This year’s Software Freedom Day event was held yesterday at Szeged, here at Hungary. I gave a talk about the news of LibreOffice 4.1 / 4.2 (slides), and I was happy to notice there were other LibreOffice-related talks as well:
I would like to thank the organizers all their work, it was a pleasure to attend this event! :-)
It was pointed out that LibreOffice Writer is only able to open, not save
.dot (Word binary template) files. From mso-dumper experience, I knew that
the difference is quite small between
.doc (which we already export) and
.dot files. The feature freeze for LibreOffice 4.2 is here next week, so why
not adding this feature before that deadline? You can see above the result. :-)
For the ones who love our
--convert-to commandline switch, an extra fix was
necessary to make
--convert-to dot work as well, both commits are now in
master. You can try it out yourself using a
daily build or just wait for the
libreoffice-4-2 branchoff and the first beta from that branch.
Happy templating! ;-)
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Change tracking improvements in LibreOffice Writer spellcheck popup (Comments)
If you ever had to review a document that had change tracking enabled in LibreOffice Writer, you might have noticed an odd behaviour: if e.g. the inserted text has a spelling error, it’s not easy to reject that change. The reason for this is that in case of spelling errors, right mouse click activates the spellcheck popup menu, which lacked the change tracking operations previously.
As you can see in the above screenshot, this is no longer an issue: LibreOffice 4.2 will have the previous change, next change, accept change and reject change operations in the spellcheck popup menu as well.
In one sentence, with LibreOffice 4.2, Writer allows to reject a spelling error it detected itself. ;-)
This year’s LibreOffice conference was held in Milan, Italy. Links to my slides:
Why so many talks? I couldn’t decide what topic to pick up (git or Writer filters), so I did both, the rest — those weren’t sessions where I spoke for 30+ minutes, so those don’t really count. :-)
Regarding the number of attendees, draw your own conclusions from the group picture, made on 26th — probably more than 100 attendees, counting all days.
Thanks for the organizers for this beautiful event — and also the sponsors, including Google (free food/beer during one hackathon) and CloudOn (fee free/beer during the other hackathon + tablets for the best commits)!
My pictures are available here.
Friday, 20 September 2013
'Select All' improvements in LibreOffice Writer 4.2 (Comments)
LibreOffice Writer had an old limitation we inherited from OpenOffice.org times: if a document started with a table, it wasn’t possible to select the whole document text. There were various bugreports for this problem: one from more than 2 years ago, an other from 2002 (!) — and I’m happy to post screenshots about how I improved this in LibreOffice 4.2 (before and after):
If you want to try this out yourself, get a daily build and play with it. :-)
That’s all for today, thanks for you attention.
On Monday, KAMI once again organized an event called "Open Day 2" here at Budapest, to promote free software like Mozilla projects and LibreOffice. I was also invited as a speaker, giving overview of what happened in LibreOffice-land during the past few months. My slides are here.
Thanks for nice evening, it was good to talk again to other free software contributors like our Hungarian Firefox and LibreOffice translator, etc. :-)
Sunday, 01 September 2013
OOXML floating table improvements in LibreOffice Writer 4.2 (Comments)
I’m posting here a few screenshots showing improvements I’ve recently implemented in our DOCX import and export filter, done in the 4.2 development cycle. Note that final 4.2 is still far from being released, so this is not a complete list. :-) In each case I’m providing a screenshot showing how it looks now on 4.2, how it looked before and the reference layout. Click on the images to get a larger image:
document with paragraph shadow (test doc):
OK, this has nothing to do with floating tables. But I promise the rest is all related to that. ;-)
document with floating table (test doc):
document with floating table and special margins (test doc):
the same document after roundtrip (load, save and load again):
If you want to try these out yourself, get a daily build and play with it! :-) If something goes wrong, report it to us in the Bugzilla, so we can try fix it before 4.2 gets branched off. And remember, there are lots more improvements coming in LibreOffice 4.2 (even if some of them is not yet documented), stay tuned! ;-)
I just checked, I created my git push tree more than a year ago, but yesterday I was reminded that this technique isn’t really documented anywhere, so let me describe it.
Some background: for the LibreOffice codebase, we decided to do all
micro-features directly on the
master branch. This means that we typically
rebase our local
master branch against
origin/master, then push it. The
benefit of this is that code gets wider testing quickly and the commit history
is not polluted with meaningless merge commits.
The problem: one drawback of the above situation is that after you pull, some changes of other developers in the lower layers may trigger a full rebuild, typically wasting about an hour of your life (or more, in case of slower machines).
Push tree is one hack to avoid this problem. Using a push tree, you have two separate repositories locally, you update your main one less regularly, and when you have a commit to push, you push it from the push tree to be able to avoid pulling in your main tree.
Here is how to do it. To set this up:
git clone --referece /path/to/master ssh://logerrit/core master-push
Then to use it, instead of
git pull -r && git push in your
master tree, do these:
cd /path/to/master git show -s <1> cd /path/to/master-push git pull -r git cherry-pick $sha1 <2> git push
copy the sha1 hash from the output
replace $sha1 with the sha1 hash you got in the previous step
(There is a trick here, given that master-push already references the original
tree, you can go ahead with cherry-pick directly, without fetching branches
And that’s it, you were able to push without waiting for a long rebuild!
Note: of course this technique has some drawbacks as well, so use with care. Keep in mind the followings:
If your local
master is not up-to-date enough, you’ll get conflicts while
cherry-picking. I usually update my
master tree once a day in the morning.
If you have a slower machine, do it once a week in the night, or so.
Even if you don’t get conflicts, there can be cases when the result of the
cherry-pick in the push tree won’t be what you want. Chances that this
happens is pretty low if your
master tree is not super-old, see the previous
An other non-technical but social reason to still update your
regularly is that if everyone uses an infrequently updated
then nobody will fix breakages caused by others on
origin/master. So updating
your real tree infrequently is a bit unfair to other developers.
Other than these, I can just recommend using a push tree, it helped me many times not to loose focus in the middle of the day. (And as we all know, pushing all your risky changes on Friday afternoon is also a bad idea. :-) )
See here for a 3.6/4.0 version of this post.
I’m posting here a few screenshots showing improvements in our DOCX filter, done in the 4.1 development cycle. In each case I’m providing a link to the test document, a screenshot showing how it looked before and how it now looks on 4.1. Click on the images to get a larger image:
document with a complex groupshape: multiple shapes had text (test doc):
document with tabs over the margin (test doc):
document with rotated text: content should not fit the cell size (test doc):
document with numbering, where bullets are pictures (test doc):
document with watermark (test doc):
If you want to try these out yourself, get a daily build and play with it! :) If something goes wrong, report it to us in the Bugzilla, so we can try fix it in the next 4.1 bugfix release. And remember, there are lots more improvements coming in LibreOffice 4.1, stay tuned!
Yesterday Novell Hungary organized SUSE Conference 2013 here at Budapest. As you can see above Andras held a LibreOffice-related presentation there — and we also ran a LibreOffice booth. As it was requested, we set up quite some (publicly available) Android demos:
LibreOffice4Android (document viewer) on my phone (I needed a fix to get it running on a non-tablet, though)
The desktop app on a tablet — thanks goes to the organizers who provided that for us!
About 200 visitors attended the conference, which counts as a great success in this category. :-)