those files will open correctly on other people’s machines, it will always remains an underdog. And at some point, the hope will fade. Let’s all hope that LibreOffice can sustain its energy to become more than a pro-am experiment. In a way, your freedom depends on it.

After all, if you ain’t first, you’re last.

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Development: LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019, Fedora Development Docs, GNOME Online Accounts (GOA) and Another Developer Gathering for Devuan

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  • LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019, Tokyo: Call for Papers is open

    Call for Papers for LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019, held at the Nihonbashi Tokyo Tower (at Cyboze, Inc., Tokyo Office) on May 25th (Sat) and 26th (Sun), is now open.

    LibreOffice Asia Conference will be the first event gathering LibreOffice users, advocates and contributors (not only development, but also localization, PR/marketing, documentation, quality assurance, … etc.) from different countries in Asia, to exchange and share experiences and knowledge.

    During the conference, we will discuss LibreOffice related business such as supporting and training, migrating to LibreOffice and the ODF true standard format, developing, and any other community activity in Asia. In addition, we will have guests from the core team at The Document Foundation, which is a charitable foundation and the home of LibreOffice.

  • Fedora IoT Docs are Live

    Design ideas: My focus was on technical content. The basic layout is dictated by the Fedora Docs project but a bit of design work on the welcome page and the addition of any IoT specific logos would be nice. Also, there are a few screenshots that could use a pointer or box to highlight the area described in the text.

    Verify links for downloads and upgrades: The working group now has regular updated images available in a CDN and the next downloadable image is in progress along with the final version of the landing page for downloads. Once the update and release schedule process is smoothed out, the documentation needs to be verified.

    Get ready for F30: When Fedora 30 is ready, the site will need some Release Notes and the User Guide will need some updates to cover new features. You can submit suggestions as iot-docs issues in pagure.

  • Some challenges for GNOME online accounts

    The cynical among us might be tempted to think that an announcement from the GNOME project about the removal of a feature — a relatively unused feature at that — would be an unremarkable event. In practice, though, Debarshi Ray's announcement that the GNOME Online Accounts (GOA) subsystem would no longer support the "documents" access point touched off a lengthy discussion within the project itself. The resulting discussion revealed a few significant problems with GOA and, indeed, with the concept of online-account management in any sort of open-source umbrella project like GNOME.

    GOA is meant to provide a single sign on system integrating GNOME applications with web-based services. Any application that, for example, wants to access files stored in Google Drive would ordinarily have to ask the user for credentials and log into Drive separately, which gets tiresome for users running a lot of applications. By routing this access through GOA, the GNOME developers hope to simplify the process of using those services. GOA includes a number of different "integration points" for different types of services, including files, email, calendars, contacts, and more.

    The "documents" point was used by the Documents application, which is meant to help users manage their documents. It has suffered, though, from a lack of both users and developers and lacks basic features; Michael Catanzaro described it as "basically just 'bad evince'". That certainly restricts its prospects for success; as Ray put it: "it doesn't stand any chance of adoption unless it can open files like /usr/bin/evince". Documents has duly been removed from the core set of GNOME applications. Since it was the only core application using the "documents" integration point, that point is now being removed.

  • Systemd-Free Debian "Devuan" Planning Their First Developer Gathering This Spring

    For fans of Devuan, the downstream of Debian focused on "init system independence" or just "Debian without systemd", their first-ever conference is happening in just over one month.

LibreOffice, OpenOffice and Other 'Free' (Libre or Gratis) Office Suites

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OOo
  • 5 free alternatives to Microsoft Word

    LibreOffice Writer, like OpenOffice, is a completely free and open-source product that offers word processing, support for .doc and .docx file formats, and all the tools the average Microsoft Word user will need in a word processor.

    LibreOffice Writer and OpenOffice Writer are similar in a lot of ways: Interface style, file format support, lack of cloud integration and real-time collaboration, and general word processing features. Both are solid choices for those looking for a free alternative to Microsoft Word, and selecting one over the other largely comes down to preference.

    One aspect of LibreOffice stands out, and it isn't what's in the app—it's the community-driven nature of the platform. Collaborating with users and developers to improve the product is front and center on LibreOffice's website, and that focus has grown LibreOffice into a thriving community of users and coders that keep making it better.

  • LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019, Tokyo: Call for Proposal is open

    LibreOffice Asia Committee calls for proposals of talks for LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019, Tokyo held at the Nihonbashi Tokyo Tower (Cyboze, Inc. Tokyo office) on May 25th (Sat) and 26th (Sun).

    LibreOffice Asia Conference is the event to gather LibreOffice users and contributors (such as development, translation, PR/marketing, quality assurance, or else) in the Asian region to exchange each knowledge. In there, we will discuss LibreOffice business such as support and training, the current status of migrations for LibreOffice and its standard format ODF, how to use, development, and any other community activities around Asia in it. This year’s Tokyo conference is the first Asia Conference.

    We will also invite various guests includes some of the board of directors of The Document Foundation which is the charitable Foundation to be a home of LibreOffice

Hack Week - Browsersync integration for Online

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Recently my LibreOffice work is mostly focused on the Online. It's nice to see how it is growing with new features and has better UI. But when I was working on improving toolbars (eg. folding menubar or reorganization of items) I noticed one annoying thing from the developer perspective. After every small change, I had to restart the server to provide updated content for the browser. It takes few seconds for switching windows, killing old server then running new one which requires some tests to be passed.

Last week during the Hack Week funded by Collabora Productivity I was able to work on my own projects. It was a good opportunity for me to try to improve the process mentioned above.

I've heard previously about browsersync so I decided to try it out. It is a tool which can automatically reload used .css and .js files in all browser sessions after change detection. To make it work browsersync can start proxy server watching files on the original server and sending events to the browser clients if needed.

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Events: Qt World Summit 2018, NetSurf Developer, LibreOffice Asia Conference

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LibO
OSS
  • Networking in Berlin: Qt World Summit 2018

    At our little booth we showcased Plasma running on a variety of devices, ranging from a Nexus 5X running Plasma Mobile through two ARM laptops to the powerful KDE Slimbook. Plasma was praised for its performance and reliability and since the focus of the event was mostly on embedded systems, we could easily demonstrate with our selection of devices that Plasma and the KDE Frameworks are a viable option for an endeavor in this area, too.

    It was very interesting to see the diverse set of people presenting their products and roaming the stalls, to see where Qt is in use today without you even realizing. We were approached by several companies evaluating using KDE Frameworks in their products and also tried to lay a foundation for an eventual partnership. And then there was Daimler who just parked an A-Class in the hallway, whose MBUX infotainment system is also powered by Qt.

  • Vincent Sanders: A very productive weekend

    I just hosted a NetSurf Developer weekend which is an opportunity for us to meet up and make use of all the benefits of working together. We find the ability to plan work and discuss solutions without loosing the nuances of body language generally results in better outcomes for the project.

    [...]

    We rounded the Saturday off by going out for a very pleasant meal with some mutual friends. Sunday started by adding a bunch of additional topics to consider and we made good progress addressing these.

    We performed a bug triage and managed to close several issues and commit to fixing a few more. We even managed to create a statement of work of things we would like to get done before the next meetup.

    My main achievement on the Sunday was to add WEBP image support. This uses the Google libwebp library to do all the heavy lifting and adding a new image content handler to NetSurf is pretty straightforward.

  • First LibreOffice Asia Conference to Take Place May 25-26, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan

    The Document Foundation published today more information on when and where the first ever LibreOffice Asia Conference event will take place this year.

    LibreOffice Asia Conference 2019 will be the project's first conference event to take place in a country in the Asia region where the free and open source software movement is rapidly growing. The Document Foundation decided it's time to put together a conference in Asia after the massive success of the LibreOffice Conference Indonesia 2018 event.

    "It’s a real leap of faith," says Franklin Weng, an Asian member in the Board of Directors of The Document Foundation. "Asia is a rapidly growing area in adoptions of ODF and LibreOffice, but our ecosystem for LibreOffice and FOSS has not been good enough yet. In this conference, we’re not only trying to make the FOSS ecosystem in Asia more healthy but also to encourage Asian community members to show their potential.”

Programmes and Events: Outreachy, FOSDEM and LibreOffice Asia Conference

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OSS
  • Outreachy Summer 2019 Applications Open With Expanded Eligibility

    But beginning this round, they are also opening the application process to "anyone who faces systemic bias or discrimination in the technology industry of their country is invited to apply." For evaluating the systemic bias or discrimination, an essay question was added to the application process about what discrimination they may have faced or otherwise think they could face in seeking employment.

    Also different beginning this round is only students (update: for non-student participants, this restriction does not apply) from the Northern Hemisphere can apply to this May to August round while the Southern Hemisphere round is being deemed the December to March round moving forward.

  • VkRunner at FOSDEM

    I attended FOSDEM again this year thanks to funding from Igalia. This time I gave a talk about VkRunner in the graphics dev room. It’s now available on Igalia’s YouTube channel below:

    I thought this might be a good opportunity to give a small status update of what has happened since my last blog post nearly a year ago.

  • First LibreOffice Asia Conference

    The First LibreOffice Asia Conference Will Be Held On May 25-26, 2019 In Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan

    This is the first ever LibreOffice conference covering Asia, a rapidly-growing area for free and open source software. The call for papers will be launched soon.

    Berlin, February 18, 2019 – After the huge success of the LibreOffice Conference Indonesia in 2018, members of the Asian communities have decided to raise the bar in 2019 with the first ever LibreOffice Asia Conference in Nihonbashi – the very center of Tokyo, Japan – on May 25-26.

    One of the main organizers, Naruhiko Ogasawara, a member of the Japanese LibreOffice community and The Document Foundation, can’t hide his excitement: “When we launched the LibreOffice Mini Conference Japan in 2013 as a local event, we knew little about communities in other parts of Asia. In recent years we have attended the LibreOffice Conference and other Asian events like OpenSUSE Asia, COSCUP etc. We have realized that many of our colleagues are active and that our community should learn a lot from them. We are proud to be able to hold the first Asia Conference with our colleagues to further strengthen that partnership.”

LibreOffice-Based Collabora Online 4.0 Adds New Look, Numerous Improvements

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Collabora Online 4.0 comes almost a year after the previous release with a new look that refreshes the toolbar icons, colors, and layout, adds a new icon to let users hide the menu bar, as well as various other smaller tweaks to simplify the user interface while giving users a more enjoyable and productive LibreOffice Online experience.

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LibreOffice: Extensions And Templates Website and LibOCon Almeria

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  • Expensive LibreOffice Extensions And Templates Website?

    I read a time ago about the myth of an expensive LibreOffice extensions and templates website. I investigated about this and had a look at the real numbers (they are public available on the wiki page: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/Ledgers). I found some expenses only in two fiscal period: 2017 and 2018. TDF spent in 2017 6399.44 Euro and in 2018 642.60 Euro. The money was predominantly spent for content migration and an improved server environment. It included also an individual training for the TDF infrastructure team.

  • Announcing the dates of LibOCon Almeria

    LibreOffice Conference 2019 will be hosted by the Spanish city of Almeria during the month of September, from September 11 (Wednesday) to September 13 (Friday).

    On Tuesday, September 10, there will be the usual meetings of the community, to discuss topics of general interest for native language projects, such as localization, documentation, quality assurance, design and marketing.

    Collateral events such as the social dinner and the hackfest, which are a tradition of the LibreOffice Schedule, have not yet been scheduled.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers: foss-north 2019, LibrePlanet 2019, Public Health, Public Interest and Simon Phipps on 'FRAND'

  • foss-north 2019: Training Day
    The 2019 incarnation of foss-north is less than a month away. This year we’re extending the conference in two directions: a training day and a community day. This time, I wanted to write about the training day. The training day, April 10, is an additional day for those who want to extend the conference with a day of dedicated training. I’m very happy to have two experienced and well known trainers on side: Michael Kerrisk and Chris Simmonds. Both has years of training experience. Michael will teach about the details in dynamic linking. The topic may seem trivial, but when you start scratching the surface, there are a lot of details to discover such as how to handle version compatibility, how symbol resolution really works, and so on. You can read more about the Building and Using Shared Libraries on Linux training here.
  • Your guide to LibrePlanet 2019, March 23-24!
    Are you planning on joining us for LibrePlanet 2019, coming up this weekend, March 23-24, at the Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)? If you haven't registered yet, there's still time -- registration is open through Tuesday, March 19 at 10:00 EDT, and we also welcome walk-ins (space permitting)! Remember, students and Free Software Foundation (FSF) associate members get in gratis. We also hope you'll join us for the Friday night open house at the FSF office, here in Boston -- you can pick up your badge early to skip the line Saturday morning (more details below).
  • Will this new openness to open source heed past lessons?
     

    We set out to demonstrate how open source could work in the NHS for both vendors and users, and to dispel many of the myths that existed about open source. We created the NHS Open Source Foundation (now The Apperta Foundation), a not-for-profit designed to act as a custodian for quality assured NHS open source software, adapting the model developed by OSERA in the US for VistA.  

    We identified a number of issues which we worked hard to address.

  • France’s economic council wants a greater European role for free software
     

    The European Union should encourage the use of free software, for example by setting quotas in public procurement and financing its development, says France’s Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Conseil économique, social et environnemental, or CESE). The constitutional consultative assembly sees free software, sharing and reuse as strategic parts of the European digital culture.

  • Release of Opinion Paper on Open Source and FRAND by OFA Fellow Simon Phipps

    The question if Open Source Software can be combined with a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) regime is often at the centre of the debate. Possibly, this question though is not the deciding one, as such a legal compatibility would require that Open Source developers would collaborate under such a regime.

    OpenForum Europe is very excited to publish the Opinion Paper by OFA Fellow and President of the Open Source Initiative, Simon Phipps. In this paper Simon posits that the core issue of Open Source Software and FRAND is not a legal one, but that Open Source developers will not collaborate under a FRAND regime.

today's howtos

Security: Updates, "US Huawei Blackballing Efforts" and Microsoft's Back Doors Keep Crackers Busy

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • US Huawei Blackballing Efforts Stall Due To Lack Of 'Actual Facts'
    During the Trump era, the US government has dramatically ramped up claims that Chinese hardware vendor Huawei is a nefarious spy for the Chinese government, blackballing it from the U.S. telecom market. From pressuring U.S. carriers to drop plans to sell Huawei phones to the FCC's decision to ban companies from using Huawei gear if they want to receive federal subsidies, this effort hasn't been subtle. While Huawei should never be confused with a saint (what telecom company would be?) there's several problems with the effort. The biggest being that despite a decade of hand-wringing and one eighteen month investigation by the US government, there's still no public evidence Huawei uses its network gear to spy on Americans. That's not sitting well with countries we've asked to join along in the fun.
  • Sorry, Linux. We know you want to be popular, but cyber-crooks are all about Microsoft for now
    Eight out of the ten most exploited vulnerabilities tracked by threat intelligence biz Recorded Future in 2018 targeted Microsoft products – though number two on its list was, surprise surprise, a Flash flaw. The most exploited vuln in the firm's hall of shame was a remote code execution flaw in Windows' VBScript engine that could pwn users who opened a booby-trapped web page with Internet Explorer. "Exploit kits associated with this vulnerability were noted to spread the malware Trickbot through phishing attacks," said Recorded Future in a report published today. The Flash vuln was none other than one exploited by North Korean state-backed hackers – first detected by South Korea's CERT, which discovered a flood of booby-trapped MS Office documents, web pages, spam messages and more.

Graphics and Games: NVIDIA, Orbital/Vulkan, Cataclysm and System Shock 3

  • NVIDIA Shows Off Quake II Path-Traced Using Vulkan RTX/Ray-Tracing
    ne of the demos NVIDIA is showing off this week at their GPU Technology Conference is Quake II being path-traced using a Vulkan port of the game and adapted to handle VK_NV_ray_tracing functionality paired with the latest GeForce RTX GPUs. Q2VKPT is a path-traced version of Quake II started by a former NVIDIA intern and is rendered using Vulkan and does support Linux.
  • Orbital: A PlayStation 4 Emulator That Is Emulating The PS4's AMD GPU Using Vulkan
    Orbital is an open-source project providing a virtualization-based PlayStation 4 emulator that is still in its early stages but what interests us is its technical details including the use of Vulkan/SPIR-V. Orbital leverages QEMU and other open-source components. At this stage it's not running any PS4 games but is able to boot into safe mode on PS4 5.xx kernels.
  • Cataclysm - Dark Days Ahead, a free and open source turn-based survival game had a huge update
    It occurred to me today, that no one here at GOL seems to have ever written about the free and open source turn-based survival game Cataclysm - Dark Days Ahead. Okay, so what is it? A classic roguelike with a survival theme, set in a post-apocalyptic procedurally generated world.
  • System Shock 3 may see Linux support, OtherSide still working on Underworld Ascendant for Linux
    OtherSide Entertainment have teased out a new short video of System Shock 3 and it may see Linux support. Not to be confused with the crowdfunded System Shock reboot that Nightdive Studios are currently working on. System Shock 3 is being made with some of the original team behind the first two games as well like Warren Spector, so it should remain faithful to the series while being a rather nice upgrade in visuals.