Category Archives: Openoffice.org

Openoffice.org User Survey 2009

I found out that openoffice.org are running a user survey, and thought that should be more public.

Please help improve the OpenOffice.org office suite by completing this survey. It will take about 15 minutes and will increase our understanding of your requirements and expectations for the OpenOffice.org software. You will have the opportunity to make comments or suggestions at the end of the survey.

So, please help and fill the survey (it realy doesn’t take 15 minutes)…

2 Comments

Filed under Openoffice.org, QA stuff

OpenOffice.org 3.1 New Features

Openoffice.org 3.1 release was postponed to may 7th. Meanwhile, you can check the new features list (some features already covered by oooninja).

I already blogged about the RTL issues fix in 3.1, but the next thing I’m waiting for the most are the calc performance improvements. I’m also looking forward for future changes related to this issue (see OpenOffice.org performance improvements at oooninja).

3 Comments

Filed under Openoffice.org

RTL related issues fixed in openoffice.org 3.1

Openoffice.org Ninja already covered some of the new RTL features with openoffice.org 3.1, mainly RTL enabled controls (#30631). But following the bugzilla issues, it seems that version 3.1 also includes fixes for more RTL related issues. Here is a list of some of the issues I encountered:

  1. Columns reversed when pasting RTL spreadsheet into Writer (#77853).
  2. directionality lost when exporting a presentation to html (#16295).
  3. RTL Chart: Bi-directional writing in charts (#14365).
  4. Numbers / digits following RTL should be treated as CTL (#89825).
  5. WW8: re-import moves position of RTL numbering out of right border (#97023).
  6. WW8: centered rtl table moves to the left on import from MSword (#28656).

I’d like to thank everyone envolved with the fixes of these issues.

5 Comments

Filed under i18n & l10n, Openoffice.org, Proud to use free software, QA stuff

Working for Free? – Motivations of Participating in Open Source Projects

I’ve been asked to summarize an article by Alexander Hars & Shaosong Ou about motivations of participating in open source projects written in 2000 for a psychology course. It was very interested to see how many things can motivate one to invest in open source.

Although none of the motivators was new to me, I still found the article very interesting. In fact, during the presentation of the article to the class I added my point of view and the reasons I participate in open source. I realized that, although not intentionally, I enjoyed every motivator mentioned in the article, except “selling related products and services”.

It would be quite interesting to have this article done again, as the open source world became bigger and has more payed people working on free software. Any volunteers ?

5 Comments

Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, Mozilla, Openoffice.org, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu

When Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack fails – use Openoffice.org

When my girlfriend told me her reason for installing openffice.org 3, I was happy about three issues:

  1. She started using free software willingly and knowingly (as opposed to back end software she isn’t aware of like Apache for websites).
  2. She did that because the commercial software didn’t work for here.
  3. The free software did a job she needed to.

And after that description you probably ask yourself what was the task? It was quite simple – open a Microsoft 2007 Word document in Hebrew with Microsoft Office 2000.

At first, she tried to use the “Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats“. While that Compatibility pack enabled her to open the document, the text wasn’t readable (probably becuase it was in Hebrew). She decided to download Openoffice.org version 3, which can open this file format, and after a quick installation it opened the document just fine.

So, thank you very much Openoffice.org developers (:

Leave a comment

Filed under Free software applications, Openoffice.org, Proprietary software, Proud to use free software

Debian follows Openoffice.org 3.x in the experimental archive

While Debian unstable is in freeze (and deep freeze), Rene Engelhard, started uploading openoffice.org 3 packages to the experimental archive.

I’ve been enjoying following the openoffice.org development process through updating the packages on my machine. As Rene keeps the packages up to date, I got to use 3.0-beta2, 3.0-rc2/3/4, 3.0 official, 3.0.1-rc1/2 and 3.0.1 official.

The packages are uploaded simultaneously with the availability of the versions. As I’m following the RTL related bugs (and fixes), I get a chance to enjoy the fixes very quickly and easily.

So, I see this as an opportunity to thank Rene for his excellent work (;

4 Comments

Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Openoffice.org

Where did the openoffice.org language packs go ?

Is it just me, or you can’t get language packs from the openoffice.org website? I couldn’t even find them in the extension packs.

I know the code and files are outthere since, the Linux distributions continue to create such packages for their users, but why can I get the files from the official website (e.g. for windows users)?

I’d like to get the official openoffice.org version in English, and to add to it the Hebrew language pack (e.g. interface translation) – why should I redownload the whole software again just for the language pack?

9 Comments

Filed under i18n & l10n, Openoffice.org

CTRL+A in OpenOffice.org Impress doesn’t behave as expected

I don’t have any reasonable explanation why does CTRL+A in Impress is mapped to the Open window (same as file-> open). I was a bit surprised to get that windows while trying to select all the text.

I’d be happy to hear the real reason for this.

p.s.

It seems that I’m not the only one wondering about this issue.

6 Comments

Filed under Openoffice.org

The 2nd Debian Openoffice.org bug triage has ended – 300+ bugs processed

The 2nd bug triage began with 285 bugs, which grow to around 310 bugs, since during the 4 months of the triage more bugs were reported.

So, I’m glad to announce the beginning of (my) 2nd openoffice.org bug triage. This triage targets 285 bugs out of 330 open oo.org bugs. The selected bug are ones which were reported against versions lower the 2.3.1 or have no version information at all.

At first, the triage advanced quickly with 21% of the bugs processed during the first 24 hours and 40% during the first 10 days. This left a long trail of bugs to handle manually.

The triage began for version 2.3.1, but was delayed to let version 2.4.0 to propagate into Lenny, as that was Rene’s preferable version to release with. When the triage resumed in late April, I had a 2.4.0 available in all of our repositories (sid, testing and backprots). Which meant that everyone could verify their bugs against the same oo.org version. Bug triaging heaven (:

Two thirds (66%) of the bugs were closed in this triage, most of them after a check from the submitter or myself and a few after the submitter was unresponsive and I couldn’t verify the bug myself.

Verifying the bugs myself is the most demanding part of the triage. Reading each report and understanding the problem takes a lot of time. Reproducing the problem usually takes less time than understand it. That’s way have test cases attached to bug reports are so important.

In several cases the instructions were so simple I could just open the file, check something and verify the bug. That was done in a robotic manner or in a monkey like one. These kind of attachments enables a lot of people to help with triaging, even if the lake the technical background of the program in subject.

So after closing 200 bugs and verifying around 100+, the oo.org bug count is set to 140 outstanding bugs, and 70 bug being forwarded to upstream. Except from about 10 bugs, all of the remaining 130 bugs are relevant for version 2.4.0. No need to wonder if the bug still occurs before reading the report…

3 Comments

Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Openoffice.org, QA stuff

What can Debian learn from Fedora about recruiting new people?

I’ve been visiting the fedora website in the last couple of days. One thing caught my interest, and that’s the “join Fedora” link just bellow the “get Fedora” one.

I clicked on it and got to this very simple “Join Fedora” page. The appealing part is the large icons which roughly lists the main ways to contribute to Fedora:

  • Content Writer
  • Designer
  • People Person
  • OS Developer
  • Translator
  • Web Developer or Administrator

Clicking etch icon gives you a description of relevant skills, related teams and typical tasks of this role. This is very useful for people not sure about what can they do or where exactly their skills are needed.

On the Debian’s website we have a “help debian” page which lists very similar functions the user can help with. The difference is that we list them at text which is less appealing than the Fedora’s icons. Fedora does have similar text to Debian, but it is organized into roles instead of suggesting everything to everyone.

I also think there’s a semantic difference with the term help and join. To me joining a project sounds more strong than helping it. Probably because joining something makes you a part of it, while helping does not. Although in the end both term have the exact same meaning in for the project themselves – users getting involved.

Openoffice.org has a big “I want to participate in openoffice.org” text in their font page, which like Fedora leads to a set of defined roles. Same thing in Ubuntu with their “Get Involved” page. It is important that each role page will have links the to tools people need in order to start contribute.

I don’t have the required graphical skills to do such icons, but I’m willing to create/edit the pages on the Debian website. I’ll be happy to hear comments before I approach the debian-www people.

6 Comments

Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, Openoffice.org