Monthly Archives: September 2010

LibreOffice first steps

It has been 12 hours since the LibreOffice announcement, and the projects starts to do its first steps.

  1. Neil Brown had submitted the first patch to LibreOffice, after waiting for 3 years (!) while the patch was available at the issues system (#80637).
  2. Michael Meeks had published “Minutes of first LibreOffice technical group call“. The general plan is to accept patches (“no large / risky / de-stabilising (new) feature work”) from the community and also merge the changes already done to (existing CWS).
  3. The public is welcome to help cleaning the existing code, Gil Forcada already started. see the EasyHacks list for the tasks to be done.
  4. LibreOffice mirrors now also contain the source code for the beta release done in the morning.
  5. Patches are welcome at or using the Bugzilla. See “Get Involved Developing LibreOffice” for more info.

You’re welcome to join us…


Filed under LibreOffice,

Welcome The Document Foundation and LibreOffice

For those who haven’t heard: Community announces The Document Foundation

The community of volunteers developing and promoting sets up an independent Foundation to drive the further growth of the project

The Internet, September 28, 2010 – The community of volunteers who develop and promote, the leading free office software, announce a major change in the projectâs structure. After ten yearsâ successful growth with Sun Microsystems as founding and principle sponsor, the project launches an independent foundation called “The Document Foundation”, to fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter.

The Foundation will be the cornerstone of a new ecosystem where individuals and organisations can contribute to and benefit from the availability of a truly free office suite. It will generate increased competition and choice for the benefit of customers and drive innovation in the office suite market. From now on, the community will be known as “The Document Foundation”.

Oracle, who acquired assets as a result of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has been invited to become a member of the new Foundation, and donate the brand the community has grown during the past ten years. Pending this decision, the brand “LibreOffice” has been chosen for the software going forward.

The Document Foundation is the result of a collective effort by leading independent members of the community, including several project leads and key members of the Community Council. It will be led initially by a Steering Committee of developers and national language projects managers. The Foundation aims to lower the barrier of adoption for both users and developers, to make LibreOffice the most accessible office suite ever.

The Foundation will coordinate and oversee the development of LibreOffice, which is available in beta version at the placeholder site: Developers are invited to join the project and contribute to the code in the new friendly and open environment, to shape the future of office productivity suites alongside contributors who translate, test, document, support, and promote the software.

Speaking for the group of volunteers, Sophie Gautier – a veteran of the community and the former maintainer of the French speaking language project – has declared: “We believe that the Foundation is a key step for the evolution of the free office suite, as it liberates the development of the code and the evolution of the project from the constraints represented by the commercial interests of a single company. Free software advocates around the world have the extraordinary opportunity of joining the group of founding members today, to write a completely new chapter in the history of FLOSS”.


So welcome The Document Foundation and LibreOffice. I already can see how does the community benefits from this due to the merge with go-oo:

Q: What does this announcement mean to other derivatives of
A: We want The Document Foundation to be open to code contributions from as many people as possible. We are delighted to announce that the enhancements produced by the Go-OOo team will be merged into LibreOffice, effective immediately. We hope that others will follow suit.


So, will Oracle contribute the trademark to the community ? Time will tell…


Filed under LibreOffice,, Proud to use free software

64-bit Flash Player

I read today that Adobe re-released its 64-bit Flash player (although a preview version) after a 3 months without supporting Linux 64-bit. Although these are good news, I think I’ll thank Adobe for forcing me into using the free software replacements and stick to them. They might not be perfect, but they are free (as in speech).

I’m using Swfdec on Ubuntu 10.04 & Gnash 0.8.8 on Debian unstable, and I’m quite happy with both. Gnash 0.8.8 and the fix for YouTube was a big issue which had caused me to not selecting it as a flash player in the past, and Swfdec is dead for two years, but still does most of the work (although it works better on Ubuntu than on Debian, no idea why).


Filed under Debian GNU/Linux, Ubuntu

Hebrew translation and Bidi issues in Openoffice 3.3 (beta)

In the last few years the Israeli government founded some work on by Tk Open Systems Ltd. During the years, the work has resulted with an “Israeli version”, released after the official release and includes a lot of patches to improve support for Bidi and Hebrew specifically. Although most patches were submitted to the “hamburg”, a lot of them weren’t used and are still waiting for inclusion.

The funding the that projects stopped a year ago (9/2009), and the last release of the Israeli version is 3.1.1. Since then we had a quiet period in which 3.2 and 3.2.1 were released. While still enjoying the fruits of the projects in these version, it seems that it’s time for the community to take over, as we lost hopes for yet another funds from the government.

In may Netanel and I started talking about taking over the Hebrew translation, and in June we got Hebrew added to the pootle server. We started with about 80%, and got to 86% in time to get to the list of languages getting a language pack built for. This was a first achievement as Hebrew didn’t have a language pack since early on the 2.x versions. I believe that working as part of the l10n group and with release schedule will only benefit for the Hebrew translation process.

We used the language pack to test the translation and improve it. We also were able to get to 89% with the help of more volunteers.I believe it’s now much more consistent than before. In the process with manually checked Writer thoroughly, while Calc and Impress got less attention due to the time frame. But we fixed some major translation issues in all of the three components.

While testing the translation we also started to report Bidi issues we saw in 3.3 beta, hoping they will be fixed for the final release. For example, the main screen on windows has is getting repainted wrongly when moving the mouse over the options (text, spreadsheet..). This looks very badly as this is the main screen! See issue #97556 for details main screen in RTL UI

In RTL UI the main screen doesn't get repaited properly.

In addition to report new issues, we also started to keep track of the already opened issues regarding Bidi and Hebrew. I’m following the issue system for a few years now, but seeing the list of issues organized in the wiki gave me a better orientation in the problems we have. E.g. finding some related or similar issues and mention each other in the comments, when someone goes to first one, he could also fixed the other as the problem is similar and probably comes from the same code.

Organizing also the already closed bugs in 3.x, gave me a some kind of a changelog for the Bidi and Hebrew related issues. In that manner, version 3.1 was a very good for Bidi, thanks for a lot of efforts and work with the Bidi meta issue #79434. The wiki page is in Hebrew, but looks quite OK with Google translate (see here).

Hoping to have 3.4 a major release (Bidi wise), I’ve opened issue #114236 as another meta issue for Bidi related issues. I’ve kept Hebrew specific issues out, as to get it more general and also relevant for Bidi users in other languages. Any help of those issues will be more than welcome (starting with votes and ending with patches).


Filed under i18n & l10n, Israeli Community,